Vetiver essential oil or khus oil is called “the oil of tranquility” because of its reputation for calming and soothing the body and mind. This thick, woodsy-scented oil derives from the dried roots of the vetiver grass native to India. It is a popular ingredient in commercial perfumes, foods, and beverages. More than 100 compounds give vetiver oil its distinctive fragrance and remarkable medicinal qualities. Extensive clinical evidence suggests that these derivatives safely ease anxiety, fight inflammation and microbes, and rejuvenate skin and hair. Vetiver is a valuable addition to your essential oil collection.
Vetiver oil is a popular ingredient in aromatherapy, promoting relaxation and treating trauma, hysteria, anxiety, and depression. A 2015 study published in Natural Product Research discovered that vetiver oil vapors may alter neurological actions that affect anxiety-like behavior. The essential oil exerted the same impact as drugs that treat anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms.
As a rich source of antioxidants, vetiver essential oil could help alleviate inflammation that causes body-wide pain, cramps, and discomfort. The oil can exert a tonic effect that encourages circulation and promotes wound healing. The earthy, comforting fragrance helps relax body and mind, soothing headaches and muscle pain.
Nervous tension, medications, and hormonal imbalances can dampen sensual urges. Cultures across the globe have used vetiver essential oil in traditional medicine since ancient times, as an aphrodisiac to help fuel passion. Researchers believe that this oil’s desire-boosting ability has to do with its neuroprotective effect. Vetiver also stimulates the production of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones that influence sex drive.
Although we are less responsive to external stimuli during sleep, they can still affect brain activity. While most forms of sensory stimulation disrupt sleep, some can enhance it. Authors of a small study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology discovered that participants exposed to diffused vetiver oil while resting showed markers of significantly deeper sleep.
Anxiety, tension, and depression suppress many important physiological functions, including those of the immune system. Vetiver oil can strengthen immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells that fight harmful microbes. It may also increase the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. Vetiver essential oil could help fortify the immune system by combating free radical damage, as well.
Vetiver oil can help keep away insects such as mosquitos and lice. In a clinical trial in the Journal of Vector Ecology, this essential oil demonstrated the strongest insect-repellent capabilities among a selection of products, including catnip, hairy basil, citronella oils, and the insecticide picaridin. Vetiver was as effective as commercial insecticides at controlling the eggs and larvae of ticks in a Veterinary Parasitology study.
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Collagen is a major component of hair, and its production wanes with aging. As a result, hair becomes less elastic. Vetiver oil contains cell-renewing compounds that revitalize collagen production. The oil’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help ease scalp irritation and inflammation, as well. Vetiver can even relieve dry skin, alleviating conditions such as dandruff.
The CDC estimates that almost one in ten children in the US are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity dsorder. Common symptoms of the condition include being easily distracted, difficulty with concentration and organization, fidgeting, and impatience. According to the results of a widely cited study by Dr. Terry Friedmann, children who inhaled vetiver oil for 30 days showed a 100% improvement in ADHD symptoms.
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Scientists have noted the potential of essential oils such as vetiver to fight pathogens that cause disease. While components in the oil can eradicate certain fungi and bacteria, vetiver shows no harm to human cells. In a 2018 article in Molecules, researchers observed that vetiver oil showed remarkable inhibition against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and some human breast tumor cell lines.
The severe adverse side effects of anticancer drugs often limit their effectiveness. Vetiver oil demonstrated protective properties against such toxicity in a 2015 Food and Chemical Toxicology study. In this clinical trial, subjects who received vetiver oil before their chemotherapy injections showed reduced DNA damage and cell cycle arrest. Researchers hypothesize that vetiver’s antioxidant activity contributes to its chemoprotective capabilities.
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