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Patchouli Essential Oil

Sunday, 07 June 2009

patchouli essential oilLately, essential oils are finding frequent use in modern cosmetology and medicine. The most notable among them is patchouli oil. Patchouli (pogostemon cablin) originated from Malaysia but has been used traditionally by a number of Asian countries; it was used to scent clothes and laundry, in the belief it would help prevent disease. The name «patchouli» comes from the name of a tree growing in India, the leaves of which have specific «oriental» odor which is characteristic of several different plants, growing in Indonesia. It has also been used in the treatment of nausea, headaches, colds, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried leaves and stems of patchouli are used to normalize the flow and balance of «chi».

Patchouli has even been used to treat poisonous snake bites in Malaysia and Japan. Today, patchouli is cultivated in Malaysia as well as China, India, the West Indies and South America as well as in some parts of Japan, Brazil, Mauritius Island and Tanganyika; the USA and Europe distill its dried leaves to make the essential oil. The leaves are often fermented to weaken the leaf cell walls to produce a better yield.

Therefore, one can say with certainty that the name «patchouli» refers to the smell, but not to a particular plant. The most important is the so-called Pogostemon cablin Benth. (syn. Pogostemon patchouli Pellet. var. suavis Hook.), growing in Indonesia. Pogostemon heyneanus Benth., called Yava patchouli grows on the island of Java.

Chemical Composition

The main substance of patchouli is patchouli alcohol (patchoulol) which gives the oil its peculiar «oriental» aroma. The essential oil should contain not less than 30% of patchoulol. The higher is patchoulol content, the higher is the quality of patchouli oil. After extensive distillation, a portion of the alcohol is transformed into sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, α-patchoulene and β-patchoulene, which significantly impair the quality of oil. Therefore, the duration of the process is strictly monitored. However, adulteration of patchouli is less common than with other essential oils. The relative ease of its cultivation and generous yield of oil (up to 3.5% under ideal conditions) substantially removes the temptation for unscrupulous suppliers to adulterate it. Heavy cedarwood or spicy clove-like notes may indicate that patchouli oil has been tampered with, usually as a result of a bad crop year or when demand outweighs supply.

Beneficial Properties

  • Antidepressant. The bright, sensuous fragrance of patchouli essential oil helps to overcome the effects of prolonged stress and cope with life's difficulties. The aroma of patchouli brings people back to normal life, restores mental balance, and fills with optimism and faith in their abilities. The warmth and depth of its aroma make it comforting and relaxing.
  • Antiseptic, antihistamine, antioxidant. Patchouli oil has been successfully used for skin care of any type. With regular use, you can get rid of wrinkles, acne rashes, made scars less noticeable, tone sagging and ageing skin, get rid of cellulite. Also, you can restore weak and damaged hair to healthy condition, and treat dandruff.
  • Immune response modifier. Patchouli is also used for vitamin deficiency and weakened immunity treatment, for prevention of influenza, colds, tonsillitis. Patchouli essential oil can also be used for body correction as its aroma helps to weaken appetite and improve digestion.
  • Aphrodisiac. Patchouli oil is a powerful stimulant and has been long known for its ability to reveal woman's sensuality and enhance man' sexual potency. Patchouli's relaxing attributes, coupled with its rich and exotic nature, have led to its inclusion in sensual and amorous blends, particularly appropriate for products like massage oil. Patchouli's distinctive scent can always be relied upon to evoke a marked aromatherapeutic response.

Patchouli oil is used in perfumery. One cannot find a high quality perfume with rich oriental scent, which does not contain patchouli oil. The oil is said to mature with age and it is either profoundly liked or disliked by people, due to its tendency to linger. In the ancient times in the East patchouli oil was believed to have magical properties, to attract wealth, love, bring success in private and business affairs and enhance creativity.

Use of Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil can be used in different ways: in aromatherapy lamps, aromatherapy medallions, aromatherapy baths, as a massage oil (60 drops per 100 ml of base liquid) and for the enrichment of cosmetics products. Also, it can be used as an additive to candle wax and tobacco blends. A few drops of patchouli essential oil can be added to shampoo or face cream, and after a few days, the skin becomes soft and velvety, and the hair thick and shiny.

Moreover, patchouli oil can be ingested, but with great caution. In the absence of gastric diseases and other medical contraindications you can eat jam or honey with the addition of 1-2 drops of patchouli oil.
Patchouli oil cannot be taken during pregnancy. Also, do not combine it with turpentine oils (cinnamon oil, juniper oil, etc.).

Where Does Patchouli Come From?

Patchouli oil is steam distilled from the patchouli leaves. Before distillation takes place the leaves are partially dried, stacked and bailed. This causes a slight fermentation which weakens the microscopic oil-bearing cell walls, thus ensuring a greater yield of oil from the distillation (about 3%), while using fresh leaves the yield is much smaller.

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rick  - patchouli   |2009-09-18 00:46:30
This woman today got a wiff of my patchouli and spoke to her friend isn't patchouli just for women. I spoke aloud it has been tested and 90% of the people that don't like the smell are evil in nature
rosh  - patchouli oil   |2009-10-22 22:20:28
where can I buy this oil from.
thanks
Kelli  - Manicurist   |2010-04-12 11:56:23
I have found that patchouli oil is also used on psoriasis. It is very effective. There is patchouli oil soap, that is great for psoriasis on the body, not good for the face.
Using both the soap and the oil is effective on psoriasis.
John  - Translator   |2010-11-17 10:57:17
In my search for the patchouli of the 60's and 70's, which I haven't had any luck with yet, I discovered Patchouli is an aphrodisiac. It provides the brain with the chemicals it needs to make the neuron transmitters for the nervous system to make all the connections needed for a healthy libido, and that's just by applying it externally, not by ingesting it which I understand you can also do in tiny amounts.
Tara  - In response to Rosh   |2011-03-25 19:22:53
You can buy patchouli oil from a company called Young Living. Very good pure quality oil.
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