April 15, 2024

Vetiver essential oil health benefits and how to use it

Vetiver (a perennial grass) belongs to the Poaceae family and native to India. It grows up to 1.5 mm meter and has a tall stem and long thin rigid leaves. Today regions like Haiti, Java, Japan, the Philippines and reunion island produces it. A fast-growing perennial can survive 50 years or more like a vast network of interlinked underground roots sustains all those green leaves. While not know it dates back centuries and in the 12th century even became a chargeable item in India. Vetiver essential oil extract is made from vetiver grass by the distillation process.

For making the extract, first, cultivates its roots for two years and then harvest it for making its extract. Once its roots are ready for extraction, wash, dry and chop it and then soaked. Pharmaceuticals companies make their extract through the steam distillation of the plant’s roots. It has a significant role in Ayurveda because of its earthy aromatic essence. Its extract is an essential ingredient in perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. It has relaxing soothing and grounding properties that’s why many peoples use it in holistic practices.

Chemical composition of vetiver essential oil:

Chemical namePercentage value(%)Khusimol or Zizanol3.4-13.7Vetiselinenol or isonootkatol1.3-7.8Cyclocopacamphan 12-ol (epimer A)1.0-6.7a-cardinol0-6.5a-vetivone or isonootkatone2.5-6.4b-Vetivenene0.2-5.7b-Eudesmol0-5.2b-vetivone2.0-4.9Khusenic acid0-4.8b-vetispirene1.5-4.5

Benefits of vetiver essential oil:

1. Vetiver essential oil for insomnia:

Insomnia is a condition when you fall asleep or not getting enough sleep. Vetiver oil can be topically used for massage on feet and toes and on the forehead or the neck and at the back. You may spray it on the pillow or shirt collar or inside the house for the aromatic purpose. This kind of usage provides you a calming effect and promote peaceful sleep by reducing anxious and angry feeling. The sedative properties present in its roots helps in dealing with this problem.

2. Use for arthritis and as an Anti-inflammatory property:

Arthritis is the diseases in which severe pain occur in space between the joints. It is proven from many scientific studies that vetiver oil like CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help the patient with an arthritis problem. It reduces any inflammation in both circulatory and nervous system. Sunstroke and dehydration cause sometimes inflammation where vetiver oil can be taken as the first line of treatment to reduce this inflammation.

Animal study proves that massage of vetiver essential oil on the joints gives us relief from the pain. It acts as a painkiller by interfering with the body normal pain pathway.

3. Natural scar and ringworms remover:

Vetiver oil is an excellent cicatrisant agent which help us eliminate the scars or dark spots on the skin. When a wound or burn is cured, dark marks forms on the skin which is dead tissue. As an excellent natural skin healer, it replaces the dead tissue with new tissue and also promotes its growth.

This is also useful for post-delivery stretch marks for pregnant women, fat cracks, after spots left by chicken pox and burns.  It also helps remove dark spots in acne scarring. For this apply two to four drops vetiver oil diluted with coconut oil on the affected area [1].

Vetiver roots is an effective remedy for the treatment of the problem of ringworm. They help in eliminating and getting rid of fungal growth in the skin, thus help in keeping your skin healthy.

4. Vetiver oil for alertness, anxiety and mental fatigue

A study was published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology in 2016. According to this study, inhalation of vetiver essential oil will increase your alertness and reduce mental fatigue. They concluded that it improves the focus and concentration by increasing neurotransmitters monoamines that would enhance wakefulness.

In 2015, researchers performed the study on rats for the use of vetiver for studying its anti-anxiety properties. In the study, they found that vetiver oil impacts for anxiety are like the drug diazepam used for anxiety reduction [2]. Due to all these benefits, it may be a good treatment option for ADHD. But further study is needed to investigate its use for ADHD treatment and side effects while using with other medication for ADHD.

5. Treatment for sleep apnea:

Sleep apnea is a situation in which your breathing pauses for brief periods while you are in sleep. Usually, when you breathe in air flows in through your mouth and nose and down your throat also called the pharynx. Air then flows down your windpipe or trachea spreading through a tree-like structure of smaller tubes into your lungs. The narrowest path of these pathways is the back of your throat when we are awake.

Muscle keeps that opening relatively wide, but when we sleep, those muscles relax that narrows the opening. The air passage through the throat makes the throat to vibrate that causes snoring. Many peoples experience this, but in some peoples, throat closes too much that enough air doesn’t get through to the lungs. When this happens, the brain receives a message to wake up. The brain quickly activates the muscles that hold the throat open. Air gets through again, and the brain goes back to sleep. This only takes a few seconds that you may not even know when you awaken. But this process happens over and over hundreds of time all night long. Due to improper sleep, you may feel exhausted when you awaken up and feels sleepy all day.

A study was published in 2010 in which 36 peoples were selected for a one night study. According to this study, vetiver essential oil is used as a diffuser in sleep can help you to cure your sleep apnea [3].

6. Vetiver oil act as a guard against ticks:

There are a lot of products in the market for protecting us from ticks but none of them as useful as vetiver oil. A study made by Campos RN in 2015 proves that vetiver essential oil is highly toxic for ticks which makes it highly suitable for use in the cosmetics industry, but its value was undervalued in recent years due to use of synthetic chemicals.

7. Anti-aging properties:

Because of its anti-oxidants and hydrating qualities confirmed by a study in 2009, It acts as an anti-aging agent. It is a well-known calming effect on the brain as well as the skin. Its antioxidant properties get rids of all the toxin (free radicals) from the body. Aging skin benefits from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and becomes young over time after clearing whole puffy skin. Apply it with our carrier oil twice a day on the skin.

How to use vetiver essential oil?

You may use it topically. Because it is really thick, you may mix it with other oil like lavender oil or coconut oil for making it less dense. After it, apply the solution on your skin anywhere you like.

You may use it during bath by mixing vetiver oil in bathing water will greatly help you from stress relieving and other skin benefits.

Because it is a good aromatherapy agent, you may use it in inhaler by distilling and vaporing it. People who have sleep apnea problem get maximum advantage from it when they use it in an aromatherapy diffuser.


As we have seen that vetiver essential oil is safe to use and has many health benefits from anxiety, depression to arthritis. But more research is needed to know its full benefits and also its side effects. It is generally safe to use in all age group peoples it is always best to consult with the doctor before its use if you have any sort of health issue. Don’t use it as inhaler on children with age less than 4 years. Always consult with your doctor if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. Many of its application are also works for animals like ticks problem in dogs, dairy animals, etc.