Essential oil of the week for Truckee Tahoe is patchouli |

Essential oil of the week for Truckee Tahoe is patchouli

Sarah MacCallum
Special to the Bonanza

Bath Salt Beauty Treatment

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — One of my most long standing essential oils for personal use is patchouli. It always interests me how people tend to immediately write off this essential oil as some sort of a hippy deodorant.

While patchouli does have its place for incense production, there is so much more to be said about its health benefits.

Throughout the past year I have toted my essential oils collection to treatments and never yet has one person selected patchouli for their session. Well I am here to show the good if not great side of this grounding essential oil.

This particular herb is actually a member of the mint family, as is lavender. The plant thrives in the tropical countries of Asia and thus the strong, earthy aroma has a warming effect on the body. The plant and its oil make a wonderful insect repellent and was widely used in the past when silk traders hauled goods long distances for market. Along with frankincense and myrrh, this essential oil has been used by a variety of ancient civilizations.

Patchouli is one of a few oils that can be applied to the skin undiluted, therefore making a wonderful remedy for children and babies. I recommended this essential oil to a friend who had a newborn suffering from thrush.

Thrush is a fungal growth and since patchouli is strongly anti-fungal she was able to rid him of this with the help of a few herbs as well.

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Patchouli also grounds and calms the mind and body, reducing anxiety and stress, so the baby was slumbering soundly after each application of patchouli. Now that is what I call killing two birds with one stone!

Besides the relaxing components of patchouli it is also a wonderful aphrodisiac. Both men and women will enjoy the androgynous aroma while bringing romance back into the bedroom. Diffuse 8-10 drops in your room before turning in for the night and enjoy the lovely aroma as you fall asleep.

The face and scalp would greatly benefit from a patchouli infused massage. Not only is this essential oil great for acne, it also fights against eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, hair loss and dandruff. If you happen to misplace your potent bottle of patchouli and fall upon it a year or two later do NOT throw it into the trash. Patchouli actually improves with age and so never has an expiration date.

I have owned my bottle of patchouli for about five years now and I am certain it smells better out of the bottle than it did when I first purchased it way back when.

Sarah McCallum is a massage therapist at North Lake Massage & Skin Care.