Patchouli was used traditionally as an insect repellent. In India it was used in traditional medicine for nervous diseases, while in traditional Chinese medicine it is used to treat colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Patchouli is used extensively as a fragrance component in cosmetic preparations and it is one of the most used ingredients in perfumes, especially Oriental types. It is also used widely in soaps and depilatory creams. Patchouli is an aroma that has been strongly identified with the ‘hippie culture’.
Psychologically, Patchouli is balancing and calming and is useful for nervous exhaustion, anxiety, nervous tension, lethargy and stress related problems. It is very grounding and strengthens the will to live. It can help to relax an overactive mind.
On the physiological level it has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and cell regenerating properties and may be helpful for dermatitis, acne, athlete’s foot, cracked & dry skin, enlarged pores and simple water retention. It aids scars, wrinkles, wounds, bedsores and abscess. It is a good skincare tonic considered effective for oily hair & scalp, dandruff, eczema (weeping) and impetigo. It is also an insect repellent.
Contraindications: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-phototoxic.
Albert Leung & Steven Foster , Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Food, Drugs, and cosmetics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc , New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore, 1996
Ernest Guenther, The Essential Oils Vol.V, Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 1952, reprinted 1976.
Beverley Hawkins, Aromatherapy 201 Course 2000