Today's Spotlight: Background, "Benefits" & Uses for Vetiver Essential Oil



vetiver essential oil and potential benefits


Vetiver is another essential oil that has it's own benefits and uses. Vetiver essential oil itself is also referred to as khus oil and it is an extract of the vetiver plant which is a part of the Grass family. The vetiver plant is one that grows natively in Indonesia, a clumpy, green grass, and can grow fairly tall, up to five feet. The essential oil itself is derived from the aromatic roots of the Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash, botanical.

Due to it's sharp, distinct fragrance, vetiver oil is often times used in men's cologne and this may be notable once you've gotten to know this scent. 

It is also used in holistic treatment, for medicine, and in several applications of aromatherapy. 

Like patchouli essential oil, vetiver is said to have grounding, and sedative type properties, making it useful in helping to aide in anxiety, stress and depression symptoms. Hence, why some see the benefits of it's use in aromatherapy and aromatherapy applications like, body massages (which may enhance blood circulation due to vetiver's said tonic properties), and aromatherapy diffusers.

Due to some of vetivers properties to aid in promoting positivity and balance emotions, could it also be an aide in boosting things like immunity, and other physiological functions? 

These types of properties have have helped shape the way in which vetiver is used today, as it has come to be known as the "Oil of Tranquility". 

Add a few drops of vetiver oil or blend it with other essential oils like patchouli, lavender, lemon or sandalwood into a diffuser, and you'll have the workings of a tranquil space. 


vetiver essential oil and extract

Interesting Facts About Vetiver Grass!

In the past, vetiver grass itself was very useful in several other application for "staying cool". For instance, it functioned well for the making of rugs, mats, roofs and even awnings to help people stay cool. 

It also helps to stabilize soil and protect it from erosions, as well as offering protection against pests and weeds. 


Some of the Main Components of Vetiver Oil Include:

Aroma influential components: a-Vetivone, ß-Vetivone, and Khusinol

However, Vetiver oil composition is made up of many other compounds and can be very complex (more then 100, mainly sesquiterpenes and their derivatives).

Vetiver essential oil, like several other oils gets better with age. The end oil is light golden-brown in color to other shades of amber-brown. 


Extraction Process of Vetiver Oil:

This particular essential oil is steam-distilled from the aromatic roots of the Vetiver plant. Once the plants themselves have been harvested, the roots are separated and washed and allowed to dry for a few days. Usually the drying process takes place in the shade to promote better aroma in the finished product, but can also be dried in sunlight. The steam distilling process then takes place to extract the oils. From their the oils are skimmed off and filtered


Benefits of Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver essential oil has several potential benefits. Besides having the ability to calm the mind, vetiver can also be used as an antiseptic or in stimulating the circulatory and immune systems, according to some data. Listed below are some of the potential benefits of vetiver essential oil.


May Help in Suppressing Inflammatory Response Against Inflammation


may help with inflammation


According to one study, certain compounds in Vetiver essential oil may help to suppress certain inflammatory responses, which make it suitable to offer anti-inflammatory solutions. Having said this, it may help to aid in some joint pain or even certain skin inflammatory responses. Vetiver in a topical form (like lotions) or essential oil forms may help with this anti-inflammatory action.

With the said anti-inflammatory properties, pain in some instances as well as muscular aches and joint pain may be lessoned as a result


Used as an Antiseptic


antiseptic


Vetiver root has been known to contain antiseptic properties, making it suitable for application directly on the body against wounds and skin abrasions. Certain compounds in vetiver may help in the prevention of bacterial infections or wounds. 

Traditionally in India, they used vetiver as an antiseptic.

One specific review, concluded that vetiver EO is manly active against Gram positive bacteria, like Staphylococcus Aureus, but not Gram negative bacteria.  

