Part of the plant used : dried leaves
Provenance : Inde
Extraction method : steam distillation
Organic Patchouli essential oil is extracted from the Pogostemon cablin plant of the mint family and has a rich, sweet and spicy musky scent. This plant is native to Malaysia and India, where it is known as "puchaput". The word patchouli is derived from the Tamil "pachchaiilai" which simply means "green leaf". Patchouli oil is extracted from the young leaves, which are dried and fermented before being steam distilled. This oil gains in fragrance and potency with age. It is very popular in skin care, especially for healing.
In Eastern countries, patchouli oil is used in potpourri and sachets between clothes and linens to perfume, as well as to ward off bed bugs and insects. This oil is said to have a balancing effect on the emotions and to create an atmosphere of love. Used in an oil burner, it relieves anxiety and depression. Used in bath water, it is said to help treat skin and scalp problems, fungal infections, fluid retention, cellulitis and constipation. It has excellent tissue regeneration properties, accelerates wound healing and fights infections. It therefore helps to treat acne, eczema, wounds and ulcers.
It seems that the patchouli was placed in Indian cashmere shawls before being shipped to Victorian England, to protect the goods from moths. Without that characteristic smell of dried patchouli leaves, the shawls could not be sold in England. In Europe and America, patchouli oil and incense was immensely popular in the 1960s and 1970s among hippies, as the smell of patchouli drowned out body odors and the smell of burnt cannabis. Patchouli was used as a hair conditioner for dreadlocks. In many Asian countries, patchouli is also used as a snakebite antidote.