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Patchouli Leaf

  • Pogostemon cablin
  • Origin: India
Patchouli Leaf


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Common Name

Standardized: patchouli
Other: guang huo xiang

Botanical Name

Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae


Pogostemon patchouly


Most people know patchouli as the ever popular incense scent from the Sixties, when it seemed to be every flower child's favorite perfume. The scent has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, and is said to attract the opposite sex. It's slightly musty, pungent smell is unmistakable and pervasive, and it was often used as a fixative for other scents, or to mask more objectionable scents.

Most people, however, are not aware of the other uses of patchouli. The furry-leafed shrub grows to about four feet in its native Malaysia, but can be grown as a houseplant throughout the world if you avoid the cold. Over the centuries, patchouli has had numerous medicinal uses.

Parts Used

Dried leaves, and the essential oil

Typical Preparations

Essential oil, infusion of leaves as a tea (although rarely) in topical applications and as an incense.


Patchouli enjoys the distinction of being both well-known and lesser known. Most are familiar with its scent and its uses in aromatherapy, but not with the wide range of conditions it may help. There is little conclusive research to support the use of patchouli in medicinal preparations, but its properties are well known. In addition to its medicinal and perfumery uses, patchouli also repels insects, and is often used in the east to scent bed linens and keep fleas and other pests at bay.


Specific: Not for internal use.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.