I’ll never forget the first time I opened a bottle of vetiver essential oil. I had heard some positive things about it, so I ordered some. When I opened the bottle, I was immediately disappointed. I was reminded about house hunting in South Phoenix several years ago, particularly the smell of a home that had been foreclosed on and the residents burned the place on their way out. It smelled unmistakably like burned wood and housing materials. Very unpleasant.
Most earthy essential oils (vetiver, patchouli, etc.) do have a strong scent. Keep that in mind. It seems that people either love them or hate them.
I first thought about shipping the bottle back for a refund, but first I went online and did some research about this unusual oil. A number of folks commented on the smell, and said that if you mix vetiver with other oils, the scent isn’t as bad. So I experimented and added some lavender essential oil to the vetiver. Its character changed. I remember adding a couple others like cedarwood and mandarin.
Vetiver has a strong relaxant and grounding effect on its users. I particularly remember a class I took in the aromatherapy program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts – it was Aromatherapy for the Spirit. In one class we each picked out an oil at random, inhaled some, and then we all closed our eyes and meditated for a while. Mine was, of course, vetiver. I commented that during the meditation, my feet became more prominent. And I had visions of walking from Phoenix to Las Vegas to raise money, for some reason. This supported the theory that vetiver is a grounding type of oil.
After a while, the vetiver began to grow on me. Nowadays I use is as a sedative component in an essential oil blend. Sometimes I’ll blend vetiver with lavender, cedarwood and ylang-ylang for a strong smelling and relaxing blend. Since vetiver is highly viscous, I would recommend storing it at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator. Otherwise it will take on the consistency of molasses.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, the vetiver plant is a perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family native to India. In India and Sri Lanka, vetiver is known as the “oil of tranquility.” Vetiver essential oil is used for treating heat strokes, joint disorders and skin problems. The oil can also boost energy levels when you’re exhausted. In addition, it’s used to cool the body during very high temperatures and soothe feelings of anxiety and nervousness. (1)
Vetiver is also known to increase libido and treat insomnia. The oil is a cicatrisant – it heals scars by promoting the regeneration of skin and tissue. It rejuvenates the skin and removes dark spots or signs of acne and pox. (2)
Vetiver essential oil has antioxidant properties, which mitigate cellular damage caused by free radicals. It’s an anti-aging oil and effectively treats stretch marks, cracks and other skin disorders. The oil is also an antiseptic – when applied to living tissue or skin, it reduces the possibility of infection and kills bacteria, such as staph. This is useful for healing wounds and cuts. (3)
Other uses for vetiver include minimizing the symptoms of ADHD, such as difficulty in concentrating, diminished focus, being easily distracted, difficulty with organization and following directions, impatience, and fidgety behavior. This can be attributed to vetiver’s calming and grounding characteristics. (4)
Now you’ve learned more about the versatile Vetiver essential oil. It reduces anxiety and nervousness, and has antioxidant, antiseptic and cicatrisant properties, making it useful for healing wounds and other skin problems. It even increases libido, relieves insomnia, boosts energy and cools the body when overheated.
Do you have any experience in working with this oil? Feel free to share your tips, recipes and experiences in the form below.
Thank you for your time,
Featured image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/File:Vetiveria_zizanoides_dsc07810.jpg
(1) (2) (3) (4) Vetiver Oil Improves ADHD, Anxiety & Brain Health