Most famously associated with the hippie era of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, Patchouli is more than just a wonderfully scented oil and Patchouli benefits are many. Originating in South East Asia, Patchouli essential oil was so valuable to the early European traders that it was literally worth its weight in gold, with a pound Patchouli being exchanged for a pound of gold.
In traditional Asian medicine, Patchouli was used to treat hair and skin conditions such as dandruff, oily scalp, eczema, dermatitis and acne. The Romans used it as an appetite stimulant and in India it was used to heal scars and wounds. It was also known as a powerful aphrodisiac, used in Tantric practices of the Indian Yogis.
It has been found that inhaling Patchouli essential oil stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel good hormones which help to eliminate feelings of anxiety and anger. The release of these hormones reduces stress and tension which leads to a sense of overall well-being and can bring about a more positive outlook on life.
Of the many active constituents in Patchouli, A-Patchoulene specifically acts as a sedative and can greatly help to improve sleep quality. Inhalation, massage or a warm night time bath using Patchouli essential oil can calm down a hyperactive nervous system, gently relaxing the mind and body in preparation for a restful night’s sleep. It is an especially beneficial oil for insomnia and an inability to drop off to sleep due to an overactive mind.
Patchouli is believed to work as an aphrodisiac by stimulating sensual energy and boosting the libido. It prompts the production of the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone, helping to dispel sexual anxiety and a sluggish libido.
Throughout history, Patchouli has been used to treat sexual dysfunction, frigidity, erectile dysfunction and impotence. With similar results for both men and women, Patchouli can be diffused in the bedroom or diluted in a pure carrier oil to create a sensual massage oil that will get you in the mood for love.
Patchouli essential oil stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and optimises metabolism by speeding up the rate of food decomposition. It can also boost nutrient uptake by toning up the liver and intestines. Better absorption of nutrients from food leads to an increase in energy and better overall functioning of all bodily systems.
Patchouli can also relieve symptoms of constipation and increase the number and mass of bowel movements.
Inhale Patchouli essential oil or dilute with a pure carrier oil and massage into the abdomen to harness the digestive benefits. Alternatively, food grade Patchouli oil can be added to water and taken internally to stimulate the digestive system.
Patchouli has antiphlogistic properties, meaning it helps to soothe inflammation in the body. Persistent low level inflammation is at the root cause of almost all diseases, including arthritis, gout and heart disease.
Patchouli contains A-Guinane, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that reduces inflammation of the joints and muscles to provide relief from aches and pains.
Several studies have been done to research the anti-inflammatory properties of Patchouli. It has been found that patchoulol (patchouli alcohol), can regulate the production of inflammatory markers in cells with induced inflammation. It has also been found that Patchouli exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties within cells.
With a long history of use in beauty products, Patchouli oil helps to regenerate skin cells, keeping the complexion smooth and healthy. It is beneficial to all skin types, soothing dry cracked skin or toning and regulating oily skin. It has strong antibacterial qualities which make Patchouli particularly helpful to treat acne and other skin infections.
The natural astringent properties of Patchouli essential oil make it a great stimulant for muscle or skin contractions. The oil aids in strengthening muscle tone, keeps skin from sagging and helps prevent hair loss.
Ever wonder why the hippies never got bitten, despite spending a lot of time at outdoor music festivals? Patchouli oil can act as a strong insect repellent, effective against mosquitoes, ants, midges, moths, flies and fleas. In fact the insecticide properties of Patchouli essential oil are so powerful that it is one of the most used ingredients in fumigants, mosquito sprays and insect repellent vaporisers.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli essential oil can be used in the bath, or vaporized in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil.
The use of Patchouli stretches way back into prehistory. Although it is known to originate in Southeast Asia, the earliest documented records of its existence come from ancient Egypt, meaning trade in Patchouli was well established during this time. When Tutankhamun's tomb was opened, 10 gallons of Patchouli oil were found buried with the Pharaoh.
Patchouli also enjoys a long and vibrant history in China, where it made its debut during 420 - 589 CE. It was commonly used for medicinal purposes, such as regulating vital bodily energies or for treating the common cold. At the turn of the 18th century, its insecticidal properties were realised by Chinese silk merchants, who took to wrapping their silks around the dried leaves of the Patchouli plant. This allowed their cargo to arrive in the Middle East undamaged and free from pests, in particular, moths.
Patchouli constituents include; Patchouli alcohol (Patchoulol), a-Bulnesene, a-Guaiene, Seychellen, Gamma-Patchoulene, a-Patchoulene
Not recommended for children under 6 years old.
Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.