Patchouli oil Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 6:12 min

Patchouli is a very intense and very aromatic essential oil. The Patchouli scent is perceived differently by everyone and does not trigger positive feelings in all individuals. The fragrance ranges from 'spicy' to 'overwhelming'.

Name Patchouli
Lat. Name Pogostemon cablin
Synonyms Patchouly, Patschuli, Patchuli
Origin Asia
Price per 10ml 3,99
our recommendation
Teebaumöl from

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Internal effect

Patchouli as an aphrodisiac

Patchouli is said to have a strong aphrodisiac effect. This is probably one of the reasons why it soared in the 1960s. During the 'Summer of Love', 'hippies' hoped that patchouli would not only cover the ubiquitous marijuana smell, but also inspire free love. The oil is also said to help against frigidity through its aphrodisiac and psychological effects.

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Colds and flu

Patchouli has several beneficial effects when suffering from a cold. Through its germicidal effect, it kills the bacteria that complicates colds and cause pneumonia. Since the oil also has a strong expectorant effect, it can also help to clear blocked airways and a runny nose. It helps our body in two different ways. A study about exactly how patchouli works against colds has only recently been published.

Headache and stomach ache

Patchouli generally has a strong pain relieving effect. When suffering from stomach pain, for example, oral ingestion of patchouli can help. The oil prevents certain neurotransmitters from being released in peripheral stomach muscles. Neurotransmitters are substances that are responsible for transmitting signals between the nerves. If these neurotransmitters are missing, the stomach pain can no longer be perceived by the brain. Patchouli not only relieves stomach pain, it is also effective for headaches. The mere scent of patchouli is often enough for this - there might be no need to take the oil orally to treat headaches.

External effect

Patchouli benefits the skin and helps prevent acne.

In general, patchouli has many skin care effects and its effect on our skin is correspondingly broad. Patchouli, for example, has a moisturizing effect, which is beneficial for dry or chapped skin. Another facet of patchouli's is its astringent properties. If you suffer from cellulite, for example, the patchouli's astringent effect can be very effective.  

Acne & pimples

The effect of patchouli for acne is particularly interesting. Two different mechanisms of action of the oil are effective here. On the one hand, it has a strong antibacterial effect, which helps the body fight invading bacteria and, on the other hand, is a strong anti-inflammatory. This effect directly combats the inflammation caused by acne.

Fungicidal effect

Patchouli has a strong antifungal effect. This is therapeutic for nail or skin fungus. Our feet in particular are very often affected by skin fungus, because the warm, humid climate in our shoes allows fungus ideal growth conditions. The result is an often very unpleasant smelling sweat odour. The exact mechanisms of how patchouli works against fungi were recently investigated in a study.   As said above, the oil also works against nail fungus. Fungi that attack our nails cause unsightly changes in the structure of the nails, which can lead to the loss of the entire nail. Patchouli can be used to effectively counteract such a fungal infection.

Promotion of wound healing

Patchouli is strongly antibacterial. This effect of the oil is useful for wound healing. Open wounds are always at risk of being infected with bacteria and this can be successfully counteracted with Pachouli. The antimicrobial effect of patchouli was recently investigated in a study. The effect of the essential oil from three different types of patchouli was tested and it was found that all 3 oils have outstanding antibacterial properties and thus all 3 can be used to treat open wounds.

Against MRSA

The antibacterial effects of patchouli are so strong that scientists are considering them as a treatment for MRSA. MRSA, also known as Multi-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is a disease that has only recently emerged. It arose from the use of modern antibiotics. Bacteria have developed resistance to a large number of our go-to antibiotics and are therefore very difficult to treat. Those affected suffer from a type of necrosis that can lead to death. The pathogen that triggers MRSA is called Staphylococcus aureus. A study that shows how patchouli can successfully fight this pathogen was recently published and delivered very good results.

Anti-inflammatory effect

Patchouli is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. This effect of the oil can be used on a large and small scale: Patchouli can help us with serious inflammatory problems. For example, if you have LPS-induced lung problems, patchouli is a good treatment option. A study on exactly this effect was recently published. The ingredient camphene is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of patchouli. The oil also provides inflammatory relief in minor inflammations such as pimples.


If you want to apply patchouli oil to your skin, you should never do so undiluted, as the oil is extremely irritating to the skin. For external use it is recommended to mix the oil with an odourless carrier oil. Simply add 7-8 drops of patchouli to about 10 ml of safflower oil and then apply the mixture. Patchouli creams and patchouli soaps are another form of external application. 

If you want to use patchouli for internal use, avoid consuming the oil in its pure form. Patchouli is extremely bitter and if taken orally in high concentrations can induce nausea. For oral use, add 2-3 drops of patchouli (bio) to a lump of sugar twice a day and let it melt in your mouth. Patchouli is ideally suited to be used as a classic fragrance oil. Simply put a few drops of the oil in an aroma lamp or diffuser and heat it up.  

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Patchouli is made from the flowers and leaves of the Patchouli plant. You need up to 38 kg of plant material to produce 1 liter of patchouli. It can be obtained in several ways. The most common method is what is known as steam distillation. However, it can also be obtained by chemical extraction. A study on this manufacturing method was performed by Dr. Ahmad Masrur at the University of Malaysia Pahang.


  • Camphene
  • Guaiacol
  • Pinene
  • Patchoulen
  • Pachypodol
  • Eugenol
  • Caryophyllene


The genus Patchouli was first described in 1815 by the French botanist René Luiche Desfontaines. Patchouli had its heyday in ]hippie culture in the 60s and 70s. The patchouli scent was said to mask the scent of marijuana. Today patchouli is particularly widespread in the gothic scene. The smell of the herbal fragrance plant is also an integral part of the perfume industry. The scientific name of the plant "Pogostemon" comes from the Greek and is composed of the two words "Pogon", which means something like beard and "stemon", the thread. The name "Patchouli" itself is from the language of the Tamils (South India) and is derived from: "patchai" which means "green" and "ellai" which describes the "leaf".


Patchouli is a medium-sized herbaceous plant from the mint family (Lamiaceae). The leaves are egg-shaped. Interestingly, only Indian and Javanese patchouli are used for the extraction of the essential oil, and there are up to 90 different types. Patchouli can reach heights of up to 50 cm. As the name suggests, Indian patchouli is particularly widespread in India, but the plant can also be found throughout Southeast Asia. Patchouli is cultivated on moist soils, which have to be very permeable to water in order to avoid waterlogging. Patchouli does not have any special requirements for its environment, only sufficient water and no direct sun are important for the plant.  

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