These notes were originally prepared for two
short CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
"essential oils refresher" sessions which I led for
Professional Aromatherapy Network in South Yorkshire. I would
be glad to lead such sessions for other groups, e.g.
local/regional IFPA or IFA branches.
For list of other essential oil profiles see USES.
To buy cedarwood oil visit the ONLINE
Sometimes spelt as "vetivert".
Origin Native to South India, Indonesia and Sri
Lanka. Now also cultivated in other tropical areas. The oil is
mainly produced in Java, Haiti and Reunion (1). In India the
wild plant is known as khus. Comes from the same family
(Gramineae) as lemongrass, citronella, palmarosa.
Extraction Steam distillation of rhizomes (roots), yield
0.5% tp 4%. Optimum age for roots is around 18 months to 2
years. They are sun-dried to reduce moisture content,
chopped,and distilled for up to 48 hours. (2) Colour dark brown
to dark amber or olive. Essential oil which is green in color
and light in scent is an inferior oil which has been distilled
from immature roots. Marie Temmen says “the finest quality
Vetiver oil is Reunion Vetiver or Bourbon Vetiver from the
Reunion Islands” (4). (NB I have had enquiries about this -
sorry, I do not currently stock Reunion vetiver, mine is from
History The name comes from the Tamil word which means
"hatcheted up" and is a description of the way in which the
roots are collected (4). Noted in India as a taxable item in the
12th century. Used in Ayurveda for inflammatory skin and joint
conditions. (2). Used in soaps, toiletries and perfumes.Vetiver
grass was used in Calcutta for awnings, blinds and sunshades, in
Java the roots were used for weaving mats and thatching huts and
in Haiti the grassy parts were also used for thatching. Used to
deter insects. Vetiver grass protects against soil erosion.
Vetiver is also known as the 'oil of tranquility' (3).
Chemistry Vetiverol 50% to 85%, esters inc. vetiveryl
acetate up to 35%, vetiverone 15% to 27%, vetivene up to 20%,
acids inc. palmitic, vetinevic and benzoic 4% to 30% (2).
Blending Suggestions Base note. Earthy, musty smell. Very
viscous. Benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, camomile Roman,
coriander, elemi, ginger, jasmine, lavender, lemon, mandarin,
patchouli, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang.
Major Properties antiseptic, antispasmodic, circulatory
stimulant, sedative (“grounding”).
Uses Stress-related conditions, emotional and mental
burnout, depression, insomnia, nervous tension. “Helps to
concentrate, organize scattered thoughts and overcome
intellectual fatigue” (5).
Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation,
PMS?, menopause? (6).
Acne, dry skin, oily skin?, wounds, wrinkles?, stretch marks.
John Kerr says it is “indicated for any inflammatory skin
conditions due to the high content of sesquiterpenes and
sesquiterpene alcohols. This includes irritated skin, rashes,
and topical bacterial or fungal infections” (2).
BACK TO TOP
1) Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Element,
Shaftesbury, 1992, p.187.
2) John Kerr, Essential Oil Profile – Vetiver, Aromatherapy
Today Vol.28 Dec. 2003, p8-10.
4) Marie Temmen, Vetiver, http://www.cherylsherbs.com/Essential_oil_profile_3.htm,
April 2004. Originally published in Scentsitivity, the quarterly
journal of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy,
Vol. 7, No. 3.
http://www.imm.org.pl/bird/vetiver.htm, April 2004.
6) Peter Holmes, Vetiver, International Journal of Aromatherapy,
Vol. 5 No. 3, Autumn 1993, pp. 13-15.
Other sources for information, present and past; books,
articles or other material by Martin Watt (safety); Patricia
Davis/London School of Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood.
Vetiver Network Much about vetiver grass for erosion
control, and all other aspects of use. Some material on the
essential oil in the Discussion Board, "Other Uses" section.
BACK TO TOP
Paul Boizot. Information revised 29.07.05. Page
All content on this site COPYRIGHT Paul Boizot
2002-2014 unless otherwise stated, either on the visible webpage
or in HTML.
My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove,
York YO24 4EA, U.K.
contact me on: 01904
This website is best
viewed at a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels - at 640 x 480
everything will look bigger, at 1024 x 768 you may need a
magnifying glass. I have tested it on Opera 7.11, Netscape 6.2 and
Internet Explorer 6. It may not display properly in older browsers
that do not support CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - it will lack
text formatting, background colours, etc.