10 Top Benefits & Uses of Vetiver for Hair, Skin and Health

vetiver medicinal uses

Vetiver has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses and we use it extensively in hair and skin care and in home remedies too. Vetiver root is the most used part of the plant and vetiver root water made by infusing the root in water reduces anxiety, inflammation and it also helps treats and prevents acne. Vetiver oil got from the roots also have wonderful medicinal uses.

What Is Vetiver?

Vetiver is a perennial grass and it’s name is derived from Tamil name “Vetiver”.  Vetiver is native to India and both it’s leaves and roots have wonderful uses. It is cultivated in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and to a small extent in Uttar Pradesh.

Vetiver plant has long narrow leaves and highly branched abundant root system and the root is the most used part of the plant. Vetiver root is very aromatic and vetiver essential oil is distilled from it. Vetiver root has wide uses from perfumery to hair care, vetiver root is dried and sold in the markets and they last for quite some time.

I always have vetiver root at home to use it in remedies and also for making vetiver water. Since India is a tropical country, we as a nation have always been fond of natural ingredients that keep our body cool and vetiver tops that list, because it is such a natural body cooler. I personally love vetiver water that is made by soaking the vetiver roots in water as it is very fragrant.

Vetiver Essential Oil:

Vetiver essential oil distilled from the roots also has wonderful benefits. It is used for treating acne, depression, arthritis, stress and for making perfumes, etc. Vetiver essential oil is also good for insomnia, a few drops of this essential oil rubbed on the feet calms the mind and brings in sleep for people who suffer from insomnia.

Vetiver Chemical Composition:

Vetiverol, Vetivone, Khusimone, Khusimol, Vetivene, Khositone, Terpenes, Benzoic acid, Vetivenyl Vetivenate, Vetivazulene, Epizizianal and ß-vetivone and Iso Khusimol are some of the important chemical compounds present in vetiver.

Vetiver Health BenefitsVetiver Traditional Uses

a. For Medicinal Purposes

In India, vetiver is used to treat mouth ulcers, boils, burns, insect bites, fever and headache. Both the paste of fresh roots and the water decoction of the roots are used. Water decoction is used as a tonic for weakness.

Vetiver root is added to water as it is considered a wonderful body coolant and it makes the water very aromatic. The water infusion is used to cure fever, inflammation and stomach ulcers. The fresh root paste is used to treat burns and insect bites. The decoction got by boiling the stems in water is used to treat urinary tract infection.

Some tribes use the leaf juice as an anthelmintic (to expel intestinal worms). The root extract is also used for treating headache and toothache. Another traditional use of vetiver water is as an aphrodisiac, traditionally the groom is given vetiver water a day or two prior to the marriage.

b. For Skin & Hair Care:

During hot Indian summers, blinds made of vetiver are used to reduce the heat, it helps treat heat boils and body odour. We also use vetiver in our traditional bath powders. Since vetiver is very fragrant and cooling, using bath powders made with it cools the body and prevents heat rashes. Since it has wonderful antiseptic properties, it helps heal wounds and boils very fast.

c. As An Aromatic:

Vetiver root has a very pleasant aroma and vetiver essential oil extracted from it is used extensively in perfumery, cosmetics and also in soap making. Vetiver is also used to fragrance clothes and it also helps repel cockroaches. Vetiver is my favourite scent and I always have a bottle of vetiver essential oil at home. I use a few drops of it in diffusers and the beautiful smell helps me relax.

d. Pest Control

Traditionally vetiver plant is also used as an insecticide. Plants are grown near to vetiver prevent them from insect attacks. Vetiver root is also placed in storage closets as a moth repellent. Vetiver essential oil is also used an insecticide.

Vetiver Botanical and Common Names:

The botanical name of vetiver is Chrysopogon Zizanioides and it belongs to the family Poaceae. Vetiver is the Tamil Name and it is popularly called Ushira in Ayurveda. It is called Khus Root in Hindi and in most of the North Indian States. It is called Vatti Veru in Telugu, Lavancha in Kannada, Khus in Gujarati and Ramacham in Malayalam.

vetiver side effectsVetiver Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses:

1. Anti-inflammatory properties

Vetiver greatly helps reduce inflammation. The vetiver water decoction can be used to treat all types of inflammation and it is particularly effective against inflammations caused by heat stroke and dehydration. If you are suffering from inflammation, try drinking a cup of vetiver water, it will greatly help reduce the inflammation very fast.

