Vetiver essential oil is known as the Oil of Tranquility for its abilities to calm and soothe anxiety, ground and balance emotions, promote better quality breathing, and improve relaxation and sleep.
Vetiver is a clumpy grass-like plant native to India, and of the same family of another famous grass, lemongrass. Vetiver grows thick, bushy root systems which are excellent for the environment as they can hold topsoil in place, prevent erosion and conserve water. Vetiver roots can improve soil quality by preventing moisture loss, acting as an insect repellent, stabilising soil particles and controlling weeds.
The essential oil is extracted from the roots by first harvesting and washing them, cutting them up and then drying them out in the shade. They are then steam distilled to extract the oil. The essential oil is a well known component of perfumes and colognes as it has a distinctive sharp, earthy scent that is a base note. Like patchouli and sandalwood essential oil, vetiver oil improves with age. The essential oil is usually allowed to age for about 6 months to develop its aromas.
Since ancient times, the roots of the vetiver plant were made into mats, thatched together into roofing and awnings, and woven into beds, baskets and various other household items. Additionally the vetiver roots had insect repelling properties and imparted a pleasant fragrance to the home.
The essential oil has long been used as a fragrance in soaps and perfumes as well as in aromatherapy and Ayurvedic practice. It is used to balance moods, ease anxiety and negative feelings, improve focus and stimulate energy. Vetiver oil can be used in meditation and to calm and cool the body.
Vetiver essential oil is composed of three main chemical components: carvone, isovalencenol, and khusimol. The latter two are sesquiterpenes which are known to have grounding properties, while carvone has energising properties.
In aromatherapy, vetiver oil can be made into a massage blend or inhaled which can help ease mental and physical exhaustion and balance emotions, while also enhancing concentration. It can help improve insomnia by soothing and relaxing the mind and emotions. Rub vetiver on the soles of your feet before bed. Overall it is an excellent oil for strengthening, grounding and rejuvenating body and mind, and makes a great massage oil after a long day.
Vetiver essential oil can be added to creams, lotions or skin oil blends to give an antioxidant boost. It can help moisturise and condition dry skin and act as an anti ager for mature or wrinkly skin.
It is anti-inflammatory and can be used on stiff and sore joints.
Vetiver essential oil blends well with lavender, sandalwood and lemongrass. To use vetiver essential oil, diffuse it into the air via a burner of diffuser, add to your bath, make a meditation oil blend or apply to the skin, neck and feet. As always, do a patch test before applying undiluted to skin, otherwise use a carrier oil.
One of the best ways to get your dose of vetiver is to blend it with other carrier oils and essential oils as a massage blend or roll on. Try some of these essential oil blends which you can either apply topically to neck, wrists or feet, or dilute with a carrier oil such as jojoba:
2-3 drops vetiver
2-3 drops peppermint
3 drops vetiver
2 drops frankincense
2 drops sandalwood
5 drops vetiver
3 drops lavender
2 drops ylang ylang
3-4 drops vetiver
1 T virgin coconut oil (melted)
Blend the vetiver with the coconut oil. Apply to your face with a cotton pad to remove makeup and cleanse pores.
Try this skin tonic to encourage the growth of new skin and to accelerate the disappearance of scars from acne, wounds, cuts and burns:
6 drops vetiver
6 drops grapefruit
1 tsp lemon juice or 6 drops lemon essential oil
Add everything to a glass spritzer bottle and apply to your skin in the mornings.
¼ c coconut oil
¼ c beeswax
10 drops vetiver
10 drops lavender
Melt the coconut oil and beeswax together over a hot water bath. As the mixture cools, blend in the vetiver and lavender essential oils. Decant into a glass jar and leave to set. Apply to the soles of your feet before bed.
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