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For The Love of Patchouli

Patchouli Pogostemon cablin essential oil has been used for centuries has successfully been used in Ayurvedic medicinal treatments. This remarkable oil serves many purposes in the aromatic world. The aroma is deep, exotic and beautiful.

Uses of Patchouli essential oil include but certainly not limited to:

  • Analgesic

  • Antibacterial

  • Antidepressant

  • Antifungal

  • Anti-infectious

  • Anti-Septic

  • Antiviral

  • Skin and wound healer

  • CNS (central nervous system) sedative

  • Cooling

  • Decongestant

  • Deodorant

  • Digestive and immune stimulant

  • Febrifuge (lowers fevers)

  • Insect repellant

  • Reduces anxiety and depression

  • Sexual tonic

  • Improves skin cells

  • ...and more! (1), (2), (3)

Patchouli is mainly harvested from Indonesia and China, although Indonesia seems to be the best quality. I find most companies carry Indonesian Patchouli. Although many come from Indonesia, it’s remarkable the variances in aromas from the different locations in the region and this applies to all oils. Due to soil conditions, seed quality, climate, altitude, growing conditions, harvesting, the care during distillation, bottling and storage, it can all play a part in the resulting quality of an essential oils. These are all factors that conscientious suppliers pay close attention to. A change in the climate can also change the makeup of an oil.

Patchouli is similar to Jasmine in its warmth which adds to its’ comfort as an anti-inflammatory. Patchouli is both calming but with a soft stimulating energy to it. It tends to leave you feeling uplifted, yet calm. The aroma is a deep earthy aroma, with an exotic undertone and an oil loved in aphrodisiac blends.

It is considered a “safe” oil topically, 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 also blends nicely with florals and citrus oils as well as other exotic type oils. Internally there may be a concern of drug interactions and possible inhibiting of blood clotting. Avoid using Patchouli orally.

*Patchouli is often adulterated. For this reason, we suggest using a company that provides GC/MS analysis reports.*

1. Improve Digestive Health

Patchouli has many therapeutic properties, including as a digestive stimulant. Patchouli is also known to assist with infectious intestinal colitis, a disease best addressed by a Clinical Aromatherapist trained in Aromatic medicine.

As a digestive stimulant, add 4 drops Patchouli to ½ ounce unscented lotion or carry of choice. Blend well. Counterclockwise, gently apply to abdominal area. Apply every few hours to relieve digestive discomfort. Patchouli has a very relaxing aroma and affect on the limbic system. In a calm state, it helps to relax the abdominal muscles 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 carrier oil. Their little bodies are more receptive than ours and require a lesser dilution. We find this true with medication as well. We must adjust our dosages according to their little bodies.

*Because of Patchoulis antiplatelet aggregation, it’s discouraged during breastfeeding as it could pass through breastmilk*

2. Improve Brain Power

Patchouli has remarkable effects on stress related problems and can be stimulating in high doses. It sharpens our minds, helping to process thoughts more efficiently and more objectively. (4) Because of its gentle nature, its synergistic blend of components is uplifting without being over stimulating.

3. Patchouli’s Powerful Aroma

Patchouli has a soft, earthy, woodsy, sweet yet spicy aroma. Patchouli is known as an aphrodisiac with an exotic and stimulating aroma. Use the following to spice up your evening.

Using a 2-ounce fine mist spray bottle, fill with 1 ounce high-proof alcohol such as Everclear (not rubbing alcohol), and 1-ounce distilled water or Patchouli Hydrosol.

Add 10-27 drops Patchouli essential oil. Shake well, spay sheets. Let air dry. Before bed, shake well and spray room. You can also diffuse up to one hour before bed. This can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. If using over a long term, a preservative would need added to avoid bacteria and fungal growth.

4. Repel Insects

I featured this fool proof recipe in my Eucalyptus article. My daughter’s wedding was in October next to our lake in Louisiana. Our concern was the heat and the mosquitoes. 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. Because of children, avoid other chemo types of Eucalyptus. Citriodora is considered safe for children.

Bug Out Cream

  • 1-ounce unscented cream or lotion

  • 10 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 5 drops Vanilla Oleoresin Vanilla planifolia

  • 5 drops Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana

  • 2 Drops Lemon Eucalyptus Citriodora

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, are not known as irritants, keep in mind that everyone’s chemistry is unique and it is impossible to know every outcome.

5. Enhance Creativity

Patchouli’s psychological effects are grounding, and harmonizing. It enriches are mind and creativity. There are very few oils that improve with age, but Patchouli is one of the exceptions. Over time, it becomes even more warm and exotic with its rich and deep aroma.

While in your creative moments, use up to 15 drops or according to your diffuser directions and diffuse up to one hour and enjoy the mind opening affects of this beautiful under rated oil.

