Vetiver essential oil, also known as khus oil, is native to India and has been used in traditional medicine in South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Africa for thousands of years. It has an exotic, smoky, sweet fragrance, somewhat similar to patchouli but with a twist of lemon, along with a tranquil, grounding energy – in fact, in India and Sri Lanka it’s referred to as the “oil of tranquility.”
The oil is derived from the vetiver plant, Chrysopogon zizanioides, which is a perennial grass that belongs to the Poaceae family. Long before vetiver oil was distilled from the plant, the herb was used for its fragrance, and mats were traditionally woven from its rootlets, hung in doorways that were sometimes dampened with water in order to cool and sweetly scent the air. It’s used extensively in perfumery, including the creation of perfumes for the body, room fresheners, and coolers, as well as soaps, cosmetics, and oils.
Vetiver oil offers numerous beneficial properties, including being an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, among others, resulting in a wealth of uses and benefits. Here we reveal fifteen reasons vetiver essential oil deserves a place in your essential oil collection.
10 Reasons You Need A Bottle Of Vetiver Essential Oil
1. Insomnia Relief
As vetiver is a sedative, it helps to calm and relax the mind to help one fall asleep and stay asleep. In fact, the calming properties of vetiver make it one of the top aromatherapy oils for sleep by reducing stress and improving sleep quality. It’s often considered the very best essential oil for deep sleep as it can also help to prevent or diminish anger, anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness that can keep one up at night.
Diffuse a few drops in a quiet essential oil diffuser while you sleep for best results.
2. Calming the Nerves
As mentioned, this is a calming oil, which means it can not only help those late-night nerves and anxiety improve the length and quality of your sleep, but it can help keep you calm during the day as well. Vetiver has traditionally been used in aromatherapy for alleviating emotional stress, anxiety and panic attacks, trauma and depression. Research out of Bangkok, Thailand in 2015 which aimed to determine how it works for battling anxiety found that it provides neurological actions in the central amygdaloid nucleus which connects with brainstem areas that control the expression of innate behaviors, which includes physical results of emotions like higher blood pressure, respiration, and heart rates. The experts found that the oil provided effects similar to Diazepam, a pharmaceutical drug used for treating anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other conditions.
3. Enhancing Libido
If your sex life isn’t going so well, vetiver can aid in enhancing your libido, arousing feelings of sexual desire. It may even help cure issues like frigidity and impotence when it’s psychologically based. Both physical and mental stress can result in a loss of sex drive over time.
One study, published in the journal Hormones and Behavior in 2010 first suggested this when it evaluated the “dual-hormone hypothesis.” The researchers learned that when cortisol, a stress hormone, is increased in the body during times of stress, testosterone responds by elevating as well. With chronic stress, testosterone levels begin to bottom out at a much lower level – lower than before that increase in cortisol was triggered. Living in that stressed state often means experiencing a loss of sexual desire.
By using vetiver, which has been proven to help calm and sedate, the body can achieve a more relaxed state that helps balance those hormones out so sexual desire returns again. As mentioned, its soothing properties also help you to sleep better – without enough sleep, especially after long periods, the desire for sex diminishes, which means vetiver addresses this too, leaving you in a state of tranquility that’s much more conducive to sexual relations.
4. Easing Cramps and PMS
Vetiver oil isn’t just good for helping to heal sexual problems by increasing testosterone levels, it also offers gentle estrogen-like effects that support the health of the female reproductive system while helping to keep hormones balanced. It helps to treat symptoms of PMS like mood changes, fatigue, bloating, skin breakouts, cramps, and breast tenderness. It’s especially good for relieving painful cramps thanks to its sedative properties which helps the body relax. As it balances female hormones due to those estrogen effects, it may also help resolve infertility problems.
5. Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
If you have a child, or children, with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), vetiver essential oil is definitely something you want to look into. Research from 1999 through 2001, conducted by Dr. Terry Friedman demonstrated its effectiveness in treating children with ADHD. The case study involved 20 children diagnosed with ADHD and 20 who had not been diagnosed with the condition who served as the control group.
A variety of oils, including vetiver, lavender, cedarwood and an oil blend was tested individually, for a 30-day period per oil, with the child using an inhalation device at bedtime, as well as inhaling the scent of the oil three times per day, or whenever they felt the need. Vetiver beat them all hands down by increasing performance by 100 percent – cedarwood was impressive too, at 83 percent, and lavender essential oil managed to increase performance by 53 percent. The researchers noted that it was the calming properties of the oil that helped common ADHD symptoms like problems focusing, being easily distracted, organization difficulties, impatience, poor concentration and being fidgety.
