Patchoulol is responsible for creating the rich, earthy scent of patchouli and is the main chemical component of patchouli essential oil, which has been found to have many health benefits.  In addition to the benefits listed below, patchoulol is even used in the synthesis of the chemotherapy drug Taxol.

Patchouli can increase dopamine in the brain of individuals with mild depression. A 2011 study focused on the effects of a blend containing patchoulol, an active constituent of patchouli oil. Researchers found that subjects’ moods increased after exposure to the blend, and noted a significant increase of dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Dopamine and norepinephrine are the two main neurotransmitters responsible for a sense of well being. 1


Because of the high levels of patchoulol in the essential oil, patchouli essential oil can act as a sedative. In 2011, researchers focused on the effect of subjects who inhaled patchoulol, finding that they had decreased motor function and were generally more relaxed. 1