Today's Spotlight: Background, "Benefits" & Uses for Patchouli Essential Oil

what is patchouli essential oil

Patchouli essential oil has a distinct scent, and comes from the Patchouli plant, from the family Lamiaceae. The mint family contains other aromatic plants like lavender, sage, and mint. Like several of the mentioned oils, patchouli is a popular choice for use in aromatherapy applications like aromatherapy diffusers, as well as in perfumery and the cosmetic industries.

The Patchouli plant is native to tropical regions in South America and parts of Asia. There are three species of Patchouli; Pogostemon Cablin, Pogostemon Heyneanus, and Pogostemon Hortensis. Of the three, Pogostemon Cablin is the most popular. Patchouli oil has a beautiful musky, earthy scent, used for many years in different applications from cosmetics to medicinal purposes.

benefits of patchouli essential oil

The Asians used patchouli essential oil to treat hair problems (dandruff, oily scalp) and skin conditions. With time its medical properties saw it spread to Europe and other parts of the world. In traditional Chinese medicine it has been used for both internal and external applications, to help with treating colds, nausea, diarrhea dermatitis, abdominal pain and fever.

Essential oils in today's practice are one of the most well known natural products used for medical purposes, due to many of them being safe, non-toxic and natural. 

The substantial period when it rose to fame was in the 1960s. This time it was one of the most expensive essential oils ever, as a pound of Patchouli was worth a pound of gold. Some of the scent characteristics one may use to describe this scent can sometimes be indicated as a "manly" aroma, with a touch of woody, sweet and spicy notes to round out the most prolific scents. 

On top of these scent notes, patchouli oil is also known for it's long-lasting fixative properties. This makes patchouli a popular oil to use a base ingredient in products where aroma is important. 

Some of the Main Components of Vetiver Oil Include:

Aroma influential components: a-Patchoulene, ß-Patchoulene, a-Bulnesene, a-Guaiene, Caryophyllene, Norpatchoulenol, Seychellene, and Pogostol. 

Potential Benefits & Uses for Patchouli

Soothing Calming Effect

patchouli has a soothing and calming effect

Patchouli essential oil contains patchoulol, known as a highly grounding chemical component, because of this the oil may have a grounding and balancing effect, necessary in controlling human emotions.

The essential oil is also suggestive, (study) to have sedative properties, which may be a perfect aide in stress relief. Hence, it may stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, which can help suppress feelings of stress, anger and anxiety. As such, lend itself to helping relieve some of the symptoms associated with these conditions.

However, much of the literature insists that this effect varies heavily from person to person.

As you might imagine, using any essential oil for aromatherapy may stimulate someone's own senses differently. What may be a soothing scent to some, may be offensive to others. If you rather enjoy this scent, you may supplement it with other ways of anti-anxiety or stress relieving efforts, like mediationyoga, or even body massages to name a few.

Natural Insecticide

Patchouli oil contains natural insecticidal properties that make it effective in killing several different species of insects. In fact for centuries in India the leaves of the patchouli plant had been used as insect repellent.

Its natural properties and neutrality make it environmentally safe, unlike many of the chemicals we see in today's world of insecticidal treatments.

It is a better substitute for many human-made pesticide products on the market. Specific compounds within patchouli oil is proven to be effective in killing houseflies, mosquitoes, and some species of urban ants. In fact one such study names patchouli oil has being the most toxic (of the essential oils in the study) in killing 2 different mosquito species. However it is also important to note that the toxicity was much less then all other synthetic products in this study.

Kills Disease-Causing Fungus and Bacteria

might help fight off bacteria

Patchouli oil helps fight biofilms and virulence factors. It may help defend the body from bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pneumoniae, and like some other essential oils, may be used in treating certain dermatological conditions, such as infections caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses.

This oil has a notable anti-fungal activity against disease-causing fungi. Such fungi include Aspergillus niger and Cryptococcus neoformans, research suggests. It's important to note previous studies of patchouli did not show inhibition against Aspergillus niger specifically as this study did.

Treats Respiratory Conditions

might help treat respiratory symtoms

Patchouli essential oil contains both potent and expectorant properties. This makes it quite significant in the fight against some respiratory problems. The properties help it fight mucus and rheum deposits from the nasal cavity. In turn, it may help relieve the chest from congestion and mucus.

Relieves Pain and Treats Inflammations

patchouli may help with pain and inflammation

Research indicates patchouli is rich in potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. This characteristic of patchouli may make the oil good for people with arthritis and joint pains and aide in some pain relief. The above studies were strictly animal based studies, however, focusing on mice paw edema. 

Useful In Skin and Hair Health Treatment plus Care

patchouli oil for hair health

The anti-bacterial properties in Patchouli essential oil make perfect for wound healing and skin regeneration. It heals wound and may help prevent or reduce wrinkles, scars, blemishes, and other signs of aging. This natural essential oil also plays a formidable role in fighting pimples, acne, chapped or cracked skin, cold sores, oily conditions, and stretch marks.

Uses of this oil also include potentially helping reduce dandruff on the hair's scalp, and stimulates blood circulation (due to astringent properties helping to tighten the pores), hence promoting the development of new hair, and helping prevent hair damage. Continued use of this oil enhances the texture and may add shine to your hair. 

How Patchouli Oil is Extracted?

It starts from the dried leaves of young twigs of Pogostemom cablin. 






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