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Concept: Patchouli


Patchouli is used as an incense material and essential oil. The characteristic odor of patchouli leaves results from the drying process used in their production; however, there have to date been no reports on the changes in the odor of patchouli leaves during the drying process. We investigated the aroma profile of dried patchouli leaves using the hexane extracts of fresh and dried patchouli leaves. We focused on the presence or absence of the constituents of the fresh and dried extracts, and the differences in the content of the common constituents. Fourteen constituents were identified as characteristic of dried patchouli extract odor by gas chromatography-olfactometry analysis. The structures of seven of the 14 constituents were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (α-patchoulene, seychellene, humulene, α-bulnesene, isoaromadendrene epoxide, caryophyllene oxide, and patchouli alcohol). The aroma profile of the essential oil obtained from the dried patchouli leaves was clearly different from that of dried patchouli. The aroma profile of the essential oil was investigated by a similar method. We identified 12 compounds as important odor constituents. The structures of nine of the 12 constituents were determined by gas chromatographymass spectrometry (cis-thujopsene, caryophyllene, α-guaiene, α-patchoulene, seychellene, α-bulnesene, isoaromadendrene epoxide, patchouli alcohol, and corymbolone). Comparing the odors and constituents demonstrated that the aroma profile of patchouli depends on the manufacturing process.

Concepts: Olfaction, Drying, Perfume, Odor, Essential oil, Aroma compound, Aromatherapy, Patchouli


Pogostemon cablin Benth. (patchouli) is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, it is used to treat colds, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used to relieve depression, stress, calm nerves, control appetite and to improve sexual interest. Till now more than 140 compounds, including terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, organic acids, lignins, alkaloids, glycosides, alcohols, aldehydes have been isolated and identified from patchouli. The main phytochemical compounds are patchouli alcohol, α-patchoulene, β-patchoulene, α-bulnesene, seychellene, norpatchoulenol, pogostone, eugenol and pogostol. Modern studies have revealed several biological activities such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antimutagenic, antiemetic, fibrinolytic and cytotoxic activities. However, some of the traditional uses need to be verified and may require standardizing and authenticating the bioactivity of purified compounds through scientific methods. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of essential oil and different plant extracts of patchouli based on the available scientific literature. This information will provide a potential guide in exploring the use of main active compounds of patchouli in various medical fields.

Concepts: Medicine, Perfume, Essential oil, Patchouli, Patchoulol, Pogostemon, Perfume ingredients, Norpatchoulenol


Patchouli alcohol (PA) is one of the important compounds isolated from the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin (patchouli). PA has neuroprotective, anti-influenza and anti-inflammatory activities. However, anti-cancer activity of PA has not been studied so far. We performed in vitro study to investigate whether PA affects proliferation and apoptosis of human colorectal cancer cells, and to define potential molecular mechanisms. PA suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in human colorectal cancer cells (HCT116, SW480). In addition, PA decreased cell growth in MCF7, BxPC3, PC3, and HUVEC cells. Exposure of PA to HCT116 and SW480 cells activated p21 expression and suppressed the expressions of cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, PA attenuated the expressions of HDAC2 (histone deacetylase 2) and c-myc, and HDAC enzyme activity. We also observed that PA induced the transcriptional activity of NF-κB through an increase of nuclear translocation of p65. These findings suggest that PA exerts an anti-cancer activity by decreasing cell growth and increasing apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells. The proposed mechanisms include the inhibition of HDAC2 expression and HDAC enzyme activity, and subsequent downregulation of c-myc and activation of NF-κB pathway.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cancer, Enzyme, Cell division, Colorectal cancer, Cell cycle, Patchouli


High-field NMR is an expensive and important quality control technique. In recent years, cheaper and simpler low-field NMR has become available as a new quality control technique. In this study, 60 MHz 1H-NMR was compared with GC-MS and refractometry for the detection of adulteration of essential oils, taking patchouli essential oil as a test case. Patchouli essential oil is frequently adulterated, even today. In total, 75 genuine patchouli essential oils, 10 commercial patchouli essential oils, 10 other essential oils, 17 adulterants, and 1 patchouli essential oil, spiked at 20% with those adulterants, were measured. Visual inspection of the NMR spectra allowed for easy detection of 14 adulterants, while gurjun and copaiba balsams proved difficult and one adulterant could not be detected. NMR spectra of 10 random essential oils differed not only strongly from patchouli essential oil but also from one another, suggesting that fingerprinting by low-field NMR is not limited to patchouli essential oil. Automated chemometric evaluation of NMR spectra was possible by similarity analysis (Mahalanobis distance) based on the integration from 0.1 - 8.1 ppm in 0.01 ppm increments. Good quality patchouli essential oils were recognised as well as 15 of 17 deliberate adulterations. Visual qualitative inspection by GC-MS allowed for the detection of all volatile adulterants. Nonvolatile adulterants, and all but one volatile adulterant, could be detected by semiquantitation. Different chemometric approaches showed satisfactory results. Similarity analyses were difficult with nonvolatile adulterants. Refractive index measurements could detect only 8 of 17 adulterants. Due to advantages such as simplicity, rapidity, reproducibility, and ability to detect nonvolatile adulterants, 60 MHz 1H-NMR is complimentary to GC-MS for quality control of essential oils.

