Your Bag
Enjoy 15% off + Free Shipping for orders above 70 USD
girl is wearing a hat standing on field during daytime

Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil : Uses, How to Use, Side Effects, DIY (2022)

Patchouli oil, with its deeply aromatic and musky scent, has captivated the senses and enriched cultural practices around the world for centuries. Being native to tropical regions of Asia, this essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the Pogostemon cablin plant and is celebrated not just for its distinctive fragrance but also for its versatile therapeutic properties.

Renowned for its use in perfumery, traditional medicine, and modern aromatherapy, patchouli oil offers a fascinating blend of history, culture, and holistic benefits. 

In traditional medicine, patchouli oil is used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin infections and digestive issues. Patchouli oil is a staple in health and beauty routines, prized for its ability to enhance both physical and emotional well-being.

The benefits and uses of patchouli oil extend from skincare and hair care to mental well-being and spiritual practices. The oil is used topically to improve skin health and prevent hair loss, making it a versatile addition to personal care routines.

In this article, we are going to learn in detail about patchouli essential oil, its many different benefits and ways in which it can be used, and much more relevant to this oil.

The History and Origin of Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil's history is as rich and deep as its scent. Native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and the Philippines, the use of patchouli can be traced back hundreds of years. It was traditionally used in these regions for medicinal purposes, such as treating skin conditions, headaches, colds, and even snake bites.

The dried leaves were also used as a moth repellent, particularly valuable in protecting cashmere shawls during the 19th-century trade between the East and Britain. In the West, patchouli became a symbol of the countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s, associated with peace and love. It also holds a significant place in Middle Eastern cultures, where it was often used to scent linen and money.

The Extraction Process of Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil is extracted from the young leaves of the patchouli plant, which are harvested several times a year. The most commonly cultivated species of patchouli for essential oil production is Pogostemon cablin. The leaves are first dried, often fermented slightly to intensify their fragrance, and then subjected to a steam distillation process.

This method involves passing steam through the plant material to vaporize the volatile compounds, which are then cooled back into liquid form in a condenser. The resulting liquid separates into water and essential oil, with patchouli oil floating to the top due to its density. This method helps preserve the active chemical constituents of the oil, ensuring that it retains its aromatic and therapeutic properties.

The Chemical Composition of Patchouli Oil

The chemical composition of patchouli oil is complex, consisting of a variety of sesquiterpenes, alcohols, and other organic compounds. The primary component is patchoulol (or patchouli alcohol), which contributes to its characteristic earthy and musky aroma.

Other significant compounds include α-bulnesene, α-guaiene, and caryophyllene, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory, tonic, and antiseptic properties. This rich composition makes patchouli oil an effective anti-inflammatory agent, promoting healing and regeneration of skin cells, and an excellent fixative in perfumery, helping to stabilize and enhance the fragrance of other essential oils.

patchouli plant


Patchouli Essential Oil

Botanical Name

Pogostemon cablin

Native to

Southeast Asia

Main ingredients

Patchoulol, guaiene, seychellene, alpha guaiane, copaene, patchouli alcohol, norpatchoulenol, pogostol


Earthy and spicy

Blends well with

Lavender, Clary sage, lemongrass, geranium, elemi, myrrh, pine, bergamot, frankincense and sandalwood essential oils


Earthy or Woody


Rosemary, tea tree or vetiver essential oil

Now, let’s look at the uses and benefits of patchouli.

Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

This essential oil offers numerous benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Below is a detailed discussion of patchouli oil's benefits:


Antimicrobial Properties

Patchouli essential oil is renowned for its robust antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties make it an excellent choice for fighting a broad spectrum of infections. By effectively inhibiting microbial growth, patchouli oil helps to shield the body from potentially harmful bacteria and fungi, enhancing the body’s overall immunity and resilience.


Anti-inflammatory Effects

Patchouli oil's natural anti-inflammatory properties offer relief from various inflammatory conditions. It is particularly beneficial for alleviating symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pain and swelling. Additionally, it can soothe skin irritations, reducing redness and swelling due to its potent anti-inflammatory compounds. This makes it an excellent remedy for both systemic and topical inflammation.


Stress and Anxiety Reduction

The calming aroma of patchouli oil is highly effective in reducing stress and anxiety levels when inhaling patchouli oil. It influences the brain's chemical responses, promoting feelings of relaxation and mental clarity. This makes patchouli oil a favored choice in aromatherapy for those seeking natural solutions to manage stress and anxiety.

Must Read: Best Essential Oil Blends To Treat Insomnia

Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil for Skin


Promotes a Clear Complexion

Patchouli oil is a valuable asset in skincare, renowned for its ability to heal and enhance the skin's appearance. Its regenerative properties accelerate the healing process, making it effective in reducing acne scars and improving overall skin texture. Regular application can lead to a clearer, more radiant complexion.


Anti-Aging Properties

Loaded with antioxidants, patchouli oil is effective in combating the signs of aging. It helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by promoting skin elasticity and firmness. This preservation of youthful skin attributes is why patchouli oil is a staple in many anti-aging skincare products.


