Vetiver Essential oil facts and health benefits

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Vetiver Essential oil

Vetiver Essential oil Quick Facts
Name: Vetiver Essential oil
Scientific Name: Chrysopogon zizanioides
Origin India mostly Western and Northern India
Colors Light amber brown
Health benefits Anti-Inflammatory Properties, Heals Scars and Marks on Skin,Antiseptic Properties, Aphrodisiac, Soothes Anxiety and Nervousness, Lyme Prevention,Tonic, Repels Termites,Bug Repellant, Nervine, Sedative, Vulnerary, Treats ADHD
More facts about Vetiver Essential oil
Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver, is a perennial grass that belongs to the Poaceae family, which is native to India. It is commonly known as Khus in Western and Northern India. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) which is derived from a Tamil word means “hatcheted up,” can normally grow up to 1.5 meters, and have tall stems and long, thin, and rigid leaves. Its flowers are brownish-purple. Vetiver hails from India but is extensively cultivated in the world’s tropical regions. Today it’s also widely produced in Haiti, Java, Japan, the Philippines, and Reunion. A fast-growing perennial can survive up to 50 years or more, as all those green leaves are sustained by a vast network of underground, interlinked roots.

Vetiver essential oil is derived through the steam distillation of the plant’s roots. It has a strong initial aroma and is described as woody, Smokey, earthy, herbaceous, and spicy. While not widely known, it dates back centuries and, in the 12th century, even became a chargeable item in India. Perhaps the most valued quality of vetiver oil is that it is deeply grounding, and often used for promoting sleep. It is said to also be equally helpful for restlessness.

Health Benefits of Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver is known as a sacred herb valued because of its uplifting, soothing, healing and protective properties. It’s a natural body cooler — making it extremely popular in tropical countries. In fact, in India and Sri Lanka it’s known as the “oil of tranquility.” The sweet, woody, earthly and reviving fragrance of this natural oil encourages confidence and kindles the aura of human body by transforming the aura of nature flawlessly, where aura is the uniqueness or radiation of every substance in the cosmos. This essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy and has several medicinal properties, which are described in greater detail below

1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The soothing and cooling effects of this essential oil help to calm and pacify all sorts of inflammation. It is mainly good at providing relief from inflammation in both the circulatory and nervous system. It is also found to be a suitable treatment for inflammation caused by sun stroke, dehydration and loo, which is the name given to very hot and dry winds prevalent during summers in the dry regions of India and neighboring countries.

2. Heals Scars and Marks on Skin

Vetiver oil is a cicatrisant, which means it heals scars by promoting the regeneration of skin and tissue. It revitalizes the skin and removes dark spots or signs of acne and pox. It’s also anti-aging oil and efficiently treats stretch marks, cracks and other skin disorders. Plus, it works as a home cure for burn relief as well as a home remedy for acne. This can be effective for women who have stretch marks after childbirth. By adding a few drops of vetiver oil to your face wash, body soap or lotion, you will notice the difference — your skin will be even or your complexion will improve.

Vetiver oil is an antiseptic, meaning that when it’s applied to living tissue or skin, it reduces the possibility of infection and kills bacteria. Studies show that a minimum concentration of vetiver oil is required to kill infections such as staph. This vetiver oil benefit is useful before and after a surgical procedure and when healing wounds and cuts.

3. Antiseptic Properties

In tropical countries like India and its neighbors, microbes and bacteria grow very fast due to the encouraging hot and humid climates found in these regions. Then, it becomes obvious that your wounds are most likely to get sepsis in these places since there are plenty of bacteria located there. However, Mother Nature is very kind and she has provided the remedies as well, right in those exact same places.

One such remedy is vetiver and the essential oil extracted from it. This oil efficiently stops the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing sepsis and eliminates them. It is totally safe for this oil to be applied externally on wounds or taken orally in order to protect wounds as well as internal organs from sepsis.

4. Aphrodisiac

Mixed in sorbets and beverages as a flavoring agent, this oil has an aphrodisiac effect. It helps to enhance the libido and stimulates feelings of sexual desire. Since sex has more to do with the psychology of the brain than the physiology, a remedy for most sexual disorders like frigidity, lack of libido, and impotence. Certain components of this oil stimulate those portions of brain and your problems in the bedroom are over.

