Vetiver Brings You Down to Earth


Image courtesy of Forest and Kim Starr at

Although Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) essential oil has an earthy smell, the plant is a tropical grass. It offers a dense, rich scent that is hard to describe, so I usually have people experience it by sniffing from the bottle. The heavy odor can take getting used to, but it is appreciated for it’s ability to bring one “down to earth.” This same quality is seen in its perfumery use as a fixative.

This settling quality makes the oil good for anger, insomnia, stress, and irritability. It calms the nerves and provides tranquility – a tonic for the modern world. I have been known to put a few drops in lotion and apply it to my feet before bed, especially when I am out of sorts from

The essential oil is also used for skincare. It helps with everything from acne to dry skin, eczema to stretch marks, and wounds to wrinkles. When making up a blend to be used near the nose, I do recommend lightening up the aroma with lavender or another floral. Having your face smell like earth is not necessarily a good thing.

Vetiver can also release the pain of arthritis, rheumatism, and muscle aches. Add a little ginger, lavender, and sweet orange to your blend, mix it in a carrier oil, and massage it into sore areas. You will get deep relief in your muscle and joints, and you’ll be relaxed, too. And that is a good thing.

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