Patchouli is an ingredient sometimes used in natural and organic cosmetics and skin care products for its popular musky earthy scent. But more than just a lovely smell this member of the mint family has been used for centuries as a healer of the mind and body. Patchouli scented incense is used in temples across South East Asia (where the plant is grows in abundance) it is said to ground and centre the mind, readyng it for meditation.

Given this ancient practice it is not surprising in conventional medicine it has been tested to relax the nervous system. So it is useful for relieving tension in the body, helping insomniacs and reducing anxiety. It's also been said to help those with substance addictions.

In the form of an essential oil Patchouli can be rubbed on the skin as a good remedy for acne, eczema and cracked skin. It has antifungal, ati-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties as well as being a good stimulant for the digestive system. Oh and have I mentioned it is also a natural sedative and aphrodisiac so it's not surprising it's popularity surged during the free love, hippy era of the 60's. On the more opulent side of the spectrum, Queen Victoria is said to have used patchouli in scent her linen chests and keep moth balls away.

Some of the organic cosmetic and skin care products you will find Patchouli essential oil in are body wash, moisturiser, shampoos and cleansers.