Patchouli Essential Oil – Uses, Benefits and DIY

Patchouli essential oil is popular and amazing, but let’s learn about its source. Pogostemon cablin is a bushy, perennial herb, which grows up to 3 feet or 1 meter in length. It is native to tropical regions of Asia, particularly in Indonesia, India, and China.  Its stem is sturdy and square-shaped covered with soft, downy hairs. Its leaves are broad and ovate in shape and are arranged in pairs with a velvety texture. The leaves are dark green in color when it is mature. It has a distinct aroma reminiscent of earthliness.

And what about its flowers? The patchouli plant produces small, pale-pink to white flowers and it blooms late in the summer to early fall. The flowers are arranged in long, slender spikes. The plant grows in humid climates and on soil that is rich in nutrients. Ergo, the plant and its oil are rich in nutrients.

Patchouli is valued for its essential oil. This organic oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the plant through a process called steam distillation. The oil so obtained is thick, dark-brown liquid with a strong, musky aroma. The potent aroma of patchouli oil is the reason it is used in perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. It is also used as a natural insect repellent.

But cosmetics is not the only reason patchouli is popular. In addition to its fragrance and insect-repelling properties, patchouli is used in traditional medicine for ages. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, because of which it has been used to treat a range of ailments – digestive issues, skin conditions and respiratory problems.

Overall, Pogostemon cablin is a versatile plant as it has many uses. Its distinct aroma and medicinal properties have made it a popular choice amongst essential oils, and its popularity continues to grow. Its popularity is fuelled by the many benefits of patchouli essential oil. Patchouli essential oil has many uses and benefits.

Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

1. Oil for Weight Loss

Patchouli oil is an essential oil that can aid in weight loss, but be aware that there is a lack of human studies to support this claim. A 2006 study which was conducted on rats investigated the impact of inhaling patchouli oil it focused on body weight and food consumption. The study, however, did not find any significant difference in the body weight or food intake. But many people do use this essential oil for weight loss regimen. Needless to say, further research is needed to know the success of patchouli oil for weight loss in humans.

2. Antiseptic Properties

Patchouli essential oil has compounds that have antiseptic properties. This oil can be used to was wounds and burns and prevent sepsis.

The use and sale of hand washes exploded exponentially after the pandemic. The peer-reviewed journal, and a scholarly journal, Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases published a study that investigated the effects of adding patchouli oil to hand wash. It found that the hand wash that had patchouli essential oil was more effective in reducing the normal hand flora colonies (1).

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Patchouli oil is used to clean the skin and prevent acne and other skin inflammation issues. The non-comedogenic nature of the oil makes it safe for application on the skin as it can remove impurities from the skin. The is proven to be useful against several skin conditions including dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.

4. Anti-ageing Essential Oil

Patchouli and its oil have ingredients that may slow down rapid ageing experienced by people living in the cities. The good number of antioxidants present in patchouli oil can help retain the youthful radiance of your skin (everyone craves for a radiant skin). When applied to the face, patchouli essential oil can effectively take care of harmful free radicals that are found in the body. It is also known to boost collagen production. Thus, this oil is good for the skin as it minimizes the visibility of age-related blemishes including as wrinkles and dark spots.

5. Helps with Healing

Studies have shown that Patchouli oil possesses properties that can complement accelerating the healing process. The oil has been used in traditional medicine to treat various skin conditions including wounds, scars, and infections. Patchouli oil has antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help prevent infection and inflammation on or near the wounds.

The oil of patchouli is also known to stimulate the growth of new cells and tissues or cellular regeneration. This property is essential for the healing of wounds. The oil can also aid regulate the production of sebum (the oily substance that moisturizes and protects the skin). Proper sebum in the skin prevents dryness and hence maintains healthy skin. Patchouli oil may be beneficial to healing, but always consult with a healthcare professional before using it as a treatment.

6. For Skin and Scalp

Patchouli oil has always been popular for its antifungal properties. This is helpful in maintaining the health of both skin and scalp (hair). Regular use of the oil is necessary to prevent and may be treat fungal infections, which may lead to other skin and scalp issues (itching, redness, and scaling). The essential oil may also help improve hair health as it can help clear up dandruff, which is a common scalp issue caused by the build-up of dead skin cells. Patchouli oil is known as best essential oil for hair loss.

