Vetiver Essential Oil <br><em>Vetiveria zizanoides</em>
In the hot, humid temperatures of India, a clump of grass grows. It looks like any other tall cluster of grass, about 1.5 meters tall and perfectly ordinary in every way. This common-looking green grass is just one more green spot in India’s vast and deep verdant foliage. In reality, this tuft of grass disguises a secret: it is the source of one of the most beloved and appreciated scents in the world. That grass is vetiver, the source of vetiver oil.
The sweet, smoky and caramel scent of vetiver oil makes it the perfect fragrance for perfumes. The delicious scent is sought after by many companies to make vetiver perfume or simply as an ingredient. Many people even use the oil itself as a perfume, pleased with the oil’s delightful scent, long-lasting aroma and slow evaporation rate.
Gift of India
Some have called vetiver a “gift of India”, one of India’s proud contributions to the world’s olfactory senses and spiritual and physical health. The grass is a native of India, named from the Tamil word for “root that is dug up”.
The appealing scent of the oil is made from the plant’s roots, which can easily grow three to four metres deep within a year’s time. These roots have been distilled into vetiver oil for centuries, creating an enchanting scent with healthful benefits. The oil is a frequent component in traditional medicine throughout South Asia and extends through Southeast Asia and West Africa. In Ayurveda, for instance, vetiver is considered a coolant as well as an aid to digestion.
Today, we use vetiver oil for many purposes, including aromatherapy and massage. One could even go as far to say that it’s the perfect oil for massages, blessed with an amazing scent that is relaxing and skin-soothing.
The Gift of India That Just Keeps Giving
Vetiver oil is a bounty of beneficial attributes. Here are just a few ways you may find joy and relief with vetiver:
- Anti-inflammatory. Vetiver oil can relieve many conditions that are caused by inflammation or cause inflammation such as symptoms of rheumatism, arthritis and gout.
- Antioxidant. Antioxidants help combat free radicals that damage your internal body as well as your skin. Compared to many other antioxidative compounds, vetiver actually has very powerful antioxidant activity.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Vetiver is also a potent ADHD reliever, thanks to its relaxing effects. In one study, kids with ADHD who used vetiver aromatherapy experienced a 100 percent increase in performance. In comparison, lavender aromatherapy increased performance by 53 percent.
- Anxiety. Vetiver is thought to regulate the central nervous system, helping to calm some forms of anxiety.
- Stretch Marks. This essential oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as scars.
- Skin Care. Vetiver balances sebacious oil glands, regulates oily skin and calms acne breakouts. It’s also good for dry skin, restoring moisture balance and fighting some of the signs of ageing caused by dry skin.
- Root Chakra. It’s fitting that an oil produced from far-reaching grass roots aid in the balancing of the root chakra. To use the oil for this purpose, place a few drops of the oil in an aromatherapy diffuser before you begin your meditation for balancing the root chakra. Vetiver oil will strengthen your connection to the earth and promote feelings of safety and security.
Vetiver oil is thought to be generally safe, but some precautions are a good idea. If you are pregnant or nursing, check with your health care provider before using the oil. Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, test your skin’s tolerance for vetiver by placing a bit of the oil on a patch of skin before using more extensively.
- Botanical Name: Vetiveria zizanoides
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
- Plant Part Typically Used: Root
- Colour: Gold to dark brown
- Consistency: Thick
- Perfumery Note: Base
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
- Aromatic Description: Smokey, woody scent with a hint of spice and herbs