Patchouli oil is extracted from Pogostemon cablin [ Pogostemon patchouli ] from the Labiatae family and also known as patchouly and puchaput. Patchouli is a perennial bushy plant that grows up to 1meter (3 feet) with a sturdy, hairy stem and large, fragrant, furry leaves, about four inches long and five inches across. It has whitish flowers tinged with purple. 

Patchouli oil has a beneficial effect on the skin, helps for infections and insect bites, water retention and can help with stress related problems and addictions. It is used in coarser perfumes and toilet soaps. Sachets are made of the coarsely powdered leaves, and before its common use in Europe, genuine Indian shawls and Indian ink were distinguished by the odor, which has the unusual quality of improving with age. Hence the older oil is preferred by perfumers and used to confer more lasting properties upon other scents.
 

Harvest and Distillation

     

 
This fragrant herb, with soft, opposite, egg-shaped leaves and square stems, grows from 2 to 3 feet in height, giving out the peculiar, characteristic odor of patchouli when rubbed. Its whitish flowers, tinged with purple, grow in both auxiliary and terminal spikes. The crop is cut two or three times a year, the leaves being dried and packed in bales and exported for distillation of the oil. The best oil is freshly distilled near the plantations. Patchouli oil is extracted from the young leaves which are dried and fermented prior to steam distillation. The yield is 2-3%.

Patchouli oil improves with age and gives a fuller odor.

The chemical components of Patchouli oil are: Patchoulol, Cardinene, Eugenol, Benzoic and Cinnamic.
 

Oil properties

 
Patchouli oil has a musty-sweet, strong spicy smell and is reddish-brown in color. It is viscous in viscosity.

Therapeutic properties

The therapeutic properties of Patchouli oil are: anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic.
 

Uses

  • Patchouli oil is useful for fungal and bacterial infection; it helps for insect bites and could also be used as an insect repellant.

  • It has diuretic properties, therefore helpful for water retention, cellulite, constipation and overweight. It has a deodorizing action, and helps when feeling hot and bothered.

  • Patchouli oil helps to cool down inflammations and assists with wound healing, scars and sores; it gives relief from acne, eczema and scalp disorders.

  • It can be helpful with the re-growth of skin cells and scar tissue. Patchouli oil can assist with stress related conditions and anxiety; and is also helpful in cases of substance addictions.

  • Extensively used in cosmetic preparations, and as a fixative in soaps, and perfumes. Extensively used in the food industry, in alcoholic and soft drinks.

 

Usage in Aromatherapy

 
Patchouli is a stimulating aromatic oil, that promotes increased feelings of desire. When diffused, Patchouli help crease an amorous atmosphere. Embrace the musky sweet aroma as it calms skins cells and enhances the appearance of younger-looking skin.

Patchouli blends well with labdanum, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, oakmoss, rose, orange blossom, bergamot, cassia, myrrh, opopanax, clary sage and oriental-type bases.
 

 
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