Vetiver oil is certainly not the most commonly used essential oil, but you may be surprised how incredibly useful this deep and mysterious oil can be. Steam distilled from the root of this grassy plant, Vetiver is a rich and somewhat musky scent. Historically, the entire plant was utilized to make rugs, roofs, mats etc. because of the cooling properties of the plant. Additionally, Vetiver oil has been used in perfumery because of its fixative power and basey notes. In Ayurvedic practices this oil was known for its ability to inspire spirituality and treat inflammation or high temperatures. Finally, in the Chinese culture, Vetiver is known to help improve “Yin” and was prescribed for balancing emotions and focusing the body.
How it’s Made
Originating in India, Vetiver forms as clumps of grass similar to Lemongrass. The root of the plant grows deep in the ground and prefers tropical climates with loamy soil. Reaching heights of up to 5 feet tall, these narrow blades are strongly scented and used by many. To create the essential oil, the root is steam distilled when the plant is between 18 months and 2 years old to ensure high yield.
About 80 years ago, Vetiver farming was brought into Haiti and soon after they became the number one exporter of this precious oil. Employing over 60,000 people in some way, the production of Vetiver is incredibly important to this country. Devastatingly, Haiti has been struck by terrible natural disasters over and over again in the past 10 years. This has not only hurt or displaced hundreds of thousands of people, but it has destroyed farmlands used to grow this plant.
This horrific chain of events received world attention when Vetiver buyers noticed the reduction in oil production. Taking action, initiatives were put in place to improve ecological farming, support communities, and create cooperatives. This has bettered the lives of the people of Haiti and also the production of this great oil. My Pure Earth only sources our Vetiver essential oil from these sustainable and ethical co-ops that are responsible and treat their farmers fairly.
The extensive list of Vetiver’s benefits is pretty amazing. Mentally, this oil can really help with an overactive mind. It is a very grounding scent that is beneficial for focus and steadying scattered thoughts. Additionally, this mellow oil is incredible for easing anxiety and promoting relaxation. This quality makes Vetiver perfect for reducing stress and even encouraging sleep.
Almost 50% of the chemical makeup of Vetiver is Sesquiterpenes. This is what contributes to its sedative properties, but is also why it is supportive to the immune system and assists in cellular repair. There is some evidence that this chemical constituent is able to cross the blood brain barrier! This means that it can potentially aid in keeping the neurological system healthy. There are many studies showing that Vetiver is promising for treating ADHD symptoms.
Physically, Vetiver Essential Oil is very good for the skin. It can help balance the skin’s oils and prevent blemishes. In addition, this gentle oil can be helpful in massage because it soothes the body while also calming the mind. Many people also report that Vetiver is good for relieving headache pain. Using a blend with other oils like Lavender and Peppermint will provide that extra boost to stop headaches in their tracks.
Historically, Vetiver has been used for many years in perfumery. Some of the largest perfume companies in the world add this oil to their blends to anchor the scent without having to use too much oil. In India, Vetiver was known as the “oil of tranquility” and was commonly used as a fixative in ancient perfumes.
How to Use Vetiver Oil
Vetiver Essential Oil can be used both aromatically and topically. There are many ways to use this versatile oil, here are just a few:
- Balance and focus, calm an overactive mind
- Spiritual applications, help ground and connect
- Ease anxiety, stress, and depression
- Encourage relaxation and promote sleep
- Calm inflammation, soothe tension and pain
- Protect skin, prevent blemishes and wrinkles
- Perfumery, used as a base note that extends the life of the scent
- Control irritability, may also ease symptoms of PMS
- Reduce headache pain
As reflected in the title, Vetiver is strong but also gentle. This oil is considered safe for children over the age of 2 years old and is certainly one of the more delicate choices. When used topically, Vetiver can be used in dilutions of up 15%. Vetiver is a great choice for many applications because it is strong but also soft.
***Keep in mind that Vetiver is a thick and viscous oil. You may need to use one of our glass dropper caps when using this oil.
Sweet Slumber Diffuser Blend
1 drop Vetiver
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
Add the drops of essential oils to the diffuser with 100 ml water and run 20 minutes prior to bedtime to encourage a restful sleep.