From hair care to insomnia treatment, patchouli oil boasts some impressive benefits. You may have heard of patchouli due to its link with the hippie culture of the 1960’s.  These days, you will commonly find it in several scented products. This sweet, earthy-scented oil is extracted from the leaves of the Patchouli plant through the process of steam distillation. The bushy herb produces small, pink flowers and grows about two or three feet tall. Patchouli oil’s strong scent has been used in perfumes, incense and even insect repellents. It’s also commonly used in skin care products because of its abilities to help alleviate skin problems. Patchouli essential oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antidepressant that can be used in many home remedies. (1) Read the uses outlined below to learn more about patchouli oil.

Patchouli Oil Uses

1. Reduces Inflammation

Patchouli oil has the ability to fight inflammation in the body. This makes it a natural remedy for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and gout. Furthermore, the oil can also help heal external inflammation, caused by, for example, skin infections or irritations. (2) Rub 5 drops of patchouli essential oil into your hands and massage the inflamed areas.  You can also add a few drops of patchouli oil to a relaxing warm bath. However, if you choose to use this method to fight inflammation, be sure to follow it up with a cold compress. Heat helps pain, but it can also make inflammation worse. Icing the affected area after your bath will help remedy this issue, enabling you to still enjoy your medicinal bath.

2. Relieves Depression

Essential oils in general are fantastic for improving mood. Patchouli essential oil in particular is commonly used in aromatherapy for its antidepressant properties. When inhaled, the oil encourages the release of serotonin and dopamine to reduce feelings of anger, anxiety and anxiousness. Diffuse the oil at home or add 10 drops to a warm bath to relieve anxiety. You may also want to look into using patchouli oil in an essential oil necklace. Doing so will enable you to have this scent available to you all day long in the form of a fashionable piece of jewelry.

3. Prevents Infections

The natural antiseptic properties of patchouli oil work to kill fungi that can cause an infection in cuts or sores. (3) For example, if you are battling athlete’s foot or another fungal infection, you can use patchouli oil to help kill it in no time.  Rub 2-3 drops of patchouli essential oil onto the affected area.

4. Strengthens Skin and Hair

Patchouli essential oil naturally stimulates muscle contractions to prevent hair loss and sagging skin. The oil also promotes the regeneration of new skin cells. To strengthen hair, massage 5 drops of patchouli oil onto your scalp or add it to your conditioner. To promote young, healthy looking skin, add 5 drops of oil to your face was or lotion. This practice is also therapeutic by default, as exposing yourself to the patchouli oil scent in the shower will invigorate your mind. The steam from the hot water will intensify the experience!

5. Minimizes Scars

Patchouli oil promotes quick healing to help minimize the look of scars, caused by acne, measles, or other skin conditions. (4) To help soften the look of scars or speed up healing, rub 2-3 drops of patchouli essential oil onto your hands then apply it to the affected area. You may also choose to mix the patchouli with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba, prior to application.

6. Reduces Insomnia

The sedative properties of patchouli essential oil help promote a more peaceful night’s sleep. Rub 2-3 drops of oil onto your hands and cup your nose to breathe in the oil’s sweet scent. You can also try massaging the oil onto your temples, neck and chest before bed. Alternatively, diffuse the oil next to your bed while you sleep.

7. Repels Bugs

Patchouli essential oil can be used as a natural bug repellent. Create a homemade bug spray or lotion using the oil, or diffuse the oil outside to keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay. This is a much more preferable method of pest control than using store-bought bug sprays. Many of these are often filled with harmful chemicals, all of which smell awful compared to the lovely scent of patchouli!

For a homemade patchouli bug spray: Mix 15 drops of the essential oil with two tablespoons of distilled water in a small glass bottle with a spray dispenser top. Then add in a teaspoon of witch hazel and a teaspoon of a liquid carrier oil.

8. Fights Fever

When you get a fever, you might hesitate to take traditional fever-reducing pills. Many of them can be harsh on the stomach or cause other adverse reactions. However, there are natural topical methods to help bring down a fever, including patchouli oil. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of patchouli essential oil allow it to fight a fever. It does this by killing the infection and reducing inflammation. Additionally, the oil also has cooling properties to help bring down your body temperature. Rub the oil onto your hands, neck and stomach to fight a fever. (5)

9. Flushes Toxins

Patchouli oil is also great for helping your body’s natural detoxification process! When we’re constantly surrounded by air pollution, harsh chemicals, and food contaminated with pesticides, it’s a must to help the body get rid of the gunk. Your body is able to detox on its own, yes, but because of the world we live in, periodically, the body needs a little extra help detoxing. The good news is that patchouli essential oil is a natural diuretic. It works to remove excess salt, water and uric acid from the body. You can use it as a natural cleanse for your gallbladder, kidneys and liver. Consume 3-5 drops of oil by mixing it with lemon water or tea.

10. Naturally Deodorizes

The sweet and spicy aroma of patchouli essential oil naturally masks unpleasant body odor. The oil also works to kill germs and fight fungus. Rub 1-2 drops under your armpits for a natural deodorant or add it to your body lotion. Some people buy patchouli incense for their homes, but why subject your lungs to the irritating smoke? Opt for patchouli oil instead. You can diffuse the oil to deodorize your home.