What Is Patchouli Oil Good For

What is Patchouli oil good for? Aromatherapists use patchouli to treat various ailments, from colds to abdominal pain. The oil is also used to relieve depression, and stress, calm nerves, control appetites, and more.

It has an earthy, almost spicy scent that provides a wonderfully calming effect. It grounds and brings harmony back to a room. Generally regarded as a safe oil, as long as it is not used during the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy, patchouli is a very simple and easy-to-use oil. 

Patchouli’s Illustrious History

Legend tells of how merchants from India brought stunning shawls to England’s nineteenth-century stall. Exquisite silks and beautifully patterned fabrics were loaded onto their ships and were purchased in their hundreds. Before long, mills shot up across the British Isles as weavers began emulating the beautiful shawls. But yet, something was missing. They had no idea how to mimic the evocative and desirable smell.

The sailors were wise to the British desire to steal their secret, so a few miles from shore, they would carefully remove the patchouli leaves placed into the fabrics to protect them from moths. As a result, for many years, an Indian paisley shawl could command as much as five times the amount as one made in an English mill.

It’s easy to smile at the pirates' challenges trying to track the secret down because no one is ever likely to associate patchouli’s smell with the tiny green leaves of a mint. And yet, oddly, that is exactly what patchouli is. When it blooms, it has small white or pale purple flowers. Patchouli oil is extracted by drying the leaves and then distilling the oil through steaming.

More recently, patchouli oil has been referred to as the oil of the hippies.  This is due in part to its grounding and harmonizing scent. However, this is a little misleading since the version that gained so much popularity in the sixties was a poor synthetic copy. Patchouli oil is like a fine wine, maturing with age rather than deteriorating like other oils.

What Are The Benefits Of Patchouli Oil?

In Asian folk medicine, it was used to treat hair problems like dandruff and oily scalp and skin conditions about dryness and eczema. 

Patchouli essential oils' active components, such as Patchoulol, α-Bulnesene, and Seychellene, contribute to its reputation of being a grounding, soothing, and peace-inducing oil. These constituents, and others, make it useful in cosmetics, aromatherapy, massage, and in-home cleansing products. The healing benefits of these components include anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, and much more. (Forti, 2015)

More specifically, patchouli oil’s components are known to fight infections that contribute to fevers by reducing body temperatures.

They can also relieve discomfort associated with digestive issues and reduce the look of scarring, blemishes, and bruising and moisturize chapped skin. Patchouli oil’s astringent properties may also help prevent sagging skin and hair loss.

Patchouli has both an antiperspirant and deodorant effect, making it a perfect addition to body products.

Hailing from India, patchouli is also considered a good alternative to traditional insect repellents and has historically been used for snake bites.

This is not a full list of the benefits of patchouli oil, but it provides evidence that patchouli essential oil is worth adding to your essential oil tool kit.

Related Article: 10 Popular Patchouli Essential Oil Recipes: Make Your Own Blend Today

The Sweet Smell of Patchouli

There is something utterly delicious about the deep, erotic fragrance of patchouli. Oddly, despite coming from a mint, it seems to manifest visions of rich redwood trees. If you could evoke the sensation of an opium den with oil, certainly this would be the oil to do it. Somehow you can see the likes of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Charles Dickens all lazing on couches, coaxed into the drug’s embrace.

Oddly, these are just the same effects you get from patchouli. It has the uncanny ability to draw energy down from the head and into the physical body. Inhibitions are gone, a dulled sense of quiet pervades, and you drift deeper and deeper into the ancient and lazy haze.

So achingly seductive. So deliciously sweet and dark, like maple syrup oozing from a tree. Close your eyes, and you can feel a tantalizing invitation stroke across your skin, bewitching you, enchanting you, coaxing you to give in.

There is something about patchouli that always brings an old hymn to mind. It was about the walls of Jericho, “And the walls came tumbling down…”

Patchouli’s most useful gift is how it rebuilds trust, removes inhibition and slows the breath during sex. It’s an oil of connection of delicious abandon and embrace. 

Patchouli’s Effects on Emotion

The 1960s were a time of peace and love, which may explain why patchouli essential oil’s use increased. Patchouli essential oils components, specifically patchoulol, are known to ground, balance, and harmonize.

