Patchouli essential oil has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicinal treatments with great success. Patchouli’s main elements are earth and fire and we see why when we explore its uses. This remarkable oil serves many purposes in the aromatic world.
Uses of Patchouli Essential Oil include:
Patchouli is mainly harvested from Indonesia, and most companies carry Indonesian Patchouli. Despite more than 75% origination from this country, there is a remarkable variance in aromas from the different locations that it is grown in this Southeast Asian nation.
These variations are due to soil conditions, seed quality, climate, altitude, growing conditions, harvesting, care during distillation, bottling, and storage, and can also affect the quality of an essential oil. These are all factors that conscientious suppliers pay close attention to.
As a student, our former instructor bought an oil from a supplier for many years. One year, her analysis report had extreme chemistry differences. Upon calling her supplier, it was discovered a mudslide had occurred and thus, the chemistry of the plant had changed.
Patchouli is similar to jasmine in that it is a warm oil yet perfect as an anti-inflammatory. Patchouli is calming, but with a soft stimulating energy to it. As a result, it tends to leave someone feeling uplifted, yet calm. The aroma is a deep and earthy, with an exotic undertone that lends well to aphrodisiac blends.
It is considered a “safe” oil, although, like all oils, it still must be diluted accordingly to be safely used. Although there are exceptions, oils that are similar tend to go well together. Patchouli blends nicely with florals and citrus oils as well as other exotic type oils.
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1. Improve Digestive Health
Patchouli has many therapeutic properties, including as a digestive stimulant. Patchouli is known to assist with infectious intestinal colitis, a disease best addressed by a clinical aromatherapist trained in aromatic medicine.
Patchouli has a very relaxing aroma and affect on the limbic system. In a calm state, it helps to relax the abdominal muscles along while calming the disturbances within the digestive tract. Patchouli is safe for all ages (other than premature babies). For children under two, I would suggest 1 drop per ½ ounce of carrier oil. Their bodies are more receptive than ours and therefore they require a higher level of dilution. As with medication, we must adjust all dosages according to their smaller systems.
2. Improve Brain Power
Patchouli has remarkable effects on stress-related problems and can be stimulating in high doses. It sharpens our minds, helping us to process thoughts more efficiently and objectively. (4) Because of its gentle nature, its synergistic blend is uplifting without being over-stimulating.
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3. Revive Your Love Life
Patchouli has a soft, earthy, woodsy, sweet yet spicy aroma.
Rejuvenate or enhance your sensuality with a little patchouli EO. When your mind gets stuck in a rut, worrying about issues at work or home, your libido tends to suffer. Patchouli oil helps you get out of that rut. Patchouli works on the endocrine system as a stimulant, easing feelings of detachment from your sensuality.
It’s warming and is a relaxing aphrodisiac and may help those with frigidity. Patchouli’s soft, earthy, woodsy, sweet yet spicy aroma can spice up your evening with the following technique.
Using a 2-ounce fine mist spray bottle, fill with 1 ounce high-proof alcohol such as a high-quality vodka (not rubbing alcohol), and 1-ounce distilled water or patchouli hydrosol.
Add 10-27 drops patchouli essential oil. Shake well, spray sheets. Let air-dry. Before bed, shake well and spray room. You can also diffuse for up to one hour before hitting the sheets.
4. Repel Insects
We featured this foolproof recipe in our eucalyptus article. My daughter’s wedding was in October next to our lake in Louisiana. Our concern was the heat and the mosquitos. The climate worked out perfect and as we handed out our little containers of bug cream, the night was a success - not a single complaint of mosquitoes. It’s the perfect cream for the whole family.
Bug Out Cream
Directions: Add all oils to cream or lotion and blend thoroughly. Do a small skin patch test prior to use. Reminder: Although patchouli, like many oils, is not known as an irritant, everyone’s chemistry is unique and it is impossible to know every outcome so the patch test is important. If there is any reaction, do not use.
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5. Enhance Creativity
Patchouli is considered a meditative oil, and its psychological effects are both grounding and harmonizing. It enriches our mind and creativity. There are very few oils that improve with age but patchouli is one of the exceptions. Over time, it becomes even warmer and exotic with its rich and deep aroma.
While in your creative moments, use up to 15 drops (or according to your diffuser’s directions) and diffuse up to one hour to enjoy the mind-opening effects of this beautiful underrated oil.
6. Activate Your Chakras
Patchouli has been suggested as best for those with a deficiency of Qi-energy in the spleen-pancreas and, as a result, suffer from side effects including fatigue, loose bowels, and abdominal distention. Patchouli helps to support the immune system while balancing the body. Over exhaustion from work and anxiety can leave a body weak and prone to infection. (5)
Combine and gently massage in the abdominal area, temples (avoiding eyes), or mid-back area. Although the feet are the least permeable, massaging them can be beneficial to our health as well.
7. Experience Calm Meditation
Take advantage of patchouli’s organic calming and soothing properties while you meditate. It naturally calms your mind, facilitating deep, relaxing, and rejuvenating meditation. Try the following blend next time you meditate.
Meditative Diffuser Blend
Settle into your favorite meditation place, turning lights down low, adding candles, pillows, and whatever else makes you the most comfortable. Add oils to your diffuser and diffuse up to one hour as you meditate. Reaching a deep meditative state takes some practice, but once it is achieved using beautiful oils with meditative properties, you can reach a state of peace and renewed self. This is one of my favorite “me” times.
