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19 Amazing Health Benefits Of Patchouli Oil & Its Side Effect

Patchouli oil is derived from the leaves of the plant named patchouli that is a type of aromatic herb, Patchouli oil is an essential oil that has got several health benefits.

Let us continue reading to know about some of the best health benefits of patchouli oil.

Patchouli Oil: An Introduction

Patchouli oil is known to work as an antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, antiphlogistic, astringent, cytophylatic, cicatrizant, deodorant, diuretic, fungicide, insecticide, febrifuge, sedative, and as a tonic substance.

The leaves and the stems of the patchouli plant or Pogostemon cablin or Pogostemon patchouli are harvested and allowed to dry out so as to produce the essential oil.

Once they are dried they undergo the process of distillation so as to extract the patchouli oil.

Alpha patchoulene, beta patchoulene, alpha bulnese, alpha guaiane, caryophyllene, patchouli alcohol, norpatchoulenol, pogostol, ans seychellene are some of the basic components of patchouli essential oil. The oil has got a characteristic scent that might be sweet, woody, and spicy; because of which it is usually used as a scent additive in various products such as in perfumes, incense, and cosmetics.

19 Amazing Health Benefits Of Patchouli Oil

19 Amazing Health Benefits Of Patchouli Oil:

Patchouli oil has a lot of health benefits such as treating skin problems like acne, dermatitis, and dry skin; relieving depression, easing symptoms of fever, cold, and stomach upset; offering relief from stress or anxiety; controlling appetite and also as an antibacterial, antifungal agent and as an insecticide. Let’s take a deeper look at the various health benefits of patchouli oil.

Prevent Inflammation:

One of the most well-known health benefits of patchouli oil is that it prevents inflammation. Patchouli oil soothes the inflammation and irritation, especially if it is caused due to fever; and it even offers relief from the fever itself. This means patchouli oil is beneficial for treating a lot of skin conditions, and also internal inflammation caused due to conditions like gout and arthritis.

There are several studies which have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effect of patchouli oil.

Swelling is a large part of the inflammatory response of our body. One recent study conducted in mice has found that a component present in patchouli oil decreased chemically induced swelling in their ears and their paws.(1)

Immune cells are known to produce a lot of chemicals that are associated with inflammation. A study from the year 2011 has reported that pre-treating immune cells called Macrophages with patchouli alcohol have lowered the levels of these molecules which are being produced by the cells when they were stimulated.(2)

Immune cells must even migrate to the inflammatory site. A study from 2016 in cultured cells has found that patchouli oil has reduced the migration of immune cells called neutrophils.(3)

So, all these above findings are really promising for the use of patchouli oil and its components in treating various inflammatory conditions.

It Soothes Inflammation:

Patchouli oil is known to protect wounds and ulcers from developing several infections and getting septic. This is probably the most important property of patchouli oil, as small wounds in the skin can result in various serious infections, including tetanus; in case the wound was inflicted with iron or rusty objects. Patchouli oil even protects against that possibility.

Patchouli Oil Acts As A Pain Relief:

One study from 2011 assessed the patchouli extracts’ effects pain-relieving effects in mice.(4) The researchers have found that by orally giving patchouli extract to the mice has reduced their response to pain in various tests. They have noted that this effect of pain-relieving might be linked with the anti-inflammatory effects of patchouli oil.

It Has Got Astringent Properties:

This essential oil stimulates contraction of nerves, muscles, and skin. This aids in strengthening the hold of gums on the teeth, preventing sagging skin, loosening of muscle tissue, and hair loss. The astringency of patchouli oil even helps to stop hemorrhaging by contracting blood vessels. In this way, patchouli oil can act as an anti-aging substance since the loosening of skin and muscles is mostly associated with getting old.

Patchouli Oil Acts As An Aphrodisiac:

Patchouli oil is also known to be beneficial in treating sexual issues like loss of libido, impotence, erectile dysfunctions, disinterest in sex, sexual anxiety, and frigidity. The oil works well with both women and men and stimulates the sexual hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which boosts their sex drive. It must be mentioned that patchouli oil has been used as an aphrodisiac for several years.

