Vetiver essential oil and its benefits

Vetiver essential oil

Vetiveria zizanioides benefits: Quick look

  • Vetiver essential oil can be used in medicine, perfumery, and as a flavoring agent.
  • It is obtained by steam distillation of roots.
  • Oil has a strong, smoky, earthy-woody odor with a sweet tone.
  • This plant is fast-growing and similar to that of lemongrass in appearance and flavor.
  • The oil possibly improves alertness, brain function, and mental fatigue.
  • May treat swelling of the circulatory system, and nervous system and keep skin healthy.
  • Kill the larvae of green bottle fly and treat wounds.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides or Chrysopogon zizanioides) is commonly known as Khas-Khas or khus grass or “Miracle grass”. It is used as an eco-friendly tool to prevent erosion and contamination of soil by heavy metals and organic wastes. Vetiver essential oil is useful in medicine, perfumery, and as a flavoring agent in the food industry

Vetiver essential oil

It is obtained from Vetiveria zizanioides is obtained by steam distillation from the roots of vetiver grass. This essential oil is viscous, light to dark brown, deeply smoky, and earthy-woody odor with a sweet persistent undertone. The color and scent can vary according to the source. This oil has a spicy smell but after dilution, it is pleasant.

It blends well with various oils like sandalwood, rose, violet, jasmine, patchouli, lavender, mimosa, cassia, and ylang-ylang (2)

Main components

Vetiver essential oil contains mainly sesquiterpenes like benzoic acid, vetiverol, furfurol,  vetivone, and vetivene.

The main components are valerenol (18.48%), valerenal (10.21%), and β-Cadinene (6.23%). Moreover, khusimene and β-vetivenene in oil result in both feminine and masculine pleasant, woody odors (3).

Vetiver essential oil Benefits

Vetiver esseintial oil benefits

Despite its aroma, vetiver oil also possesses various medicinal activities such as antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.  These make it beneficial in aromatherapy.

1. May improve alertness and treat mental fatigue

The use of vetiver essential oil is as refreshing as the consumption of tea or coffee and is used as a relaxant for the nervous system. Inhalation of this oil is good for learning and memory and also improves alertness and brain function (5).

2. Possible antioxidant properties

Vetiver oil contains natural antioxidants like beta-vetivenene, beta-vetivone, and alpha-vetivone which remove harmful radicals and protect the body from various diseases (6).

3. May act against inflammation

Vetiver essential oil may regulate inflammation-related enzymes (7). Thus, reduces the swelling of the circulatory system, nervous system, and skin fibrosis (8).

4. Keep skin healthy

Melanin is a pigment, found in the skin surface, hair, and retina. It protects the cells from UV radiation but the high amount of melanin can cause skin diseases and even cause cancer. However, it contains cedr-8-en-13-ol (12.4%), which can inhibit lipid peroxidation strongly and decrease melanin production (9).

5. Possible antimicrobial properties

Contains bioactive compounds that fight against bacteria. It shows antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli (10). It also inhibits the growth of fungi like Candida albicans and C. glabrata.

Moreover, this oil also treats tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (11).

6. Green bottle fly repellant

It kills the larvae of green bottle flies that affect humans and animals. Therefore, can be used as a biopesticide and be applied as wound dressings (12).

Vetiver essential oil side effect

Vetiver essential oil rarely causes problems when diluted thus, it is a safe essential oil for foods and cosmetics (13).