10 Vetiver Oil Benefits You Must Read

Did you know that vetiver essential oil is one of the most enigmatic and complex oils ever known? Well yes! It has a lot of rare compounds with multiple chemical structures. It also includes a plethora of sesquiterpene derivatives. From flavouring alcoholic beverages to repelling insects, vetiver oil benefits can be abundant. (1)

Just inhaling its aroma will make you feel as if you are in the middle of a dense, evergreen forest.

On that note, let’s understand vetiver in detail.

What Is Vetiver Oil?

Vetiver essential oil is extracted from the roots of Vetiveria zizanoides through the process of steam distillation. The plant belongs to Poaceae family. They are grasses and are economically important.

Harvesting takes place every 18 months. For the extraction of vetiver essential oil, first, the grass is cut low to the ground. Then, the roots are dug, washed, and dried in shade before steam distillation.

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Rice, Maize, millets, wheat, barley, bamboo and many other kinds of grass belong to this family.

Vetiver grass is stiff and perennial with thin leaves. It can grow up to 5 feet tall and has fragrant roots, which can grow more than 8 feet long. (2, 3, 4).

Its root system is so unique that it can tolerate extreme climatic conditions like flooding, extreme winters, and even drought. It can grow in any type of soil – be it sand or heavy clays. The roots of vetiver play a major role in preventing soil erosion.

Fact: Réunion, Comoro Islands, Madagascar, Indonesia, Haiti, India, Sri Lanka, Paraguay are the principal places of production of vetiver essential oil.

The grass is also used in small-scale businesses. They can be woven into floor mats, screens, or fans. The whole plant is an excellent insect deterrent. Small pieces of dried vetiver roots are placed in stored clothes to repel insects.

The oil is capable of overpowering the aroma of other essential oils when used in a blend.

Scientific Name Of Vetiver Oil

 The botanical name of vetiver is Vetiveria zizanoides.

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History Of Vetiver Oil

The term “Vetiver” is derived from the Tamil word called “Vettu ver,” meaning “the root that is dug out.”

The species name zizanoides means “by the riverside.” The grass is widely seen growing in damp sites. The root is tough to dig out. The massive root system makes it highly suitable for preventing soil erosion.

The plant is native to Asia and it is believed that Vetiver was introduced to Réunion through Indonesia.

Traditionally, the roots of vetiver and its essential oil have been used in perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. In tropical countries, vetiver roots are used in foods, beverages, water filters, homemade coolers, and much more.

In India, vetiver essential oil was revered for its spiritual significance. They used to treat patients with mental imbalances using vetiver essential oil. Moreover, people in tropical countries used to cool their bodies with vetiver oil during hot weathers.

In the Ayurvedic system, vetiver is documented to treat arthritis, headaches, muscular pains, fever, loss of energy, and skin problems.

In Chinese tradition, they used vetiver oil to treat depression. They prescribed vetiver essential oil to individuals, who suffered from Yin deficiency.

Fact: Vetiver essential oil holds a high value in modern perfumery. Its most sought earthy-woody scents have remained controversial. It is one of the complex essential oils because it has various derivatives of sesquiterpene with a huge structural diversity.

Color, Consistency, and Smell of Vetiver oil

  • The colour of vetiver oil is golden to amber brown.
  • The consistency of vetiver oil is thick.
  • The smell of vetiver oil is deep, earthy, green, smoky, rooty, woody, and herbaceous.

Properties Of Vetiver Essential Oil

The therapeutic properties of vetiver essential oil include:

  • Analgesic - Lessens the pain sensation
  • Antifungal - Prevents fungal growth
  • Antidepressant - Treats depression
  • Anti-infectious - Prevents infections
  • Antibacterial - Stops bacterial growth
  • Anti-inflammatory - Reduces inflammation
  • Antimicrobial - Stops microorganism growth
  • Antiphlogistic – Treats inflammation & fever
  • Antirheumatic - Treats rheumatic conditions
  • Antioxidant – Inhibits the process of oxidation
  • Antiseptic – Kills the microbes and prevents further development
  • Antispasmodic - Relieves convulsions, contractions, and spasms
  • Antiviral - Stops the growth of the virus
  • Antitoxic – Neutralizes the toxins
  • Calmative - Serves as a sedative and a calming agent
  • Circulatory – Enhances blood flow
  • Cicatrizing - Forms scar tissues to quicken the healing process
  • Cytophylactic - Boosts cell turnover and helps in healing
  • Deodorant – Gets rid of unpleasant smell
  • Emmenagogue - Regularizes menstruation
  • Depurative – Effective cleanser & detoxifier
  • Emollient – Makes your skin soft & supple
  • Hypertensive - Raises blood pressure
  • Hypnotic – Has a sedative effect
  • Hypotensive - Lowers blood pressure
  • Immunostimulant - Stimulates the immune system
  • Regenerative - Tends to regenerate
  • Nervine - Treats nervous disorders
  • Restorative - Revives and strengthens the body
  • Sedative - Relaxes the psychological & physical activity
  • Spasmolytic - Eases muscle spasms
  • Stimulant – Enhances the body functions
  • Soporific - Induces sleep
  • Vermifuge - Expels intestinal worms
  • Tonic – Refreshes the body functions

