Patchouli is an aromatic shrub with large green, furry leaves and white-pink flowers. Patchouli is native to Malaysia and India, where it is known as 'puchaput'. The essential oil is steam distilled from the dried, fermented, young leaves of the Patchouli plant.
Historically Patchouli leaves were placed between Indian cashmere shawls en route to Victorian England, to protect the merchandise from moths. In the East, it is still used in pot pourris and in scented sachets placed between linen, to keep bedbugs away. Patchouli essential oil is often associated with the hippie era of the 1960's and early 70's, as it was widely used as a perfume.
It's a bit of a marmite oil this one - you either love it or you hate it (though it's not for internal use or on toast!)
Patchouli oil is soothing, stabilising and slightly hypnotic. It is beneficial for treating stress, depression and anxiety. It helps balance the emotions and combats lethargy. It can help ground and centre people who are prone to day dreams and is also good for meditation for calming 'mental chatter'.
Patchouli essential oil has excellent diuretic properties and can be beneficial for reducing water retention and the appearance of cellulite. It is also reputed to be a powerful aphrodisiac!!