A good scalp massage with Patchouli oil can promote hair growth by stimulating blood flow to the scalp. The compounds in the oil also nourishes the hair follicles. Patchouli essential oil is good for those with dry skin and dry hair type as it is a good sebum regulator. It also controls or regulates excess oiliness of the skin. Hence, patchouli oil when used regularly can be effective in maintaining healthy skin and scalp. In case of scalp health, it may promote hair growth as well.

7. Drive Away Insects

The oil extracted from the patchouli plant has insecticidal properties which can drive away insects from different species. Patchouli is a natural insecticide and disinfectant which is way better than store bought chemical pesticides, which can damage the environment and a person’s health. House flies are irritating. Well, patchouli oil is effective in driving away these pests.

In fact, research found that patchouli oil was the best essential oil in driving away house flies. Another research found that standalone patchouli oil was a toxic oil against two species of mosquitoes. But full disclosure here; the oil was less effective than chemical pesticides.

Uses Of Patchouli Essential Oil

1. Calm the Mind

Patchouli essential oil has a compound called Patchoulol which is known for its grounding properties. The oil can be applied on the neck and temples to reduce stress, and induce calmness. It harmonizes the mood. Diffusing the oil in an aroma diffuses has a stronger effect on the mind.

A randomized control trial investigated the effect of inhaling patchouli oil on stress and anxiety. This study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on 2020, showed that inhaling the aroma reduced the levels of stress (2).

2. EO for Skin Care

When applied topically, essential oils penetrate the skin’s surface and nourish and enrich the skin, which then reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation. It also gives the body enough antioxidants. Patchouli oil can be used in skin care in two ways. Two to four drops of this essential oil can be added to a vegetable oil and applied and massaged on the skin. The oil can also be added to any skincare product and applied on the skin. Both methods work. But the oil needs to be applied regularly to take effect.

3. Patchouli Oil and Oral Care

Patchouli oil is valuable and should be added to your oral care routine mostly because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help reduce plaque and prevent infections including gingivitis, a common gum disease. To use patchouli oil for oral care, add a few drops of the oil to your toothpaste or mouthwash. Or, dilute the oil with a carrier oil, preferably coconut oil or sweet almond oil, and use it as a mouthwash (gargle & spit) or for oil pulling.

To make a mouthwash with patchouli oil, mix 3 to 5 drops of the oil with lukewarm water and swish it in your mouth for a few seconds and then spit it out. For oil pulling with patchouli oil, mix 3 to 5 drops of patchouli oil with any carrier oil and swish it inside your mouth for a good amount of time before spitting it out. Rinse the mouth properly after oil pulling. While using patchouli oil in the mouth, it should be properly diluted and extra care should be taken so that the oil is not ingested. Also confirm that you are not allergic to any of the compounds in the oil.

4. Stress Relief and DIY Blend

Relaxation after a long and tough day is mandatory and a blend of Patchouli essential oil with Peppermint oil will do wonders for the mind and body. Combine the two oils and apply the blended mixture on your forehead, temples, or neck to feel relaxed. Patchouli oil has a grounding effect and peppermint oil has a rejuvenating effect, and both will stabilize the emotions and reduce tension.

5. Patchouli as an Ingredient in Perfumes

Patchouli oil is a popular oil due to its unique aroma and used in many perfumes, colognes, and deodorants. It has a rich, earthy fragrance that can be calming. Patchouli oil is often used as a base note in perfumes, providing a long-lasting and grounding effect. This oil blends well with other essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, sandalwood, ginger, lemongrass, Clary sage, elemi and vanilla. This makes it an ingredient in perfume making that boosts versatility.

It allows perfumers to create a wide range of fragrances that appeal to different people. However, the use of patchouli oil in perfume making is not only due to its scent, but also due to its ability to fix a scent. Being a base note the oil makes the fragrance last longer on the skin. And needless to say, the antibacterial properties of the oil also preserve the fragrance. Patchouli is used in perfume as it adds depth and complexity to perfumes.

