Family • Labiatae / Lamiaceae - Pogostemon cablin Blanco - PATCHOULI - Guan huo xiang

Scientific names

Pogostemon cablin Blanco
Pogostemon patchoulI Hook.
Pogostemon patchoulIy Pellet.
Pogostemon patchoulI Hook. var. suavis
Mentha auricularia Blanco
Menta cablin Blanco

Common names

Kablin (Tag., Pamp, Ilk.)
Kabling (Pamp., Tag.)
Kadling (Tag.)
Kadlum (Bik., S.L. Bis., Sul.)
karlin (Tag.)
Katluen (Bis.)
Sarok (Ig.)
Patchouli (Engl.)
Patchouly (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Guan huo xiang.
FRENCH: Patchouli.
INDIAN: Pachi, Pachauli, Pachapat, Patchouli, Pachila, Kattam, Pachetene, Pacha, Panch, Suganda pandi.
INDONESIAN: Nilam wnagi, Nilam, Singalon.
KOREAN: Hyangdukkaephul.
MALAYSIAN: Dhalum wangi, Tilam wangi, Nilam.
SPANISH: Pacholi.
THAI: Phimsen.
VIETNAMESE: Ho[aws]c h[uw][ow]ng.

Kablin is an aromatic, erect, branched and hairy herb, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate, 5 to 11 centimeters long, with coarse and doubly-toothed margins, and with a blunt or pointed tip. Flowers are pinkish-purple, crowded and borne in hairy, terminal, axillary spikes 2 to 8 centimeters long, 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Calyx is about 6 millimeters long. Corolla is 8 millimeters long, with obtuse lobes.


– Found in Cagayan, Bontoc, Rizal, Pampanga and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; and in Leyte, occasionally planted in gardens, and occurring also on steep talus slopes in areas remote from settlements.
– Generally cultivated in tropical Asia and Malaya.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells / Hyung Woo Kim, Su Jin Cho, Bu-Yeo Kim, Su In Cho and Young Kyun Kim /Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2010 June; 7(2): 239–247 / doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem176

(2) Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin / Mitsuo Miyazawa, Yoshiharu Okuno, Sei-ichi Nakamura, and Hiroshi Kosaka / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2000, 48 (3), pp 642–647
DOI: 10.1021/jf990160y

(3) Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. / Trongtokit Y, Rongsriyam Y, Komalamisra N, Apiwathnasorn C./ Phytother Res. 2005 Apr;19(4):303-9.

(4) Pogostemon cablin extract for inhibiting H. influenzae adhesion and treating otitis media or sore throat / FreePatentOnLine

(5) Patchouli / Wikipedia

(6) α-Bulnesene, a novel PAF receptor antagonist isolated from Pogostemon cablin / Hui-Chun Hsua, Wen-Chia Yang et al / Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications / Vol 345, Issue 3, 7 July 2006, Pages 1033-1038 /doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.05.006

(7) Chemical Constituents from Leaves and Cell Cultures of Pogostemon cablin and Use of Precursor Feeding to Improve Patchouli Alcohol Level / Supawan Bunrathep et al / ScienceAsia 32 (2006): 293-296 / doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2006.32.293

(8) Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of the Methanol Extract from Pogostemon cablin / Tsung-Chun Lu et al / eCAM, Volume 2011 (2011) / doi:10.1093/ecam/nep183

(9) Composition and Comparison of Essential Oils of Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. (Patchouli) and Pogostemon travancoricus Bedd. var. travancoricus / Sundaresan et al / Journal of Essential Oil Research
Vol. 21, May/June 2009

(10) Insecticidal and repellence activity of the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin against urban ants species. /
Albuquerque EL, Lima JK, Souza FH, Silva IM, Santos AA, Araújo AP, Blank AF, Lima RN, Alves PB, Bacci L. / Acta Trop. 2013 Sep;127(3):181-6. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 Apr 30

(11) Pogostemon cablin / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED .

(12) Immunomodulatory Potential of Patchouli Alcohol Isolated from Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth (Lamiaceae) in Mice / Jin Bin Liao, Dian Wei Wu, Shao Zhong Peng, Jian Hui Xie, Yu Cui Li, Ji
Yan Su, Jian Nan Chen* and Zi Ren Su* / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research August 2013; 12 (4): 559-565

(13) Pupicidal and repellent activities of Pogostemon cablin essential oil chemical compounds against medically important human vector mosquitoes / Gokulakrishnan J, Elumalai Kuppusamy, Dhanasekaran Shanmugam, Anandan Appavu, Krishnappa Kaliyamoorthi / Asian Pac J Trop Dis 2013; 3(1): 26-31

(14) Protective effects of Pogostemon cablin Bentham water extract on inflammatory cytokine expression in TNBS-induced colitis in rats / Su-Young Park, Ganesh Prasad Neupane, Sung Ok Lee, Jong Suk Lee, Mi-Young Kim, Sun Yeou Kim, Byung Chul Park, Young-Joon Park, Jung-Ae Kim / Archives of Pharmacal Research, February 2014, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 253-262


– Leaves yield a volatile oil, 6-10%.
– Patchouli oil contains patchouli alcohol Patchouli camphor), cadinene, coerulein, benzaldehyde and eugenol.
– Important components of the essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
– Study of essential oil yielded 11 compounds, including α- and ß-patchoulene, patchouli alcohol (patchoulol), ß-caryophyllene, α-guaiene, seychellene and selinene.
– Study on the chemical constituents of an essential oil of PC yielded 22 compounds, 18 sesquiterpenes and three oxygenated sesquiterpenes; among these, patchouli alcohol was the major component, followed by germacrene.

– Antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, carminative, insecticidal, stimulant, and emmenagogue.
– The oil may have antibactericidal activity and pogostone may have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
– Components eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde have insecticidal activity.


Parts used
Leaves, flowering spikes, roots.

– In the Philippines, leaves and tops are used as insecticide – as a repellent of cockroaches, moths, ants, etc.
– For arthritis and rheumatism, crushed leaves are applied on affected parts.
– Infusion of fresh leaves for given for dysmenorrhea; also as emmenagogue.
Infusion of leaves, dried tops or roots used for scanty urination.
– Leaves and tops employed in baths; used for antirheumatic action.
– In India, infusion of leaves, flowering spikes or dried tops and root used as diuretic and carminative; used with Ocimum sanctum for scanty urine and biliousness. This infusion is reported to occasionally cause loss of appetite and sleep, and nervous attacks.
– In Malaysia and Japan, has been used as antidote for venomous snake and insect bites.
– In traditional Chinese medicine, used for colds, fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, to stimulate the appetite.
– In Uruguay, infusion of leaves used for nervous troubles; roots considered stimulant.
Patchouly oil
– Essential oil of patchouli used in perfumes and cosmetics.
– Also called: Huo xiang, Putcha-Pat.
– Oil also used as ingredient in foods and beverages.
– An ingredient of East Asian incense.
– Had a surge in the commerce of oil and incense during the free love and hippie decades of the 60s and 70s.

– Repellant: Leaves and tops used as insecticide repellant for cockroaches, moths, ants, etc. Juice of leaves rubbed on hands and feet for climbing mountains to repel leeches (limatiks).
– Leaves used with gogo for washing hair. Also, used as hair conditioner for dreadlocks.
– In India, used as ingredient in tobacco smoking.

Study Findings
• ROS-scavenger / Effect on ROS-Induced Neuroglial Cell Injury: Pogostemon cablin effectively protected human neuroglioma cell line A172 against both necrotic and apoptotic cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Results suggests beneficial effects of PC on ROS-induced neuroglial cell injury possibly as a ROS-scavenger.
• Antimutagenic: Study of methanol extract of P cablin showed suppressive effects against the mutagen furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1. Test isolated suppressive compounds (7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol among others) plus three flavonoids, mobuine, pachypodol and kumatekenin.
• Mosquito Repellent Activity: Study of the mosquito repellent activity of 38 essential oils from plants against Aedes aegypti on human subjects showed the undiluted oil of patchouli, together with citronella, clove and makaen, to be effected in providing 2 hr of complete repellency.
• H Influenza Adhesion Inhibition: Study has shown inhibition of H Influenza on oropharyngeal cells to be inhibited by aqueous extracts of P cablin and A rugosa; a mixture also effective in preventing otitis media and sore throat.
• Anti-Platelet Aggregation / A-bulnesene:Study isolated a-bulnesene, a sesquiterpened from the water extract of P cablin. It showed a potent and concentration-dependent effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) and arachidonic acid (AA) induced rabbit platelet aggregation; a first study demonstrating a-bulnesene as a PAF-receptor antagonist and anti-platelet aggregation agent.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study of methanol extract of Pogostemon cablin demonstrated analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, supporting its use in traditional medicine.
• Insecticidal and Repellency Activity Against Urban Ants / Patchouli Essential Oil : Study of analyzed the bioinsecticidal activity and repellence of patchouli essential against three urban ant species. Results showed strong repellency to the three species in all tested concentrations.
• Immunomodulatory / Patchouli Alcohol: Patchouli alcohol (PA), a tricyclic sesquiterpene constituent, isolated from P. cablin was investigated for immunomodulatory potential in Kunming mice. Results showed PA has significant immunomodulatory properties probably acting by activation of the mononuclear phagocytic system, augmenting humoral immune response while suppressing cellular immune response.
• Pupicidal and Repellent / Human Vector Mosquitoes: Study evaluated the repellent and pupicidal activities of P. cablin for toxicity against selected important vector mosquitoes, viz., Aedes aegypti, Anopheles stephensi, and Culex quinquefasciatus. Study yielded 15 chemical constituents in the essential oil with major components of α-patchoulene, α-guaiene, α-patchoulene, á-bulnesene and patchouli alcohol. Results showed repellent and pupicidal activities with potential as an eco-friendly alternative for mosquito control.
• Suppression of Inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Study evaluated a water extract of PC for effects in bowel inflammation. Results showed effective inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induced adhesion of monocytes to HT-29 human colonic epithelial cells. It suppressed clinical signs of colitis in a trinitrobenze sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced rat model of IBD. Results suggest, PCW suppressed colon inflammation via suppression of NF-kB-dependent expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Safety info
Safe in amounts in foods.
Maximum allowed for food use: 0.0002%.
Animal data shows no toxic effect on short-term use.

Patchouli oil in the cybermarket.