Chemical Compounds In Vetiver Oil

The chemical compounds in vetiver essential oil are: (5)

Khusimol (zizanol) (3.4–13.7%), Vetiselinenol (isonootkatol) (1.3–7.8%), Cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (1.0–6.7%), a-Cadinol (0–6.5%), a-Vetivone (isonootkatone) (2.5–6.4%), b-Vetivenene (0.2–5.7%), b-Eudesmol (0–5.2%), b-Vetivone (2.0–4.9%), Khusenic acid (0–4.8%), b-Vetispirene (1.5–4.5%), g-Vetivenene (0.2–4.3%), a-Amorphene (1.5–4.1%), (E)-Eudesm-4(15),7-dien-12-ol (1.7–3.7%), b-Calacorene (0–3.5%), g-Cadinene (0–3.4%), (Z)-Eudesm-6-en-11-ol (1.1–3.3%), g-Amorphene (0–3.3%), Ziza-5-en-12-ol (0–3.3%), b-Selinene (0–3.1%), (Z)-Eudesma-6,11-diene (0–2.9%), Salvial-4(14)-en-1-one (0–2.9%), Cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimer B) (1.1–2.7%), Khusinol (0–2.8%), Selina-6-en-4-ol (0–2.7%), Khusian-ol (1.5–2.6%), d-Amorphene (0–2.5%), 1-epi-Cubenol (0–2.4%), Khusimene (ziza-6(13)-ene) (1.1–2.3%), Ziza-6(13)-en-3b-ol (0–2.3%), Ziza-6(13)-en-3-one (0–2.3%), 2-epi-Ziza-6(13)-en-3a-ol (1.0–2.2%), 12-Nor-ziza-6(13)-en-2b-ol (0–2.2%), a-Vetispirene (0–2.2%), Eremophila-1(10),7(11)-diene (0.9–2.1%), Dimethyl-6,7-bicyclo-[4.4.0]-deca-10-en-one (0–2.0%), 10-epi-g-Eudesmol (0–1.8%), a-Calacorene (0.4–1.7%), and Isoeugenol (0–1.3%).

Note: According to IFRA (2009), the finished products that contain more than 0.02% of Isoeugenol should be avoided. Only the oil extracted from Java, China, Brazil and Mexico contain any isoeugenol. Vetiver essential oil from Haiti, India, Reunion, and Madagascar are free from Isoeugenol. (6)

vetiver essential oil

Health Benefits Of Vetiver Oil

Though vetiver oil benefits are abundant, here are the most noteworthy ones proved by science in recent years.

  •  Helps you to meditate better
  •  Gets rid of indigestion
  •  Eases menstrual pain
  •  Treats acne, burns, and scars
  •  Rich source of antioxidants
  •  Keeps your hair shiny & healthy
  •  Treats sleep disorders
  •  Eases back pain
  •  Self-hypnosis for a calm Mind
  •  Great for workaholics

1. Helps you to meditate better

Mindfulness meditation needs no advertisements. Your mind is a cluster of memories and experiences. We all long for a quiet moment to help our minds focus on the current scenarios and tackle them better.

There are many methods of mindfulness meditation and utilizing “aroma” is one among them.

If you find the fragrance of vetiver essential oil interesting, diffuse the oil in the room where you meditate. However, keep in mind that if you use the oil for mindfulness meditation, you should not use it for any other purpose. (7)

2. Gets rid of indigestion

Your entire well-being depends on how healthy your gut and stomach is. Indigestion and chronic constipation are the initial cause of any disease.

Indigestion can occur due to various reasons but emotional stress is claimed to be the primary one. You must have seen people stress eating, anger eating, happy eating, and sad eating. These are people who eat for anything and everything.  This isn’t funny because habit is destructive.

When it comes to a problem like indigestion, vetiver oil can come in handy. Rub diluted vetiver oil on your upper abdomen. This gives instant relief. (8)

3. Eases menstrual pain

Most women find it hard during menstrual times. This is mainly due to stress. Also, stress leads to hormonal imbalances, which in turn leads to irregular periods and painful periods.

