The vetiver plant (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a grass plant that is native to India. The name 'vetiver' is derived from Tamil (a language spoken in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India) and means 'hatch up'.
The vetiver plant grows up to a height of 1.5 meters and is cultivated all around the world for its numerous benefits. Other aromatic plants of the same family include lemon grass and Palmarosa.
Vetiver oil is extracted from the roots of the vetiver plant. This oil is popularly known as khus oil, also referred to as the 'Oil of Tranquility' in India.
Vetiver oil features in most perfumes, beauty, and cosmetic products. Oil extraction is a very laborious procedure - the roots of the vetiver plant have to be cultivated for two years before they are ready for the extraction of oil. For the extraction, the roots are washed, dried, chopped, and soaked, after which they undergo steam distillation.
✒ Benefits and Uses of Vetiver Oil
♦ Vetiver oil is dark brown or amber in color and has a very earthy and woody aroma. It may even take up an olive green shade, depending on the source that it comes from.
♦ Applying vetiver oil on open wounds curbs the growth of bacteria, thus stopping the wound from becoming septic. It also helps in eliminating scars and marks (especially those that are caused due to burns) on the skin since it is a cicatrisant (the property to eliminate scars), and promotes the growth of new cells in the affected area.
♦ Vetiver essential oil can be used for treating various ailments because it provides for all round benefits to the body. This oil works as an effective remedy for calming the nervous system, reducing irritability, dispelling anger, hysteria, and neurotic behavior.
♦ Vetiver oil acts as a circulatory stimulant that helps in revitalizing and fortifying the red blood cells, which in turn increases the level of oxygen in the blood. Being a rubefacient, it increases the flow of blood to the sore and aching muscles.
♦ Vetiver oil is effective in treating disorders like nervousness, depression, emotional disturbances, and nervous irritation.
♦ Skin problems like acne, stretch marks, and other skin-related disorders like dermatitis and psoriasis are effectively treated by the topical application of vetiver oil. Due to its antispasmodic properties, this oil is known to ease abdominal cramps during menstruation as well.
♦ There have been many studies conducted to prove the health benefits of vetiver essential oil. The oil is absorbed in the blood stream, so that the effect is almost immediate. You can add vetiver oil in your bathing water for a refreshing and rejuvenated feeling. You can even inhale its vapors in the form of steam by adding a few drops of the same to a bowl of hot water.
Vetiver oil is readily available in the market in the form of bath oils, massage oils, and perfumed oils among others. Even though this aromatherapy oil has no proven side effects, it is always beneficial to use an essential oil after consulting an expert.