Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli Essential Oil Its Uses And What It Is

Patchouli Essential Oil comes from the Pogostemon cablin plant, a herb of the mint family. It has a widely know aroma due to its heavy usage in incense during the flower power period of the 1960's and 70's. Beyond being good in incense, for those who like the smell, it is used in many perfumes too. It is good as an aid in healing many skin disorders, including eczema and acne, due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and cell-regenerator properties. It has been known to aid in weight loss too, potentially due to the effect it has on fluid retention and appetite, though also it has a good anti-depressant effect. For more on these and other applications check the Patchouli Essential Oil Uses below.


Pogostemon cablin is native to Malaysia though now grown all around South East Asia as well as Western Africa. It is a bushy perennial that grows up to 75 centimeters in height, the leaves are large and soft with serrated edges. The flowers are small, pale pink or white and form in clusters.

Essential Oil Characteristics

The essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant via steam distillation, the best oil is gained by distilling from the freshest leaves close to their point of harvest. It is dark brown in colour and clear in nature, with a medium viscosity. The aroma has a base note which has a strong, musky, herby, spice-like character. The aroma changes slightly with age, becoming more rounded with time.


The primary constituents that give the properties of this oil are b-patchoulene, a-patchoulene, patchoulol and norpatchoulenol. Along with them the following also bring useful properties eugenol, cadinene, carvone, a-guaiene, caryophyllene, seychellene, a-bulnesene, patchouli alcohol and pogostol.

Cautionary Note For Patchouli Essential Oil

The aroma of Patchouli is very strong and lingers for a long period of time. Some people have reported that it can linger for around 2 weeks and can still be detected on clothes after laundering. Also, in high doses it can lead to loss of appetite.

Patchouli alcohol, an essential oil of Pogostemon cablin, exhibits anti-tumorigenic activity in human colorectal cancer cells.

"Patchouli alcohol (PA) is one of the important compounds isolated from the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin (patchouli). PA has neuroprotective, anti-influenza and anti-inflammatory activities... In addition, PA attenuated the expressions of HDAC2 (histone deacetylase 2) and c-myc, and HDAC enzyme activity. We also observed that PA induced the transcriptional activity of NF-κB through an increase of nuclear translocation of p65. These findings suggest that PA exerts an anti-cancer activity by decreasing cell growth and increasing apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells."
Jeong JB, Choi J, Lou Z, Jiang X, Lee SH.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Patchouli Essential Oil Uses

Patchouli essential oil uses are relatively diverse. It is a potent antibacterial and can aid with numerous conditions, especially acne, in that respect. It also has very good sedative and nervine qualities, leading it to be very good with anxiety, stress and tension. Its ability to work as a tissue regenerator brings aid to treating various skin conditions including eczema, where its sedative and nervine qualities helps to calm you of any stress you are feeling, something which often comes with the condition.

The Therapeutic Effects Of Patchouli Essential Oil


Digestive Aid
Tissue Regenerator

The antibacterial and sedative qualities of this essential oil are two of its greatest strengths, and partially what lead to its wide use in the 60's and 70's. The Nervine and relaxant qualities are something which helps to carry it on into the modern age, in combination with the sedative value of this oil they make it very good for treating stress, tension and anxiety. The aroma is very floral, and for some it can seem strong, though if you are able to enjoy it then Patchouli essential oil is great for helping to ease away your tensions and attain stress relief.

Conditions That It Helps With

Bacterial Infection
Dehydrated Skin
Digestive Problems
Emotional Balancing
Fungal Infection

Insect Bites
Insect Repellant
Scalp Disorders
Skin Conditions
Substance Addiction
Vein Tonic
Water Retention
Weight Reduction

As well as being great for helping you to relax and become calm this essential oil can be used to treat lethargy well. It has a stimulant action and also acts as a tonic for the body. So whilst it will aid you with stress relief and relaxation, it also helps you to feel active in a good way. If you have been feeling lethargic then this oil will help to dispel the doldrums that have held you back. Enabling you to calmly and positively make your way into clear waters with pleasant winds and actually start doing what you need to do, albeit in a calm and positive manner.

Points To Note On Patchouli Essential Oil Uses

Whilst much has been noted here on the stress relief properties and how this oil can help you to become calm dispelling nervous tension and anxiety with ease, it does go way beyond these things. It is good in treating skin conditions including acne and eczema, it also helps to fade scars, soothe inflamed skin and treat dermatitis. It has value in treating obesity and aiding with weight reduction. Plus it can be used to help treat conditions like dandruff from both the dry skin and fungal perspectives.

The best results with all Patchouli essential oil uses come from using a high quality source. As much as anything you will notice a difference in the aroma of the oil, the better the quality the more pleasant the aroma, as well as yielding far better therapeutic results. All of which are very worthwhile as accessing a good quality source of essential oils is easy.