Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides)

Vetiver oil has been used in traditional medicine in South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Africa for thousands of years. It’s native to India, and both its leaves and roots have wonderful uses. 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 tranquillity.”

Vetiver, or chrysopogon zizanioides, is a perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family native to India. In western and northern India, it’s popularly known as khus. Vetiver is most closely related to Sorghum, but it shares many morphological characteristics with other fragrant grasses, such as lemongrass, palmarosa and citronella oil.

Vetiver grass can grow up to five feet high. The stems are tall, and the leaves are long and thin. The flowers are a brownish-purple colour, and unlike most root systems, the roots of vetiver grass grow downward and can go as deep at eight feet.

The vetiver plant is highly drought-tolerant and can help to protect soil against sheet erosion. Because of the deep root system, they don’t dislodge easily, therefore they have been used to stabilize railway cuttings and embankments to prevent mudslides and rockfalls. The plant can block the runoff of surface water, and it slows water flow.

Vetiver oil is distilled from the root of the plant, and it contains over 100 components. The important compounds of vetiver are khusimene, delta-selinene, beta-vetivenene, cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimers A and B), vetiselinenol, khusimol, isovalencenol, khusimone, alpha-vetivone and beta-vetivone. The oil is amber-brown in colour, and it’s described as a sweet, woody and smoky fragrance.

Benefits and Uses of Vetiver:

Some of the uses of vetiver oil include treating heat strokes, joint disorders and skin problems. Using vetiver oil is also a way to boost energy levels when you’re exhausted. In addition, it’s used to cool the body during very high temperatures and soothe feelings of anxiety and nervousness.

Recent research credits vetiver oil for treating symptoms of ADHD and ADD. It’s also known to increase libido and remedy insomnia without drugs. There are a number of vetiver oil benefits that you can take advantage of in the comfort of your home. The essential oil is perfect for skin care products and relaxing oil combinations.

Similar to patchouli oil and sandalwood essential oil, the fragrance of vetiver develops and improves with aging, and the scent varies depending on the original plant’s location.

Other properties of Vetiver:

  • Deeply balancing, calming, and grounding.
  • Promotes restful sleep and address restlessness.
  • Exhibits anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, aphrodisiac, and immune-stimulating properties.
  • Has a warming and sedative effect.
  • Stimulates circulation.
  • Soothes feelings of anger, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, and stress.


Vetiver is used in perfumes, skin care, soaps and even in some foods and beverages . It can be vaporised or applied directly to the skin for relieving stress, emotional traumas and shock, treating lice, and repelling insects. Vetiver can be inhaled for nervousness, insomnia, and for joint and muscle pain (anti-inflammatory).

For your benefit:

Try our three beautiful blends and lotions below to enjoy some of these many benefits and qualities of Vetiver, or purchase our 100% Pure Essential Oil of Vetiver and use it solo.

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