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Patchouli brings about happy peaceful feelings for most. Although patchouli has been used for thousands of years, most of us associate it with the 60’s and 70’s hippie movement. Some people love it, some people hate it, but patchouli has many uses and can be very beneficial.

What Is Patchouli Oil?

Patchouli oil is derived from a large evergreen that is a member of the Labiatae family, and a close relative of mint, lavender, and sage. The name “patchouli” (Pogostemon cablin or Pogostemon patchouli) is said to come from the ancient Tamil words “patchai” and “ellai,” meaning “green leaf.” Others say it comes from the Hindustan word “patchoi,” meaning “to scent,” referring to its use as a fragrance.

Patchouli oil is extracted from the lightly fragrant leaves and the white, violet-marked flowers of the plant. It’s a thick, light yellow or brown liquid, with a strong, musky-earthy and slightly sweet aroma. What sets patchouli oil apart from other herbal oils is that it gets better with age. Its light yellow color turns into a deep amber, and the scent becomes smoother and richer.

Uses of Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil has been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine, especially in Malaysia, China, and Japan. It is used to treat skin and hair problems, such as dermatitis, eczema, acne, dry chapped skin, dandruff, and oily scalp. It also has wound healing and scar reducing properties, as well as aphrodisiac effects. Today, patchouli oil is used as a fragrance in skin and personal care products as well as air fresheners and incense. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is said to help relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. Its calming effect is very effective for relaxation and meditation.

If you’re a patchouli lover or just getting started, check out Hip Mountain Mama’s line of patchouli products here