The next time you walk through a field of grass, look a little more closely. Though they may seem common plants, some species of grass have a number of gifts to give us. Vetiver is one of them. Though you may not come across it in the U.S.—it grows naturally in India—you may have enjoyed the essential oil, which is made from the extensive root system.
Related to lemongrass, vetiver produces an earthy aroma prized in perfumes and fragrances, but also has a natural ability to reduce the appearance of dark spots and reveal a smoother, younger-looking complexion.
Vetiver essential oil helps reduce the appearance of dark spots.
A Little More About This Ingredient
Vetiver is a grass from the Poaceae family of plants, scientifically called Chrysopogon zizanioides. In India, it’s called “khus,” where it grows naturally, but today it’s also widely produced in Haiti, Java, Japan, the Philippines, and Réunion. A fast-growing perennial, it can survive up to 50 years or more, as all those green leaves are supported by a vast network of underground, interlinked roots that grow vertically, not horizontally, about 12 feet into the soil. These roots are what we use to get vetiver essential oil.
Vetiver is found in clumps reaching up to five feet high, and can form a green hedge that can trap crop residues and silts to form an earth embankment. This trapping property also makes the plant helpful in growing crops, as it can absorb toxic substances in chemical fertilizers and pesticides, improving the health of the soil.
The root system enables the plant to store water and moisture, but because it expands mostly vertically, it doesn’t encroach on the roots of other plants. The leaves have been used for roof thatching, as raw material for making paper, for mulching, as planting material for mushroom cultures and for making compost, and to make things like ropes, mats, baskets, and more. The roots, in addition to being the source material for the essential oil, are also used for making screens and blinds, and in insect and rodent repellants. Khus Essence is a dark green thick syrup made from the roots and used as a flavoring agent for ice creams, drinks, and desserts.
Internal Health Benefits of Vetiver
Vetiver has been traditionally used to treat a number of health conditions, including nerve and circulation problems, arthritis, insomnia, muscle aches, rheumatism, and to help keep menstruation regular and painless. It is said to promote fertility.
Where vetiver really shines, however, is in skin care.
Benefits to the Skin
The most exciting benefit of this plant is its ability to reduce the appearance of dark spots, and other marks on the skin, helping to create a more even skin tone.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Vetiver also provides:
- Moisturization: The oil is nourishing and hydrating, helping to soothe dry skin.
- Tighten and Firm: Vetiver helps skin appear firmer and more youthful.
- Protection: Like most plant oils, vetiver contains antioxidants, which helps to protect skin from environmental stressors.
- Lovely aroma: The earthy, spicy scent of vetiver helps ease the mind—a nice side effect when using your skin care products!
- Problem-solver: All these properties together make vetiver the perfect addition to anti-aging formulas, while moisturizing deeply.
Enjoy the properties of vetiver in two of our key anti-aging products. Try them and see if your skin responds with a cleaner, more youthful look.
Have you heard of vetiver before? How do you use it?