Vetiver oil (Vetiveria Zizanioides) is one of the traditional remedies in the South and Southeast Asia as well as in West Africa. Even though it is not as popular as the well-known essential oils, this plant has been used for thousands of years. All parts of this plant have great uses and benefits for emotions, spiritual and mental condition. This incredible plant is also known as a sacred herb for its healing, elevating, comforting and protective properties. It is also called “oil of tranquility” in Sri Lanka and in India.
What is Vetiver?
Many people are not familiar with the term Vetiver. It is also called Khus-Khus and is often used in beverages, perfumes and for cooling. Vetiver is a perennial grass of Poaceae family that is native to India. It grows up to 4.9 ft. (1.5m) with purplish-brown flowers. It is also cultivated in tropical regions for its cooling effects. This plant has pleasant and earthy smell that can sooth both mind and the body. Vetiver plants and roots are placed in the side panels of window coolers to provide freshening effect and pleasant scent in the air.
In India and other tropical countries, Vetiver is also used as curtains for windows and doors to cool down the room during the hot season. It releases fragrance throughout the room while keeping the insects from entering the house. This is the reason why the demand for vetiver increases during the hottest seasons especially in tropical countries.
In India, vetiver has been used as a traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is also a medicinal aromatic plant in Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and West Africa. Vetiver plants are traditionally used for treating joint and back pain, scars, fever and sprains. It is also a natural remedy for bladder infections, muscle pain, headache, arthritis, gout and malaria.
Vetiver Essential Oil
The many benefits and uses of vetiver show how effective and multipurpose this plant is. It is even more powerful when used as essential oils.
Vetiver essential oil is achieved through steam distillation of the vertiver’s roots. The roots contain powerful aroma which is described as earthy, smoky, woody and herbaceous. The main components of the vetiver essential oil are beta vetivone, vetivene, alpha vetivone, vetivenyl vetivenate, furfurol and benzoic acid. This incredible essential oil is used not only for body perfume but also for room fresheners, soaps, cosmetics, foods and beverages and coolers.
Benefits and Uses of Vetiver Essential Oil
Essential oils are well-known in aromatherapy and provide health benefits. Like most essential oils, vetiver essential oil also offers effective benefits.
1. Emotional Benefits
Essential oils are extracts derived from the leaves, seeds, roots and flowers of herbal plants. Vetiver essential oils derived from distillation of the vetivers’ roots. The roots of vetiver plants are rich with more than 150 known compounds. The chemical compositions of the roots provide pleasant and earthy aroma with huge amount of therapeutic components.
Vetiver essential oil is commonly used for aromatherapy to eliminate stress and promote deep relaxation. Inhaling the scent of vetiver can reduce depression, nervousness, panic and trauma. If you think that you need to calm yourself down for any reasons, having a bottle of vetiver essential oil can soothe nervousness and panic. Add few drops of the essential oil in your essential oil diffuser to allow it to disperse in the air. You may also smell the aroma of the oil from the bottle to relax your nerves and uplift your mood.
If you have insomnia or you cannot sleep early, vetiver essential oil can help you sleep right away. It can also relax your mind and body to achieve better sleeping experience. You can massage the oil on your chest before going to bed or use an essential oil diffuser to disperse the scent around the room. Having an essential oil diffuser can also benefit your family members as they can also experience the great effects of vetiver. Patients suffering from insomnia found relief with vetiver essential oil.
3. Effective Antioxidant
Another great benefit of vetiver essential oil is it acts as an effective antioxidant. It can protect the cells from any damages especially free radicals. These free radicals can accelerate the process of aging which leads to the early appearances of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also make the skin look dull, dry and itchy. Consuming foods and beverages that are rich in antioxidant can make the skin healthier while slowing down the signs of aging.
According to a study by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, vetiver oil contains a powerful rummaging activity of free radicals compared to normal antioxidants like alpha-tocopherol.
4. Boosts Nervous and Immune System
Vetiver essential oil is considered a natural tonic. This means that it has the ability to tone the functions of the body and can boost both nervous and immune system. Studies have shown that the vetiver oil also performs as the body’s shield against free radicals and other unwanted toxins. It can also decrease the toxic accumulated from cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug for treating cancer of the lungs, bladder, testicles and ovaries.
With its calming and restorative properties, vetiver essential oil can enhance the immune system and support the nervous system. During stressful days, heart rate increases as well as the blood pressure, breathing, cortisol and adrenaline. More glucose is produced and goes to the bloodstream. When these happen, the immune system together with the reproduction, digestion and others slow down. Every time we feel stressed or nervous, the body function slows down.
Getting rid of the stress in your life has great impacts on your immune, nervous, cardiovascular and digestive systems. Like other remedies for stress or anxiety, vetiver essential oil is very effective. It has the ability to calm irritations and emotional outburst like anger, epileptic, apprehension and agitation.
