What is Patchouli Oil?
Patchouli essential oil is steam-distilled from the dried leaves and twigs of the patchouli plant—Pogostemon cablin—and is characterised by its very distinct woody scent: sweetly heavy and earthy, a favourite of alternative lifestyle practitioners since the 1960s.
Patchouli oil has been used to make perfume for centuries, originating with the Tamil peoples of southeast Asia. It is interesting to note that in the 1800s, dried patchouli leaves were used to guard cashmere shawls from moths en-route to England, and patchouli's signature scent was used to guarantee the shawls' authenticity.
The main chemical components of patchouli oil are a sesquiterpene alcohol called patchoulol, and a terpenoid called norpatchoulenol, both of which are responsible for the oil's distinctive scent. Aromatherapy practitioners testify to patchoulol's effectiveness in grounding and balancing the emotions.
Seychellene, α-bulnesene and α-guaiene, carophyllene, and eicosene are also present, all of which contribute to patchouli oil's antimicrobial, astringent, insecticidal, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.
Untested properties include sedative and aphrodisiac actions.
How to use patchouli oil
Patchouli oil may be applied topically, via a diffuser, and in soaps or bath bombs. Always use a high quality Patchouli Essential Oil.
Before applying to the skin, it is recommended that you blend patchouli oil with a carrier oil. Create a sensuously potent massage oil by blending one part patchouli to nine parts carrier oil. This blend will relieve nervous tension, break down cellulite and relieve skin irritation.
Add one or two drops to your bathwater for a relaxing soak that is kind to your skin.
In a diffuser
Add 3-4 drops to your favourite diffuser to relieve depression, create a romantic atmosphere, or simply time-travel back to 1968.
In soaps and bath bombs
It is as a soap ingredient that patchouli oil's deodorant action comes to the fore, eliminating odours on the skin and leaving a pleasing, heady scent. Patchouli is also remarkable for its ability to balance skin oils and tighten loose skin through its astringent action.
Essential Oils are highly concentrated and must be used with care.
Do not apply undiluted. Not to be taken internally.
Do not use patchouli essential oil for treating medical conditions without first speaking to a medical professional.