Botanical Name: Pogostemon cablin-Labiatae
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation is the common method of extraction of patchouli oil. The young leaves and the shoots after drying in the sun are steam distilled to extract the oil. The oil is a transparent liquid and is yellow brown or greenish brown. The colour depends on the place from the leaves originates.
Parts Used: Leaves
Note Classification: Base
Aroma: Patchouli oil has an earthy, sharp and importunate smell and the viscosity is thick.
Largest Producing Countries: Patchouli is cultivated in many places in India, China, Seychelles and Indonesia. The total production of patchouli oil is about 550 tonnes and Sumatra produces more than 3/4th of this. Singapore and Malaysia does a lot of exporting of the oil but not producing. The second largest producer is China. India produces a small quantity of patchouli oil but is used internally. Japan and Switzerland also produce patchouli oil.
Traditional Use: Patchouli and its oil was part of the traditional Malay, Japanese and Chinese medicine. They used it as a stimulant, antiseptic and stomachic. People those days use to use this oil for poisonous snake bites and insect bites. The Arab doctors of olden times used this oil against fever, contagious diseases and many other diseases. Patchouli plant is said to be originated from India and Philippines. Patchouli those days was used for good fragrance on the fabric and carpets. In olden times Patchouli was used as moisturizer and perfume by just rubbing the leaves on the skin. Later in 1922 the antiseptic properties of Patchouli were researched by well known scientists.
Properties: Patchouli oil has many properties and it is recommended for various skin conditions like burns, bed sores, allergies, herpes, impetigo, skin cracks, acne, seborrhoea, eczema and haemorrhoids. It is a very effective bactericide and helps to revitalize the skin. It plays a major part in the manufacture of perfumes. The oil is used in Indian ink also. Patchouli oil has great quality to fight depression and nervousness. The diuretic properties are known all over the world. It assists in the breakdown of cellulite and encourages the regeneration of skin cells. This speeds up the healing process and will not allow ugly scars to form when the sore cure.
Blends Well With: Patchouli oil blends well with almost all essential oils like bergamot, cedarwood, black pepper, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, frankincense, coriander, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, jasmine, litsea, cubeba, lemongrass, mandarin, myrrh, neroli, opopanax, oakmoss, rose, sandalwood and vetiver.
Of Interest: One interesting fact about Patchouli is that in the 18th and 19th centuries Chinese silk traders used to pack their silk clothes in patchouli leaves in order to prevent moths from laying eggs on the silk material. As the age improves the quality of Patchouli oil also increases.
Safety Data: Patchouli oil is generally considered safe. Even though the oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, some people may find the aroma a bit forced. Large doses may create loss of appetite in some people.