With its scent of earth and musk, patchouli is hard to forget. Though the herb is often associated with the hippie movement in the 60s, few people realize how many health benefits the oil provides. A member of the mint family, patchouli is a powerful essential oil that grows stronger over time. Unlike other essential oils that lose their potency as time goes by, patchouli's benefits only increase over the years. After learning about its beneficial qualities, you'll likely want to keep a bottle around the house.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Qualities

A recent study showed that patchouli oil is effective in killing 12 types of fungus and 20 bacteria strains. Mix a few drops of patchouli with water in a spray bottle for an all-natural cleaner that will safely sanitize kitchen and bathroom countertops. 


Bug Repellent

A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research shows that out of 38 essential oils, undiluted patchouli oil comes out in the top four (along with citronella, clove, and Zanthoxylum limonella) for its ability to repel bugs for up to two hours.


Lower Blood Pressure and Promote Relaxation

People have sought the calming qualities of patchouli's woodsy scent for centuries. Recent research shows the herb even has the potential to lower blood pressure. The study asked participants to inhale patchouli oil and measured the effects on their systolic blood pressure. The result: participants' blood pressure decreased.


Skin and Hair Healing Qualities

Patchouli can work magic on irritated or dry skin and dry hair. People with dandruff, eczema, and other ailments can benefit from a patchouli treatment. Combine patchouli with a carrier oil and apply a small amount to your skin or scalp. Its astringent qualities will help balance out dryness or oiliness.


Anti-Depressant Qualities

Patchouli oil is one of the most common oils in aromatherapy, and it's no wonder why: the scent can promote happiness and a brighter outlook on life. Experts believe this strong-scented oil affects hormones such as serotonin, which are responsible for creating positive feelings.


Anti-Inflammatory Qualities

A study published in the journal Fitoterapia shows patchouli possesses anti-inflammatory qualities as well as antibacterial and antifungal benefits. Pain from inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis can be treated with patchouli. Simply apply a light application of patchouli essential oil, mixed with a carrier like coconut oil, to the affected body part.


Aromatherapy and Perfume

In addition to relieving depression, patchouli essential oil is a key ingredient in many popular perfumes. The musky, plant-like scent adds a deeper dimension to perfume and cologne. For aromatherapy, patchouli blends well with many other essential oils, including lavender and sandalwood. Mix massage oil with a few drops of each for a deeply relaxing treatment.


Aphrodisiac Qualities

The aphrodisiac qualities of patchouli have been treasured around the globe for centuries. Patchouli is said to help invigorate the libido for both sexes. It is also believed to ease impotence and other sexual problems, though there isn't much scientific evidence for this. The herb and oil may also increase feelings of emotional intimacy and romance.


Regulate Breathing and Promote Relaxation

Patchouli is an excellent choice for relaxation and to help relieve depression. A key component of meditation is a focus on the breath, and patchouli can help regulate breathing. Patchouli is often used to enhance meditation, prayer, and other spiritual activities.


Boost Immunity

Along with other essential oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint, patchouli is thought to boost immunity by helping the body ward off infections. Try adding patchouli to an essential oil diffuser when cold and flu season comes around. A quick inhalation from a bottle of patchouli before heading out the door may also help keep colds at bay.


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