Those of us who remember the 1960’s, often associate the fragrance of Patchouli Essential Oil with hippies. It is rich, earthy and grounding. In perfumery and fragrance applications, patchouli is a base note that acts as a fixative and grounds a blend. This plant only reaches a few feet in height, and grows primarily in Malaysia and other southeastern Asian countries. This bushy plant has big, soft leaves and comes from the lamiaceae plant family; the same as lavender, basil, peppermint and rosemary. While patchouli oil has a long history in places such as China and Japan, it was not until the mid 1800s that patchouli leaves first came to the Western world. People often wonder what to use Patchouli for. Here are 7 great uses for this essential oil.
1. Aphrodisiac: Patchouli oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its aphrodisiac and antidepressant properties. It has a soothing, earthy aroma, which makes it ideal for use in essential oil burners or diffusers or in a homemade massage oil to create a warm, uplifting atmosphere. It is perhaps best known however as an aphrodisiac. In “The Essential Oils Book,” Colleen K. Dodt points out that patchouli evokes a strong emotional response from both men and women and can be used in combination with other essential oils to create a personal perfume. A homemade aphrodisiac massage oil can be made by adding two or three drops of patchouli oil to a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil.
2. Antidepressant: Patchouli oil is frequently used to alleviate the symptoms of depression because of its balancing, harmonizing properties. Patchouli is a useful oil for relieving depression, can be helpful in treating mental stress caused by worrying and even relieves chemical stress caused by overeating or ingesting harmful substances.
3. Sedative: Patchouli has sedative, tension-relieving properties, which make it excellent for use during times of stress or anxiety. It can help to relieve muscle pain, aches, a sore body and overall bodily tension. Inhaling the scent of patchouli, whether it is through use in an oil diffuser or by simply placing a few drops on a tissue and breathing in the aroma, can help to invoke feelings of calm and peace.
4. Antiseptic: Protects wounds and ulcers from infections and from becoming septic.
5. Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening the hold of gums on teeth, preventing sagging of skin, hair loss and loosening of muscles. Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
6. Fungicide: This essential oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
7. Insecticide: The insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
Patchouli oil’s most noticeable characteristic is its strong, almost overwhelming aroma. Patricia Davis, an aromatherapist and author of “Aromatherapy: An A-Z” notes that patchouli oil smells so strong and almost musty, that many people do not enjoy it so it is not for everyone. The oil has a thick body and an amber to dark orange color and mellows and gains strength as it ages.
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In closing I would like to say, Peace, Love and Enjoy!
Slán go fóill (goodbye for now),