Young leaves and shoots, essential oil.
In several Asian nations, patchouli is added in herbal medications having a status of an antidepressant, aphrodisiac and antiseptic. In addition, the medications prepared with the herb are also applied topically to treat fevers and headaches. The essential oil obtained from patchouli is utilized in aromatherapy for healing skin disorders. It is commonly believed that patchouli possesses a recovering or renewing impact on the quality of the skin and aids in dispelling skin conditions like eczema and acne. Some herbalists also recommend the essential oil for treating medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids and varicose veins. In Japan, Malaysia and many other Asian nations, people also use patchouli as a remedy for poisonous snake bites. According to traditional medicine, while the herb and the essential oil obtained from it possess numerous benefits for the health, the aroma of the flowers is made use of to encourage relaxation. Chinese herbal medical practitioners use patchouli for treating nausea, colds, headaches, diarrhea and soreness in the abdomen. The essential oil obtained from the herb is available commercially in the form of an aromatherapy oil and one can buy it from any ordinary Western pharmacies as well as stores selling medications for alternative therapies. The herb is also extensively used for various purposes by the contemporary industries. In the East Asian nations, patchouli forms a significant element in production of aromatic incense sticks. In addition, manufacturers of air fresheners, laundry detergents, paper towels and other similar products use the aroma of the plant to add fragrance to their products. Chemical analysis of the essential oil obtained from patchouli has revealed that it contains two significant elements - norpatchoulenol and patchoulol. The leaves of the patchouli have been used by the Chinese silk merchants travelling to the Middle East way back in the 18th and 19th centuries to protect their merchandise from decay. Precisely speaking, these Chinese traders placed the leaves of patchouli leaves between the bundles of silk with a view to protect them from damage by eggs laid by moths on the fabric. Quite a few historians guess that patchouli's association with luxurious merchandise from the East prompted many Europeans of that period to believe that the scent prepared from the herb was a very lavish item. According to a number of accounts regarding the British royalty, patchouli was made use of in this manner in the linen chests of Queen Victoria!
The patchouli is indigenous to the Asian countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. However, presently the herb is grown in different tropical as well as sub-tropical climatic regions across the globe. The shoots and leaves of the patchouli possess remedial properties and they are usually harvested twice or thrice annually conditional on the soil and climate of the region where the plants are cultivated. This species develops and thrives best in climatic conditions ranging from warm to tropical. Patchouli grows well in hot weather conditions, but cannot thrive in direct sunlight. In case the plant dries up owing to inadequate watering, it has the aptitude to recuperate easily and rapidly when it is watered again. The seed-bearing flowers of patchouli herb are very aromatic and blossom during the later part of the fall. The plant is primarily propagated by its seeds that are minute and so fragile that they get crushed easily. The seeds of patchouli are harvested basically for growing new plants. Alternately, new patchouli plants may also be grown from cuttings. The cuttings from the mother plants are rooted in water to develop new plants.
Patchouli herb contains a volatile oil, which comprises mainly the sesquiterpenes patchoulol (35%) and bulnesene.