Known in India as puchaput, this exotic essence with its spicy, captivating and earthy undertones has held a tenacious and definitive role in history. Along with its revolutionary reputation as the scent associated with American counterculture and the hippie movement of the 60’s and 70’s, Patchouli Essential Oil has an array of determinate benefits.

Patchouli was seen to be a luxurious and affluent scent in Victorian England as superior quality imported silks and cashmere were packed with the dried leaves to repel moths and insects, forming an association between the rich scent of patchouli and the wealthy.

Patchouli has long been used in eastern medicine in a variety of ways. In Ancient China, it was used to treat such ailments as headaches, nausea and abdominal pain, in India and Japan it was used to balance hormones and in Malaysia it was used as anti-venom against snakebites.

Where Does Patchouli Oil Come From?

The Patchouli herb (Pogostemon cablin) is a member of the mint family, lamiaceae, which bears small pale-pink flowers. The name is derived from the Indian Language, Tamil ‘patchai’, meaning ‘green ’ and ‘ellai’ meaning ‘leaf’, and the essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant by means of steam distillation. The patchouli plant is native to tropical regions of Asia, but is widely cultivated in China, Indonesia, Philippines and West Africa.

Therapeutic Uses

    • By tightening skin tissue and causing muscles and nerves to contract, the astringency of Patchouli Oil can help prevent sagging skin, hair fall and fortify gums and it helps to restore the pH balance of the acid mantle on the surface of the skin.
    • Patchouli Oil contains organic compounds called ketones which assist in the regeneration of cells making the cytophylactic properties in the oil beneficial to skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and overall cleansing of skin on a cellular level.
    • This essential oil is a noted fungicide and has been found capable of destroying, inhibiting and treating fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
    • Patchouli Oil repels insects and is particularly effective against ants and termites. Moreover, in a study of 38 essential oils conducted at Mahidol University in Bangkok, it was concluded that, Patchouli Essential Oil was the most effective for repelling moths.
    • As a febrifuge, it helps lower body temperature to alleviate fever.
    • Diuretic properties help provide relief from urinary disorders as it causes the body to get rid of excess water and reduce inflammation of the bladder as well as removes toxins from the body.
    • It improves digestion by increasing enzyme production in the liver, allowing your body to absorb more nutrients from food, resulting in increased energy levels.
    • It boosts the immune system, helping your body fight infection.
    • Antiseptic properties in Patchouli successfully kill harmful infection-causing organisms making it a safe remedy on minor wounds, abrasions and cold sores.

Health Uses

  • Astringent properties in Patchouli Oil make it a popular ingredient in many skin care products. Make your own firming moisturizer by adding 2-3 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil and 1 teaspoon of Almond oil to 60 ml of a natural base cream. Store in a sealable container.
  • For effective treatment and relief of dry skin disorders, add 3 drops of Patchouli Oil to a teaspoon of olive oil. Thoroughly blend the mixture and gently apply to affected area with a cotton ball. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and then wipe away with a warm, damp cloth. Patchouli Essential Oil can be used to help sooth minor burns by gently applying a solution consisting of 1-2 drops of Patchouli Oil and 2-3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil blended with a teaspoon of carrier oil such as Grapeseed Oil.
  • Add 2-3 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil to a teaspoon of a carrier oil like Hempseed Oil and apply 2-3 times a day to help reduce the appearance of scarring and stretch-marks.

Home Uses

  • For a germ busting, multipurpose surface cleaner, use a solution comprised of 10 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil, 10 drops of Basil Essential Oil and 15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, mixed together with 500 ml of distilled water. Use as a final rinse after cleaning fridges and counter tops.
  • Instead of using chemical-laden dishwashing powders, opt for a safer and more cost effective alternative by grating ½ a cup of an all natural plant based soap such as an olive based soap, and add ½ a cup of washing soda (Sodium Carbonate), 1 cup of baking soda (Sodium bi-Carbonate), ¼ a cup of citric acid and -2 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil. Mix in a blender to create a fine powder and use as usual. Use vinegar on your rinsing agent.

Awesome tip: As an effectively tried-and-tested insect repellent, 2 or 3 drops of Patchouli Oil can be added to washing detergent during a cycle to deter creepy crawlies, ants, bed bugs, lice and keep linen safe from moths while storing.

Caution: There are no known contra-indications to using Patchouli Essential Oil, but should you be pregnant or breast feeding, avoid use as a precaution. Because essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances don’t use undiluted on the skin.

Disclaimer: We are not medically trained in any way; if you suffer from a medical condition, please consult your doctor or homeopath.


Aloha! I'm Carien. I live in South Africa in an area called the Swartland (Black Land). I live on a small holding (Homestead) and I am a full time house wife with one husband (yes, only one), one son, one dog, a few sheep and plenty of chickens. Living as natural as possible is a passion of mine. Inclined to a mostly organic vegetarian diet I tend to post healthy food recipes, green tips and information on natural and organic and natural living.

1 Comment

  1. Growing a Patchouli herb in your garden would be a practical idea, considering its numerous uses around the household. It can be part of your first aid kit because it can remedy minor wounds. Also, as what this blog mentioned, it’s an effective antiseptic for infection. If you have it in your garden, all you have to do is learn the process of extracting oil from its leaves. Then, you’ve got an antiseptic courtesy of your garden!