6. Homemade Insect Repellent

Patchouli oil has been used as an insect repellent for centuries due to its strong and distinct aroma. The roots of the plant were dried and smoked to drive away pests. The oil of the plant contains compounds such as patchouli alcohol and pogostone, which have insecticidal or insect-repelling properties.

Patchouli oil is a natural insecticide The oil is used by diluting it with water or a carrier oil and applying it to parts of the body to repel insects such as mosquitoes, ants, and flies. By incorporating patchouli essential oil for ants, you can maintain a pest-free environment while enjoying the warm and captivating fragrance it offers.

The oil can also be used in diffusers or humidifiers to repel insects and keep them away. Some studies have shown that patchouli oil is an effective insecticide. The pests that it drives away are mosquitos and termites. In a study, it was found that the aroma of patchouli has a strong repellent effect on mosquitos and it reduced their biting activity. This oil has been shown to be active against termites, thereby protecting wood from damage.

DIY Recipes with Patchouli Essential Oil

Recipe #1 – Aftershave Recipe with Essential Oils


  • 8 drops of patchouli essential oil
  • 8 drops of neroli essential oil
  • 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil.
  • Quarter cup of aloe vera
  • Half a cup of extra virgin olive oil


Mix all the ingredient and apply it on the cheeks and chin after shaving. Add more quantity of ingredients if you are shaving other parts of the body.

Recipe #2 – Refreshing and Rejuvenating Blend


  • 5 drops of patchouli essential oil
  • 8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops of sweet orange essential oil
  • ¼ cup of sweet almond oil


After a tiring day’s work, apply the oils blend on the whole body and relax for half an hour. Then take a hot shower bath to feel relaxed and get good sleep.

Recipe #3 – Grounding Roll-on Perfume


  • Roll on bottle
  • 3 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 3 drops of patchouli essential oil
  • 6 drops of jasmine essential oil
  • Half cup of jojoba oil


This has a strong citrusy aroma. Apply it whenever you are feeling dark and gloomy. It is effective in lifting one’s spirits.

Recipe #4 – Oil Blend for Face


  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of patchouli essential oil
  • 6 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of rosehip oil


Take this blend and apply it on parts of the face. Next, apply the oil all across the face in circular motion. Massage it, till it is completely absorbed.


Patchouli essential oil is extracted from the perennial herb Pogostemon cablin which has several medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The oil can be used for physical and emotional wellbeing. It is largely used for skin and hair care. It is used to take care a range of health issues from stress to acne to repelling insects. It is effective due to its properties including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to use patchouli essential oil?

Patchouli essential oil can be used in the following ways: – 
1. Aromatherapy: Patchouli oil has a warm, earthy, and grounding aroma. One can diffuse the oil in a diffuser, add a few drops to a bath, or inhale it directly from the bottle.
2. Skincare: Patchouli oil has health-related properties that make it an effective ingredient in skincare products. You can add a few drops to your face cream or body lotion or mix it with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your skin.
3. Haircare: Patchouli oil is also great for hair care. Add a few drops to shampoo or conditioner to help strengthen your hair and promote hair health.
4. Massage: Patchouli oil has a relaxing and soothing effect that makes it a popular choice for massages. Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and use it for a relaxing massage.

Can I use patchouli oil on my face?

Yes, you can use or apply patchouli essential oil on your face, but only after mixing or diluting with a carrier oil or face cream or lotion.

Can I put patchouli oil in my hair?

Patchouli essential oil is commonly used for hair care, but it’s not recommended to apply it directly to the hair and scalp without diluting it first with any carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation if used in their undiluted form.
To use patchouli oil for hair care, it’s best to mix a few drops of the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil.

Does patchouli help with hair growth?

Although scientific evidence to support the claim that patchouli essential oil helps with hair growth, but it can promote a healthy scalp and hair. Patchouli oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties that nourish the hair follicles and improve scalp health. It can be added to hair care products or mixed with a carrier oil and massaged onto the scalp. However, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness in promoting hair growth.

  • The effectiveness of patchouli oil as hand sanitizer: a comparative study between two antiseptic brands
  • Effects of Short-Term Inhalation of Patchouli Oil on Professional Quality of Life and Stress Levels in Emergency Nurses: A Randomized Controlled Trial