(Vetiveria zizanoides, Andropogon muricatus)
Family: Gramineae or Poaceae
Description: Vetiver is a tall, fragrant, densely tufted perennial grass, with an extensive network of fibrous aromatic roots. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the cleaned, washed and chopped roots and rootlets, which are first dried and then soaked in water.
Countries of origin: Reunion Islands, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia
Characteristics; Vetiver is amber-brown and viscous, with deep, smoky, earthy top notes and sweet, musty, potato undertones. It blends well with orange, marjoram, sandalwood, verbena, neroli, cardamom, rose, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, patchouli and clary sage.
Main therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, sedative, tonic.
Vetiver is the grounding earthy essential oil and is known as the oil of tranquillity’. It helps to centre you whenever you feel disconnected from your body, your feelings and from life itself. Its earthy fragrance is appreciated by both men and women, and it is commonly used in aftershave lotions and men’s toiletries. For women, vetiver is especially recommended in baths, massage oils and skin lotions to balance hormones during the menopause.
Overall, vetiver is grounding, regenerating and protecting. Also known as moth root, vetiver repels moths and cotton wool balls sprinkled with vetiver can be placed in the wardrobe to protect clothes and
linens. It is good for mature skin that has lost its tone and elasticity, as it strengthens tired, loose and undernourished skin. Vetiver is also an immunostimulant, and is indicated when stress and over-work are depleting the body’s natural defences.
Psychologically, vetiver is valuable for nervous exhaustion, stress, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It deeply relaxes and stabilizes, and is good in bath and massage oils. Vetiver is calming, soothing and restorative; it tones subtle energies and is associated with the root chakra. It also protects against over-sensitivity and acts like a protective shield. Vetiver is good in meditations, facilitating wisdom and visionary insights.