Despite some claims, using vetiver in the form of skin creams, based on research we found, does not play a significant role in preventing signs of aging. However, if vetiver does indeed play a role in skin tightening, firming, and helping to protect this vital organ (the skin) from environmental stressors, then one may conclude vetiver essential oil as a helping aide in the aging process. 

In this type of application, you can add vetiver essential oil to carrier oils like coconut oil and/or jojoba oil, pour or drop on a cotton swab and then gently wipe across the face. Not only is this said to have antiseptic properties, but this may also help with things such as stimulating collagen production, and cleansing the pores.


Helping Deal with Nervous Disorders


may help with anxiety symptoms


Like mention above and with the use of others essential oils, Vetiver essential oil can be used in an aromatherapy application. It can be beneficial in aiding people who suffer with ADHD, stress, and anxiety.

As a result of treating nervous system disorders, vetiver can be used to treat several mental issues such as stress and mental fatigue. Research conducted in 2016, indicate that compounds contained in vetiver and it's roots may help with reducing elements of mental fatigue and improve overall alertness. 

Due to the possible effects of vetiver in aromatherapy it can be used in conjunction with other treatments for disorders like ADHD, as well as may be beneficial in helping to stay more focused on tasks.

Add just a few drops (3-5) of vetiver essential oil to a warm bath to help calm the mind and soothe your overworked muscles, as well as potentially helping with sun-exposed skin. 


Wounds and other Skin Blemishes


may help with stretch marks and other skin blemishes


Vetiver may help aid in wound healing, lifting scars or accelerating the reduction of scars, and healing wounds to a degree. Vetiver has also been associated with helping to rehydrate dry skin and prevent stretch marks. 

There are also claims that vetiver oils can help to promote skin rejuvenation and strengthen connective tissue. However, we have found little consistent lab data to support this claim upon our research on this oil.

Vetiver for years has been used cosmetically and topically. Placing lotions, containing vetiver over things like stretch marks, vetiver may help reduce the appearance, as well as cover skin cracks, even tone, rejuvenate & nourish the skin, especially when used in conjunction with other oils like coconut or jojoba oils.


Used as an Insect Repellent/Ticks

Using vetiver, one can repel certain insects. One such study looked at the toxicity for 8 different essential oils. Vetiver posted to be the most effective. This study was specifically for termites, but vetiver proved to have long lasting "activity against them".

One might conclude that if the toxicity of this essential oil works well against termites, there is probably a percentage chance of it being effective against other insects, but we could not locate such data. 

Another study in 2015, showed vetiver also has a high toxicity level toward ticks (reducing oviposition of females' and larval survival), and may be even more repellent for ticks then certain commercial products.


Vetiver Essential Oil Side Effects

Like most other essential oils, it is not advised to take this internally or ingest. Also, be advised when using vetiver essential oil when pregnant or on children. If you do feel you would benefit from using this oil for therapeutic purposes, it is advisable to consult with a medical expert. 

For external applications, always test vetiver on a small area, and dilute in some sort of carrier oil. We prefer lighter weighted oils, like coconut, or sweet almond oil, but others can be used as well. Avoid areas such as the mouth, nose, ears and eyes. Like with any other product you use externally, if you notice a potential allergic reaction, you should stop using it immediately and consult with a medical expert. 


Final Thoughts!

Many of these benefits of vetiver may not be specific for the reasons you may use it. Many just love the natural aroma of this oil and that's perfectly okay, however we do like to provide a basic understanding of essential oils we use in our soap and other products, and research behind them.  

Also, it is advisable to dilute any essential oils with a carrier oil before using it, topically. Be sure to read our posts on other popular essential oils like; lavender, ylang-ylang, pachouli, & Rose Geranium.


Resources:

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5590077/

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206475/

- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257164453_Study_of_the_chemical_composition_antioxidant_activity_and_anti- inflammatory_activity_of_essential_oil_from_Vetiveria_zizanioides

- https://www.ejmanager.com/mnstemps/55/55-1448500242.pdf?t=1542041165

- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11521400/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26359641/

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