Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash or vetiver, commonly known as Khas-Khas or khus grass, is a remarkable plant native to India, cherished since ancient times for its diverse applications (1).
Belonging to the Poaceae family, vetiver holds a special place in medicine and perfumery, renowned for its beneficial essential oil. Notably, its roots also play a vital role in creating refreshing Sharbat (sherbet) or soft drinks, particularly during the summers. Vetiver is also utilised for cooling purposes and creating mats, hand fans, and more (1).
Let’s dig more into the benefits and therapeutic uses of vetiver and incorporate this cooling herb into our lives.
The Many Benefits of Vetiver
1. Anti-Inflammatory Activity (2)
Vetiver oil exudes a soothing and cooling effect that calms various inflammations. With a special affinity for the circulatory and nervous systems, it proves to be an effective treatment for inflammation caused by sunstroke, dehydration, and the scorching loo winds prevalent in dry regions. Its anti-inflammatory properties offer relief from discomfort and promote overall well-being.
2. Antiseptic Properties (2)
In tropical climates like India and its neighbouring countries, microbes and bacteria thrive due to favourable hot and humid conditions. This environment increases the risk of wounds becoming septic. Vetiver oil efficiently halts the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing septic, offering protection and curing septic conditions.
3. Aphrodisiac Properties (2)
When mixed in sorbets and beverages, vetiver oil works as a flavouring agent with an aphrodisiac effect. It libido and addresses sexual disorders linked to the brain’s psychology rather than mere physiology. Components of this oil stimulate specific brain regions, effectively addressing frigidity, lack of libido, and impotence.
4. Skin Health (2)
Vetiver oil’s cicatrizant property accelerates the eradication of scars and marks from the skin. It promotes the growth of new tissues, replacing damaged and discoloured areas, leading to a more uniform appearance. This valuable quality aids in treating post-delivery stretch marks, fat cracks, spots left by pox, burns, and other skin imperfections.
5. Nervine Tonic (2)
Like a tonic for the nerves, vetiver oil cares for and maintains their health. It heals nerve damage caused by shock, fear, stress, and other factors. Effective in alleviating nervous disorders, epileptic and hysterical attacks, Parkinson’s Disease, and lack of limb control, it ensures overall nerve well-being.
6. Sedative Properties (2)
Vetiver oil’s well-known sedative properties effectively calm nervous irritations, afflictions, convulsions, and emotional outbursts, including anger, anxiety, and restlessness. Additionally, it provides benefits for patients suffering from insomnia, promoting peaceful and restful sleep.
7. Tonic for Optimal Health (2)
Vetiver essential oil acts as a tonic and rejuvenates and strengthens the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, immune, endocrinal, nervous, and neurotic systems. By promoting metabolic order, boosting immunity, and enhancing overall bodily function, vetiver oil is a powerful ally in maintaining optimal health.
8. Wound Healing Properties (2)
Vetiver oil helps heal wounds by promoting the growth of new tissues at the affected site while preventing infections. It encourages the crowding of leukocytes and platelets, thereby facilitating a speedy and safe recovery.
As such, vetiver can help accelerate the healing and recovery of skin wounds, stains, marks, and scars. It can address various skin issues caused by pregnancy, diets, allergies, burns and more.
9. Bone Health (2)
Vetiver essential oil is also well known to strengthen bones and treat conditions like rheumatism, gout, arthritis, muscle aches, etc.
Therapeutic Uses of Vetiver
In Ayurveda, vetiver oil holds a prominent place in reducing Vata and increasing Pitta and Kapha. Its sedative properties make it valuable in massages and baths, offering relief from stress, anxiety, nervous tension, and insomnia. As a stimulant and rubefacient, it proves effective in managing arthritis, rheumatism, and general muscular aches and pains (1). Apart from these traditional Ayurvedic uses, vetiver is also used for the following purposes:
1. To Support Nervous System (1)
Vetiver oil exhibits outstanding efficacy in treating depression, nervous tension, debility, insomnia, and stress-related diseases. Additionally, it acts as an aphrodisiac, especially when stress connects to impotence or frigidity.
2. To Stimulate the Circulatory System (1)
Beneficial for individuals with poor circulation, vetiver essential oil stimulates the circulatory system, making it an excellent choice for massage oil, particularly for the elderly or debilitated individuals. By promoting the production of red blood cells, it helps manage anaemia.
3. To Relieve Muscle Ache (1)
Vetiver oil offers a warming and pain-relieving effect, making it a valuable asset for a deep massage to address muscular aches, pains, sprains, stiffness, rheumatism, and arthritis. Athletes can also benefit from adding vetiver oil to sports oil blends and massaging it into muscles before and after sports activities.
4. To Boost Skin Health (1)
With its ability to balance sebum secretion, vetiver oil aids in skin care, particularly for those with oily skin, acne, and weeping sores. Its antiseptic properties further make it effective in lotions, compresses, and baths targeting skin issues.
5. To Promote Emotional Well-being (1)
In times of emotional stress, vetiver oil becomes a supportive tonic. For women experiencing post-menstruation syndrome, vetiver oil offers nurturing relief. Revered as “the oil of tranquillity” in Sri Lanka and India, it serves as a grounding and clarifying companion during travel, making it particularly useful for jet lag.
Usually, 1 to 2 teaspoons of vetiver powder or 2 to 5 drops of vetiver essential oil is considered safe for usage.
However, when used for medicinal purposes, the dosage of vetiver depends on the severity of the condition and other factors like age, body constitution, etc. You must consult an Ayurvedic doctor or physician to find out the best dosage for you.
Side Effects & Precautions
Vetiver is generally considered safe for consumption under healthy or prescribed dosage. However, you must consult an Ayurvedic doctor before using it for medicinal purposes, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is also advised to avoid vetiver during cough and cold as it has Sheeta (cold) property that can cause the formation and accumulation of mucus in the respiratory passage.
Vetiver, also known as Khas-Khas or Khus grass, is a treasured herb native to India, celebrated for its diverse applications in medicine, perfumery, and more.
Vetiver offers a myriad of therapeutic benefits, ranging from anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties to skin rejuvenation and nervous system support. This cooling herb not only promotes physical well-being but also nurtures emotional health, making it a valuable addition to our lives.
1. Can vetiver be used for skin care?
Yes, vetiver oil balances sebum secretion and is effective for oily skin, acne, and weeping sores. Its antiseptic properties make it suitable for lotions, compresses, and baths targeting skin issues.
2. Is vetiver safe to consume?
Vetiver is generally safe for consumption under healthy or prescribed dosage. However, consulting an Ayurvedic doctor before medicinal use, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding, is advised.
3. When should vetiver be avoided?
It is recommended to avoid vetiver during cough and cold as it has a cold property (Sheeta) that can cause mucus formation and accumulation in the respiratory passage.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general information and not meant to substitute any medical advice. Please consult your doctor for appropriate medical consultation.