5. Soothes Anxiety and Nervousness

Vetiver oil has been used in aromatherapy for relaxation and alleviating emotional stress, panic attacks, trauma, anxiety, insomnia, hysteria and depression. Research investigated the effects of vetiver oil as a tool that helps with anxiety and the neurological actions in the central amygdaloid nucleus. The central amygdaloid nucleus connects with brainstem areas that control the expression of innate behaviors; it’s responsible for the perception and results of emotions, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

When vetiver oil was given to rats, it altered this neuronal activation from stress. In fact, vetiver oil had the same impact as Diazepam, a medication that helps to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other medical conditions.(1)

6. Lyme Prevention

Lyme disease is a painful and difficult to treat disease which spreads like wildfire in “tick season,” particularly in the south. It’s difficult to step outside without risking a tick bite. Some ticks carry Lyme disease from person to person, so their control is the first step in Lyme prevention and control.

To further complicate the problem, ticks have seemed to become resistant to much of our control measures.

Vetiver essential oil remains one of the substances that can still affect ticks. Topical treatments as bug repellants are helpful, as well as sprays and treatments directly on surfaces where ticks may roam.(2)

7. Tonic

The effect of a tonic on the body is quite similar to that of repairing and servicing on vehicles. A tonic tones up every system of the body like digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. So, in a nutshell, it keeps the metabolic system in order, rejuvenates the body, gives strength and boosts immune function.

8. Repels Termites

The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center investigated the termite repellency of eight essential oils, including vetiver grass, cassia leaf oil, clove bud, cedarwood, eucalyptus globules, eucalyptus citrodora, lemongrass and geranium oils. Of the tested essential oils, vetiver oil showed the most effective repellent because of its long-lasting activity. Vetiver oil also reduced termite tunneling activity at concentrations as low as fiver micrograms per one gram of sand.

Another study proved that vetiver oil is able to repel and control the mosquito larvae that are responsible for diseases like dengue, malaria, yellow fever and filariasis. Some people use vetiver oil on the scalp to kill lice, as its non-toxic and works as a pest killer and repellent.(3), (4)

9. Bug Repellant

Ground and surface treatments with vetiver essential oil are not only warranted for ticks, but possibly for termites, as well. In a research of seven essential oils and their effects on termites, vetiver “decreased termite tunneling activity at concentrations as low as 5 micrograms/g sand.”

Apart from that Clove oil was also extremely effective for reducing tunneling and directly killing the termites.

Together with tick prevention and elimination, vetiver shows off its similarities to citronella and lemongrass in bug repelling effects. Treating vulnerable surfaces with a blended spray can be a quick, easy, non-toxic form of prevention.(5)

10. Nervine

Essential oil of vetiver takes care of the nerves and maintains their good health. It also heals the damage done to the nerves by shock, fear, and stress. Additionally, it helps get rid of nervous complaints, afflictions, epileptic and hysteric attacks, nervous and neurotic disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, and lack of control over limbs and spasms.

11. Sedative

Essential oil of vetiver is a well-known sedative. It tranquilizes nervous irritations, afflictions, convulsions and emotional outbursts like anger, anxiety, epileptic and hysteric attacks, restlessness, and nervousness. It even benefits patients that suffer from insomnia.

12. Vulnerary

Vetiver essential oil helps heal wounds by promoting the growth of new tissues in wounded places and also by keeping it safe from infections by preventing growth of microbes. Finally, it also promotes the accumulation of leucocytes and platelets at that location.

13. Treats ADHD

Research in 2001 revealed that vetiver oil can treat kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or more known as ADHD. Researchers in this study discovered that this essential oil improved the patients’ performance by a hundred percent. Additional research is being done for this medicinal effect.

How to Use

There are mainly two main ways to use vetiver or any other essential oil — apply topically or inhale. Like most essential oils, vetiver is normally not taken internally or used on the skin full strength. It can be diluted in carrier oil, like almond, jojoba, or coconut oil, and then massaged into the skin.

