Essential Oils - Patchouli


Patchouli can evoke strong reactions to many, being that you either love it or hate it. The smell can evoke the image of hippies and free love, but it’s been around for much longer than that era. The leaves of the patchouli plant were originally stored alongside textiles to keep the bugs at bay. As European imported fabrics from India, people became use to the exotic scent and would consider other imports fakes if they didn’t have that signature, pungent aroma. In the perfume industry, the plant is used as a base note which helps to anchor other scents. While you might not like patchouli on its own, adding it to other scents can drastically help to mellow it out and make it so much more appealing. To make your own perfume (see links below) consider using citrus and some floral essential oils to create your own exotic blend. 

  • Name of Oil: Patchouli
  • Latin Name: Pogostemon cablin
  • Areas of Origin: Malaysia, India
  • Historical Use: Patchouli was used as protection against moth and bedbugs.
  • General Growth, Habitat: It is a perennial that grows to 3’ high and has hairy stems and large, fragrant, furry leaves. It also has whitish flowers that are tinged purple.
  • Parts Used in Distillation: Leaves
  • Scent: Rich, earthy, woody aroma, slight fruity note
  • Uses: Acne, bacterial infections, insect bites, athlete’s foot, eczema, stress relief
  • Emotional Use: Calming and relaxing physically and mentally
  • Safety: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing.  May cause a loss of appetite for some in larger doses.

Extra Tidbits:

  • Add a few drops of the essential oil to a diffuser as the scented air will help to ease depression
  • Add 2 drops of the essential oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and massage onto the back of the neck, chest and temples to help relieve insomnia
  • Add 1-2 drops of the essential oil to 1 teaspoon an unscented lotion and rub it under your arms for an odorizing effect. 

Until next time, discover the power of welcoming essential oils into your life.


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