Often associated to the Hippie movement, Patchouli has had its heyday in the years 1960 to 1970. Emblematic of the “Flower Power” era and the hippies, it is linked to the notions of freedom and travel….
Beyond a clothing, musical and behavioural rebellion, the Hippies were recognisable by their perfume. Men and women used Patchouli as the emblem of a new exoticism. As was the first use of it as a perfume, Patchouli is also the symbol of a new understanding of love, sensuality and ‘free-love’…
The pogostemon cablin variety comes from Asia. It likes tropical regions. It is also found in South America, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Its woody smell, earthy and dry, with hints of camphor and smoke (which is believed to be an aphrodisiac odour). The Patchouli essential oil needs to be macerated in order to produce an odour that improves with time, depending on the time the essential oil is retrieved during the distillation process, it will vary in odour and colour.
Yield: 330kg of patchouli leaves for 1kg of essential oil
The finished product has a mustardy green colour and is of a thick consistency.
Composition of the Patchouli essential oil
It is rich in “sesquiterpenes” (about 40 to 45 %), type of terpene (terpenes constitute the plant’s odour), meaning that it contains agents allowing the plant to fight external attacks.
Sesquiterpenes have a hypotensive effect, are soothing and sedative. They also have anti-allergic and analgesic properties. Unlike monoterpenes, they do not cause skin irritations. Essential oils rich in sesquiterpenes, often used for spiritual ends, are therefore well tolerated by the skin and can in some cases be used undiluted.
- Sesquiterpenes: sweet, suave odour
It also contains sesquiterpenoids (Patchoulol 35-40%) that gives it a good skin tolerance.
On the other hand, they are strongly immuno-stimulants, even in small doses. They are balancing molecules that, because of their oestrogenic qualities, assist in regulating the feminine hormonal system. Be aware therefore if you have a hormone-dependent pathology: in this case, it would be an absolute interdiction (except for medical advice to the contrary).
- Sesquiterpenoids: strong, warm odour
Other essential oils containing sesquiterpenoids: Incense, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang-ylang…
Properties and indications of Patchouli essential oil
Rich in sesquiterpenes Patchouli will have a strong impact on the psyche (anti-depressive, aphrodisiac). It is also relaxing and antispasmodic.
Regenerative of skin tissues, Patchouli essential oil can be diluted in sprays or in creams to regulate skin problems: skin tonic, fight against acne, dryness problems or even mosquito bites…
It is a digestive stimulant, healing, astringent, diuretic, aiding circulation, decongesting: it is a tonic to the vascular system and helps circulation. It is for this reason that she is often used in addition to its perfume.
A tonic in normal usage, this essential oil becomes a sedative in high doses.
Indications and routes of administration of Patchouli essential oil
The information provided in this post could not be considered as medical information nor engage my responsibility
or that of the Pacific Scents blog as to your usage of essential oils for yourself or anyone else.
I strongly invite you to compare the information with that of authoritative experts and the opinion of health professionals.
It is the most favoured route.
Through massage (diluted in vegetable oil), it will procure benefits on the libido or it will help forget daily troubles. It acts also on stress, depression and addiction problems.
- Anxiety, stress: Apply 1 or 2 drops in the palm of the hand, under the nose and mouth and breathe normally for a few minutes
- Insomnia: Massage 1 or 3 drops on the foot sole or on the neck level
Skin regenerating, it is suggested for skin problems such as eczema, acne, bedsores, skin cracks, scars, bruises, all type of dermatitis, mycosis (especially of the scalp) and even parasitoses where its anti-infectious properties are also being used.
This oil tightens up the pores of the skin and helps healing which explains its use in cosmetics for problem skins.
Example: when experiencing sagging of the skin after a drastic weight loss or after a pregnancy.
Very useful and versatile for all skin care, it treats small inflammation and bacterial or fungal infections of the skin. It is a powerful skin cell and tissue regenerator as it has healing, anti-age and anti-wrinkle properties.
- Acne, wrinkles: incorporate 1 or 2 drops of Patchouli essential oil in your daily routine of skin care or directly on the areas prone to acne.
- Stretch marks: Apply 1 or 2 drops of Patchouli essential oil on the areas concerned
- Dandruff: Add 1 or 2 drops to your scalp mask or your usual shampoo
Decongesting, it is also used in the anti heavy legs synergies with essential oils producing a sensation of cold at first for the immediate effect, whereas the Patchouli will act in the shadow but in depth on circulation and the small blood vessels. It also fights effectively haemorrhoids, varicose veins, heavy legs and cellulite.
In short, it is an essential oil useful in aromatherapy even if it is often believed that it is only a “hippie” oil, only good for its perfume. It also has true therapeutic qualities even if it is not the most powerful and the most spectacular in our first aid kit. There are “multi task” and “specialist” essential oils. Patchouli is a specialist for lymphatic and blood circulation problems. It is therefore your ally for light and sensual legs.
- Allergies: Apply 1 or 2 drops of Patchouli on the sole of your feet, behind the neck or at chest level every day to uphold immune defences against allergies
- Deodorant: Apply 1 or 2 drops of Patchouli essential oil on armpits every day after your shower. If the odour is too strong, mix it with floral water and spray.
- Fever: Apply 1 or 2 drops on the forehead and neck or massage the sole of the feet. Combine it with Peppermint essential oil to have a cooling effect.
- Headaches: Massage 1 or 2 drops of Patchouli essential oil on the temples or inhale directly from the bottle for a few minutes.
Patchouli is reputed to stimulate one’s wish to go beyond one’s internal and external boundaries. It must be remembered that Patchouli represents a whole epoch, an ambience, a way of life: freedom, independence…
- Depression: Patchouli essential oil will be of assistance in times of depression: inhale this oil by diffusing it or by applying it on your skin several times a day.
- Ward off termites: Diffused in the whole house, Patchouli essential oil will ward off termites (apply it on cotton buts and place them around the house).
Note also that it repels insects (reputed insecticide against moths). A few drops of essential oil on support medium (think of replacing it from time to time), in cupboards, and you have a mothproof house without using chemicals.
- Anti-mosquito: Apply 1 drop on the parts of the body that are the most attractive to insect bites: ankles, ears, exposed skin. Mosquitoes don’t like this smell.
- Insect bites: Apply a few drops to ease itching and avoid infections
Although it is well accepted by the skin, it is not harmless and it is always better to dilute it. Remember not to apply it pure to mucous membranes as is the case for all essential oils.
The presence of oestrogen-like composites (and a few ketones) leads inevitably to the banning of this oil to:
– Pregnant women and children under the age of 8.
– People suffering from hormone-depending pathologies (cancer)
The oral route when there is little known about the patient’s condition. Do not use without the opinion of a therapist. Furthermore, given its indications and properties, the oral route seems incongruous.
Conservation of Patchouli essential oil
It is advised not to use it directly because the aroma of Patchouli will soften and gain in subtlety. It is an essential oil that improves with age, so it can be kept for a long time of the distillation has been carried out well