You may also add a few drops of straight vetiver essential oil to a bath. According to a report published by Vetiver Network International, a traditional tranquility bath oil recipe is two drops of vetiver, two drops of lavender, and four drops of rose essential oils added to two teaspoons (10 ml) of sweet almond oil. Add this to your bath and soak in the tub for at least ten minutes.

There are numerous other ways to breathe in vetiver — with diffusers or spritzers or simply by adding it to a pot of hot water and breathing in the vapors. You’ll find complete instructions for using essential oils at the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. If you are among those who do not love vetiver’s woodsy, masculine scent, then you can mask the smell with other relaxing essential oils. Vetiver blends well with chamomile, lavender, jasmine, rose, and vanilla.

Vetiver essential oil is remarkably thick; don’t be surprised if your particular oil has a different consistency than other essential oils. In fact, if you have trouble getting it out of the bottle, that’s a good sign that you’ve got authentic, undiluted vetiver essential oil.

Traditional Uses of Vetiver essential oil

  • Vetiver oil’s calming and soothing properties are said to dispel anger, hysteria and irritability, and reduce anxious behavior. This in turn decreases stress and tension.
  • These revitalizing qualities make it helpful with physical and mental exhaustion, and for addressing issues ranging from general aches and pains to insomnia and anxious feelings.
  • It reduces the appearance of rashes and skin redness caused due to sun damage.
  • It is also helpful in severe skin conditions like dryness and flaking caused due to eczema.
  • Vetiver oil clears acne and acne marks too.
  • Paste made from the leaves is used to treat back and joint pain, sprains, fever, and scars.
  • Paste is also used in medical emergencies like snake bites, scorpion stings, wounds, and burns.
  • Vetiver is a traditional treatment for headaches, bladder infections, malaria, arthritis, muscle aches, and gout.
  • It helps reduce wrinkles and stretch marks.
  • It is beneficial for dry, irritated, and dehydrated skin.

Popular Uses of Vetiver Essential Oil

  • Add 1–2 drops to tea or hot drinks during winter time to promote immunity.
  • Use as a massage oil to encourage circulation and calm emotions.
  • Take a warm bath with a few drops of Vetiver essential oil for deep relaxation.
  • Diffuse with Lavender and Wild Orange to calm emotions and lessen stress.
  • The earthy, slightly lemony fragrance is said to have been used for centuries in India. Dab on your wrists or neck. Try blending it with a floral aroma like Ylang Ylang or Clary Sage, or even a citrus like Bergamot.
  • Its antiseptic properties help mildly cleanse the face. Test for sensitivity and mix one drop in 3 drops of coconut oil and apply to a freshly washed face.
  • Make your own vetiver water by soaking clean vetiver roots in cooled boiling water for 2–3 hours. Make sure to cover the pot as the roots soak. The water has a calming effect on the body, and it acts as a blood purifier. It can also be used to rinse your hair to give you a cooling and refreshing feeling.
  • Put 5–10 drops of vetiver oil in your bath water; because it’s both fragrant and cooling, using it in your bath prevents overheating and helps with relaxation and insomnia. To boost the calming results, combine vetiver oil with lavender and rose essential oils as well.
  • To benefit your mind and mood, diffuse 3–5 drops of vetiver oil or place 1–2 drops on your wrists, chest and neck.
  • Make your own calming massage oil by mixing 3–5 drops of vetiver oil with equal parts jojoba oil. This combination leaves your skin clean and moisturized and your mind at peace.

Other Facts

  • It is widely used in the perfumes, cooling, food and beverage industries.
  • It is also used to thatch roofs of earthen houses and mattresses.
  • It is also used as curtains on doors and windows, which, apart from cooling and scenting the rooms, keeps insects away.
  • It is used widely in the perfume industries, including perfumes for the body, room fresheners, and coolers, as well as cosmetics, soaps, oils.
  • It is also used as a flavoring agent in beverages, sorbets, and food stuffs.

A Word of Caution

Although vetiver oil is found in many perfume products, they may also contain other harmful substances. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to make your own chemical-free skin care products at home. Coconut oil and vetiver can be mixed together to make an effective natural facial or body cleanser, lotion or massage oil.

Vetiver oil is generally considered safe, non-toxic, non-sensitizing and a non-irritant, but it should not be used during pregnancy or breast feeding due to lack of information.






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