Patchouli Oil Speeds Healing:

Patchouli oil is also known to be beneficial in speeding up the healing process of wounds and cuts, and also hastens the fading of their scars. It is also effective in eliminating marks left by acne, boils, pox, and measles.

Patchouli Oil is Beneficial in Stimulating Blood Circulation:

Patchouli oil stimulates the circulation of blood. It is known to stimulate the new cells’ generation and promote growth. It even helps in the production of RBCs, which can help in enhancing your energy levels. By increasing the blood circulation, patchouli oil also increases the oxygenation of cells and organs throughout the body, thus increasing their functionality and enhancing the body’s metabolism. This oil is known to be great at regenerating new skin cells; thus maintaining the health, charm, and youthfulness of the skin.

It Relieves Bad Odor:

Patchouli oil relieves bad odor because of its strong, sweet, musky and spicy aroma. However, it must be strictly noted that the oil should be diluted before using, as the strong aroma of the oil might actually be extremely strong for the olfactory senses of some people.

It Has Antibacterial Activity:

There are disease-causing bacteria that use specific things such as biofilms and virulence factors for effectively colonizing a host and effectively overcoming its defenses.

A recent study has observed that patchouli oil was quite able to disrupt biofilms and also some virulence factors of MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains.(5)

One more study looked at the blend of several essential oils, which included the patchouli oil. (6) The investigators assessed if this blend was able enough to inhibit the growth of bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus.

The inhibition that was observed for the blend was quite similar to that observed for liquid soap. Patchouli essential oil by itself was also found to inhibit the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that was similar to the blend, and it was even found that patchouli oil inhibited the growth of S.pneumoniae much better than the blend did.

Weight Loss Benefits of Patchouli Oil :

One more health benefit of patchouli oil is that it helps in weight loss. Though there are no human studies performed for evaluating this, one small study in the year 2016 in rats had looked at the effect that inhaling this essential oil had on factors like body weight and the amount of food consumed.(7)

It was found by the researchers that there was no significant difference in body weight or the amount of food that was consumed between the rats that had inhaled the oil and those rats that didn’t.

It Stimulates Urination:

Patchouli oil increases the frequency of urination and also the quantity of urine. This, in turn, aids in losing weight, increasing appetite, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and removing toxins out of the body. Urination removes excess of water, unwanted salts, and uric acid; which reduces our chances of developing kidney and gallbladder stones, and also conditions like gout.

Patchouli Oil Inhibits Fungal Growth:

What more patchouli oil is good for? Well, it is known to inhibit fungal growth and infection, and thus protecting some of the infections like the Athlete’s foot. It must be noted that at times fungal infections could be quite serious; particularly when they attack your respiratory system via inhalation. Patchouli oil is quite effective in protecting your body from these fungal infections.

One recent study took a look at the antifungal activity of 60 essential oils against 3 species of disease-causing fungus; namely Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus niger, and Candida albicans. From this, it was found that patchouli oil had noteworthy antifungal activity against the fungi Cryptococcus neoformans.(8)

We will also mention that the antifungal activity for Aspergillus niger was also observed. However, the it was noted by the researchers that previous studies have not demonstrated the same results.

It Relieves Depression:

It becomes really difficult for people to deal with their emotion and feelings if they are suffering from depression. Patchouli oil works really great for individuals with depression. It helps such patients to get over their feelings of loss, sadness and fills them with new hope. This is the reason why patchouli oil is used frequently in aromatherapy. This oil actually uplifts the mood and reduces disappointment and also relaxes tension in most of the depressed people. This happens because of the impact that the inhalation of patchouli oil has got on the hormones and several chemical reactions in the mind and the body. Sadness or frustration, feelings of anger and anxiety disappear because the patchouli oil stimulates the release of pleasure hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.

