Patchouli, from Tamil paccuḷi, is from the Lamiaceae plant family, commonly called the “mint” or “deadnettle” family. The plant grows as a bushy herb, with erect stems reaching around 2.5 feet in height and bearing small, pale pink/white flowers. Native to the tropical regions of Asia, it is now cultivated throughout China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia. The heavy and strong scent of patchouli has been used for centuries in perfumes and, more recently, in incense, insect repellants, and complimentary medicine.
Patchouli essential oil was traditionally used in Asian folk medicine to treat hair problems like dandruff and oily scalp, as well as skin irritations like dryness, acne, and eczema. Both relaxing and uplifting, Patchouli eases stress and anxiety and can relieve depression. Patchouli may also ease the symptoms of colds, headaches and stomach upsets.