Well, in the beginning of February I purchased a small 10 ml vial of certified organic patchouli. I also promised myself that I would give the oil a fair shot and research its historical use before uncapping and taking my first sniff. I swore that this time I would be completely unbiased and give patchouli the chance to grow on me; and no, I did not also buy a black light or lava lamp!
Patchouli oil is steam-distilled from dried leaves and is native to India and Malaysia. During the Victorian era, exporters placed patchouli leaves between cashmere blankets and shawls to prevent moth infestations. It is still placed in linens or bedding in the East to ward off bed bugs. In India it also had a reputation of being an aphrodisiac due to the use of the oil during Tantric sexual practices. Unfortunately for patchouli, people are either repulsed by it like myself or find it to be sensual and luxurious.
There are so many therapeutic benefits - from being antiseptic and antiviral, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory, to being used as a natural diuretic and in reducing fluid retention when applied topically. For the mind, it creates a sense of peace and has been used for centuries in prayer and meditation. Patchouli has also been known to relieve headaches and ward off hunger.
Cosmetically, patchouli has been used to treat eczema, acne, weeping sores and has been a staple in many potions geared to a more mature skin. It works wonders when mixed with tea tree oil for fungal infections such as athlete's foot. If you mix a few drops into your hair conditioner, it acts as a natural anti-dandruff treatment without the drying effects!
Like all essential oils there are a few precautions to be aware of. Patchouli should be used sparingly as it can cause loss of appetite and has been known to cause sleep disturbances.
Here are a few of my newly discovered easy recipes.
Daydream Bath:4 drops of patchouli
Massage oil blend to be added to any carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, etc:
Abdominal pain relief treatment to be added to one 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and applied by rubbing in a clockwise direction:
Okay, so I have been experimenting with patchouli for over a month now and I have to admit that I selected it because I thought that it would assist me in the Valentine's Day department. Having said that, it still would not be the first thing that I would reach for. I will continue to use occassionally as a bath additive with maybe a touch of sandalwood. It was definitely a treat and was very different than my trusted lavender and geranium blend.
Do you have any great essential oil experiences or recipes that you would like to share? Have you tried any of either this month's or last month's ezine blends and would like to share comments or ideas? We would love to hear them! Please feel free to contact us at here.