Vetiver Essential Oil wasn't one of my favorites until I mistakenly dropped some on my skin while making soap... now I'm in love!
The first time I opened a bottle of vetiver I took a deep breathe in and the image of a hamster cage came to mind. Yuk! Needless to say I shied away from the oil from then on for years. Just recently, however, I was making soap with vetiver and a drop from the bottle touched my skin. To my surprise, it was wonderful! Earthy and rich, musky and rooted. Just another reminder that because humans and plants have evolved for millions of years side-by-side their interaction could produce an aromatic profile very different from the oil isolated by itself. Now my opinion has changed quite dramatically...I use it everywhere!
Vetiver Essential Oil
Have you ever had "one of those days"? Picture this: your running late for work and of course you get a flat tire...in the rain; later on that evening the love of your life gets upset with you for forgetting something important; and to top it all off your kids are acting unusually crazy... Ahhhh!! No need to yell, the earth has provided you with Vetiver, a superior stress reliever.
Vetiver, also known as vetivert and khus khus is extracted from a tall scented grass from the graminea family and is usually cultivated in the tropics such as West Africa, Java, and Haiti. Its botanical name is Vetiveria Zizanoides and it contains the constituents alpha vetivone, benzoic acid, beta vetivone, vetiverol and vetivene.
Vetiver is extracted from the dried and soaked roots by steam distillation and has a sweet, earthy, woody smell. The oil is amber to olive in color and blends well with cedarwood, clary sage, clove, grapefruit, patchouli, and ylang ylang. It is considered safe,non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.
Vetiver is called the "oil of tranquility," and has traditionally been used to dispel irritability, anger, hysteria and anxiety (1). It is also used to balance the hormonal system, help relieve insomnia, and reduce mental exhaustion. A recent study was done by Dr Terry Friedmann on children afflicted with ADD and ADHD. He indicates that inhaling the aroma of vetiver was 100% effective in improving the performance of children affected by the disease due to its extreme tranquilizing properties (2).
As a way to use vetiver in your daily life, place a few drops of the essential oil in a diffuser to calm down an entire house of irritable people. You can also use it in massage oil for inducing supreme relaxation, on the big toe before bed, or in a soap to unwind in a hot bath after a hectic day.
Another way vetiver is commonly used is as a healing agent for fresh scars and stretch marks. The oil both encourages the skin to regenerate new healthy tissue and reduces the appearance of discolored skin regularly associated with scar tissue. With these known properties, vetiver would make a great addition to any massage oil for pre and post prego belly stretch marks.
Vetiver is also an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, muscle relaxant, insect repellent and a general skin tonic.
Vetiver is referenced in the oldest sacred book of the Hindu people known as the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says "I am the fragrance of the soil". Gods and idols in India are honored with garlands made of the grass. In West Africa the grass of the vetiver plant is used by the people to make rugs, baskets, and roof thatches. It's also used as a natural room deodorizer by hanging the dried grass as blinds. Can you just imagine the wonderful aroma in the room when the piercing sun hits those blinds....sign me up!
Products Containing Vetiver
Our Morning Clarity Soap is the perfect blend of may chang and vetiver essential oils. Its purpose is to provide clarity and stress relief first thing in the morning. The bright, grassy and fresh aromatics of this soap are designed to help you organize your thoughts and provide a calming clarity of the mind so you may embark on your day with peace. We hope you enjoy using our Morning Clarity (previously known as "Morning Dew") soap as much as we enjoyed making it.
1. Healing powers of vetiver oil ( the aromatherapy professional: healing with essential oils) by K.G Stiles
2. Attention deficit and hyper activity disorder (ADHD) by Terry S. Friedmann, M.D, A.B.H.M