Patchouli oil is derived from an evergreen perennial that is a member of the Labiatae family and is a close relative of peppermint, lavender, and sage. The name “Patchouli” is said to be derived from the ancient Tamil words “patchai” and “ellai,” which means “green leaf.” Others say it comes from the word “patchoi”, meaning “smell” in Hindustan, referring to its use as a fragrance.
Patchouli originates from Southeast Asia. Today it is cultivated in China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, but it also grows in South America and other tropical regions such as Hawaii.
Patchouli essential oil uses
People use this essential oil in a variety of ways. So far as we know, none of these applications have been verified or approved by the FDA. Certainly, none of our HomeGrown Herbalist products have any such approval or verification from the FDA so all of this information is strictly for entertainment only.
The oil is extracted from the plant’s slightly fragrant leaves and white and purple flowers. It is thick, light yellow or brown in color, with a strong, musky and sweet aroma, which is reminiscent of wet earth. For some, the aroma of this oil is a preference that is acquired over time.
What sets patchouli essential oil apart from other essential oils is that it improves with age. Its light yellow color turns into a deep amber color, and the scent becomes softer and richer.
The Patchouli has been used for thousands of years. It became very valuable in early europe, the first European merchants would exchange a pound of Patchouli for a pound of gold. The Romans used it as an appetite stimulant, while in Egypt, Pharaoh Tutankhamun is said to have requested that 10 gallons of patchouli oil be buried with him in his tomb.
This essential oil has been widely used in traditional Asian medicine, especially in Malaysia, China, and Japan. It is used to treat that skin and hair. It is also commonly used as an aphrodisiac.
Patchouli essential oil is popularly used as a fabric fragrance, a practice dating back to 19th century India. Many manufacturers used it as a moth repellent for fabrics that are exported to other countries. The scent was so widely known that it became an indicator to identify authentic Oriental cloth. English and French clothing manufacturers were even forced to add patchouli oil to their knockoff products to make them more readily accepted by the market.
Today, the oil is used as a fragrance in personal care products, air fresheners, detergents, and wipes. It is also used as incense.
In aromatherapy it is said that it has a very reliving effect on people. Its calming and very effective for relaxation and meditation.
The incredible beneficial properties of patchouli oil come from its many constituents such as alpha patchoulene, beta patchoulene, alpha bulnesene, alpha guaiene, caryophyllene, norpatchoulenol, patchouli alcohol, seychellene and pogostol.
How to apply patchouli oil?
Patchouli oil can be inhaled diffused in a vaporizer or it can be applied directly to the skin. Inhaling the aroma of the oil or absorbing it through the skin can help transmit messages in the limbic system, a region of the brain that is involved in controlling emotions and influences the nervous system.
However, we advise you to use this oil in moderation because if it is used in abundance it can lead to a too strong and overwhelming fragrance. The smell can also permeate clothing and furniture.
Is it a safe oil?
Patchouli oil is safe when applied topically or inhaled. It can be used by itself, but we advise mixing it with other carrier oils. It mixes well with frankincense, sage, cedar, geranium, lavender, and rose, however those with sensitive skin may have certain reactions to this oil so it is recommended to test a very small amount before using it. Keep it away from the eyes, ears and nose.
Consult a healthcare professional before using this oil during pregnancy or lactation.
It can cause overstimulation and can have strong sedative effects when used in large amounts. It can also cause loss of appetite. If you are suffering from an eating disorder or recovering from an illness, we advise you not to use this herbal oil.
*These statements have not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before using any herbal product.
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before using any if these products. Do not take any of these products during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.