… is steam distilled from the dried rootlets. Here are some uses:
• Grounding, re-connecting
• Skin moisturisation
• Muscle aches and joints
• Immune system stimulation
The picture above shows how Vetiver ‘binds together’ soil and protects it from erosion.
A few years ago I attended a short course on perfumery. It was interesting, useful and entertaining but to be honest I wasn’t so keen on the materials we were given to work with. They were alcohol dilutions of, in my opinion, not very nice oils. I asked about this and the teacher said, ‘Imagine how long it would take if we used pure essential oils’.
There is no oil for which this has more truth than Vetiver. Have you ever tried getting a drop out of the bottle? Suspend it at the right angle, go off to make a cup of tea, drink half of it, think about the nature of the universe for a bit, and when you get back (if you are lucky) you may see the beginnings of a drop tentatively making its appearance… No wonder the teacher used alcohol dilutions!
Vetiver is steam-distilled from the roots of a grass that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Indonesia and other tropical regions. Being a root oil, it has a dramatic, immediate and insistent connection to the earth which is apparent the moment you open the bottle.
When you think about Vetiver consider that it is often planted because its long complex rootlet network binds together soil to prevent erosion. Perhaps this gives a clue to the theme of the plant and the oil as a ‘re-connector’? It is excellent for skincare in that it ‘binds together’ the tissues and firms and strengthens ageing skin.
For me the key thing about vetiver is its ability to ground us and re-connect us with the warm, comfortable, nourishing earth energies. Many people I meet have great spiritual awareness but feel a lack of emotional fulfilment, and this often seems to be because of a lack of connection to the earth. Vetiver is a wonderful plant which reminds us of our earthy roots and reconnects us to them. It nourishes this grounding need that we all have — and which we ignore at our peril.
Vetiver is widely used in the fragrance industry where its sweet undertones add depth and a solid base note to blends. Therapeutically it soothes tired, sore muscles and joints, strengthens the immune system, and eases painful menstruation. Use it in massage oils to relieve muscle aches and stiffness. Its grounding, calming qualities are useful for anyone who is nervous or emotionally exhausted.
Malte Hozzel’s essay on Vetiver
Vetiver is a strong, resistant and scented grass native to south India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, today also grown in Réunion, the Philippines, the Comoro Islands, Japan, West Africa and South America. It is a perennial with a straight stem and a plentiful network of underground roots, and it can reach a height as tall as a man. The aromatic fragrance of the rootlets has been long appreciated, it is used it to keep vermin away from domestic animals, and the filaments of the grass are interwoven into scented matting, baskets and window coverings to dispel insects. It also plays an important role in preventing ground erosion in wet areas. Most grasses have a horizontal network of roots whereas Vetiver puts its roots downward thereby stabilizing the soil after the original forests have been destroyed.
The syrup-like amber-dark oil with its earthy, spicy fragrance is distilled for long hours from the roots. As a root oil it is one of the most grounding, sedating of all essential oils and has therefore has corresponding links to the central nervous system. Vetiver is a glandular and circulatory stimulant and a strong enhancer of our immune system. Moreover it is able to strengthen the blood corpuscles important to convey oxygen to all parts of the physical system. Improved blood flow might relieve muscular complaints and aches. It is believed to be helpful in cases of rheumatism and arthritis. It also increases the absorbing capacity of the tissues, especially of the excretory organs, leading to greater hormonal balance which in turn results in a revitalization and anchoring of the individual.
Vetiver is traditionally used to alleviate fever and to cool body and mind. Its nourishing, replenishing nature makes it intrinsically ‘female’ and a wonderful aromatic expression of Mother Earth. Applied to joints or skin it helps against inflammatory disorders. With its soft, balsamic texture vetiver oil enhances skin tissue regeneration and is a good wound-healer and remedy against acne and cuts. It is a delight for dried out epithelium which lacks nourishment from the deeper layers of the skin, and promotes a silky, rejuvenated complexion. A deep tonic-relaxer particularly used in massage and baths, vetiver with its numerous sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenols brings ‘in depth’ balance and bestows the pleasure of ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. It gives energy and stamina and is particularly helpful for people who are unable to unwind, who suffer from insomnia due to an overcharge of mental fatigue and who tend to nervous depression. Here is a grounding call for ‘astralized’ souls who have difficulty incarnating in the present moment and for those who tend to ‘fly away’ from the overpowering hardships and challenges of worldly matters.
Vetiver: a caring, therapeutic angel and nurturing mother to rebalance and relieve.
— Dr Malte Hozzel, Founder of Oshadhi