Vetiver essential oil is well known in aromatherapy because of its properties. Its best-known uses are for calming stress, repelling insects, and relieving minor skin injuries.
Its scientific name is Chrysopogon zizanioides. It belongs to the grass family, of which lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) and citronella (Cymbopogon nardus). It is often used in aromatherapy for therapeutic purposes.
Vetiver essential oil is obtained from an herb that grows as a clump of grass reaching 1.5 meters in height or more. The roots penetrate up to 4 meters deep, reaching the natural underground water tables.
Its seeds are not fertile, so it is an ecologically safe plant, it is easily propagated by dividing the bushes. Also from an environmental point of view, it is being widely used in bioengineering for erosion control; phytoremediation of water and soil contaminated by heavy metals, hydrocarbons, agrochemicals and other pollutants.
It is also used for its scent to ward off moths and other insects. In India, they weave mats and baskets with the plant, which, when moistened, give off a pleasant smell that purifies the environment.
The chemical composition of this oil gives it antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities. In addition, it is soothing and acts as an anti-inflammatory. To learn more about its properties and benefits, we invite you to continue reading.
Vetiver oil properties
Vetiver oil is obtained from the roots of the vetiver plant. It has a rather peculiar, earthy aroma, often known in men’s colognes. They contain substances with antioxidant capacity. In turn, the following properties are assigned to it:
- Pain relief.
Top benefits of vetiver oil
Due to its interesting composition, vetiver oil has been used in aromatherapy with the aim of promoting well-being. In fact, there is some research to support its effects. We detail below.
Ayurvedic medicine considers vetiver root to be bitter, refreshing, stomachic, and astringent, as well as an antidote to poisons, and is recommended for burning sensations, bilious fevers, sweats, thirst, ulcers, and blood disorders. It has been used in perfumery as an essential oil. The essence is used in India as a liniment against rheumatism externally and as a carminative and stimulant internally.
Helps reduce mental fatigue
In times of fatigue, vetiver essential oil can serve as an adjuvant to reduce mental fatigue. Due to its relaxing effect, it reduces stress and improves alertness.
In this regard, an animal study determined that the cooling properties of this oil stimulate the electrical activity of the brain and help improve mental performance.
Promotes snoring control
While more evidence is needed, recent studies have found that vetiver essential oil may be beneficial for heavy snorers. In particular, research has found that its inhalation can improve the quality of exhalation during sleep.
Helps calm stress and anxiety
The anxiolytic effects of this essential oil are well known in traditional medicine. Since ancient times they have been used in rituals and therapies with the aim of improving mental health in states of stress and anxiety.
In this regard, an animal study observed that rats exposed to the aroma of vetiver oil appeared to be more relaxed after inhalation. Still, human trials are needed to verify this effect.
Either way, both this and other oils are common in aromatherapy when it comes to fighting stress symptoms. They are even combined with carrier oils (such as olive or coconut) for relaxing massages.
It is an adjunct to ADHD
Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) requires a multidisciplinary team. Therefore, it is worth clarifying that vetiver oil is not a first choice option for treating this condition. Still, it can be considered an adjuvant.
The reason? Its ability to improve alertness and reduce mental fatigue. This effect can help people with ADHD have better concentration. In addition, the relaxing action of aromatherapy is also favorable.
Helps fight free radicals
Due to its content of antioxidant compounds, this essential oil is a good choice for mitigating the negative effects of free radicals. The latter are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease and premature aging.
Today, some cosmetic products contain vetiver oil and are therefore recommended for skin care. Its use appears to help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Protects against ticks
Vetiver essential oil is one of the most popular natural repellents. Due to its composition, it has high toxicity for species such as ticks. In fact, one publication found that when diluted in a carrier oil, it can be even more effective than certain commercial repellents at protecting against ticks.
How to use vetiver essential oil?
Vetiver essential oil is often used in aromatherapy. That is, it is incorporated into a diffuser to inhale the aroma and obtain its benefits. Likewise, it can be added to boiling water to generate steam with its scent.
It can also be applied topically, as long as it is previously diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba or olive. In this case, 2 or 3 drops of vetiver oil should be mixed for every 10 cc of carrier oil. The final mixture is applied by massage.
Vetiver oil precautions and contraindications
In most cases, using vetiver essential oil is safe. As long as it is used in moderation, there is no risk of side effects. Anyway, in case of pregnancy, lactation or any chronic illness, it is better to consult a doctor before using this product.
What to remember about vetiver essential oil?
Vetiver essential oil has potential as an adjuvant against some health problems such as stress, lack of concentration and snoring. However, due to a lack of research, there is still no accurate data on its safety and effectiveness in humans. That’s why it shouldn’t be a first-choice treatment.
In any case, it is safe for most healthy adults to use in aromatherapy or in combination with a carrier oil. Some commercial products may also contain it in their components. Do you dare to try it?