10 Proven Health Benefits And Uses Of Patchouli Essential Oil

uses of patchouli essential oil

Indigenous and native to Philippines, patchouli plant or Pogostemon cablin is a herb that is extensively used in alternative treatments like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Its Indian counterpart, Pogostemon heyneanus, is indigenous to peninsular India and Sri Lanka and is seen widely in the Western Ghats. Chinese medicine uses the plant in treating everything from cold, headache and fever to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more. In India, patchouli leaves are considered an effective insect repellent.1

Two of the 40 species of the plant have highly aromatic leaves that give out a scent that is deep, woody, spicy and earthy which make them a popular essential oil and a staple of the cosmetics industry. What more, patchouli oil is one of the few oils that improves with age. While the herb has been popular in the beauty industry for thousands of years, the oil is a sought after ingredient in soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc.2


1. Fights Inflammation, Bacteria, And Fungi

Patchouli plant has long been used in Chinese medicine to fight infections and inflammations. In a study conducted on its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory drug, patchouli alcohol extracted from the plant was found to be a potential chemical agent against many inflammations.3

In another study conducted on mice, β-Patchoulene (β-PAE) isolated from patchouli oil, was found to have a significant effect on ear edema and paw edema.4


Patchouli oil is an effective treatment for many bacterial and fungal infections like candida.5 In a study done to assess the effect of various essential oils on bacteria and fungi, patchouli oil was found to inhibit the effect of 20 different bacteria.6 In another study done to compare the antibacterial effect of patchouli oil with different antibiotics, 26 different compounds were identified in patchouli oil to have strong antibacterial property making it an exceptionally good remedy for bacterial infections like staph infections.7

2. Effectively Gets Rid Of Acne And Dandruff

Thanks to its antibacterial effect, patchouli oil can inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acne bacteria responsible for acne growth.8 Malassezia is a form of fungi responsible for seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff and applying patchouli oil on the scalp can take care of dandruff to a great extent.


3. Alleviates Anxiety, Depression, And Stress

Aromatherapy, where essential oils are used to treat many diseases, is a time-tested method of alleviating conditions like anxiety and depression. It has a positive effect on stress reduction without any side effects.9 Studies have found that aromatherapy with patchouli oil is an effective complementary therapy for reducing anxiety, depression, and even stress.10

4. Masks Mouth Odor

Chewing gum is often used to mask mouth odor. But chewing gums with patchouli essential oil is more beneficial in that it not just masks mouth odor, the antibacterial property of the oil works on the harmful bacteria in the mouth making it an excellent product for oral hygiene.11


5. Boosts Immunity

Suffering from bouts of seasonal infections like common cold or flu? Patchouli essential oil could be the right remedy for you. Patchouli alcohol, the major chemical constituent in the herb has been proven to destroy influenza virus. This was further bolstered by a study conducted on mice where oral administration of patchouli alcohol was found to augment protection against influenza virus.12

6. Enhances Libido

In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is regarded as a libido booster. It is considered a stabilizing and balancing oil that can not just improve libido but combat frigidity and impotence as well. It is also found to alleviate the anxiety about sexual performance.13


7. Heals Wounds Faster

Patchouli oil is an antiseptic which helps to heal any type of wounds and burn injuries faster. Even to this day, in countries like Japan and Malaysia, it is used as an antidote for venomous snakebites. It promotes healing, prevents ugly scarring from wounds, and is a tissue generator that helps the growth of new and fresh skin cells.14

8. Keeps Bugs Away

Patchouli leaves have long been used in India as an insect repellent. In a study conducted to understand the efficacy of essential oils in keeping mosquitoes away, the topical application of undiluted patchouli oil was found to keep mosquitoes away for about two hours.15


Patchouli essential oil has been used in scenting fabrics during Victorian times because it can cover up the musty smell of fabrics and even act as a moth repellent. The leaves and the oil are also used these days in potpourri.16

9. Earthy Perfume That Lasts Long

Patchouli oil has a woody, earthy smell that got very popular with the hippies of the swinging 60s. Even now patchouli, with a sweet initial note followed by a more earthy one, is a popular fragrance which blends well with other fragrances and lasts much longer, too. It is mostly used as a base note in creating fragrances.17


10. Makes For Refreshing Drinks

Patchouli essential oil is used in alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages to enhance their flavor. Essential oils are often added during the composition of a new alcoholic spirit and patchouli essential oil is preferred for its strong smell and flavor. Even in nonalcoholic beverages like fruit juices and soft drinks as well as mineral water and carbonated water, adding essential oils like patchouli oil to enhance the flavor is a popular practice. Patchouli oil can correct metabolic function and aid in better absorption of nutrients from food. It also boosts the nervous system activity and immunity.18

Patchouli oil is a therapeutic oil with many benefits for your health and wellbeing. Give it a try to scale up your wellness level.