2. Anti Septic Properties

Veriver has powerful antibacterial properties and is particularly effective against Staphylococcus Aureus, the bacteria that is mostly responsible for our wounds getting septic. If vetiver water is used to clean the wounds, it will help heal the wound very fast.

3. Aphrodisiac

Vetiver decoction has aphrodisiac properties and has been used traditionally for it for centuries. The water decoction of vetiver is widely used for it. Like I mentioned before, in some cultures vetiver water infusion is given to the groom for a few days before marriage.

4. Reduces Anxiety:

The smell of vetiver has a soothing effect on our nerves and helps calm our anxious brain. It also helps reduce stress and is good for people suffering from mental problems. People with nervous disorders also will benefit taking vetiver extract regularly. It is also a good sedative. I personally can attest to the fact that vetiver has a very soothing effect on our nervous as I consume vetiver water and use vetiver essential oil regularly.

5. Antioxidant Properties

Free radicals causes so many problems in our body from inflammation to rapid aging of skin and hair. One of the best ways to get rid of free radicals is to consume antioxidant rich foods and vetiver water is one such ingredient. It is a natural antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and reduces oxidative stress, you can read the study that supports this claim here.

6. For Skin & Hair Care

Vetiver extract helps restore skin barrier and also has anti aging properties. Vetiver extract if used on our skin regularly, improves hydration and gives a radiant glow to our skin. It also helps treat acne very effectively, we always include vetiver in bath powder recipes. Vetiver has powerful healing properties and helps fade scars and blemishes very fast.

7. Anti-Tuberculosis Properties

Veriver extract like I mentioned before has wonderful antibacterial properties and is very effective against mycobacterium tuberculosis. Both the ethanol and hexane extract of the root has been proven to be very effective against tuberculosis. What is very significant is even after extracting the essential oil, the root was still effective against tuberculosis.

8. Anticonvulsant Properties

Another significant effect of vetiver is its anticonvulsant properties. Traditionally it has been used as a remedy for treating seizures. Now this traditional use has been backed by research, both the ethanol extract and the water extract of vetiver root has been proven to be very effective in preventing convulsions.

9. Natural Tonic

Vetiver water is truly a natural tonic as it helps rejuvenate our body and along with boosting our immunity. It helps get rid of tiredness, improve digestion and also helps reduce stress. During summer months make sure to include this natural tonic in your diet regularly.

10. Other Uses

Vetiver replenishes nutrients in in soil that is not fertile so it is usually planted in barren soil. Young vetiver grass is used as a livestock feed. Vetiver grass is also used as a medium for mushroom cultivation and also as a roof material and for making handicrafts. Other main important use of vetiver is the conservation of soil. The roots of vetiver is very effective in preventing soil erosion. Vetiver is also good for mulching, since it has anti fungal properties, fungal attack on the plant is greatly reduced if it used for mulching. Since it has insecticidal properties, vetiver is grown in closely to other main crops to prevent insect attacks.

Vetiver Side Effects:

In my personal experience, vetiver rarely cause any allergies or side effects both when applied externally and consumed internally. I couldn’t find any study proving the correct toxicity report for humans and I only found a study on mice where 2000 mg was given for every kg of weight and it still proved to be non toxic.

Vetiver Dosage:

For making vetiver water, we usually add a small bunch, about 10 grams for a big pot of water to infuse and we use it regularly during summer months and none of us have faced any side effects at all. But it you are taking it as a tea regularly, I would suggest not to overdose as any thing in excess can do more harm than good.

Where To Buy Vetiver?

Vetiver can be got cheaply in all herbal shops in India and we can also order it easily online. Vetiver powder and vetiver essential oil are also easily available online.

5 Top Ways To Use Vetiver:

1. Vetiver Face Pack For Acne:

Vetiver is an antiseptic and is very effective in preventing acne. Nowadays vetiver essential oil is getting popular for it’s wonderful antiseptic properties. Vetiver is used as a face pack along with sandalwood for making an effective treatment for acne.

To make this home remedy for acne, soak dried vetiver root in water overnight. Next day take a sandalwood bark and rub it into a paste with the vetiver water. Add few drops of vetiver essential oil and apply on the affected area continuously for best results.

2. Vetiver Water To Reduce Anxiety

Vetiver water has a calming effect on the nerves and helps reduce anxiety. It also helps cure painful urination, ulcers and bad breath. Regular intake of this aromatic water helps in general well being and it acts as a blood purifier. Traditionally vetiver water is always made in clay pots.

