June 25, 2021
According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of obesity has increased approximately 3-fold during the 2010s compared to the 1970s. Given complications, it is not surprising that obesity is classified as a non-infectious disease. Obesity may induce cardiovascular disease and other metabolic implications including hypertension, reduced serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol), and increased waist circumference. Obesity primarily results from excessive calorie consumption (increased food intake) and/or insufficient calorie expenditure (reduced metabolic and physical activity). Secondary causes may be attributed to a genetic or endocrine dysfunction, such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, and hyperleptinemia.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin Benth.) is a plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family. The plant is mainly cultivated in Southeast Asia and is commercially used in perfumes and aromatherapy. Patchouli essential oil recently received much attention due to its diverse bioactivity including anti-inflammatory effects, antiviral activities, antioxidant effects, wound healing, and inhibitory effects on lipid accumulation. A preclinical model of obesity found that inhaling patchouli essential oil decreases food intake, body weight, LDL cholesterol, and leptin levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol. In addition, inhalation of the oil reduced systolic blood pressure. This suggests that patchouli may help with weight management and improve cholesterol profiles. Further research is necessary to confirm these preclinical findings.