Essential oils have been known for their benefits for the health as well as their versatility. They can be used in many tasks of the everyday life from beautification purposes, relieving health conditions, and replacing chemical-laden products.
The best thing about essential oils is that they are completely natural and bring almost no side effects to the person using it unless it is used without a patch test or is taken in an inappropriate manner and higher than needed quantities.
In addition, most of the essential oils benefits have now been proven by the number of studies conducted on them. It has turned out that people living in the earlier times and centuries were right all along.
Instead of the conventional medication used today, essential oils have shown to have better results. For example, relieving mental health issues is now being done widely in combination with essential oils such as lavender oil or frankincense oil.
These oils can also be used in a variety of ways. The method that is gaining the most popularity is aromatherapy and diffusion in today’s time. While topical application, inhaling, and internal usage are all also still done the former too have been shown to have added advantages.
One of the oils that has a good number of benefits and is backed up scientifically is vetiver oil. The use of this oil in the western world has been fairly recent in comparison with its use in Asia, particularly in South and East Asia as well as some parts of West Africa.
Vetiver is a plant native to India and Sri Lanka and is known specifically for its soothing effects. It is also cited as the ‘sacred herb’ due to its healing and cooling benefits which also make its use extremely popular in tropical countries.
In India, both the leaves and root of the plant are used for various purposes the most common one being for mental health and boosting energy because of its uplifting properties.
Vetiver oil can be used in a couple of other ways as well ranging from cooling the body down, treating skin and joint problems, helping with ADHD, stabilizing blood pressure, and curing heat strokes as well as disturbed sleep patterns.
The use of vetiver oil is highly recommended especially for the people who are constantly working and unable to put some time apart for themselves. Since stress has a lot of effect on the body and the procedures that take place within it, using vetiver oil for relaxation can improve overall health.
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What Is Vetiver?
The vetiver plant or what is called chrysopogon zizanioides in scientific language is one of the bunchgrass belonging to the Poaceae family. This family is native to Western and Northern India and is known as ‘khus’ locally.
In comparison with all other grasses in the Poaceae family, vetiver shares many similarities with sorghum. In addition, it also shares many qualities and benefits with other grasses especially the fragrant grasses such as lemongrass, citronella, and palmarosa.
The vetiver can be spotted growing from the distance since the grass can grow up to five feet high with long and thin leaves. The stem of the grass is usually tall and there are also a lot of brownish-violet flowers.
Looking at the roots of the vetiver shows how it is different from other grasses. Unlike any other grasses, the roots vetiver can grow as much as eight feet downwards. The roots of vetiver can be at times, even longer than those of most trees.
The plant has also been used historically because of its deep roots. Vetiver grass is of great value when it comes to protecting the soil from erosion and drought. The roots of the vetiver are so strong that they have been used to protect embankments and railways cuttings from rockfalls and mudslides.
Since the roots grow really deep, they also require a lot of water. Typically the water content around the roots of vetiver is low. Therefore, it can help stabilize waterlogging and the water table. Secondly, it can even slow down flowing water on the surface.
The essential oil of vetiver is also made and distilled from its roots. The oil contains over hundred different components, the most beneficial being beta-vetivenene, khusimene, cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimers B and A), delta-selinene, khusimone, vetiselinenol, isovalencenol, khusimol, beta-vetivone, and alpha-vetivone.
The oil has one of the sweetest fragrances in all of the essential oils. It is also described as smoky and woody. The shade is usually light brown and amber. Both of these characteristics of the oil can change like those of sandalwood essential oil.
Usually, both the scent and color of the oil can change in accordance with its location and improves with the passing time becoming even stronger.
What Are The Benefits Of Vetiver?
Since vetiver oil has been gaining a lot of popularity and is now being used in various beauty products as well as household products, a lot of its benefits now have scientific backing. Following are some of the best advantages of vetiver oil:
- Well-known antioxidant
Cell damage caused by oxidation is one of the biggest problems faced today in people. The free radicals created by oxidative damage have been known to harm the body in many ways including faster aging, higher cancer risk, and shortened lifespan.
To remedy this situation, the consumption of antioxidant-rich food is necessary. Vetiver oil has been proven to be loaded with antioxidants. According to a study, the radical scavenging properties of vetiver oil are stronger than those of other common antioxidants.
- Treatment for ADHD
According to a study done in 2001, essential oils can be used in therapy for children with ADHD. The study used a variety of oils including vetiver, lavender, and cedarwood oil. By comparison, the most effective oil out of all was vetiver oil.
The study concluded that the calming and soothing properties of the vetiver oil which earned it its sacred status helped children fight ADHD greatly.
- Heals Marks and Scars
The use of vetiver oil on the skin damaged by cuts, or burns or any types of scars can be extremely beneficial since its triggers regeneration of the skin and tissues. It is known to be a highly effective cicatrizant.
It can also help people facing skin issues such as acne, acne marks, blemishes, stretch marks. Secondly, it can get rid of unwanted tan and sunburn on the skin during the summers. Adding a few drops to the usual beauty products can do wonders to the skin.
Vetiver is also an excellent antiseptic and can be applied in very little quantities to minor injuries and cuts to prevent bacterial infections.
- Effect on Body Function
In addition to the external use of vetiver oil, it can also be used internally to help relieve many of the health conditions as well as improve overall health generally. According to recent studies, consumption of vetiver oil can help detoxify the body considerably.
The use of vetiver oil can also help reduce side effects of drugs used in chemotherapy in people with lungs, bladder, testicles, and ovaries cancer where a drug called cisplatin is known to cause harm to the body.
The antioxidants present in the oil have been proven to be stronger than the standard antioxidants. Because of these, the oil the ability to reduce the clastogenic effect, DNA damage, and cell cycle arrest in the bone marrow.
Vetiver oil’s effect on mental health and nervous system can improve the health more than anything else since it affects all other functions and parts in the body. It can strengthen the immune system by managing stress levels and improve blood flow.