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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4850612, 9 pages
Review Article

Availability, Pharmaceutics, Security, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacological Activities of Patchouli Alcohol

1Key Laboratory of Standardization of Chinese Herbal Medicines of the Ministry of Education, Pharmacy College, Chengdu 611173, China
2TCM Qi & Blood Functional Laboratory, College of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611173, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Cheng Peng

Received 20 December 2016; Revised 12 February 2017; Accepted 7 March 2017; Published 21 March 2017

Academic Editor: Juntra Karbwang

Copyright © 2017 Guanying Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patchouli alcohol (PA), a tricyclic sesquiterpene, is one of the critical bioactive ingredients and is mainly isolated from aerial part of Pogostemon cablin (known as guanghuoxiang in China) belonging to Labiatae. So far, PA has been widely applied in perfume industries. This review was written with the use of reliable information published between 1974 and 2016 from libraries and electronic researches including NCKI, PubMed, Reaxys, ACS, ScienceDirect, Springer, and Wiley-Blackwell, aiming at presenting comprehensive outline of security, pharmacokinetics, and bioactivities of PA and at further providing a potential guide in exploring the PA and its use in various medical fields. We found that PA maybe was a low toxic drug that was acquired numerously through vegetable oil isolation and chemical synthesis and its stability and low water dissolution were improved in pharmaceutics. It also possessed specific pharmacokinetic characteristics, such as two-compartment open model, first-order kinetic elimination, and certain biometabolism and biotransformation process, and was shown to have multiple biological activities, that is, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antitumor, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antiatherogenic, antiemetic, whitening, and sedative activity. However, the systematic evaluations of preparation, pharmaceutics, toxicology, pharmacokinetics, and bioactivities underlying molecular mechanisms of action also required further investigation prior to practices of PA in clinic.