Vetiver Oil Improves ADHD, Anxiety & Brain Health
Vetiver oil has been used in traditional medicine in South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Africa for thousands of years. It’s native to India, and both its leaves and roots have wonderful uses. Vetiver is known as a sacred herb valued because of its uplifting, soothing, healing and protective properties. It’s a natural body cooler — making it extremely popular in tropical countries. In fact, in India and Sri Lanka it’s known as the “oil of tranquility.”
Some of vetiver oil uses include treating heat strokes, joint disorders and skin problems. Using vetiver oil is also a way to boost energy levels when you’re exhausted. In addition, it’s used to cool the body during very high temperatures and soothe feelings of anxiety and nervousness.
Recent research credits vetiver oil for treating symptoms of ADHD and ADD. It’s also known to increase libido and treat insomnia without drugs. There are a number of vetiver oil benefits that you can take advantage of in the comfort of your home; the essential oil is perfect for skin care products and relaxing oil combinations.
The Vetiver Plant and Its Components
Vetiver, or chrysopogon zizanioides, is a perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family native to India. In western and northern India, it’s popularly known as khus. Vetiver is most closely related to Sorghum, but it shares many morphological characteristics with other fragrant grasses, such as lemongrass, palmarosa and citronella oil.
Vetiver grass can grow up to five feet high; the stems are tall, and the leaves are long and thin. The flowers are a brownish-purple color, and unlike most root systems, the roots of vetiver grass grow downward and can go as deep at eight feet (which is deeper than some tree roots).
The vetiver plant is highly drought-tolerant and can help to protect soil against sheet erosion. Because the roots are so deep, they don’t dislodge easily; therefore, they have been used to stabilize railway cuttings and embankments in order to prevent mudslides and rockfalls. The plant can block the runoff of surface water, and it slows water flow.
Vetiver oil is distilled from the plant’s roots, and it contains over 100 components. The important compounds of vetiver are khusimene, delta-selinene, beta-vetivenene, cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimers A and B), vetiselinenol, khusimol, isovalencenol, khusimone, alpha-vetivone and beta-vetivone. The oil is amber-brown in color, and it’s described as a sweet, woody and smoky fragrance.
Similar to patchouli oil and sandalwood essential oil, the odor of vetiver develops and improves with aging, and the scent varies depending on the plant’s location.
Vetiver oil history & uses infographic
7 Vetiver Oil Benefits
1. Proven Antioxidant
Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body, they cause what’s known as oxidative damage, which is the formation of free radicals, which are very dangerous to the body’s tissues. Some benefits of consuming antioxidant-rich foods and herbs include slower aging, healthy and glowing skin, reduced cancer risk, detoxification support, and longer life span.
A study done at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition a Clemson University in South Carolina evaluated the antioxidant activity of vetiver oil in 2005. The results showed that vetiver oil possessed a strong free radical scavenging activity when compared to standard antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene and alpha-tocopherol.