The Patchouli hails from the mint family of herbs. It is bushy with erect stems and reaches to around 2.5 ft in height. Cultivated extensively in the tropical Asian regions, it has a heavy scent and has been abundantly used in the production of perfumes. The plant does not require direct sunlight and thrives well in hot climates. Rain and watering make it recover quickly. In TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is one of the classical herbal formulas.
The oldest branch of the shrub is stout and round while the younger ones are a little square and dense with pubescence. When rubbed the plant emits a unique aroma. The flowers are purple in colour. This multiple-branched herbaceous shrub has several medicinal applications and is the source of a popular essential oil. The oil is usually steam-distilled and extracted from the young leaves and fermented prior to the distillation process. The oil tends to improve with age.
Perfume: Extensively used in modern industrial products such as laundry detergents
A potent insect repellent
East Asian incense – surged in popularity during the 1960s
Herbal tea making
Antidepressant: Works as an antidepressant with aromatherapy
Astringent: Soothes contractions of the nerves and muscles
Deodorant: Eliminates body odour
Diuretic: Removes the toxins out of the body by enhancing the frequency of urination
Cytophylactic: Stimulates the growth of new and healthy cells in the body
Antiphlogistic: Clears inflammation and irritations that result in a fever and even relieves the fever
Aphrodisiac: Treats impotency
Long used in Asian medicine Patchouli can treat both hair and skin problems:
(a). Cures dermatitis, eczema, chapped and dry skin
(b). Helps oily scalp and successfully addresses dandruff