To make vetiver water, take a bunch of vetiver root and place it in the bottom of a clay pot. Pour cooled, boiled water on top the vetiver root and cover the pot for at least 2 to 3 hrs. After 2 to 3 hrs, the vetiver essence would have infused into the water. Now take a lime cut into thin slices and add the slices to the water.

You can strain the water while drinking. This vetiver water is very cooling and refreshing. This vetiver water is always made during hot summer months and I really love this aromatic vetiver water.

2. Vetiver For Hair:

Vetiver water is excellent as a final rinse and it gives a nice sheen to the hair. To make vetiver hair rinse, take a bunch of vetiver in a cup. Pour boiling water on top and let it infuse for 2 to 3 hours, after that strain the liquid and add few drops of rosemary essential oil and mix well. Vetiver infused water also can be added to hair packs, it will help reduce dandruff, scalp inflammation and itching to a great extent.

3. Vetiver Bath Powder:

Vetiver is an amazing ingredient to add in bath powders as it has wonderful anti bacterial properties and it also makes the bath powder smell very good. To make the bath powder, sun dry green gram dal and a small bunch of vetiver under hot sunlight till they get very crisp. Powder finely in a mixer, sieve and store.

Vetiver is very aromatic, so use just little to make this powder. Both vetiver and green gram powder are very cooling. This powder is excellent for small babies as it does not have any chemicals. Keep the left over powder in an airtight box away from moisture.

This bath powder does not strip the skin of the natural oils and regular use prevents black heads and softens the skin. This bath powder cleanses well and it can be made into a paste with water and used as a face scrub too. During winter season, mix the green gram powder with milk or yogurt and use.

4. Vetiver Curtains For Sleep:

If you are looking for a natural room cooler that does not dry the skin like our regular air cooler, then vetiver curtains are perfect. The vetiver roots are dried and then woven into window curtains. These curtains are very fragrant and make the whole room smell fresh.

The smell from these vetiver curtains relaxes our mind and brings in peaceful sleep. Usually during the hot afternoons, water is sprinkled over these vetiver mats. When the hot air passes through the curtains, it cools the air and also adds it’s unique wonderful fragrance. It is much better than our regular air coolers, is very economical and saves so much of electricity.

5. Vetiver Bath Scrubs:

Many of you must have seen the round scrubs hanging in ayurvedic shops and those are vetiver scrubs. These scrubs are made from vetiver roots. Instead of using loofah sponges, we can try these natural scrubs. These scrubs are antibacterial, can be reused again and again and are greatly fragrant. It improves the circulation in the body and is used to exfoliate the dead cells naturally and keeps the body healthy.

Next time if you see these scrubs, give them a try. Before using it, soak it in water for some time and then use it like the regular loofah sponge. If you don’t get these sponges, you can make your own too. Take a thick bunch of dried vetiver roots and tie them into a bunch in such a way that it will be easy to use it as a scrub. Soak it in water for few minutes and your scrubber is ready!

Vetiver Side Effects

38 Comments

  1. Celestial Princess
    August 26, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Nice article. I have always loved the smell of Vetiver. Vetiver water can also be used to water plants as it promotes their growth:)

  2. Anonymous
    November 23, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    Hi Ramya, I ordered vetiver to Amazon and what I got doesn't look like root and it has no fragrance at all. I was so disappointed and now I don't know where else to order. I live in USA so I don't any other way to get it, any suggestions?? By the way, I love your site it's so informative, it's a shame that you don't sell the products.Ana

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 4, 2015 / 11:40 am

      Ana, I am glad you like the site. I tried searching vetiver online for you but even I couldn't find a good quality source, the ones sold are mostly scrubbers made out of vetiver. Selling online is a big step for me, hopefully in the future with god's grace…:)

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2016 / 5:39 pm

      We are cultivating vetiver near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in 24 acres of land under the name farm essentials

    • s rama chinnayya naidu
      October 16, 2016 / 5:43 pm

      we are cultivating vetiver in 24 acres near Visakhapatnam, we can provide authentic vetiver roots

    • s rama chinnayya naidu
      January 20, 2017 / 6:49 am

      Please contact 9920209623, or write to naiduacs@yahoo.com

    • Toni B
      April 10, 2017 / 7:37 pm

      Young living:-)

  3. Loganayaki
    February 9, 2016 / 6:33 am

    Hi. Yesterday only i bought vetiver. Ur site is very useful to us!! Thanks!!

