Vetiver, Khus, Vetiveria zizanioides
Also known as “Vetiver”, this ancient herb has an extremely long history of traditional use in perfumes, soaps and cosmetics and as a culinary and healing herb.
Vetivert is considered a sacred herb in its native India and has been extensively used in Ayurveda for its uplifting, healing and protective properties. It also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac that helps with psychological issues that can hinder performance and dampen libido.
Vetivert essential oil is also known as the “Oil of Tranquility”, with sedative properties that help to diminish feelings of restlessness, anxiety, panic and anger.
A recent study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies", found that Vetivert essential oil is particularly good for treating anxiety and stress because it relieves inflammation of the nervous system, which plays a major role in our mental and emotional state. Another 2015 study found that Vetivert has anti-anxiety abilities similar to that of the drug diazepam.
The warm, earthy and woody scent make this oil perfect for diffusion in an aromatherapy burner in the bedroom to help soothe away the tensions of the day and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Central Nervous System
Vetivert is a “nervine” – an adaptogenic herb that promotes and maintains the health of the nervous system. It is stabilising, grounding and calming, gently supporting and nurturing this important bodily communication system.
As an overall tonic for well-being, Vetivert helps to naturally increase energy levels when fatigue has set in, and stimulates a sluggish immune system.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
The calming effects of Vetivert essential oil were researched from 1999 - 2001 when Dr Terry Friedman conducted a study on 20 ADHD children (using 20 non ADHD children as the control group). He found that the typical symptoms of impatience, fidgety behaviour, difficulty in concentrating, diminished focus, being easily distracted, difficulty with organization and following directions, were significantly improved by Vetivert oil.
The children used a night time inhalation device and inhaled the essential oil around three times per day when they were feeling “scattered”.
Like many other essential oils, Vetivert is a powerfully antibacterial agent. It is particularly effective against Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing sepsis. Application of this essential oil to wounds reduces the possibility of infection, kills bacteria and speeds up wound healing.
The anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing properties of Vetivert make it a perfect essential oil to use in homemade skincare products and as a remedy for many skin disorders. It is useful in the treatment of acne, stretch marks, sunburn and irritated skin.
Vetivert is also known as a “cicatrisant agent”, a substance that speeds up the healing of scars by promoting the regeneration of skin and tissues. It can reduce or eliminate the appearance of age spots and works as a powerful anti-aging oil that can reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Vetivert Essential Oil
Vetivert essential oil can be used in the bath, or vaporized in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil.
In the "Bhagavad Gita", the oldest sacred book of Hindus, Krishna describes Vetivert as "I am the fragrance of the soil". This is a reminder that the Creator is present in all creatures of the earth and are nurtured by the rich flavours of Mother Nature. In India, it is used as a holy offering to Hindu gods and goddesses.
In folklore, Vetivert oil is used to increase financial abundance and inhaling the oil is said to protect the body from menacing energies, including physical illness.
Vetivert roots were once used to make maybe the world’s first air conditioner. Due to their coolness, the roots were woven together with coir rope to make curtains, which were then soaked in water before being hung in windows and doorways. As hot air passed through the cold, wet roots, the Vetivert curtains contributed not only cool air but they also exuded a comforting, alluring, earthy fragrance to the interiors of homes. As a further bonus, they functioned as insect repellents too.
The major constituents of Vetivert Essential Oil are: Khusimol, Vetiselinenol, Cyclocopancamphan-12-ol, a-Cadinol, a-Vetivone, B-Vetivenene
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding speak to your healthcare practitioner before using Vetivert Essential Oil.
Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.