Vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanoides) is steam distilled from the root or “rhizome” of the plant. As you can see from the pic above the rhizome is hairy and fine, exposing as much surface area as possible to the surrounding soil. This scent of vetiver is similar to damp soil, although this is a simplification. It is an essential oil that is used extensively in perfume as a “fixative”: bringing all the scents together and binding or fixing them into a cohesive blend. It is used in many scents for men due it’s strong, deep, smoky aroma- but having said that it is also used in women’s perfumes too.
In aromatherapy it is therapeutically used for many things, and is also used the bind a formula together. I would use 1 drop of vetiver in a formula to make this possible. The most important thing to remember about vetiver is that the scent is so strong, less is more! One drop is enough in a small oil blend for your body.
I would chose one or two drops of vetiver to treat a client who is unsure, confused, overwhelmed and spends too much time in their head. It is often referred to as a “grounding” oil as it has the ability to draw energy into the ground. Patchouli works in a similar way too. Hysteria, especially in kids, can be stopped immediately with a drop of vetiver oil. You could do this by placing a drop in your hands, rub them together, and smooth all over the energetic body – ensuring your child gets to smell the oil. It’s the scent of the oil, traveling through the nasal epithelium and into the brain, that makes this possible. With aromatherapy, the scent is of the oil has one of the most powerful effects, and using them in a mist is a lovely way to do it.
Here are a few recipes using vetiver oil:
for a mist that will help anyone chill out – in a 50ml mist bottle
orange 15 drops
lavender 8 drops
vetiver 2 drops
I’m Freaking Out (I need to Get Myself Together)
for a body oil blend to nourish your skin and help you calm down – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add
rosewood 2 drops
mandarin 4 drops
vetiver 1 drop
Oh No I Think I’m Sunburnt!
for a body oil blend to cool your skin – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add
rose in jojoba 12 drops
vetiver 1 drops
Vetiver is sometimes referred to as “The Oil of Tranquility”, especially in India where it is commonly used, and produced. If you just remember this little phrase you will automatically know what to use vetiver oil for. It can also be used in hair care and skincare as a moisturiser for dry skin, and you can use any essential oil as an antiseptic.
The last time I was in Bali a shop was selling the root, and the scent was absolutely divine. I have read that the root is dampened and hung in windows to cool everyone down. The mild scent of the root is just a hint of what the power of the oil smells like.The essential oil is strong so use sparingly!
Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.