  4. Anonymous
    March 26, 2016 / 6:28 am

    Is this oil good for diabetic neuropathy if so how do we use it. Is its oil good for depression and insomnia if yes how and how much a daily dose.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 14, 2016 / 5:55 am

      Vetiver essential oil has got antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. It is also very soothing and will greatly help with insomnia but I am not sure of diabetic neuropathy…

  5. vaishuBala bala
    March 29, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Wonderful site.. Respected mrs ramya, is there any personal contact information for you.. I wish to ask you about my problem in personal.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 18, 2016 / 2:59 am

      You can write to me personally through wildturmeric facebook message…

  6. Unknown
    April 25, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Hye Ramya,was a nice post, I have a doubt, we drink only boiled water at home, so i add the vetiver in the water while boiling itself, ofcourse smell is there but is it effective or should ive to add in only cooled boiled water

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 4, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      When you add the vetiver roots to already boiled water, the smell will be mild and it will also be pleasant to drink the water that is why we infuse it rather than boiling the roots. Give it a try…

  7. jayanthi
    May 16, 2016 / 10:12 am

    Hi RamyaI liked your site. Very useful and informative. It is said that vetiver immersed in copper cup for one week.and that water is very healthy. Is it true?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 3, 2016 / 9:09 am

      Vetiver reduces body heat and cools the body and also has antioxidant properties. Copper cup prevents bacterial growth (but I would suggest not leaving he water for 1 week)so it is healthy…:)

  8. Anonymous
    June 5, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Can vettiver curb down androgen levels

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 3, 2016 / 9:28 am

      I am sorry I couldn't find any evidence suggesting vetiver root extract curbs androgen levels…

  9. Anonymous
    August 31, 2016 / 6:13 am

    what is the correct procedure of using vetiver scrub with soap?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 3, 2016 / 9:30 am

      After applying soap over the body, take the vetiver scrub, wet in water and gently rub it all over the body.

  10. Unknown
    September 9, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    can you send the lofah?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 22, 2016 / 1:34 am

      I am sorry, as of now I don't sell things..

  11. Anonymous
    September 14, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    I have insomnia (sleeplessness) can I drink vetiver before going to sleep. Is this safe? How many drops to a glass of water?Norman

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 23, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Vetiver is good for insomnia, you can drink vetiver water before bed and you can also use the vetiver essential oil for massage too. We always vetiver root infused water for internal consumption and I would suggest the same. But if you want to use vetiver essential oil, the general suggested safe dosage is 1 drop mixed in 120 ml of water…

  12. DURAI
    October 21, 2016 / 3:55 am

    Do u have vetiver essence to mix in water pot, where can I get it?

  13. Sasi
    November 6, 2016 / 5:39 pm

    For ADHD problems in kids… How to use the vettiver. Pls… My kid is suffering from this prob.

  14. Anonymous
    November 9, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    I have read that one can purchase Vetifer powder. How would I use it for internal use? I am assuming it would benefit a person who is going through menopause and experiencing hot flushes.

  15. Anonymous
    November 30, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Ramya,How do we make use of vettiver leaves? I have the grass at home, how do we collect the roots out of it, as we get it at the country medical shops?

  16. Unknown
    March 7, 2017 / 5:25 am

    Mam please tell me, how long it last ,,,,I mean the Vettiveru,,,,, it's validity I'm asking

  17. Anonymous
    March 7, 2017 / 7:08 am

    Hi Mam now i am pregnant of 3 months can i drink vettiveru water?

  18. Lajo Shahani
    April 16, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    Hi Ramya, I have been using vetiver blinds on my windows since the past three years and simply love the cool and fragrant air that passes through, except for times when there is no movement of air at all. Still, its a huge saving on electric bills besides the fact that we have constant power outages. Also using a scrub but will definitely try out the other methods you've suggested. Thanks 🙂

  19. Unknown
    April 17, 2017 / 9:20 am

    nice information

  20. Unknown
    July 5, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    if any one willing to buy vetiver root original willing to supply for further details contact me +91-7200836589

  21. Robin A Arroues
    February 28, 2019 / 12:22 pm

    What is your website for buying Vetiver? I would like to purchase, but cannot find your site. Thank you. My email is robin_spd@yahoo.com

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