The physico-chemical properties of Philippine patchouli oil, hydro-distilled from fresh leaves and young shoots of Pogostemon cablin were characterized and found to be within the specifications set by the United States Essential Oils Society. Philippine patchouli oil and commercial patchouli oil have the same major components as shown by GC-MS analyses: patchouli alcohol, d-guaiene, a-guaiene, a-patchoulene, seychellene, [3-patchoulene, and transcaryophylene, with slightly lower concentrations in the Philippine oil. Using the disk diffusion method patchouli oil was found to be active against the gram-positive bacteria: Staphylococcus, Bacillus, and Streptococcus species. Fifty five percent [11/20] of community and only 14.8% [9/61] of hospital-Staphylococcus aureus isolates were susceptible to an MIC of 0.03% [v/v.] and Sixtyfour percent or 23/36 of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] isolates was sensitive to patchouli oil at 0.06%, as opposed to only 44% or 11/25 of the sensitive strains. Philippine patchouli essential oil was also active against several dermatophytes at 0.25%. The bioactivity of the oil was stable when refrigerated at its natural pH in the dark. Calculations by linear regression  and extrapolation of data showed that the shelf-life [t 5o] of Philippine patchouli oil had 6 years of age when stored at 30[degrees]C. Key words: Pogostemon cablin, patchouli oil, essential oil, antimierobial activity, physico-chemical properties
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