For centuries, Indians are known to have used essential oil for different purposes. However, many essential oils are not so popular among us and using them can make a whole lot of difference in our daily lives. Among many of those lesser talked about oils is patchouli oil also known as Pogostemon cablin. Patchouli is a species of bushy herb from the mint family.
It comes from the word patchoi that means 'to scent' and is also known as sugandhara in Hindi. This essential oil is extracted from the fragrant leaves as well as the white-violet-marked flowers from the plant. This oil is light yellow or light brown and has a strong, earthy and moderately sweet aroma. In addition, the oil gets better with age and turns into a deep amber with a smooth and rich aroma.
Let me point out some beneficial properties of this earthy oil. To start with, it has many constituents, such as alpha and beta patchoulene, alpha bulnesene, caryophyllene, nor patchoulenol, seychellene and pogostol among several others. It also contains patchouli alcohol which is an essential compound with neuroprotective, anti-influenza, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of patchouli oil
Patchouli oil's health gains are ascribed to its astringent, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic and cytophylactic properties. We can use this essential oil in varied health conditions such as:
Inflammation: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, this oil can help soothe inflammation and/or irritation on the body. It also works on reducing the swelling from the body for inflammation-related conditions, like gout and arthritis. Mix three to four drops of this oil in half a cup of warm sesame oil and massage gently to help control inflammation.
Infections: Patchouli oil helps inhibit fungal growth on our body and protects the body from various infections including athlete’s foot. You can use one to two drops directly on the area of infection to inhibit fungal growth.
Cold/Cough/Flu: This oil can bolster our immune system to avoid allergies and control colds, influenza and tonsillitis. Plus it also helps fight infections that cause fever and reduce your body temperature. Use two drops in a diffuser or inhale slowly to calm your mind and help improve your immunity.
Sexual problems: This mighty essential oil helps stimulate the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone in the body which help with sex drive, libido, erectile dysfunction, sexual anxiety, etc. Patchouli leaves are used to make a herbal infusion which helps in many conditions like these. In parts of India, patchouli leaves are also eaten as a vegetable or used as a seasoning in a dry form.
Healthy skin: Proved to be highly nourishing for the skin, it helps in replenishing the water moisture levels of the skin, hence keeping the skin deeply hydrated. The rich antioxidant properties in the oil keep the skin healthy from within by boosting circulation which increases oxygen to the organs and cells and helps the skin to retain a youthful appearance.
(Please use the essential oil under the guidance of an expert)