Vetiver Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
Vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanioides) is not a widely-known oil, even though its use dates back centuries. It's said to affect the nervous system, endocrine (hormone) system, skin and emotions. It's especially found to be very grounding and balancing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and I find it to be a great supportive oil when used in conjunction with others, amplifying its own and the other oil's properties.
Vetiver is extracted through the steam distillation of the plant's roots, said to be a painstaking process. The aroma isn't as instantly pleasing as other oils to some people; it's more subtle and one you come to love, rather than love at first whiff. It's earthy and slightly citrusy, but reminds me of something exotic and warming and almost nutty. (Actually it started off reminding me of cockroaches - I don't know why, but thankfully that connotation went away. Don't worry. NO ONE else has ever had that unpleasant experience. You're safe to try this one.)
- Supports healthy circulation
- Calming, grounding effect on emotions
- Immune-enhancing properties
Vetiver is a deeply grounding oil, often used to promote restful sleep, but equally helpful when you feel restless in life. It can help bring you back down to earth to find a comfortable footing in your own role and path. It can help you relax and sleep deeper. It can sometimes give you the craziest dreams ever. It's an interesting little fella.
As a result of these properties, Vetiver essential oil may help a person who lacks motivation, struggles with apathy or a feeling of "why bother", or who feels disconnected by first allowing them to find that sense of deep and meaningful connection in their body and with the earth, a strong foundation to build the rest of life upon. It might also help someone settle in, dig deep, or become conscious of the unconscious. And it's kind of a heavy hitter in this arena, so if you want to keep your unconscious comfortably unconscious, you might wanna avoid this one.
How to Use Vetiver Essential Oil
Traditionally, vetiver uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Vetiver Essential Oil
Use with caution during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester. Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.
Popular Uses of Vetiver Essential Oil
- Add 1–2 drops to tea or hot drinks during winter time to promote immunity.
- Use as a massage oil to promote circulation and calm emotions.
- Take a warm bath with a few drops of Vetiver essential oil for deep relaxation.
- Diffuse with Lavender and Wild Orange to calm emotions and lessen stress.
- Use a toothpick to help get the desired amount out of container if Vetiver is too thick to get out of the bottle. A little goes a long way.
- The earthy, slightly lemony fragrance is said to have been used for centuries in India. Dab on your wrists or neck. Try blending it with a floral aroma like Ylang Ylang or Clary Sage, or even a citrus like Bergamot.
- Its cleansing properties help gently cleanse the face. Test for sensitivity and mix one drop in 3 drops of coconut oil and apply to a freshly washed face.
Inspiration for Using Vetiver Essential Oil
Diffuser blend: 5 drops Lemon with 3 drop Vetiver in diffuser for a fresh rainfall felling.
Sleepy Time Salve: Mix 1/2 cup coconut essential oil with 1/4 cup beeswax and heat until thoroughly mixed. While cooling, mix in 10 drops Vetiver and Lavender essential oils.
PH Balancing Deodorant: Combine 1 cup of water with one tbsp vinegar and 1 TB baking soda. Mix thoroughly then add 10 drops each of Vetiver and Wild Orange essential oil. Pour into spray bottle and spritz for use.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils