Most people associate patchouli with a 'hippy scent' or 'the smell of the sixties' to cover up body odour or the scent of pot. I myself fell into this stereotype prior to doing this research, but I have recently taken a new perspective on this decadent essential oil.
It is actually used for a wide variety of benefits. And when I say 'wide', I mean the full spectrum. The paradox of patchouli is that it is both calming and uplifting simultaneously! How can an aromatherapy be used to both ground and lift? Read on!
Patchouli essential oil is derived from a large evergreen perennial and is a relative of mint, lavender and sage. It has a musky, warm, earthy scent with a spicy twist to it. Originally used in Chinese Medicine for body and mind, it is continued to be used today by many walks of life, not just hippies!
People use patchouli to fight anxiety and depression by clearing negativity in the mind and lifting mood. It has balancing, calming and grounding effects, used as a sedative by relaxing the body and mind and encouraging restful sleep. In a mouse study, Patchouli oil aromatherapy relieved symptoms of constipation and increased bowel movement! I can see how reducing insomnia and getting digestion working would together result in lifting mood!
On the other hand, patchouli is used to stimulate, heighten concentration and awareness. Another interesting thing about patchouli is its sensuous scent. It is used as an aphrodisiac!
Besides aromatherapy, Patchouli can be used topically, diluted in water or a carrier oil. Another paradox, is that patchouli helps both dandruff and oil scalp alike! We use it in our Shampoo Bars for all sorts of hair and scalp ailments. Our X-Cream and Skin Manager Oil both contain patchouli as it is known to aid skin conditions and a number of skin ailments such as dry cracked skin and eczema and acne prone skin. Patchouli soothes inflammation and prevents infections in wounds.
Patchouli's antiviral and antibacterial properties make it popular for household cleaning.
Is there anything patchouli can't do? I have definitely underestimated the benefits of Patchouli essential oil, and plan on using it more often... day and night. ;)