Digging Deeper: Vetiver

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Vetiver root oil

(Vetiveria zizanoides)

Centuries ago vetiver was a taxable commodity in India because of its unique value and benefits.

Vetiver is a perennial bunchgrass from the Poaceae family and is native to India. The plant’s roots can grow 7–10 feet long, and their deep, tangled webs help make the plant tolerant against drought and protect against soil erosion.

Vetiver roots are the most used part of the plant, though the chopped leaves make a good mulch. The essential oil of vetiver – a resinous oil that is deep, earthy and exotic – has been used since the time of Babylonia, and is used extensively today in the perfume industry. It is often used in haute couture perfumes; it is the bottom note in fragrances such as Coco, Miss Dior, and Opium. Vetiver takes a long time to evaporate from the skin – known as “persistence” in perfume. It is an excellent fixative in potpourris, etc. and the oil improves with age. In Aromatherapy, it was traditionally used for someone going into shock, as it is said to center and ground, as well as calm and restore. Vetiver is also anti-nematode, antibacterial and antifungal. Rats and insects do not like it, and so it is used as a repellent to keep away bugs in strawberry plantations and mice out of grain.

Sourced from http://www.greenwomansgarden.com/Vetiver

Medicinal and Health Benefits of Vetiver Essential Oil

The health benefits of Vetiver Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti-inflammatory, anti septic, aphrodisiac, cicatrisant, nervine, sedative, tonic and vulnerary.
This Essential Oil is very popular in aromatherapy and has many medicinal properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory (particularly good in giving relief from inflammations in circulatory system and nervous system)
  • Anti Septic (stops the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing septic, and eliminates them, thereby helping cure septic and giving protection against it
  • Aphrodisiac (enhances libido and gives arousals)
  • Cicatrisant (a property by virtue of which a substance speeds up the eradication or disappearance of the scars and other marks from the skin)
  • Nervine (tonic for the nerves)
  • Sedative (It sedates nervous irritations, afflictions, convulsions and emotional outbursts such as anger, anxiety, epileptic and hysteric attacks, restlessness, nervousness etc. and even benefits patients of insomnia.)
  • Tonic (keeps the metabolic system in order, rejuvenates the body, gives strength and boosts immunity
  • Vulnerary (helps heal wounds by promoting growth of new tissues at the wounded place and also by keeping it safe from infections by inhibiting growth of microbes and promoting crowding of leucocytes and platelets at the place
  • Healing (helps in the formation of new tissue is used so as to accelerate the healing and recovery of skin wounds
  • Calming (help to overcome situations of shock, fear, high levels of stress, panic, etc.)
  • Other Benefits (the strengthening of bones, the treatment of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, muscle aches, dryness, cramps and dry skin

Sourced from Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies http://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_may_2013/6.pdf

Aromatic Profile
Woodsy, smoky, and slightly sweet

Features & Benefits

TopicalAromaticKey Constituents
May help appearance of even skin tone

Apply topically before sleep and let the aroma create peaceful, comfortable sleeping environment
Has an earthy, balancing aroma

Aromatic features promote a focused environment and a calm, relaxing atmosphere




  • Free your mind for an important project in a study or den with its relaxing, welcoming fragrance.
  • Set the mood for sleep by filling your bedroom with its grounding, soothing aroma.
  • Treat yourself to a spa-like retreat by infusing your bathroom with its exotic scent.

Diffusing Vetiver’s earthy, exotic aroma can help promote a nostalgic, focused environment. You can also add it to your skin care cream to support the appearance of an even skin tone.


  • Add a few drops of Vetiver to V-6 and massage it on skin for a dual benefit: a calming aroma and the appearance of an even skin tone.
  • Dilute Vetiver’s earthy aroma with V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex and diffuse it around the house or in your office to promote a focused environment.
  • Add 5–10 drops of Vetiver to your hot bath for a relaxing, calming aroma to ease occasional restlessness as part of your bedtime routine.
  • Combine V-6, 3 drops of Lavender, and 2 drops of Vetiver for a calming diffuser blend that’s perfect for a relaxing evening after a long day of work.

It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is traditionally used for arthritic symptoms.

Medical Properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, relaxant, circulatory stimulant

Uses: ADHD, anxiety, rheumatism/arthritis, depression (including postpartum), insomnia, skin care (oily, aging, acne, wrinkles)

Fragrant Influence: Psychologically grounding, calming, and stabilizing. It helps us cope with stress and recover from emotional trauma. Terry Friedmann, MD, found in preliminary clinical tests that vetiver may be successful in the treatment of ADD and ADHD (attention deficit disorders) in children (Friedmann 2002).

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, Seventh Edition, page137

Thank you for digging deeper into Vetiver with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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