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Vetiver Oil
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Home » Essential Oils » Vetiver oil

Vetiver oil (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Vetiver oil
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Origin of Vetiver essential oil:
Vetiver is a grass which grows in Indonesia and the Philippines and an abundant complex lacework of underground white roots and is mainly cultivated in the tropics, such as India, Tahiti, Java and Haiti. Vetiver oil is also known as the 'oil of tranquility' because of its calming properties.

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Description of Vetiver essential:
It is a tall, tufted, perennial, scented grass with long narrow leaves. The oil is obtained from the root by distillation. It is popular in the perfume industry and has a long-lasting woody fragrance, often popular with men. In the East it is known as the oil of tranquility and is often used for meditation. Khus (Vetiveria zizanioides) is a grass that grows up to six feet high. Vetiver's deeply penetrating roots and thousands of tiny fibrous rootlets reach out to drink in the aromatic molecules from the surrounding soil, which in turn become the multi-layered perfume notes of its dark amber oil. Sweet and heavy, with rich undertones reminiscent of precious woods and marshlands, the oil has widely varied olfactory characteristics depending on the type of earth it grows in. Because of the diversity of compounds present in different soils, vetiver oil is one of the most biochemically complex of all essential oils.

Appearance : Viscous liquid.

Aroma : Juicy, Earthy, Smoky aroma with a sweet undertone

Color : Amber to olive

Chemical constituents: Vetiver oil has various chemical compounds that include benzoic acid, vetiverol, furfurol, vetivone, vetivene and vetivenyl vetivenate.

Extraction: : The essential oil is distilled from the roots of vetiver.

Aromatherapy uses:
Vetiver oil owes several beauty benefits and emotional effects. It balances the activity of the sebaceous oil glands, has deodorizing properties, and helps normalize oily skin and clear acne. It replenishes moisture in dry and dehydrated skin and has a rejuvenation effect on mature skin, as well as cuts, wounds, irritated and inflamed skin. When used regularly during pregnancy, vetiver oil reportedly prevents stretch marks. The oil strengthens the central nervous system and is helpful in overcoming depression, insomnia, anxiety, stress, tension and nervousness. When locally applied in rheumatism, lumbago, headache, sprain, it is a relieving embrocation. Infusion of roots is a refreshing drink in fever.

Pharmaceutical Uses:
A great oil to use just before a job interview or taking an exam. It is also useful for deep-rooted psychological problems. It is reputed to help improve the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and could help with muscular aches and pains. It helps with clearing acne. It also helps in curing nervous system, acne, arthritis, cuts, depression, exhaustion, insomnia, muscular aches, oily skin, rheumatism, sores, stress, skin care, aged skin, anorexia, immune system, insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure, calming and deeply relaxing, eases muscular cramps and improves immune response. It is used to reduce the pain of rheumatism and arthritis.

Cosmetics and Toiletries:
It is a popular ingredient for soaps, toiletries and perfumes. Vetiver oil in its diluted form is extensively used in after-shave lotions, air freshners and bathing purposes, as well as flavoring syrups. Vetiver is used extensively in Oriental perfumes and other perfumes as an excellent fixative and base note. It has a strong odor intensity so very little is needed in the formulation of a perfume. Vetiver complements the following essential oils: linaloe berry, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, clary-sage, rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang.

Vetiver is known to the world of perfumes, and its use in scents (attar) is known in India much before the world became familiar with rose scents. On account of its pleasing aroma and slow evaporation rate falling under the category of lower 'base note' vetiver oil as such is a 'perfume in its own right' for which no synthetic substitute is yet available. A 15 - 30 % dilution of vetiver oil in alcohol is good enough to make true vetiver perfume and its further dilutions have value as vetiver 'eau de cologne' and 'eau de toilette' are the two famous 'eau de toilette' for men prepared from vetiver oil. Further the vetiver oil is very persistent and one of the finest fixatives known. Its complex chemical composition and oil odor, high solubility in alcohol that improves its miscibility with other perfumery material, makes it a unique perfumery resource. In addition to its own perfumery value on account of vetiver hydrocarbons and carbonyl compounds, their alcohol derivatives i.e. Vetiverols lend unique position to vetiver oil for perfumery applications.

Industrial uses:The roots or rootlets have been used in Indian households for centuries. The fibers of the grass are woven into aromatic mats that are used to sleep on. The vetiver roots are used to repel insects and are layered among the clothes. The root is used to make window screens necessary to shield the intense hot sun. The blinds are sprinkled with water throughout the day creating moist cool sweet breezes. Vetiver is a hardy plant that can withstand drought, fire and grazing and can be easily maintained with minimal effort. Its only drawback is its inability to thrive in cold climates, therefore limiting where it can be grown.

The plant is beneficial in disaster prevention (mudslides, droughts, floods, fires) and increased soil production, farmer support (income potential and erosion control), pollution control (underground flows, industrial spills, wastewater, run-off) and water management (watersheds, sediment control, water flow).

Khus essence is used in cool drinks and for reducing pungency of chewing tobacco preparations.

Incence and Candles:
It is used in incence and candle making due to its pleasant organoleptic properties. It is also used in fresh potpourris, bath oil, massage oil etc.

It is specially used in Tibetan and Chinese countries for herbal meditatation and aromatic candles manufacturing.

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