If you ever get the chance to touch and smell a patchouli herb you are in for a treat. The heavenly leaves when crushed exude a much loved well known scent treasured the world over. This is not surprising when you understand Patchouli Oil is a member of the mint family. Other organic essential oils that are well utilized in this group are: spearmint, peppermint, thyme, hyssop, marjoram, clary sage, lavender, holy basil and sage. Wow, what a variety of amazing essential oils in this rich chemotype group. The essential oil of Patchouli is often described as herbaceous, musky, earthy and somewhat spicy. Patchouli Oil has an aroma intensity of medium. Therefore, although it is a member of the mint family it most certainly has a very unique aroma profile. Given the depth of this group of herbs and plants this is not unexpected.
Native to South, East Asia and India this leafy green plant produces an essential oil that develops and matures with age like a fine wine. Its name not surprisingly derives from the Hindu (when translated) as green leaf. Possible oils that may be used as either substitutions or symbiotic co-contributors to a blend as a fixative base in your blends are vetiver or spikenard.
In your cosmetic formulary for grooming or personal care products Patchouli Oil may cool inflamed skin and is known to balance skin. It is very versatile for all skin types and balances sebum production. It even has wound healing recognition. Patchouli also has potential deodorising benefits.
From an Aromatherapy point of view, Patchouli is balancing and stabilising on emotions and facilitates focus and clarity of thought. It is deeply supportive on emotional wellbeing and may harmonise the emotional state. Patchouli may promote a romantic mood and has aphrodisiac qualities.
Historically, Patchouli has been like many other essential oils (not in oil form) traded against precious metals! The Roman Empire found it handy to stimulate an appreciation in food when one was not inclined to eat. The Egyptians even wanted to buried with it. Understandable given their belief in reincarnation. In parts of Asia it has herbal medicinal use going back centuries.
A basic look at the literature regarding the primary constituents of Patchouli Oil finds the following ranges:
Patchoulol 22% to 79>#/p###
Alpha-Bulnesene 1% to 55>#/p###
Alpha-Guaiene 1% to 22>#/p###
Alpha-Patchoulene 1% to 10>#/p###
There is a large variation as you can see in the main constituents due to the growing country and even region and also the particular batch for that year depending upon the growing conditions. Our Essential Oil Components Database lists the main compound Patchoulol as being antispasmodic and a sedative. This ties in with the Aromatherapy benefits above.
As you can see from this versatile oil it has wide ranging benefits and is best stored in dark glass away from light and filled to the top to reduce oxidation to mature and intensify. Then you can bring out your 2017 patchouli in 2027 and marvel at its complexity and get your “Woodstock” on “flower child”.