Patchouli Oil For Depression and Skin Health

Updated on February 7th, 2020
patchouli oil

Patchouli oil is derived from the leaves of the Patchouli plant. It is an essential oil, a type of aromatic herb. Patchouli essential oil has a warm and musky scent. It has traditionally been used in folk medicine. It helps to cure dandruff, and skin irritation like acne, itchiness, and eczema.

Patchouli Oil Uses

Patchouli oil has a very woody, spicy-sweet scent. Because of this property, it is often used as an additive in perfumes and scents. Apart from this very common application Patchouli oil, it is also used for:

  • Treating skin discomforts
  • Relieving depression
  • Easing symptoms of cold, headache et cetera
  • Treating oily hair and dandruff
  • Controlling appetite
  • It also acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent
  • It can also be added in low concentrations as an additive for candies and baked goods.

Patchouli Oil Benefits

Apart from being used for its aromatherapeutic benefits, Patchouli Oil has other benefits too. Here’s a comprehensive list of its health benefits.

1. Aids Skin health

Healthy Skin
Image: Shutterstock

When Patchouli oil(1) is used topically on the skin, it provides many benefits. It makes the skin look vibrant and makes it feel smoother than before. It has also been used for a long time to slow the signs of aging on the skin.

This oil helps in tightening and toning the skin, thus making it look youthful. It can also be used to massage the face and body as it helps remove blemishes and provides relief to acne-prone skin.

2. Boasts of Anti-Inflammatory Properties

There have been several studies that prove that Patchouli oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Our immune cell produces a variety of chemicals that aggravate inflammation. In a study, it was found that pre-treating macrophages (immune cells) with Patchouli alcohol lowered the rate at which these molecules are produced upon stimulation.

[ Read: Tea Tree Oil Benefits ]

3. Patchouli Oil for Depression and Anxiety

Patchouli oil’s mood-enhancing scent can help patients with depression and anxiety. When inhaled, the smell receptors in the brain process the fragrance as warm, grounding, and emotionally balancing. This helps the brain to relax with a calming effect on emotions. Also, 1-2 drops of Patchouli oil on your pillow can help people with insomnia and sleep better.

4. Strengthens Hair

Healthy Hair

This oil is also beneficial for your hair. Patchouli oil has been proven to moisturize the scalp and in reducing dandruff. It helps in strengthening hair. Adding 5 drops of it to some water and applying to the hair helps deep conditions it.

5. Boasts of Antibacterial Properties

Disease-causing bacteria affect a host and overcome the body’s defense mechanism via bio-films and virulence factors. It has recently been studied that Patchouli oil was able to disrupt biofilms and some virulence factors of methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus(2).

6. Aids Weight Loss

It has sometimes been listed as a good option for weight loss. Some research has been conducted to test the truth, like this study on rats. The study inferred that inhaling the scent of patchouli oil had an effect on the weights of these rats. No significant difference was found, though.

[ Read: Peppermint Oil Benefits ]

Side Effects

  • It does not occur often, but you need to be careful of elicit irritation or allergies that can happen on the skin if Patchouli oil is applied topically.
  • It also affects blood clotting. Hence people taking blood-thinning medications or people with bleeding disorders like hemophilia should avoid using Patchouli oil.

How to Use Patchouli oil?

Patchouli oil is used in two ways, either topically or inhalation, as part of aromatherapy.

Topical Application

It is advisable that you conduct thorough research and know about guidelines for diluting it before you apply any such oil directly to your skin. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy says that every essential oil blend for skin application should contain a concentration of 1-5% of the essential oil in it.

For topical application, essential oils can be blended with carrier oils like Jojoba.


Patchouli oil can also be used for aromatherapy through methods like diffusers or steam inhalation. Similar to the process of topical application, here too, the essential oil should be diluted before use.

Take Away

Patchouli oil is an essential oil extract that is often used to treat skin conditions, relieve stress and anxiety et cetera. It can be applied topically or inhaled as part of aromatherapy. These uses can tremendously help reap the benefit of its anecdotal properties.

[ Read: Cedarwood Essential Oil Benefits ]


1. Can you drink patchouli oil?

Patchouli oil is safer when applied topically or inhaled as aromatherapy. It should ideally be blended with other essential oils. However, you can ingest this oil by mixing one-two drops of the oil with a teaspoon of honey.

2. How do you get rid of Patchouli smell?

If you have applied patchouli oil to fabrics, get rid of the smell by washing it with detergent or dry cleaning it.

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