Vetiver - Uncovering what needs work
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Of the many, many essential oils I have sampled, played with tested, used ... Vetiver is by far my favourite. It calls me home. To me, this oil is earthy and dirty and woody, but has tinges of spice and sweetness that I adore. It is a key component of the majority of my personal daily perfume blends and if you can't tell already, I just love it! It works amazingly with Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood and I have also found it can bring beautiful balance to any blends that you find too sweet or flowery.
This oil is known for calming, soothing and relaxing properties, but there is more to this oil than just that.
1 - This oil is derived from the roots of the grass Vetiveria zianioides (Linn) Nash and is also known as 'Khus Khus'. It was first documented in the 12th century.
2 - It takes over 1.5kgs of Vetiver root to make up a 15ml bottle of pure Vetiver essential oil. It can take a harvesting and distillation process of around 15 days to produce just over 3.5 litres of oil.
3 - Vetiver originated from Southern India and Sri Lanka, also the Himalayan mountains and Indonesia. In India Vetiver is known as the Oil Of Tranquility and the common name comes means 'hatched up' which refers to the way the grass is cultivated.
4 - Due to it's woody and earthy aroma it is a very popular inclusion for men's fragrances and colognes.
5 - This oils is great for working with the first three chakras, the root chakra, the sacral chakra and the solar plexus chakra. As it comes from the roots of the grass, it brings our connection and awareness centred and downwards into the dear Mother Earth. It can also be powerful bridge from the root chakra to the crown chakra, making it great for meditation practice.
6 - In nature the vetiver grass holds together river banks and stabilises the earth and the soil, protecting it from erosion. The grass has a massive root system that grows straight down, rather than outwards like other grasses. It grows at a surprisingly fast rate (given the right climate and altitude). There are examples of Vetiver having an average growth rate of around 3cm per day and the root system reaching depths of 60cm within just 3 weeks.
7 - The distillation process for Vetiver is done via steam distillation. The roots are first harvested and separated from the soil, then the roots are washed thoroughly before starting the distillation process. Steam is applied to the roots, this loosens the essential oil constituents which is then collected through condensation.
8 - Vetiver is made up of many chemical constituents including up to 42% of sesquiterpene alcohols; isovalencenol, bicyclovetiverol, khusenol, tricyclovetiverol, vetiverol, zizanol and furfurol. Sesquiterpenes have both antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties.
9 - The emotional supportive benefits of this oil are numerous - obviously difficult to substantiate, but this oil is well known to bring about feelings of connection, unity, grounding and allows us to bring our awareness and consciousness to the present moment. This oil can connect us to the tree of life allowing us to feel deeply in tune with how we think and how we feel. It can help bring to the service ares of our emotions that we have been unwillingly to look at or unaware that existed.
10 - This oil is great in baths and for use as a massage oil. It is the perfect oil to apply neat to the soles of the feet and the base of the spine before sleep or leading into a meditation.
11 - Best blends to try; Ginger, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Rose, Sandalwood, Rose, Geranium, Lime, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Jasmine.
Have you tried Vetiver? Are you repelled by it or drawn to it? Sometimes it is the oils that we find unappealing are trying to bring our attention to something we may be unaware of or unwilling to admit.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with Vetiver.