5. Treatment for ADD and ADHD
Another great benefit of vetiver is that it can treat ADHD as well as ADD. These two are disorders among children and adults which are described by lack of concentration, irritation, impatience and restless behavior.
According to a study, children from six to fourteen years old with ADHD used an inhalation device during bed time to inhale the essential oils lavender, cedarwood and vetiver for thirty days. The children inhaled the essential oils about 3 times a day when necessary. Lavender essential oil provided great result with 53 percent improvement in performance. Cedarwood essential oil showed 83 percent improvement while vetiver essential oil provided 100 percent improvement.
The soothing properties of vetiver essential oil helped the patients to fight the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.
6. Acts as an Aphrodisiac
Both physical and mental stress results to decrease of sex drive or libido. Living in stressful areas can also affect the level of testosterone and may lead to loss of sex drive or sexual desires. Lack of sleep can also lead to hormone imbalance and can decrease the level of testosterone.
It has been proven that vetiver essential oil has the ability to relax both the body and the mind. It can calm down the organs of the body and keeps the normal balance of the hormones. Inhaling vetiver essential oil can also help you sleep better. This is one of the reasons why the incredible oil is also called the “oil of tranquility”. It can treat both stress and insomnia. Getting adequate amount of sleep allows your body to raise the level of testosterone and increase sex drive.
Aside from increasing the level of testosterone, vetiver essential oil also has a gentle effect on estrogen. It benefits the female reproductive system while balancing the hormones. It can also treat premenstrual syndrome such as breast cramps, exhaustion, mood swings and bloating. It helps the body to calm down and fight both emotional and hormonal changes.
7. Heals Wounds and Removes Marks
Scars and other skin marks can be annoying as it leave patches on the skin. Some skin marks can be big and visible to others. Since most people want to get rid of their scars, there are many skin products that promote skin healing. However, some of these skin care products are not very effective. The good news is that vetiver oil is also considered as a cicatrisant. This means that this incredible oil can heal scars so you can say goodbye to skin marks.
Vetiver essential oil aids in skin regeneration. It can eliminate brown spots and acne marks. It can also eliminate marks left by chicken pox. Because it combats free radicals, it can also prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some people also use vetiver oil to remove stretch marks and other skin disorders. Women who have stretch marks after giving birth are safe to use vetiver essential oil on their skin.
You can simply add few drops of vetiver oil to lotion or body soap to enhance your skin complexion. Aside from healing scars, vetiver essential oil also serves as a natural remedy for wounds, burns and acne. Since tropical countries and other humid places allow bacteria and microbes to grow very fast, mother Earth is kind enough to give natural remedies on the right places.
8. Keeps Termites Away
Many essential oils are able to repel termites such as eucalyptus, cedarwood, cassia lead, lemon grass, clove bud and geranium essential oils. However, vetiver essential oil has been proven to be the most effective against termites for its long-lasting performance.
Aside from termites, there is also a study that proved vetiver oil can repel mosquitoes too which are responsible for malaria, yellow fever, dengue and filariasis. It can also remove lice and eggs from the hair. This only means that vetiver essential oil does not only provide health benefits but it also keeps us away from dangerous insects that carry different diseases.
Easy Ways to Use Vetiver Plant and Vetiver Oil
Vetiver essential oil can be purchased online or from your local stores. Search for organic brands that show 100% essential oil. You can easily prepare your own vetiver at home. Here are some of the easy methods to do it:
- To have your own vetiver water, you can soak the vetiver roots in water. Make sure that the water has been boiled to kill bacteria and other contaminants. Soak the roots of vetiver in the water for at least two hours and cover it. This water can calm your body and cool you down. It can also boost your immune system, nervous system and others. The vetiver water can also be used for washing your hair to achieve a refreshed feeling.
- If you have dry skin, you can moisturize your skin with vetiver oil. You can mix it with jojoba oil and apply it on your skin. This can keep your skin moisturized while giving you peace of mind.
- To uplift your mood or to create a great ambiance at home or office, use an essential oil diffuser and add few drops of vetiver essential oil. This benefits all the people in the room as the essential oil is dispersed into the air.
- For calming results after baths, you can add five to ten drops of essential oil in your water. This can provide fragrance and refreshing effect. It can also allow you to sleep right away.
Vetiver essential oil offers many health benefits. It boosts the body function and slows down the process of aging. It can keep the skin young, glowing and revitalized. It also soothes the mind and the body and allows you to concentrate on your tasks. Using an essential air diffuser to disperse the oil into the air allows your family to be healthy physically, spiritually and mentally.
Possible Side Effects
Vetiver essential oil is very safe to use as it does not leave any irritation from all users. It is natural and non-toxic. It is also safe to drink vetiver water in small doses. However, it is best not to use it during pregnancy and when nursing.