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Guide To Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

"Gently, and without disturbing the creative forces, vetiver steadies and calms any inner disquiet, and in that calmness may come the answers we seek," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She aslo says the emotional benefits of vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanioides or Chrysopogon zizanioides) are to encourage growth, integrity, wisdom, strength, honor, protection, self-esteem, and grounding.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of vetiver grass.

Basic Vetiver Facts

You will also see vetiver spelled vetivert and sometimes called the “oil of tranquility” because of its relaxing benefits.

Plant family: Poaceae/Gramineae

Production: Steam distilled from the root of the plant, a grass that grows up to six feet tall with a complex root system as long as 15 feet.  

Aroma: Woody, earthy, balsamic with spicy undertones.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Base. The oil is often used as a fixative in perfumes and colognes.

Is vetiver safe to use during pregnancy? Some sources say its OK, some advise caution, and others say no. Consult a professional.

Is vetiver essential oil safe for children? Generally considered safe.

Cautions: Vetiver is a thick oil that may clog some diffusers.

Main components:
The essential oil is a complex mixture of more than 150 sesquiterpenoids, according to Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. The most prevalent include:

  • khusimol
  • vetiselinenol
  • cyclocopancamphan-12-ol
  • alpha-cadinol
  • alpha-vetivone

Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Vetiver stimulates circulation and eases muscle pain, sprains, and liver congestion. The essential oil is cooling for hot conditions. In skin care, the oil is good for acne, wounds, and dry skin. Emotionally, the scent is uplifting, relaxing, and comforting, helping release deep fear and tension. The oil also grounds and centers.

The Heart of Aromatherapy
: Vetiver essential oil skin benefits include rejuvenating damaged skin and soothing skin irritation. You can use this essential oil for daily skin care. Use the oil in natural perfumes as an earthy base note, for meditation and contemplation, and to feel relaxed and uplifted.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use vetiver to help relieve stress-induced conditions, nervous tension, PMS, menstrual cramps, stress-related menstrual problems, muscle spasm and pain, restlessness, workaholism, physical exhaustion, irritability, and depression.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols
: Vetiver is good for circulation, can help relieve depression, and may help support the immune system.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
(updated edition): Uses for vetiver essential oil in skin care include helping relieve acne, cuts, oily skin, and wounds. You can also use the essential oil for arthritis, muscle aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, stiffness, depression, insomnia, and nervous tension.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the energy of vetiver is cool and moist. The oil clears heat, nourishes, calms, and uplifts. "Relaxing an overheated, hyperactive mind and nurturing an insecure self-identity, the oil imbues us with the calm, reassuring strength of Mother Earth, and her deep sense of belonging."

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I
: Psychologically, vetiver stimulates the mind and promotes realism. The oil also promotes cognitive flexibility and emotional security. Physically, the essential oil restores, calms, and cools hypotonic/weak, hypertonic/tense, and overactive/hot conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of this oil is to nourish the Blood, Yin, and Essence, clear heat, and calm the Shen.

Essential Oils Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice: In ayurvedic aromatherapy, vetiver is bitter, sweet, and very cooling. The oil strongly reduces pitta and reduces kapha.

Subtle Aromatherapy
: Vetiver aligns, balances, and harmonizes the energy of all the major chakras. The grounding and earthing properties of the oil relate specifically to the root (first) chakra. The oil is also useful for the solar plexus (third) chakra to protect against oversensitivity.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing
: In small amounts, vetiver helps you stay grounded during spiritual practices and is perfect for earth-centered spiritual pursuits, earth-based rituals, and shamanic journeywork. Mentally, the essential oil is grounding and helps you stay focused on your personal goals. The oil is calming and helps relieve stress and tension.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques
: Vetiver grounds, strengthens, stabilizes, protects, and calms. The oil is especially useful the the root (first) chakra to promote a sense of belonging.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Vetiver increases connection to the earth, helping ground and center energy. The oil provides stability and strength for dealing with problems and emotional turmoil, supports spiritual development, and promotes balance between the spiritual and mundane.

Vetiver Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Massage oil for painful muscle and joint conditions: Blend 10 drops vetiver in one ounce (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil. Source: Lisa Mertz, LMT, PhD. "Tending the Fire Element of Summer." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Summer 2013.2, pp. 40–41.

Anxiety-relief roll-on: To a roll-on bottle, add 4 drops bergamot and 2 drops vetiver and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil. Apply the blend to wrists and temples 2–3 times a day when feeling anxious or panicked.
Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils from Eden's Garden

Relaxation Body Oil

  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 5 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 4 drops neroli essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil

Pour the jojoba into a one-ounce (30-ml) glass bottle. Add the essential oils. Shake gently. Use the blend for self-massage at the end of your day.
Source: The Heart of Aromatherapy

Vetiver to clear heat:

When used on the right acupoints, this essential oil can clear heat from the upper body (including hot flashes and night sweats) and stabilize symptoms such as anxiety with not feeling grounded, inability to focus, or sleeplessness with a racing mind. Foot and ankle points work best. Suggested combinations include Kidney 1, 5, or 6, Bladder 60, and Gallbladder 41.

Source: Peter Holmes LAc, MH and Tiffany Pollard LAc, LMP. "Aroma Acupoint Therapy." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Summer 2013.2, pp. 53–57.

Vetiver Essential Oil Blends for Diffusers

Stress Relief Blend

To a 5-ml colored glass dropper bottle add these essential oils:

  • 30 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 30 drops spikenard essential oil
  • 30 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 30 drops rose geranium essential oil
  • 30 drops bergamot essential oil

Cap bottle tightly and shake. Let synergize for 8+ hours before using. Diffuse a few drops or use to make pleasing perfume oil or aromatic mist.

Source: Essential Oils Aromatherapy Library by KG Stiles

Aphrodisiac Diffuser Blend

  • 3 drops vetiver
  • 1 drop rose absolute or essential oil
  • 1 drop sandalwood essential oil
  • 1 drop patchouli essential oil

Uplifting Diffuser Blend

This blend reduces the feelings of distraction and promotes concentration, especially while studying or focusing on a task.

  • 3 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil.

Source: New Directions Aromatics

Scalp Conditioning Blend

To a 5-ml colored glass dropper bottle add these essential oils:

  • 30 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 30 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 30 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 30 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 30 drops rose geranium essential oil

Cap bottle tightly and shake. Let sit for 8+ hours. Use a drop in your favorite shampoo as a carrier.

You can also add a few drops of the blend to your favorite carrier oil and use as a conditioner. Leave the conditioner on your scalp for up to an hour, and then shampoo your hair thoroughly.

Source: Essential Oils Aromatherapy Library

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