6. Activate Your Chakra

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)

Quiet Moments

  • 1/2-ounce carrier of choice

  • 3 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 1 drop Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile

Combine and gently massage in either 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 natural calming and soothing properties while you meditate. It naturally calms your mind, facilitating deep, relaxing, rejuvenating meditation. Try the following blend next time you meditate.

Meditative Diffuser Blend

  • 5 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 2 drops Sweet Orange Citrus senisis

  • 3 drops Frankincense Boswellia papyrifera

  • 2 drops Clary Sage Salvia sclarea

  • 1 drops Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. geruina

Settle into your favorite meditation place, turning lights down low, adding candles, pillows, whatever 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, along with beautiful oils with meditative properties, you can reach a state of peace and renew-ness. This is one of my favorite “my” times.

8. Revive Your Love Life

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.

9. Relieve Depression

Various psychiatric disorders can be treated by Patchouli aromatherapy. Patchouli oil influences cerebral functions including calming, anti-depressive, sedative and uplifting. (7)

The following blend is perfect for those low moments.

Hope Blend

  • 5 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 5 Drops Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis

  • 5 Drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone

Blend. You can add to your diffuser or add all drops to 2 ounces unscented lotion and apply to neck and chest.

10. 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. Patchouli 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

  • 1-ounce unscented lotion or carrier oil*

  • 6 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 4 drops Myrrh Commiphora myrrha

  • 2 drops Plai Zingiber cassumunar

  • 4 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum

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 See oil, Emu oil or Pomegranate See oil.

11. Prevent Bacterial Infection

As prementioned, 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 scar reducing for most wounds.

Wound Healing

  • 1-ounce Carrier oil

  • 4 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 4 drops Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia

  • 3 drops Lemon Citrus limon

  • 3 drops Geranium Pelatgonium roseum x asperum

  • 4 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum

Apply every 3-4 hours on closed wounds.

12. Combat Fungal Infections

Patchouli has been proven effective on Candida and other fungal infections. (9)

Ten essential oils were tested against twelve fungi (3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Out of the 10 essential oils, all twelve fungi were inhibited by seven oils including patchouli. (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, is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and, of course, why we love it for this blend, it is antifungal.

Anti-fungal Healing Oil

  • 1-ounce Tamanu Oil

  • 10 drops or Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 5 drops Helichrysum Croatia italicum

  • 5 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii

  • 8 drops Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia

Our suggestion is to apply every 3-4 hours as needed. Applying to clean dry skin will give best results.

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 penetrating and deeply. 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.

Dry Skin Relief

  • Two-ounce carrier of choice

  • 5 drops or Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 5 drops Helichrysum Croasia italicum

  • 9 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia

  • 5 drops Carrot Seed Daucus carota

Apply as desired.

14. 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.

Some beautiful carrier oils for improving your skin is can include Pomegranate seed oil which has anti-inflammatory properties, is a skin regenerator, moisturizer, and is excellent for dry, damaged and aged skin. You could also consider using Rose hip carrier oil. Rose hip oil is remarkable for mature, damaged, and irritated skin.

Skin Healer

  • 1-ounce carrier of choice

  • 4 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 4 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii

  • 6 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum

  • 2 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia

Apply nightly before bed on 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.

15. Fight Acne

Want to stop acne in its track and heal your scars? Patchouli is perfect for acne treatment. With anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, Patchouli is perfect in acne blends. Patchouli also has a beautiful cooling effect to the skin. Blend with Aloe Jelly (Not Gel) and apply as needed.

Acne Relief

  • ½-ounce Aloe Jelly

  • 5 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 3 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia

  • 6 drops Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia

Dap on acne to dry and heal. Repeat as needed.

16. 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, which offers the same diuretic properties that the essential oil does, although milder and without the concerns that come with internal use of essential oils. Patchouli leaf tea can act as a diuretic, so if you are already taking some form of diuretic, you may wish to avoid it. It can also soothe the digestive system.

17. 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

  • 4-ounce unscented lotion

  • 15 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

  • 15 drops Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana

  • 15 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii

  • 15 drops Vetiver Chrysopogon zizanioides or Ruh Khus Vetiveria zizanioides


  1. Tisserand, Robert; The Art of Aromatherapy; Patchouli, pgs. 262-263

  2. Mojay, Gabriel; Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Patchouli, pgs. 106-107

  3. Buckles, Jane; Clinical Aromatherapy; Patchoulol; pg. 48

  4. The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual

  5. Mojay, Gabriel; Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Patchouli, pg.; 107


  7. Perry, N.; Perry, E. Aromatherapy in the management of psychiatric disorders-Clinical and neuropharmacological perspectives. CNS Drugs 2006, 20, 257–280




  11. Tisserand, Robert; The Art of Aromatherapy; Patchouli, pgs. 310-311

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