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5 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

Patchouli Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

The sweet, musky scent of patchouli can deter pests and balance mood for a clearer outlook.

Dried Patchouli herb leaves

Native to tropical regions of Asia, the patchouli herb produces a fragrant oil that, much like wine, gets better with age.

The name patchouli comes from the Indian word ‘patchouli’, meaning ‘to scent’. This refers to one of the earliest uses of the oil: in the scenting of Eastern fabrics to mask odour and protect from moths. In the 1800s, when these fabrics were traded globally, the scent of patchouli was used to determine whether or not they were authentic. These days, patchouli is often used to regulate mood, cleanse skin, and repel insects.

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Patchouli essential oil can balance hormones.

The hormone-affecting properties of patchouli oil can have a decisive effect on your mood and even your love life. Inhaling patchouli oil has been said to encourage the release of serotonin and dopamine, happy hormones that help to reduce stress and other negative emotions. Patchouli is therefore considered a natural remedy for low mood and anxiety.

The oil is also said to boost testosterone in men. This allows it to act as an aphrodisiac by improving symptoms of sexual disfunction and increasing confidence.

Amber Glass bottles with dried patchouli herbs surrounding

It has strong cleaning powers.

Patchouli oil has been found to display potent antimicrobial activity. A study in 2013 found that the oil was able to combat both bacterial and fungal activity, making it a successful agent against both kinds of infection. Using a few drops of patchouli oil in a natural cleaning spray can help to rid your home of harmful microorganisms.

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It’s great for skin.

Patchouli oil is known to stimulate muscle contractions, which can help to keep skin tight and youthful. It also assists in the process of regenerating new skin cells, brightening skin’s appearance. Its strong antibacterial properties help it to deeply cleanse pores, keeping skin clear, and its antifungal abilities make it a great agent for fighting conditions such as athlete’s foot. A study in 1996 also found that the oil has significant anti-fungal properties, allowing it to reduce redness and irritation, common symptoms of many skin conditions.

Unlike many skincare products, patchouli is great for both dry and oily skin thanks to its diverse range of skin-boosting properties.

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It repels pests.

Historically used to repel moths, the oil is also said to be effective against mosquitoes, fleas and ants. A 2003 study found that patchouli was also a highly effective termite repellent. Diffusing or spraying patchouli oil around your home can help to deter unwanted visitors.

Patchouli leaf Illustration

    Fragrant patchouli has not only had many practical applications over the centuries but has also been closely tied to causes that champion values of peace and love. Its balancing scent brings order and comfort to the mind, whilst its cleansing, hygienic properties keep us safe and healthy.

    Shop our patchouli essential oil here.

    Patchouli (Indonesian) Light Essential Oil 10ml Bottle | Nikura

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