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Did You Know Patchouli Had This Many Uses?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked


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  • Patchouli has long been prized in Asia and the Far East; it’s used as both perfume and bug repellent and as a pain reliever
  • Patchouli is used in aromatherapy to boost mood, relieve insomnia and calm nervousness; used topically it may help ease pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • It has an antiemetic effect by reducing exaggerated contractions in the gastrointestinal tract, thus reducing nausea and vomiting
  • It is active against some viruses, bacteria and fungi; oral preparations act as a prebiotic with a positive effect on the gut microbiome
  • Patchouli is a warm weather herb, easy to grow indoors or outside in hardiness zones 10 and 11. Consider using your own leaves to make an oil diffusion or tea

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a perennial herb related to the ever-popular oregano, mint and lavender, all members of the Lamianceae family. The plants are native to Malaysia and the Philippines. Since it doesn’t produce seeds, it’s grown by taking cuttings from another plant.

The plant has a bushy growth and produces pale pink flowers. For centuries patchouli has been cultivated for the essential oil. Both the leaves and flowers are fragrant, but it’s the leaves that are harvested to produce the oil.

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