6. Improving Concentration and Focus
You don’t have to have ADHD to take advantage of the oil’s ability to improve focus and concentration. Its uplifting, complex aroma helps to calm the mind so that you can better focus on tasks that require careful attention, making it ideal for use with studying or challenging work tasks.
7. Reducing Inflammation
Vetiver oil’s soothing and cooling effects are great for reducing inflammation, particularly in the nervous and circulatory systems, as well as the joints. In fact, many arthritis sufferers have found that combining two or three drops with a carrier oil like olive or almond oil and rubbing it into affected areas provides significant relief. It’s also excellent for decreasing inflammation caused by dehydration and heat stroke.
8. Diminishing the Appearance of Scars.
Vetiver essential oil contains cicatrisant agents that are known to help speed healing. Using the oil diluted with a carrier on affected areas may diminish or even eliminate the appearance of scars as it aids in promoting the growth of new skin tissue, replacing discolored tissue to achieve a more uniform look. Some have even found vetiver to be effective for stretch marks that occur due to pregnancy or weight gain.
9. Repelling Insects
Vetiver oil is a very effective insect repellent. Studies have demonstrated that it has the ability to control mosquito larvae that are responsible for mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and dengue. The oil is so effective it can even help repel termites. When the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center analyzed the termite repellency of eight different essential oils, including vetiver, clove bud, lemongrass, cassia leaf oil, geranium, cedarwood, eucalyptus globulus and eucalyptus citrodora, they found that the vetiver oil was the most effective for repelling termites due to its long-lasting activity. It also decreased termite tunneling activity at concentrations as low as five micrograms per one gram of sand.
Vetiver oil can even be used to get rid of a nasty lice infestation. As it’s non-toxic and serves as a pest killer, it can be applied topically to the scalp to kill lice.
10. Preventing Bacterial Infections
In tropical nations like India, as well as its neighboring countries, bacteria and microbes can quickly grow out of control due to the hot, humid climates in this area of the world. In these conditions, when one is wounded it is much more likely for sepsis to develop, which is why residents have long used vetiver as a remedy to prevent a bacterial infection.
Scientific studies have proven why it’s so effective for this purpose. In fact, researchers from France have gone as far as concluding that vetiver essential oil should be considered as a potential alternative for synthetic biocides against emerging antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, as it comes with less harmful side effects and lower treatment costs.
The oil is very effective in halting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing sepsis, and eliminates the bacteria.
5 Ways To Use Vetiver Essential Oil
In addition to inhaling the scent or applying a couple of drops topically, you might try:
1. A Soothing Bath
After a long, hard day, there are few better ways to relax and unwind than by taking a vetiver oil bath. You’ll feel relaxed from head to toe by adding about 20 drops of the oil to a warm bath and soaking in the calming aroma.
2. Cooling Off on a Hot Day
Use vetiver essential oil to cool off on a hot summer day – when temperatures are really sizzling it may even help prevent heat stroke too. Simply add 10 to 15 drops to a tepid bath and soak for 20 minutes. If you aren’t close to home or are unable to take a bath, you can also add 5 drops of the oil to a bowl of tepid water and splash it over your body and face.
3. Using It as Part of a Massage
You can make your own calming massage oil that can be utilized by a spouse, partner, friend or massage therapist. Combine 3 to 5 drops of vetiver oil with equal parts of sweet almond or coconut oil to be massaged gently into your skin, upping the relaxation factor of the massage, leaving your mind at peace. This is a great oil for using on sore, aching muscles as it provides practically instant relief.
4. Strengthening Your Immune System
By applying vetiver topically, it can be used to boost your immune system. You can use the massage oil blend as above, add it to a diffuser and inhale the scent, or add a couple of drops to your favorite natural moisturizer. It’s a natural tonic, which is outstanding for reducing toxins in the body, including the nervous and immune systems, as scientific research has shown that it helps to protect the body’s cells and DNA.
5. Lowering a Fever
If you’re running a fever, you can use vetiver oil to lower it by adding 3 to 5 drops to a diffuser and inhaling the scent for 30 to 60 minutes during the day, or throughout the night as you sleep. Ideally, you should take 5 deep inhales when you first turn on the diffuser before returning to a normal breath which helps it to reach your sinuses. Pure vetiver oil can sometimes clog a diffuser as it starts to thicken as it ages so you may want to add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil too.
Buying Vetiver Essential Oil
As always, in order to experience the benefits of essential oils, it’s imperative to use only a 100% pure, unadulterated oil that’s free of additives and anything artificial.
Our favorite suppliers of essential oils is Plant Therapy. You can purchase their bottle of 100% Pure Vetiver Essential Oil from this page on Amazon.