Patchouli grows well in warm to tropical climates. It thrives in hot weather, but not direct sunlight. If the plant withers due to lack of watering, it will recover well and quickly after it has been watered. The seed-producing flowers are very fragrant and bloom in Autumn. The tiny seeds may be harvested for planting, but they are very delicate and easily crushed. Cuttings from the mother plant can also be rooted in water to produce additional plants.
Patchouli is used widely in modern perfumery and modern scented industrial products such as paper towels, laundry detergents, and air fresheners.
Two important components of its essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol. From the sixties until today, it is a favoured scent by members of the counterculture.
In several Asian countries, such as Japan and Malaysia, patchouli is used as an anti-dote for venomous snake-bites. The plant and oil have many claimed health benefits in herbal folk-lore and the scent is used to induce relaxation. Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat head-aches, colds, nausea, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Patchouli oil can be purchased from mainstream Western pharmacies and alternative therapy sources as an aromatherapy oil.
One study suggests patchouli oil may serve as an all-purpose insect repellent. More specifically, the patch-ouli plant is claimed to be a repellent potent against the Formosan subterranean ter-mite.
During the 18th and 19th century, silk traders from China travelling to the Mid-dle East packed their silk cloth with dried patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying their eggs on the cloth. It has also been proven to effectively prevent female moths from adhering to males, and vice versa.
Many historians speculate that this association with opulent Eastern goods is why patchouli was considered by Euro-peans of that era to be a luxurious scent. It is said that patchouli was used in the linen chests of Queen Victo-ria in this way.
Hair Conditioner: Patchouli oil is also used as a hair conditioner for dreadlocks