Patchouli Oil Reduces Fever:

Patchouli oil also reduces the temperature of the body in case of fever by fighting the infection that has been causing it. Being an antiphlogistic, patchouli oil relieves inflammation which helps in bringing down a fever, and pain caused due to the inflammation.

Patchouli Oil Sedates Hypersensitivity:

Patchouli oil soothes inflammation as mentioned earlier. It also sedates cough, convulsions, and epileptic attacks that are being the results of hypersensitivity or hyper-activity of the nerves. This oil can even stop the breakouts because of allergies by sedating the hypersensitivity of the body towards specific elements. Patchouli oil has got antidepressant and sedative qualities, which are actually essential for relaxing the body and promoting healthy and sound night sleep.

It Acts As A Good Tonic:

It also acts as an excellent tonic for the body. It optimizes the body’s metabolic functions such as the food decomposition and absorption of nutrients by toning up your liver, stomach, as well as intestines, and thus helping you to grow healthier and stronger.

Patchouli oil takes absolute care of proper excretion, regulates the endocrinal secretion of enzymes and hormones, and also tones up your nervous system; thus making you more active alert. It must also be added that patchouli oil boosts your immune system, which in turn helps to protect you from a lot of infections.

Patchouli Oil Is Good For Skin Health:

One of the most important health benefits of patchouli oil is for your skin health. A study from the year 2014 treated mice with patchouli oil for around 2 hours and then exposed the mice to UV radiation, which can age them and also result in skin damage.(9) Using some tests, the researchers assessed the potential protective effects of the oil. It was found that the mice that were treated with Patchouli oil had a formation of less wrinkles and an increased content of collagen.

It is essential to have some more research on it so as to know if there is a similar kind of benefit in people.

It Acts As An Insecticide:

This oil is known for its insecticidal properties and this has been recognized since ancient times. It is very effective at keeping insects away. Patchouli oil is frequently used in various sprays, vaporizers, fumigants, body lotions, and incense sticks. It can also be used to wash clothes and be used to keep away the ants, mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, lice, moths, and flies, by mixing it with water.

It must be noted that only a few drops of the patchouli oil is essential to keep the insects away. You can even burn the oil in a room and have its effect lasting for a long time.

There are several studies that have studied on the insecticidal properties of patchouli oil. A study from 2008 has found that when compared to various other essential oil, patchouli oil was found to be the most efficient oil at killing house flies, when they were topically applied.(10)

One more study also found that this oil was toxic to three species of urban ants.(11)

There was also one study in 2015 that tested the toxicity of various commercially available essential oils on 2 species of mosquitoes.(12) It was found that patchouli essential oil was the most toxic.

However, the authors of the study also noted that its effect is still significantly less toxic that many man-made pesticides.

Few Other Health Benefits Of Patchouli Oil:

Some other health benefits of patchouli oil include its benefits in treating psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and sores. Moreover, the oil is also beneficial in treating constipation and it can also be used as a temporary antidote against several insect bites.

Benefits Of Patchouli Oil & Its Side Effect

Side Effects Of Patchouli Oil:

In general there are no severe side effects of patchouli oil, however, you must remain cautious while using the oil on your skin for the first time and always ensure that only diluted patchouli oil is applied to the skin. You must also be made aware that this essential oil can affect blood clotting and thus people who have bleeding disorders, those who take blood thinners or those who have or will be undergoing major surgery, should avoid using it.

Moreover, it is always important for you to consult with your doctor before using the oil.

Final Thoughts:

Patchouli oil coming from the leaves of the patchouli plant is usually used for treating several ill-health conditions including various skin conditions, controlling appetite, relieving stress, and many more that we discussed earlier in the article. So, if you have been impressed with all the health benefits of patchouli oil and want to give it a try then do make sure that you first consult with your doctor before adding it to treat any of the health conditions that you might be suffering from.

NOTE: Avoid patchouli oil if you are taking blood thinners if you have a bleeding disorder, in case you had a recent surgery or if you will be undergoing a surgery in the near future and if you are pregnant or a lactating mother.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 6, 2020

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