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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli has a reputation for being peaceful, even in the face of conflict, and connecting us with the earth.

It’s all about calm, ease, and natural beauty.

In my mind, Patchouli’s mental and emotional effects are reflected in what it can do for our bodies. It calms inflammation, soothes anxiety, reduces bacteria, is astringent, and helps skin to heal.

The recipes in this Spotlight showcase Patchouli’s talents nicely!

 

 


 

Patchouli essential oil a perfect ingredient for natural acne relief blends.

This recipe is popular with boys, who I’ve found don’t often gravitate toward floral fragrances (but girls love this blend, too!).

You can make this in a 1 oz (30 ml) flip-top bottle:

  • 1 oz (30 ml) aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 5 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

To use this blend, get a drop on a cotton swab and dab it gently on the acne. (It’s not meant as a whole-face wash.)

Give it a test run by dabbing it on a few spots for several days and seeing how the skin reacts. If the change is positive, go ahead and dab it on the rest of the acne.

I recommend making a fresh bottle of this every few weeks, since it’s not made with preservatives.


 

Patchouli essential oil gives great foot massages.

If I could design an essential oil for foot massage, I think my creation would turn out a lot like Patchouli.

Patchouli has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it’s great for feet that spend a lot of time in hot sweaty shoes—where bacteria and fungi like to grow.

It also nourishes dry, cracked skin, and is one of the most popular essential oils in natural deodorants. This makes complete sense when we consider its ability to reduce bacteria (which often causes odors).

Try this recipe for your next foot massage!

  • 1 oz (30 ml) aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 5 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 5 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

You can make this blend in a 1 oz (30 ml) flip-top bottle.

I had the opportunity to visit a Patchouli distiller on a recent trip to the Seychelles. Patchouli from the Seychelles used to be considered some of the finest quality in the world, but now the plant barely grows there. My friend Mustafa (the distiller) is bringing it back, with an amazing plan to grow the local economy along with the patchouli plants. You can read about his work in a blog post here!

Just like the acne blend above, this blend doesn’t include a preservative. You’ll want to make a fresh bottle every few weeks.


 

Try Patchouli in bug sprays, incense, and bath salts.

Patchouli essential oil has an amazing ability to soothe irritation, whether it’s mental, emotional, or physical

It’s often used in incense, skin care, itch sticks, and even bug repellents. (How’s that for soothing irritation? It stops bugs from ever biting!) Here’s a little more about each of these uses:

  • Natural bug sprays made with Patchouli smell better than chemical sprays, and are much safer. It’s so good to know your bug spray is actually nourishing your skin! (I have a recipe for bug spray here.)
  • As incense, Patchouli can help calm your mind from over thinking. It helps ground us in our bodies. I like to make my own incense by adding drops of Patchouli to blank incense sticks. (You can watch a quick video about making incense here!)
  • In Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, authors Keville and Green say, “As a cell rejuvenator and antiseptic, Patchouli is a treatment for acne, eczema, inflamed, cracked, sensitive, or mature skin and skin growths.” It can be blended with any carrier, and is particularly beautiful when combined with other base notes, like Vetiver and Balsam Copaiba.

Here’s a suggestion for blending this base note blend into a bath salt:

  • 4 oz (112 gm) Epsom salt
  • 2 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 1 drop Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
  • 2 drops Balsam Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis)
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba wax

Use a wide-mouth jar that holds 4 oz (120 ml) of salt. You can just drop the essential oils and jojoba right into the salt, stirring all the while. This recipe is enough for four baths. (You can make more when you know you love it!)

I love making Aromatherapy blends that serve multiple purposes! In this one, I’m grounding myself, discouraging bugs, and caring for my skin all in one step. (Oh, and it also relaxes your mind and nervous system . . . so try a bath right before bed!)


 

Use Patchouli in all natural deodorant that doesn’t stink.

I used to have such a difficult time finding natural deodorants that actually worked.

Then I decided to stop hunting, and made my own recipes. (I’ll bet you’re not surprised!)

One of the first essential oils I reached for was Patchouli. It has a history of use in natural perfumes and deodorants. One reason it works so well is because it reduces bacteria growth—and bacteria on our bodies is part of what causes odor. (Another reason I reached for Patchouli is that it smells amazing!)

I call this recipe “1960.” You can make it in a 2 oz (60 ml) glass jar.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz (28 gm) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
  • 1 tbsp (15 gm) baking soda OR arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 gm) green clay
  • 15 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 5 drops Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)

Directions

  • Combine the coconut oil, clay, and baking soda or arrowroot in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Add your essential oils and mix well.
  • Spoon your deodorant into a 2 oz (60 ml) glass jar.

Before you use this recipe regularly, dab a small amount under your arm with a cotton face cleansing round to be sure the baking soda or arrowroot doesn’t irritate your skin. Most people (even those with sensitive skin) have a great experience with this blend.


 

Get to know Patchouli.

Many people think they know Patchouli essential oil, only to be surprised once they start blending with it. The aroma of the essential oil is very different than the popular incense most people are familiar with. Once you get to know Patchouli and its peaceful, easy-going nature, I bet you’ll be inspired for creating new recipes of your own.

I included Patchouli essential oil in my book, The Heart of Aromatherapy: An Easy-to-Use Guide for Essential Oils. In Patchouli’s profile, I gave it the “personality trait” of running a radio station that plays nothing but music from the 1960s! It seems like a great way to sum up Patchouli’s peace-loving, but also fun, presence. (You can find my book at Aromatics International if you’re interested!)

To learn more about other essential oils, visit our Essential Oil Spotlights page.

 


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