Chrysopogon zizanioides

Vetiver (botanical name Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a grass plant belonging to the family of plants that also includes fragrant grasses, such as Palmarosa and lemongrass, and grows up to two meters in height and its roots grow descending up to anything between two and four meters in depth. Vetiver is indigenous to India, but, owing to the remedial benefits offered by this plant, it is now grown in different regions across the globe. This grass plant yields an essential oil that possesses a number of therapeutic properties.

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In order to acquire this essential oil, the roots of vetiver have to undergo a process called steam distillation. The process employed to obtain this essential oil is not only fairly time consuming, but also involves an arduous effort. In effect, the roots of vetiver are especially harvested to obtain the essential oil. Generally, the vetiver roots are cultivated for a period of two years and, subsequently, used to extract this essential oil. When the roots have grown large enough, they are sent for processing, which comprises rinsing, drying, slicing and steeping.

The vetiver essential oil is a thick liquid having the consistency of syrup and has a dark brown hue. In fact, vetiver is a very ordinary and unassuming plant that possesses one of the richest striking intricate fragrances. The aroma is basic, sweet, forested, profound, and mystifying as well as reminds one of the moist forest floor as well as damp soil. This essential oil is calm, spicy, smooth and persistent.

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General properties

  • aphrodisiac
  • relaxing
  • soothing
  • grounding
  • antispasmodic
  • circulatory stimulant
  • antiseptic
  • tonic
  • nourishing
  • uplifting
  • comforting
  • refreshing
  • restoring

Blends well with

General uses

For the numerous health benefits offered by it, vetiver essential oil is used extensively in the ancient Indian form of herbal medicine Ayurveda. Moreover, aromatherapy has made use of this essential oil since ages. Vetiver essential oil also forms a vital element in many soaps, perfumes as well as cosmetics, especially those that are made in the eastern part of the world. In the tropical regions, this oil is also extensively used in the form of an antiseptic. Vetiver essential oil is effective in putting off bacterial growth that is one of the main reasons for septic development. Hence, vetiver essential oil may be effectively used to cure external injuries. This oil is cicatrisant, which denotes that the oil possesses an attribute that is useful in getting rid of blemishes or scratches on the skin. When it is applied topically to the skin, vetiver oil facilitates growth of new cells in the affected area of the skin. Therefore, this oil is widely exploited for treating skin conditions, such as burns, acne, stretch marks and the like.

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The essential oil extracted from vetiver offers a comprehensive benefit to majority of the systems of the body, including digestive system, circulatory system, and immune system as well as others. In India, vetiver essential oil is also called the 'Oil of Tranquility' owing to its tranquilizing properties. People suffering from conditions like anxiety, depression, emotional disturbances and nervous irritation, may find this essential oil beneficial for their conditions. In addition, vetiver essential oil is also useful for treating inflammatory problems. This oil has a soothing impact and helps in alleviating the uneasiness attributable to inflammation.

Vetiver essential oil may be used independently or also in combination with other essential oils for everyday use. Findings of many researches recommend that it is only possible to enjoy the benefits provided by any essential oil when it is taken up by the bloodstream. There are a variety of ways by which you can assimilate this essential oil in your bloodstream. Include a few drops of vetiver essential oil in your hot bath water or you may also inhale the steam of this oil by adding some drops of it to a bowl of hot water.

Several forms of vetiver essential oil are sold in the market. You may buy this oil in the form of massage oil, perfume oil, bath oil, or others. Prior to beginning the use of this essential oil, it is advisable that you talk to any person who is an expert on essential oils with a view to learn about its appropriate use.

In addition, you may also use vetiver essential oil to protect your skin. Include about five drops of this oil in steaming water having some amount of alcohol or milk and apply it directly to your skin. The alcohol or milk will work in the form of a dispersant (spread the oil evenly on the water) and help to disintegrate this essential oil on the water and, thereby, prevent your skin from becoming sensitive to the oil.

It has been found that vetiver essential oil possesses excellent antiseptic properties and, therefore, it can be safely applied over injuries. Applying this oil on the wounds helps in shielding them from becoming septic and, at the same time, helps to defend against bacteria, particularly staphylococcus. You may also use this essential oil internally by ingesting it to help protect the internal organs as well as wound from developing septic. In addition, vetiver oil also facilitates the healing of the wounds by promoting the growth of new tissues at the affected area.

Findings of several researches have shown that vetiver essential oil also works as a perfect tonic or stimulant for the nervous system, because it aids in sustaining the good health of the nerves. This oil also has the aptitude to heal injuries caused to the nerves owing to stress, fear, shock and other such factors. At the same time, this oil aids in putting off disorders related to the nervous system, such as bouts of epilepsy, hysteric attacks, Parkinson's disease and others.

It has also been found that this essential oil acts to augment sexual craving or libido and generates arousals. This is primarily owing to the fact that sexual craving has more to do with psychology compared to physiology and, therefore, conditions like absence of libido or desire for sexual activities, impotence and frigidity are regulated by the brain. The components of vetiver essential oil invigorate that particular segment of the brain and work in the form of a medication for treating frigidity.

Besides, people enduring conditions like muscular pain, gout, arthritis and similar problems may find the use of vetiver essential oil beneficial. This oil also facilitates in getting rid of blemishes and scars, such as burns, stretch marks, fat cracks and others from the skin.

Holistic aromatherapy makes extensive use of vetiver essential oil. This oil is very soothing and assists the body as well as the mind to liberate any excessive heat. It is believed to be free from toxicity, cause no irritation whatsoever and non-sensitizing. Holistic aromatherapy uses vetiver essential oil to cure headaches, fever, heatstroke, muscular pain, premenstrual tension, arthritis, rheumatism, muscle stiffness, sprains, stress, depression, mental as well as physical weariness, intense anxiety, hysteria and also flashbacks. As aforementioned, this oil is also used in the manufacture of perfumes, scented soaps, cosmetics, skin care, bath as well as massages. People suffering from skin complaints like acne, eczema, cuts, parched skin, irritated skin and aging skin may find the use of this oil beneficial. It is also very effective in healing wounds and tissue regeneration.

Vetiver essential oil is also useful for people enduring ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as it is an extremely soothing oil. This oil has a potent aroma that helps in alleviating stress, providing relief from nervous tension and is grounding too. In fact, vetiver essential oil facilitates in balancing your mood as well as encouraging sleep provided getting sound sleep is one of the major symptoms of ADHD.

Oriental perfumes extensively use vetiver essential oil. It is also used as a wonderful base note and fixative in other perfumes. The aroma of this oil is so potent and intense that only a little amount of it is required in formulating a perfume.


Although vetiver essential oil possesses several therapeutic properties and is used as a remedy for numerous conditions, it is advisable that prior to starting the use of this oil, you should talk to a specialist on the use of essential oils. It may be noted that the use of this oil for infants and toddlers is not recommended.


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