Soothes Skin Conditions

Patchouli oil's antifungal and antibacterial properties make it an excellent treatment for skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. It helps to soothe irritated skin and can significantly reduce flare-ups, offering a gentle yet effective remedy for those with sensitive skin conditions.

Patchouli Essential Oil Hair Benefits


Dandruff Control

The antifungal properties of patchouli oil make it an effective treatment for dandruff. Using this oil in hair care can help balance scalp oil production and prevent dandruff. By maintaining a healthy scalp environment, it not only combats existing dandruff but also prevents future flaking and itching. Regular use can keep the scalp clean and dandruff-free.


Balances Oil Production

Patchouli oil is beneficial for balancing oil production in the scalp. It helps to regulate sebum production, addressing issues associated with both an overly oily and excessively dry scalp. This regulatory effect ensures that the scalp remains healthy and provides an optimal environment for hair growth.

Other Benefits

Natural Insect Repellent

Patchouli oil is highly regarded for its effectiveness as a natural insect repellent. The oil's potent aroma is not just pleasing to humans; it naturally repels insects, making it an excellent alternative to chemical-based insect repellents. The specific compounds within patchouli oil, particularly patchoulol, are responsible for deterring mosquitoes, ants, and other pests. This property makes it an ideal choice for those seeking eco-friendly and health-conscious solutions to keep bugs at bay. It can be used by adding a few drops to a diffuser, applying diluted oil to the skin, or incorporating it into homemade sprays for use on clothing and bedding.

Aphrodisiac Qualities

Patchouli oil's reputation as an aphrodisiac is well-documented and has historical roots. Its deep, rich aroma is thought to stimulate the senses and enhance sensuality, making it a popular choice in perfumes and body oils aimed at boosting sexual desire. The oil's ability to influence hormones and increase libido contributes to its use in romantic or sensual settings. Integrating patchouli oil into massage oils or adding it to bath water can create an enchanting atmosphere conducive to intimacy. This usage taps into the oil's dual ability to relax the mind and invigorate the body, setting the stage for emotional and physical connection.

Ways to Use Patchouli Essential Oil

Popular patchouli oil uses include diffusing it for aromatherapy, adding it to skincare products, and using it as a natural insect repellent. Patchouli is commonly used in perfumes, cosmetics, and aromatherapy due to its long-lasting fragrance and skin-enhancing qualities. Following is a detailed discussion on different ways to use this oil:

Girl is doing exercise on the beach

1. Aromatherapy

Patchouli essential oil is highly valued in aromatherapy for its deep, grounding aroma that is known to reduce stress and enhance emotional well-being. When used in diffusers, the oil disperses a soothing scent that permeates the space, helping to create a peaceful and relaxing environment.

It can also be inhaled directly from the bottle or a cloth where a few drops have been applied, offering a quick and effective way to calm the mind and uplift the spirit. This method is particularly helpful during meditation or yoga practices, enhancing the spiritual experience.

Girl is holding a cup

2. As a Topical Remedy

When diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or almond oil, patchouli oil can be safely applied to the skin or hair. This application method leverages patchouli’s therapeutic properties to soothe skin conditions, promote a healthy complexion, and enhance hair health.

It can be used to moisturize the skin, reduce the appearance of scars or wrinkles, and treat scalp issues such as dandruff. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of patchouli make it beneficial for healing cuts, scrapes, and other minor skin irritations.

girl on couch & reading a book

3. Perfumes and Cosmetics

Patchouli oil’s distinctive musky and earthy scent makes it a popular base note in the formulation of perfumes. Its rich and long-lasting fragrance provides depth to scents and is often paired with lighter, floral top notes to create complex and appealing perfumes.

Beyond perfumery, patchouli oil is incorporated into various cosmetic products for its skin-enhancing benefits. It can be found in face creams, lotions, and serums where its regenerative properties help improve skin elasticity and reduce signs of aging.

4. Medicinal Applications

Historically, patchouli oil has been a staple in traditional medicine, used in various forms such as teas or infused balms for its wide range of health benefits. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it effective in treating digestive issues, relieving cold symptoms, and reducing fever.

Patchouli oil is also known for its ability to relieve depression and anxiety when used in aromatherapy. It can be topically applied to relieve pain and inflammation when mixed with a carrier oil and used as a part of a therapeutic massage.

DIY Recipes Using Patchouli Oil

Patchouli Aromatherapy Diffuser Blend


  • 5 drops of patchouli oil
  • 3 drops of lavender oil
  • 2 drops of bergamot oil
  • Diffuser
  • Water


  1. Fill your diffuser with water up to the recommended level.
  2. Add the drops of patchouli, lavender, and bergamot oil to the water.
  3. Turn on the diffuser and let the aroma fill the room.

Benefits: This blend utilizes the calming aroma of patchouli essential oil, which can help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation. The scent of patchouli oil combined with lavender and bergamot creates a soothing environment, perfect for enhancing emotional well-being and aiding in sleep.

girl with long hair

Patchouli Skin Healing Salve


  • 10 ml of jojoba oil (carrier oil)
  • Five drops of patchouli oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of beeswax


  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Once melted, mix in the jojoba oil.
  3. Remove from heat and add drops of patchouli and tea tree oil.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small jar and allow it to cool and set.

