Dried patchouli leaves are commonly used in making incense and perfumes. They are also used in healing, meditation, Wicca spells and witchcraft rituals for purification, cleansing, and healing.
In this blog post, I’ll talk about different methods of drying patchouli leaves and some of the best dried patchouli leaves on sale online.
When first picked, patchouli leaves contain a lot of moisture. The leaves can be used fresh like this for making herbal teas or in other culinary uses as seasonings and flavorings, but to use specifically for their fragrance the leaves need to be dried.
Patchouli: Dried Leaves
The dried patchouli leaves are used in potpourri or ground into a powder for making incense either as incense sticks, incense cones and coils or just as powdered incense, burned on charcoal tablets in censers.
The powdered leaves are also used in herbal medicine treatments to treat common ailments and have long been a feature of Chinese medicinal recipes.
Below are some of the best dried patchouli leaf packs [*Amazon]:
|Picture||Product Link [*Amazon]|
|Patchouli Herb – Dried Pogostemon cablin|
|1 Oz Patchouli Leaf Cut Herb|
|Herbs for Incense: Patchouli and Sage|
|Herbs: Patchouli Dried Herb|
Oil from Dried Patchouli
Dried patchouli is also used to make patchouli oil, which is extracted from the dried leaves by steam distillation.
Dried leaves are used rather than fresh leaves because the drying process breaks down the cell walls of the leaves allowing the steam to penetrate the leaves where the oils are stored.
Steam is forced through the dried leaves and into copper tubes where it condenses into oils and is collected in a container as patchouli oil.
How to Dry Patchouli Leaves
To get the best yield of essential oils from the patchouli leaves, they need to be dried to remove any water and moisture, and then the oil can be extracted from the dried leaves by steam distillation.
Care has to be taken not to expose the leaves to excessive temperatures during the drying process which should be done at around 40 degrees C to 45 deg.C.
The most common method of drying patchouli leaves is shade drying, over the course of two days in well-ventilated rooms. The leaves are spread out in thin layers over a hard surface or on a screen raised off the floor to allow good air circulation.
During the drying process the leaves are regularly turned over to allow even drying and to prevent the leaves fermenting while they still retain moisture.
This is the traditional method of drying patchouli leaves that has been used over the centuries but it can sometimes be difficult in humid conditions during the monsoon season.
Mechanical dryers are sometimes used where they are available. The patchouli leaves are placed in a drying chamber and hot air is forced through the chamber by blowers.
This method is a lot faster, drying the leaves in about five hours and it is easier to control the drying temperature.
In fact, drying by forced hot air blowers produces more oil content from the leaves and does not adversely affect the quality of the oil’s aroma.
However, most growers prefer the method of shade drying because that is traditional for them and has a lower cost in terms of investment in equipment.
If you have your own patchouli bush you can dry the leaves yourself. There are two main methods of drying plants at home. Firstly by using a similar method to the patchouli growers.
Spread a single layer of fresh cut leaves on a screen, making sure the screen is supported off the ground to allow airflow under and around the leaves.
This should be done in a shaded, well ventilated space, like a car garage for example, in a warm temperature, but not hot. Keep checking them and turning them over, and the leaves should dry out in five to seven days.
The second method is the same as is often used for drying plants and herbs. Cut off whole branches of leaves and tie them together in a bunch by the stems, then hang them in a warm dry room, with a good airflow all around them and they will dry out in about seven days.
The aroma of dried patchouli is sweet and earthy, which makes it a favorite among perfumers who want to capture an appealing scent.
In aromatherapy, patchouli is often used to calm the senses or relieve stress. It works well with many other essential oils as a base note.
Patchouli leaves have also been used as a medicine for centuries in Asian countries. Indian and Chinese traditional medicine use it to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
So, in closing, I hope this post on dried patchouli has been helpful to you.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about drying or using dried patchouli. I will do my best to answer your questions.