What is Patchouli?
Patchouli is a wonderful fragrant green leafy perennial herb and is associated with the mint family. It has a rich and colourful past and is known as the “scent of seduction” with its rich, strong, powerful, earthy, herbaceous and woody aroma. Patchouli essential oil is also said to be the strongest of all essential oils obtained from plants.
Native to South-East Asia today it can be found in many parts of the world, however, it grows best in hot, tropical climates. I grow it in pots but it needs to be in very large tubs as it can grow up to 3 feet high. It is also rather a thirsty plant and requires lots of watering.
Patchouli has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries, particularly throughout Asia and there is some conjecture as to its origins and there are many variations to its name. However, its current name is believed to originate from the Indian Tamils and is derived from the Tamil word ‘pacculi’.
Historical Uses of Patchouli
Patchouli was widely used in Asia as it is believed to help prevent the spread of disease. Healing properties of patchouli, in China, Japan and Malaysia it was used to treat colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and halitosis.
In Japan and Malaysia, it was used as an antidote to poisonous snakebites. However, it came to prominence in the Western world when it was introduced into Europe in the 1800s via the silk trade and the importation of Indian shawls and fabrics.
Patchouli leaves were placed throughout the precious and valuable cargo to repel insects, in particular, moths. The distinct aroma soon became synonymous with true oriental fabrics and discerning buyers would only purchase goods that smelled of Patchouli.
But today perhaps it is best known to represent the Hippie movement. Some say it was mainly due to its particularly strong scent and ability to mask other certain herbal aromas also associated with the hippie era.
While others believe it was due to “The Hippie Trail” a route throughout Asia that many young backpackers traversed during the 1960s and 70s in an effort to find spiritual enlightenment and who later returned home with Patchouli oil and incense as a reminder of their journey.
But it could also be because of its properties after all Patchouli is known as the “scent of seduction” and free love and sexual liberation were very much part of this generation. Furthermore, the scent of Patchouli oil appeals both to males and females making it even more potent.
Patchouli Spiritual Meaning
Patchouli’s spiritual meaning. Patchouli. (Botanical name: Pogostemon cablin or Pogostemon patchouli, depending on the species) is also used for protection, self-defence, banishing, releasing, grounding and the Underworld and for Voodoo can be substituted for “Goofer dust” or “Graveyard dust” because of its smell when damp. Anoint windows or doors with Patchouli oil for protection or scatter leaves to repel negative energies and entities.
Elemental Association: Earth
Astrological Sign: Scorpio
Deity Associations: Aphrodite, Pan, Osain
Gender: Feminine with masculine overtones
Patchouli either as leaves and/or essential oil is a vital ingredient for every Green Witch. I love my Patchouli plant, and to be able to go and touch its leaves to release its potent aroma is very special. If you are fortunate to have your own plant.
There are many uses for Patchouli oil whether it be for aromatherapy or ritual purposes, its distinctive, strong and exotic aroma combined with its physical, magickal and spiritual properties make it a firm favourite today with many practitioners just as it has been for many centuries. I hope you too enjoy the many benefits Patchouli plants and its essential oil offer.
Patchouli Magical Properties
Patchouli metaphysical properties. Patchouli is extensively used within Wicca, Pagan and Voodoo ritual workings and its exotic aroma is used in potpourri, incense blends, and anointing oil to promote love, wealth and passion. It is a vital component in love potions and magick charms.
As it is oil prosperity it is used in money rituals to bring fast luck, employment and increase business opportunities. Patchouli also enhances physical stamina and increases libido, further enhancing its reputation as the “scent of seduction”.
Patchouli Love Spell
Add a few drops of patchouli oil to a little base oil and rub behind your ears or wrists or carry a few dried leaves in a charm bag to attract a lover.
Patchouli Wealth Spell
Patchouli attracts prosperity, so anoint green candles with the oil for money rituals. Add a drop of oil directly onto cash, or include a few dried leaves in your purse or wallet to attract abundance.
Extensively used within Voodoo as either an oil, powder, bath or floor wash, Patchouli is associated with withdrawing money and fast luck but must be used sparingly. Add a few drops to your bath while you relax and meditate on the success you crave.
Patchouli Spell To Excite Passion
Add Cinnamon and Jasmine to Patchouli and a few drops of carrier oil to seduce that special someone.
Patchouli Aromatherapy recipes
To make your own macerated oil pick the top leaves and dry them out for about 24 hours or so (make sure leaves do not touch each other during the drying process). Fill a clean sterilised jar with a carrier oil of your choice, I find Sunflower, Sweet Almond, or Jojoba oils work well.
Chop leaves finely and add to jar, add 5% Vitamin E or Wheatgerm Oil. Shake well, make sure that all your leaves are completely immersed in the oil. Store in a cool dark place. Shake well every day for approximately one month.
Patchouli Oil Uses And Benefits
Patchouli leaves are used for essential oil production via steam distillation, and it’s pretty purple-white flowers produce the seeds for regeneration. Today the essential oil is widely used in the fragrance and cosmetic industry and is the base note for many of the world’s leading perfumers.
Amber or dark orange essential oil, Patchouli is one of the few herbs that actually improves with age. Add to this its ability to be a fixative, in that it slows the evaporation of other, more volatile oils so that their aroma may be released over a longer period of time, making this oil extremely useful. It is also extensively used in the food and beverage industry where it is used as a masking agent for unpleasant tastes and smells.
Aromatherapy & Home Use
Patchouli is extensively used in skin care to treat acne, athlete’s foot, cracked and chapped skin, dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, fungal infections, hair care, impetigo, insect repellent, sores, oily hair and skin, open pores, wounds, and wrinkles. Patchouli Herb Therapeutic Properties: Antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, calmative, cicatrizing, insect deterrent.