The aim of this study is to evaluate the antibacterial activity and urease inhibitory effects of patchouli alcohol (PA), the bioactive ingredient isolated from Pogostemonis Herba, which has been widely used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The activities of PA against selected bacteria and fungi were determined by agar dilution method. It was demonstrated that PA exhibited selective antibacterial activity againstHelicobacter pylori, without influencing the major normal gastrointestinal bacteria. Noticeably, the antibacterial activity of PA was superior to that of amoxicillin, with minimal inhibition concentration value of 78 μg/mL. On the other hand, PA inhibited ureases fromH. pyloriand jack bean in concentration-dependent fashion with IC50 values of 2.67 ± 0.79 mM and 2.99 ± 0.41 mM, respectively. Lineweaver-Burk plots indicated that the type of inhibition was non-competitive againstH. pyloriurease whereas uncompetitive against jack bean urease. Reactivation of PA-inactivated urease assay showed DL-dithiothreitol, the thiol reagent, synergistically inactivated urease with PA instead of enzymatic activity recovery. In conclusion, the selectiveH. pyloriantibacterial activity along with urease inhibitory potential of PA could make it a possible drug candidate for the treatment ofH. pyloriinfection. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.