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8. Relieve Depression
Various psychiatric disorders can be treated with patchouli aromatherapy. Patchouli oil influences cerebral functions because it is calming, anti-depressive, sedative, and uplifting. (7)
The following blend is perfect for those low moments.
Blend and either add to your diffuser or add all drops to 2 ounces of unscented lotion and apply to the neck and chest.
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9. Reduce Inflammation
Patcholol (Patchouli alcohol), the main constituent within patchouli essential oil, has been tested numerous times and has proven to have strong anti-inflammatory properties against various acute inflammatory responses. (8) Patchouli is non-sensitive and non-irritating and promotes healing of wounds. It’s used in Ayurvedic medicine for healing skin and scar tissue as well as sores, eczema, and a host of other inflamed skin-related issues. Try the following blend for pain and inflammation.
Hand Cream for Pain and Inflammation
Blend and use as needed.
*Many carrier oils are anti-inflammatory. You could consider apricot kernel CP (cold pressed), arnica infused oil, babassu oil, calendula Infused organic oil, cranberry seed oil, emu oil or pomegranate seed oil.
10. Prevent Bacterial Infection
As previously mentioned, patchouli has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that attribute to healing wounds. Diluted properly and used after the wound has scabbed over, patchouli will induce quick healing and reduce scarring for most wounds.
Do the following:
Apply every 3-4 hours on closed wounds.
11. Combat Fungal Infections
Patchouli has been proven effective on Candida and other fungal infections. (9)
Ten essential oils were tested against twelve fungi (three yeast-like and nine filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Out of the ten essential oils, seven oils including patchouli inhibited all twelve fungi. (10)
*Tamanu oil is my pick of carrier oils for fungal infections. It’s also effective in treating scars, stretch marks (fades stretch marks with great results), minor wounds, skin irritations, rashes, bedsores, and many other skin concerns. Promotes new tissue formation, speeds up healing and healthy skin growth, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Of course, why we love it for this blend is that it is antifungal.
Anti-Fungal Healing Oil
Our suggestion is to apply every 3-4 hours as needed. Applying to clean dry skin will give best results.
12. Improve Your Skin
We know from previous comments that patchouli is beautiful for our skin because of its healing properties to our skin and soft tissue.
Pomegranate seed oil is a beautiful carrier oil for improving the skin, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate seed oil is also a skin regenerator, moisturizer, and is excellent for dry, damaged, and aged skin. You can blend with rosehip oil or use separately to find what loves your skin type. Rosehip oil is remarkable for damaged, agitated skin. Dry, mature skin loves this oil.
Do the following:
Apply nightly before bed to clean dry skin.
Suggestion: Do a small skin patch test first by placing a small amount on the inside of your wrist. If no reaction within 10-15 minutes, your product should be safe to use.
13. Treat Dry, Itchy Skin
Because of it’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, patchouli is known for its healing skin therapeutic properties.
There are so many carrier oils that are great for dry, itchy skin. You can consider combining carrier oils such as baobab and jojoba wax. Jojoba protects the skin while allowing it to breathe, while the baobab oil is very deeply penetrating.
It softens dry skin and paired with skin-loving, healing, and nourishing essential oils, you can heal and ease itchy dry skin. Baobab oil is known to restore your beautiful skin and re-moisturize the epidermis.
Do the following:
Apply as desired.
14. Fight Acne
Want to stop acne in its tracks and heal your scars? With anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, patchouli is perfect for acne blends. Patchouli also has a beautiful cooling effect on the skin. Try the following blend.
Dab on acne to dry and heal. Repeat as needed.
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15. Eliminate Excess Water Weight
Because we discourage ingestion of essential oils without training in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of essential oils, we encourage you to utilize the parent plant. It offers the same diuretic properties that the essential oil does, although milder and without the concerns that come with the internal use of essential oils.
Patchouli leaf tea can act as a diuretic, so if you are already taking something for this action, you may wish to avoid it. It can also soothe the digestive system.
16. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Patchouli is a CNS (central nervous system) depressant or nervine and works great in sleep blends. It’s cooling and stimulates the immune system as you sleep. Try the following blend.
Sleep Tight Chest and Neck Rub
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Was this list helpful to you? I was fascinated to learn about this earthy-smelling essential oil that was so popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It’s not just an old-fashioned fragrance from a by-gone era. Patchouli essential oil has been used medicinally for centuries and will continue to be used for many more centuries to come. Hopefully, you will begin to take advantage of this essential oil and enjoy all of its wonderful benefits.
Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and tell me about your own personal experiences with patchouli essential oil. We’ll keep adding to the on-going list of great uses! Be sure to share, too, so that others can become aware of all the uses for this essential oil.
- Tisserand, Robert; The Art of Aromatherapy; Patchouli, pgs. 262-263
- Mojay, Gabriel; Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Patchouli, pgs. 106-107
- Buckles, Jane; Clinical Aromatherapy; Patchoulol; pg. 48
- The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual
- Mojay, Gabriel; Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Patchouli, pg.; 107
- Perry, N.; Perry, E. Aromatherapy in the management of psychiatric disorders-Clinical and neuropharmacological perspectives. CNS Drugs 2006, 20, 257–280
- Tisserand, Robert; The Art of Aromatherapy; Patchouli, pgs. 310-311