Benefits: This salve is great for treating skin infections and promoting the appearance of healthy skin. Patchouli oil's antifungal and antibacterial properties make it effective against skin issues, while tea tree boosts these effects. The salve can be used to soothe cracked skin, heal minor cuts, and improve the overall health of the skin.

Patchouli Hair Care Serum


  • 50 ml of coconut oil
  • 10 drops of patchouli oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary oil


  1. Mix the coconut oil with patchouli and rosemary oils in a glass bottle.
  2. Shake well to blend the oils together.
  3. Apply a few drops to the scalp and hair before bedtime.

Benefits: This serum leverages the therapeutic benefits of using patchouli oil, which promotes scalp health and prevents hair loss. The mixture also helps in strengthening hair follicles and enhancing the natural lustre of your hair. The scent of patchouli oil in the serum leaves your hair smelling fresh and earthy.

Patchouli Natural Deodorant


  • 3 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 10 drops of patchouli oil
  • 5 drops of lemon oil


  1. Melt shea butter over low heat.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Add drops of patchouli and lemon oil, mix well.
  4. Pour into an empty deodorant container and let set in a cool place.

Benefits: This deodorant recipe uses patchouli oil for its aromatic and antibacterial properties, which help combat body odor and maintain freshness throughout the day. The lemon oil adds a refreshing citrus scent, enhancing the overall aroma of the deodorant.

Risks and Precautions

While patchouli essential oil can help improve skin health, enhance relaxation, and provide numerous other benefits, it is crucial to be aware of the risks and precautions associated with its use. Understanding these aspects can ensure that you enjoy the therapeutic benefits of patchouli oil safely and effectively.

Potential Skin Irritation

Patchouli oil, like many essential oils, can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially when used undiluted. The concentrated nature of patchouli requires that it always be diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or almond oil, before being applied to the skin. A common recommendation is to use 2-3 drops of the oil per tablespoon of carrier oil. Patchouli oil has been used for centuries, but its potent components can still be harsh on sensitive skin.

Precaution: Always perform a patch test before using patchouli oil on larger areas of your skin. Apply a small amount of diluted oil to a patch of skin and wait 24 hours to see if any irritation occurs.

Hormonal Effects

Patchouli oil is believed to have hormone-balancing effects, which can be beneficial but also risky for certain individuals. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using patchouli oil due to its potential impact on hormone levels.

Precaution: Consult with a healthcare provider before using patchouli oil if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a hormone-sensitive condition.

Sensitivity to Sunlight

Some essential oils can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, leading to a higher risk of sunburn or skin damage. While patchouli oil is not as phototoxic as some citrus oils, it is still advisable to use caution when applying it to skin that will be exposed to sunlight.

Precaution: If you apply patchouli oil topically, avoid direct sun exposure for at least 12 hours afterward.

Internal Use

Although patchouli oil has been used traditionally in some cultures for its medicinal properties, ingesting essential oils is generally not recommended unless under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. The components of patchouli oil, while beneficial in many ways, can be toxic if ingested improperly.

Precaution: Avoid ingesting patchouli oil unless directed by a healthcare provider with experience in essential oil therapy.

Interaction with Medications

The nature of patchouli oil and its active components can potentially interact with certain medications, particularly those that affect the liver and hormonal balance.

Precaution: If you are taking medication, especially for liver conditions or hormonal therapies, consult with your doctor before using patchouli oil.

Overuse and Sensitization

Using patchouli oil in high concentrations or too frequently can lead to sensitization, where the skin becomes increasingly reactive to the oil over time.

Precaution: Follow recommended dilution guidelines and usage recommendations. Typically, using a few drops of the oil diluted in a carrier oil is sufficient for most applications. Rotate the use of patchouli oil with other essential oils to prevent sensitization.

Storage and Quality

The quality of patchouli oil can vary significantly depending on its source and production method. Poor-quality oils may contain contaminants or additives that can cause adverse reactions.

Precaution: Always purchase high-quality, pure patchouli essential oil from reputable suppliers. Store the oil in a cool, dark place to preserve its therapeutic properties.


Patchouli is one of the most revered essential oils, cherished for its aromatic and medicinal properties. The main components of this oil, including patchoulol, give it its distinctive aroma. Patchouli oil is known for its deep, earthy scent and wide range of health and beauty benefits. Patchouli oil is also known for being used as an aphrodisiac, enhancing mood and stimulating sensual desires. Patchouli oil is also used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. 

The regenerative properties of patchouli oil stimulate the growth of new skin cells, aiding in the healing of wounds and scars. Also, it is commonly used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and promote relaxation.

When using patchouli oil, it's important to follow essential oil safety guidelines, such as diluting it with a carrier oil before topical application. Patchouli oil is a highly concentrated essential oil, requiring proper dilution before use to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

Recommended Patchouli Essential Oil Products

Want to add patchouli oil to your list of essential oils and make every day just a little bit better? Click the links below to add our 100% pure and natural patchouli oils to your shopping bag.

Frequently Asked Questions
6 Sources
Facebook Chat Messenger