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Vetivert: Benefits, Using Tips and Side Effects
One among the essential oil is the vetivert essential oil. It is extracted from Vetiveria zizanoides by the method of steam distillation. They are also known as Andropogon muricatus. They belong to the Gramineae family and also known as vetiver and khus khus. Vetivert is a tall, tufted, perennial grass, which was originally grown in Sri Lanka and India. It grows to a height of about 2 meters, has odorless leaves and strongly aromatic roots. Being a grass, it is similar to citronella, lemongrass and palmarosa. The roots create dense matting and so the plant has been used to protect against soil erosion in some areas. This means though that to harvest the roots, large volumes of earth must be removed, making the oil rather expensive.
It is now cultivated for essential oil production in the Comoro Islands, Japan, Philippines, Java, Haiti, South America and West Africa. The best quality oil comes from Reunion and is known as 'Bourbon Vetivert'. After the white rootlets have been dug up, they are dried in the sun, cut into small pieces and then soaked in water for more than a few days. Steam distillation is needed to extract dark, reddish-brown, sticky oil with a strong fragrance. Sometimes, it can also be olive or amber in colour? Angola generally produces very pale oil with a dry-woody odor. A resinoid is produced by solvent extraction for perfumery work.
The extraction of vetivert is a complicated process which includes washing, chopping, drying and soaking of the roots and rootlets and with the help of steam distillation process, extraction is carried out and yields almost 0.5%. Vetivert oil consists of a-vetivone, b-vetivone, vetiverol, vetivenyl vetivenate, benzoic acid, vetivene and furfurol. It smells earthy and mushy and almost refers to the smell of a damp forest floor. It is amber colour to olive colour. It is a common ingredient, which is used, in the making perfumes, soaps, toiletries and the grass, which is grown, protects against soil erosion too.
Vetivert is also known as 'Oil of Tranquility' in India due to its calming properties. It is used for meditation as the fragrance stimulated by this oil helps in relieving stress. It is a common ingredient in the perfumery industry. It has a woody smell and this odor is quite popular among men. Vetivert oil is described a fantastic treatment for the soul and the body too. It is regarded as a means to get rid of irritability, hysteria and anger. Along with this it is known to provide a balance in the hormonal system and is a great boon for the skin too. Vetivert can also be used as an anti-ageing cream as it helps in reducing wrinkles and lifting the skin as to nourish it by moisturizing and healing wounds too. They also help a lot in reducing stretch marks that might arise due to pregnancy and also obesity. It helps in revitalizing the body and also helps with physical and mental fatigue. It can also be used as a treatment to cure aches and pains, which are mainly related with rheumatism, muscular pain, arthritis etc.
Unlike other oils, vetivert oil is considered to be safe oil and even non-toxic, which does not produce any kind of irritations or allergies. It is non-sensitizing also. The therapeutic uses of vetivert oil are many as the list goes on unending. They are aphrodisiac, nerving, antiseptic, cicatrisant, vinery, tonic and sedative.
Vetiver oil is known for a lot of purposes, as it is the oil that calms the mind and soul. Another important aspect of vetivert oil is that they could be used to relieve cramps. It also has good moisturizing effect as it soothes dry skin. An exclusive property is that they are used as insect repellents to treat Indian muslin repel moths.
Vetivert oil is largely used in vapor therapy as it could help in easing the nervous complaints and pain due to arthritis etc. It can be blended with many oils such as benzoin, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lavender and grapefruit. They are preferred to be used as massage oils or used in baths to relieve stress and balance hormonal system.
Therapeutic Use of Vetivert
- Muscular problems: aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, stiffness
- Nervous system: insomnia, depression, and nervous tension
- Skin: for oily skin, cuts and wounds, acne
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