In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used partly due to patchoulol’s ability to soothe and decrease issues with depression. In addition, inhaling it encourages the release of dopamine and serotonin dopamine, hormones that ease feelings of anger and anxiety.

Patchouli essential oil is often used in prayer ceremonies for this same reason since the component of patchoulol creates an atmosphere of tranquility. Add five drops of patchouli oil to an oil diffuser for a warm bath, sit back, and relax.

Related Article: What Oils Do Patchouli Essential Oil Blends Well With? Here Are The Best Options

How To Use Patchouli Oil Topically

To use patchouli oil, dilute it into a carrier oil to a maximum of 3% dilution.

If you are unclear, that is 3 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil.

We stock several carrier oils at VINEVIDA. Some are lighter than others, making them better for certain applications than others. A quick search will provide you with various recipe blends for patchouli oil. Experiment with multiple carriers to find one that blends best for you.

As essential oils go, there are very few safety concerns with patchouli. However, like all essential oils, please do not use them in the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy…other than that, you’re good to go.

Using Patchouli in Natural Perfumery

Most of the essential oils in an aromatherapist's box are middle notes or heart notes. They are the same thing, just referred to differently by people. Citrus notes and some spices make up the top or head notes, but there are few good base notes.

Energetically, head notes or top notes push the energy up; you feel lighter, bouncier, and more pleasant.

Base notes push energy down. They tend to be dark-colored oils with huge molecules that take ages to get themselves out of the bottle. They are heavy, slow, hypnotic, and sleepy. They make our minds quieter, and our bodies relax.

Perhaps more importantly, though, top notes evaporate quickly. They provide bright, colorful splashes of scent, but quick as a flash; they are gone. So if you want a blend to last longer, you need a good base note like patchouli.

It blends well with citruses, herbs, flowers, spices, and woods. It's adaptable and is almost better if you put something with it. Top tip, try sweet orange. It is one of the most sublime fragrance combinations around.

Related Article: Patchouli Essential Oil Recipes for Diffuser – Top 5 Best Patchouli Diffuser Recipes

What Is Patchouli Oil Good For In The Home?

Patchouli’s components act as a natural perfume and air fresheners, helping to create a relaxing atmosphere. This aroma makes it a good choice for cleaning, especially when you add its antiseptic and antifungal properties.

Interestingly,  termites despise the scent of patchouli, so making a spray with it may make an excellent way to protect your home. Simply add 15 drops of essential oil to a small glass bottle filled with alcohol, such as vodka and water. Shake the bottle and spray in areas susceptible to insects and termites.

This same spray blend can be used as a room freshener, especially if you blend it with other essential oils, such as cedarwood, wild orange, or lavender.

You can also spray this blend on a cotton ball and place it in closets or corners to ward off moths and insects. Be mindful of putting them in places where children and pets will not bother them.

Patchouli Oil and Safety 

Patchouli oil is safe to use. However, please do not use ANY essential oils during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Patchouli oil is generally considered to be a safe oil.

Patchouli oil is nontoxic when diluted and used correctly.

Should the oil be accidentally swallowed, drink milk to dilute, and seek medical advice if you feel unwell. 

In case of skin irritation or rash, wash the area well and seek medical advice if feeling unwell.

Avoid contact with mucous membranes and eyes; in case of contact, rinse the area well and seek medical attention if feeling unwell.

Patchouli Oil – DIY Recipes

Cool and Collected Perfume Rollerball Blend

Method of Use: Apply to the insides of your wrist, where there is good blood supply, as and when you need it. 

Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Self Reflection Diffuser Blend

Cedarwood and Patchouli essential oils are both wonderful for grounding and creating a peaceful environment, while lavender helps soothe upset feelings or anxiety. This blend is perfect to use when tensions are high.

Safety: Not designed for topical use.


What is Patchouli Oil Good for? Mainly emotional healing. Calming the mood and bringing a delicious sense of peace. In addition, its rich deep note is great for prolonging the life of blends. 


    1. A Comprehensive Review on the Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Pogostemon cablin Benth.: An Aromatic Medicinal Plant of Industrial Importance

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