Concepts: Essential oil, Oil, Oils, Chicory, Adulterant, Melamine, Patchouli


Patchoulol is a sesquiterpene alcohol and an important natural product for the perfume industry. Corynebacterium glutamicum is the prominent host for the fermentative production of amino acids with an average annual production volume of ~6 million tons. Due to its robustness and well established large-scale fermentation, C. glutamicum has been engineered for the production of a number of value-added compounds including terpenoids. Both C40 and C50 carotenoids, including the industrially relevant astaxanthin, and short-chain terpenes such as the sesquiterpene valencene can be produced with this organism. In this study, systematic metabolic engineering enabled construction of a patchoulol producing C. glutamicum strain by applying the following strategies: (i) construction of a farnesyl pyrophosphate-producing platform strain by combining genomic deletions with heterologous expression of ispA from Escherichia coli; (ii) prevention of carotenoid-like byproduct formation; (iii) overproduction of limiting enzymes from the 2-c-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP)-pathway to increase precursor supply; and (iv) heterologous expression of the plant patchoulol synthase gene PcPS from Pogostemon cablin. Additionally, a proof of principle liter-scale fermentation with a two-phase organic overlay-culture medium system for terpenoid capture was performed. To the best of our knowledge, the patchoulol titers demonstrated here are the highest reported to date with up to 60 mg L−1 and volumetric productivities of up to 18 mg L−1 d−1.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Alcohol, Bacteria, Amino acid, Metabolism, Terpenes and terpenoids, Patchouli


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of colored shade nets on the growth, anatomy and essential oil content, yield and chemical composition of Pogostemon cablin. The plants were cultivated under full sunlight, black, blue and red nets. The harvesting was performed 5 months after planting and it was followed by the analysis of plant growth parameters, leaf anatomy, essential oil content, yield and chemical composition. The plants grown under red net have produced more leaf, shoot, total dry weight and leaf area. Plants cultivated under colored nets showed differences in morphological features. Plants maintained under red net had a higher leaf blade thickness and polar and equatorial diameter of the stomata ratio. Additionally, higher yield of essential oil in the leaves was observed under red and blue colored shade net. The essential oil of the plants grown under red net showed the highest relative percentage of patchoulol (66.84%). Therefore, it is possible using colored shade nets to manipulate P. cablin growth, as well as its essential oil production with several chemical compositions. The analyses of principal components allowed observing that pogostol has negative correlation with α-guaiene and α-bulnesene. There was difference in total dry weight and patchoulol content when the patchouli is cultured under the red colored shade nets.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Leaf, Essential oil, Patchouli


The aerial parts of Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. for the treatment of cardiodynia have been documented in Mingyi Bielu of late Han Dynasty, in addition to that the Ca(2+) antagonized activities of P. cablin and its critically pharmacological ingredient patchouli alcohol (PA) were reported previously.

Concepts: Han Dynasty, Patchouli


To explore the anti-nociceptive effect of patchouli alcohol (PA), the essential oil isolated from Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Bent, and determine the mechanism in molecular levels.

Concepts: Enzyme, Lamiaceae, Essential oil, Incense, Patchouli, Patchoulol, Pogostemon, Norpatchoulenol


β-Patchoulene (β-PAE), a tricyclic sesquiterpene isolated from the essential oil of the leaves and stems of Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth., has been reported to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential protective effect of β-PAE on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) in mice and to illuminate the underlying mechanisms. ALI was induced by intracheal instillation of LPS into lung, and dexamethasone (DEX) was used as a positive control. Results indicated that pretreatment with β-PAE significantly decreased the mortality rate of mice and lung W/D weight ratio, ameliorated lung pathological changes as compared to model group. Meanwhile, β-PAE pretreatment markedly inhibited the increase of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β secretions in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and prevented LPS-induced elevations of MPO activity and MDA level in the lung. Additionally, β-PAE pretreatment significantly elevated miR-146a expression and suppressed the LPS-induced activation of NF-κB and expression of its mediated genes (TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β). β-PAE was also observed to markedly upregulate the Nrf2 and HO-1 expression and activate the antioxidant genes (NQO-1, GCLC and HO-1). Taken together, β-PAE possessed protective effect against LPS-induced ALI, which might be associated with its differential regulation of NF-κB and Nrf2 activities and up-regulation of expression of miR-146a. The results rendered β-PAE a promising anti-inflammatory agent worthy of further development into a pharmaceutical drug for the treatment of ALI.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Bronchoalveolar lavage, Perfume, Lavage, Essential oil, Incense, Patchouli, Pogostemon


Phytochemical analysis by GC and GC/MS of the essential oil samples obtained from fresh shoots and flowers of Saponaria officinalis L. allowed the identification of 96 components in total, comprising 94.7% and 86.0% of the total oils compositions, respectively. Regarding the shoots essential oil, the major of 87 identified volatile compounds were phytol (14.1%), tricosane-6,8-dione (13.4%), patchouli alcohol (7.9%) and tricosane (7.2%), whereas patchouli alcohol (20.0%), heneicosane (11.5%) and tricosane (8.4%) were dominant among the 66 volatiles in the flower oil. Nonterpenoid compounds had the highest contribution in S. officinalis shoots essential oil (53.7%), while in the flower oil, constituents were almost evenly distributed between the oxygenated sesquiterpenoid (41.2%) and nonterpenoid compounds (39.5%).

Concepts: Water, Essential oil, Oil, Oils, Volatile, Rose, Patchouli, Essential oils