Vetiver essential oil is a well-known antispasmodic and emmenagogue. It helps to regularize your periods naturally. (9)

To avoid stressful periods, massage your abdomen and lower back using diluted vetiver oil. You can also add vetiver essential oil in your bath or diffuse it to avoid hormonal issues. Besides this, regular exercises, proper nutrition, and a positive attitude are important too.

4. Treats acne, burns, and scars

Vetiver oil is one of the ideal remedies for acne, burns and scars. It has cicatrizing properties, making it an ideal choice to get rid of scars by promoting skin regeneration.

On the other hand, the antioxidants in it make you look young and healthy. Also, it helps you to get rid of acne and other inflammations. Vetiver oil is considered a key ingredient in the cosmetic industry for its antimicrobial property. (10, 11)

Add 1 - 2 drops of vetiver oil to your body lotion or liquid soap. You can also add the oil in your bath or massage your skin with it but in diluted form.

5. Rich source of antioxidants

Vetiver oil is a rich source of antioxidants. It scavenges free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. This, in turn, strengthens the immune system. The oil also stimulates metabolism and acts as a natural tonic.

Vetiver oil has a strong free radical scavenging activity compared to other antioxidants. It slows down ageing, detoxifies the body, makes the skin glow, and increases your life span. (12)

6. Keeps your hair shiny & healthy

Hair tends to weaken and become lifeless as people age. This is due to decreased collagen production. But vetiver can help in maiantining health hair. Thanks to its cicatrizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It promotes cell turn over and renews scalp cells.

Dilute 2 drops of vetiver oil in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm coconut oil. Massage the diluted oil on the scalp and let it sit for an hour before washing it off with a mild shampoo.

7. Treats sleep disorders

Difficulties in sleep can occur due to various reasons. Sleep deprivation may lead to many serious mental and physical complications. Sleep disorder is mostly caused due to slow metabolism, malfunctioning of the nervous system, anxiety, and stress.

Happily, the aroma of vetiver essential oil, when inhaled, calms down the mind, changes the breathing pattern, and helps you to have a good night sleep. (13)

8. Eases back pain

Back pain is one of the most common conditions people face these days. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, overweight, long stretches, muscle strains, lifting heavy objects, and wrong posture are a few of the common causes.

Often, the pain is due to muscle spasms and strains. But studies have demonstrated that vetiver can do a big deed in easing back pain. This is due to its analgesic, antispasmodic, calmative, and spasmolytic properties. (14)

A good massage on the abdominal muscles and back eases back pain. Exercise and stretching your body is crucial for improving the condition.

9. Self-hypnosis for a calm Mind

With increasing work-stress, people eagerly wait for weekends and vacations. They need some sort of suspension or detachment from their work mode. Self-hypnosis is a technique that helps you attain that detachment every night and relaxes your mind.

It also helps you recharge your body so that your productivity increases. Vetiver oil is a lighter essential oil and hence, it can be used for self-hypnosis.

Diffuse the oil and make sure you are comfortable and still. Focus on an object and keep concentrating on it. Count slowly from 1 to 50. Close your eyes and try to recall the object as precisely as you can. Do not stress. Slowly open your eyes, and you would feel at ease and relaxed.

10. Great for workaholics

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Working is good. Working on something that makes you happy is great!

But, if you feel tired all the time or if your work chews up all your time, then it’s time for a small pause. If you feel you are workaholic and want to change yourself, then vetiver essential oil would be of immense help. (15, 16)

Diffuse the oil in the room before bedtime and meditate. It helps you to calm your mind, relaxes it, gives you a good sleep, and helps you to wake up fresh in the morning.

Over time, your focus improves and you would be amazed to see your work-life balance.

What Blends With Vetiver Oil?

Vetiver oil blends the best with:

How To Use Vetiver Oil?

how to use vetiver oil

Vetiver oil is usually not contaminated. However, check for isoeugenol content while purchasing.

  • Topical Application: Vetiver oil is a viscous highly concentrated liquid. Always make sure you use the oil in higher dilution. It is better to perform a patch test before you move forward.
  • Aromatherapy: For aromatherapy benefits, diffuse the oil using diffuser or vaporizer.
  • Ingestion: Vetiver essential oil is not recommended for oral intake.

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Side Effects Of Vetiver Oil

Not many contradictions are studied in vetiver essential oil. It is generally regarded as safe.

  • Undiluted vetiver oil causes hypersensitivity. Always use in higher dilution.
  • Vetiver essential oil is a sedative. It has a deeply relaxing effect. Be cautious that you do not use the oil before driving or operating any machinery.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using this oil.
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