Mentha auricularia Blanco
Mentha cablin Blanco
Pogostemon battakianus Ridl.
Pogostemon comosus Miq.
Pogostemon javanicus Backer ex Adelb.
Pogostemon mollis Hassk.
Pogostemon patchouly Pellet.
Pogostemon tomentosus Hassk.
Common Name: Patchouli
Pogostemon cablin is an aromatic, erect, much-branched, herbaceous plant or shrub that can grow to a height of 50 - 150cm[
This plant is the source of a well-known, highly valued and very fragrant essential oil, which also has medicinal applications. The plant is widely cultivated for this oil in the tropics, especially in India[
E. Asia - China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea.
Not known in a truly wild state[
|Other Uses Rating||
Patchouli is a plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from 1,000 - 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 23 - 28°c, but can tolerate 16 - 32°c[
]. The plant can survive temperatures down to about 5°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,200 - 2,600mm, but tolerates 2,000 - 2,800mm[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Requires a rich, moist soil[
]. Grows best in a fertile, well-drained, loamy to clayey soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.5, tolerating 5.5 - 7[
All parts of the plant are aromatic when crushed[
The plant is often cultivated for its essential oil[
A short-lived, perennial species, it provides a first harvest 180 - 210 days after planting, and can be cropped thereafter every 120 - 180 days[
Yields from the first cutting are about 1 tonne of dried leaves per hectare. Subsequent cuttings give 0.5 - 1 tonnes[
The plant has an economical life of 2- 3 years[
Leaves - the fleshy leaves are sometimes used as a flavouring[
An essential oil is obtained from the dried, cured leaves[
]. It is used as a flavouring in various items, such as chewing gum, baked goods and candy[
Patchouli leaves contain an essential oil comprised mainly of the sesquiterpenes patchoulol (35%) and bulnesene[
]. In the East, Patchouli oil is believed to prevent the spread of infection, and it is widely used for this purpose[
]. Both the leaves, and the essential oil obtained from them, are used medicinally and are considered to be antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, febrifuge, digestive, sedative, stomachic and tonic[
The herb is used internally in the treatment of colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea[
]. An infusion is used to make a convalescent bath[
Externally, it is used to treat halitosis, a range of skin problems, snake bite etc[
The leaves and tops are added to baths, and are said to have an antirheumatic action[
The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat nervous exhaustion, depression, low libido and frigidity[
]. It is thought to have a regenerative effect upon skin tone and is used to help clear conditions such as eczema and acne[
The leaves are harvested 2 - 3 times a year and are usually dried for oil distillation[
The leaves are used in potpourri[
The dried leaves, which are very fragrant, are sometimes used for scenting wardrobes. It is said that they prevent the clothes from being attacked by moths[
The essential oil from the leaves is an important ingredient in many perfumes[
]. The pure oil has a strong musky odour, and is usually mixed with other essential oils in making perfumes[
]. It is often used as a fixing agent in perfumes[
]. It is also used in a range of other products including toiletries, cosmetics, breath fresheners, incense, insecticides, insect repellents and disinfectants[
]. The scent is very effective in combatting the frequently very
obtrusive odour of perspiration, completely suppressing it[
The essential oil is present in small quantities in the fresh leaves, and only develops through a kind of fermentation of the cut leaves packed into bundles - yields from the dried leaves can be around 3.5 - 4%[
Seed - plants rarely set seed[
Greenwood cuttings with a heel[