A Fresh Aroma With An Old Soul
Highly valued for its therapeutic benefits, Patchouli was once traded by European merchants for gold and luxury goods. Here’s how integrating this powerful essential oil into your daily routine can do you wonders
Warm, musky, and sensuous, Patchouli essential oil is often associated with the hippy generation. Madonna even scented the packaging of her “Like A Prayer” album with Patchouli oil because she wanted to create a “flavour of the 60s”.
Derived from the leaves of the highly-valued Patchouli plant (which belongs to a family of other well-known aromatic plants such as Lavender, Mint, and Sage), Patchouli is native to tropical regions and extensively cultivated in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India, Brazil, and Hawaii. Traditionally, it was used in folk medicine for hair issues such as dandruff and oily scalp, as well as to treat skin conditions like dryness, eczema, and acne.
As far back as the 1800s, Patchouli oil was also used to protect Eastern fabrics from insects and moth damage while they were transported across the world, so much so that its aroma became synonymous with silk, and its scent was indicative of the fabrics’ authenticity. Patchouli became so valuable that European traders would barter one pound of gold for one pound of Patchouli! In ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh Tutankhamun was also believed to have arranged for 10 gallons of Patchouli essential oil to be buried with him in his tomb.
Like a fine wine, Patchouli is one of the few essential oils that get better with age. Here’re the top five reasons to love Patchouli:
When you feel anxiety knocking at your door, use Patchouli to help you get through the storm. Used in aromatherapy, this mood-enhancing fragrance triggers your brain’s scent receptors to process its aroma as grounding and emotionally balancing. It also has sedative effects which help to ease the mind and relax the body by calming down your emotions.
TO USE: Combine Patchouli oil with Peppermint oil and apply the blend to your forehead, temples, or the back of your neck. Alternatively, drop one to two drops onto your pillow to reduce the effects of insomnia and improve sleep quality.
Thanks to its ability to activate cellular regeneration and skin cell renewal, Patchouli essential oil can be applied topically to speed up the healing process of cuts and wounds. Its healing action also helps to hasten the fading of acne or chicken pox scars.
TO USE: To reduce the appearance of scars, blemishes, pigmentation, and early signs of skin ageing, dilute one to two drops of Patchouli essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply topically to the affected areas.
Patchouli essential oil is known for its incredibly ability to detox the skin and regenerate the epidermal layer, leaving your complexion looking rejuvenated. Not only does it heal and detox, it also has active compounds which help to stimulate muscle contractions, eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
TO USE: For a smooth, radiant complexion, add a drop of Patchouli essential oil to a dollop of your moisturiser and make it part of your daily face care routine.
With strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, Patchouli can bolster your immune system to help fight infections that cause fever, as well as prevent colds, tonsillitis, and influenza. It’s also a tonic that promotes overall wellbeing by optimising the metabolic functions of your stomach, liver, and intestines.
TO USE: Diffuse Patuchouli oil on its own, or blend it with other powerful immune-stimulant oils such as Eucalyptus or Tea Tree.
REPELLANT AGAINST INSECTS
Fortunately for us, the earthy aroma that we love about Patchouli, also happens to be a scent that insects detest. This highly calming and multi-functional essential oil can be used in sachets placed between bedsheets to keep the bugs away.
TO USE: Eco-friendly and free of toxins, bring along a small spray bottle of Patchouli oil the next time you head outdoors!