Essential oils are plant extracts made by steaming or pressing different parts of plants, including fruit, leaves, bark, and flowers. This process is performed to capture the compounds that produce each plant’s unique scent.
The fragrances from these essential oils are used as natural remedies to help maintain and support physical health and promote feelings of mental well-being.
One of the most common sources of essential oils is grass plants. Different aromatic grasses can be harvested and used as essential oils for aromatherapy and topical application.
WOW Skin Science specializes in high-quality plant extracts, potent formulations, and 100% vegan products.
Today, we will be discussing vetiver oil, where it comes from, its various potential benefits, and safety precautions to consider before incorporating it into your holistic self-care routine. Additionally, we have compiled a list of suggestions for other similar essential oils that may help to satisfy your aromatherapy needs.
Table of contents:
- What Is Vetiver Oil?
- What Are the Benefits of Vetiver Oil?
- Stress Relief
- Boost of Alertness
- Sleep Quality
- Safety Precautions
- Similar Essential Oils to Consider
- Ylang Ylang
What Is Vetiver Oil?
Vetiver essential oil, also sometimes called khus oil, comes from the vetiver plant called Vetiveria zizanioides. Chrysopogon zizanioides is a perennial grass native to India and found in other tropical regions, such as Haiti. This member of the grass family consists of clumpy, tall stems covered in thin leaves and is coveted as a tool for sustainable agriculture.
The grassroots are harvested when the chrysopogon zizanioides are between 18 and 24 months. This plant part is aged and soaked in water. The plant’s natural oil, mostly zizanol (or khusimol) and vetiselinenol, gets released, sits at the top of the liquid, and is skimmed off the top for future use. It contains more than 100 sesquiterpene compounds.
The oil has been used to make commercially-produced and DIY items like candles, massage oil, creams, and soaps. The scent has sometimes been described as masculine for its smoky, woody, and leathery notes. It is also believed to hold antioxidant properties.
Some people use vetiver oil for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, sometimes called essential oil therapy, is a holistic treatment that uses plant extracts and aromatic oils to support your well-being. The oils are believed to help improve feelings concerning the health of both your body and your mind. It is used in Ayurvedic massage to support the nervous system.
Vetiver essential oil is a popular aromatherapy option since it is believed to help support your immune system, soothe feelings of stress and tension, and help maintain your mental clarity.
Just a few drops in your diffuser or aroma lamp and the scent from the oil will evaporate into the air for your inhalation.
What Are the Benefits of Vetiver Oil?
There are several different benefits to diffusing vetiver oil.
Exposure to vetiver oil has been thought to help ease feelings of stress and tension. Feeling overstressed can severely impact a person’s life by putting a strain on their career, education, or relationships.
Diffusing vetiver essential oil could help you create a more relaxed setting at home or work to assist with soothing your anxious mind.
Boost of Alertness
Inhaling vetiver essential oil has the potential to stimulate areas in your limbic system. The limbic system is a complex system of networks in the brain that control basic emotions and drives. By stimulating the limbic system, vetiver essential oil can help support feelings of alertness.
Diffusing is not just a daytime activity. You can also practice aromatherapy at night. Much like lavender essential oil, you can diffuse vetiver in your aroma lamp while you sleep.
In turn, this could help you relax.
Vetiver essential oil is typically safe to use on sensitive skin so long as it is used as a dilution and combined with a carrier oil. Carrier oils are used to dilute pure essential oils reducing the likelihood of side effects, like skin irritation, and making them safe for your skin.
Common carrier oils include castor, coconut, jojoba, and argan oil. Simply mix one to two drops of your pure vetiver essential oil into a palmful of plant-based carrier oil.
Typically, with essential oils, this means avoiding consumption and inhaling or topically applying in moderation.
Assuming you do not have an allergy to chrysopogon zizanioides, the essential oil should not be toxic to use. If you are unsure whether you have a sensitivity to vetiver essential oil but plan to apply it topically, we suggest a patch test.
Patch tests are done to test for various allergies and to help you see how the skin responds to different substances. In this instance, apply a drop of the vetiver essential oil to a tiny area of your skin. Observe the area and see how your skin reacts. If there are no signs of adverse effects, you can apply the oil to other areas of your body.
Similar Essential Oils to Consider
If vetiver essential oil does not fulfil your needs, there are other essential oils that you can try.
One example of this is lemongrass. Lemongrass is a grassy plant distinct for its strong, citrus scent. The benefits of using lemongrass include helping ease the feelings of stress and supporting healthy digestion.
WOW Skin Science has our own Lemongrass Essential Oil on the market. Our 100% pure oil is designed to energize the senses. This wellness staple features a fresh, lemony aroma and boosts feelings of calm. Use a diffuser blend to decontaminate any space and potentially keep insects at bay, or add a few drops to your skin to help support a brighter complexion.
Another example of a grass-based essential oil is citronella. Citronella essential oil comes from the distillation of a plant in the Cymbopogon genus. This fragrant grass famously has a floral, citrusy aroma.
There are several different potential benefits to using citronella essential oil. The oil is used to help support mental wellness and combat fatigue. Today, citronella essential oil is most commonly used as an all-natural insect repellent.
Palmarosa is actually part of the lemongrass family. That being said, the scent is a little different. Though the aroma has hints of citrus, it is notably soft and rosy.
As palmarosa flowers, it reddens. Just before turning entirely red, the plant is harvested and dried out. Through the process of steam distillation, oil is extracted from the stem of the grass. The result is a yellowish essential oil that can help support mental health.
One of the top draws of palmarosa essential oil is its ability to enhance the skin. It is often integrated into skin care for its ability to penetrate the epidermis deeply and within the skin cells.
This can result in helping to support hydration. Healthy moisture levels equate to the appearance of stronger, more radiant skin and can help reduce the appearance of acne breakouts.
Palmarosa essential oil can also be used to maintain feelings of mental wellness. When dealing with stress, tension, or grief, some people believe that palmarosa essential oil can be used to help maintain your mental health in a variety of ways.
Ylang ylang essential oil comes from the flowers of the herb Cananga odorata genuina and has an aroma that is rich, deep, earthy, and unsurprisingly floral.
When it comes to aromatherapy, ylang ylang oil is often chosen to improve mental clarity. The essential oil is believed to help maintain brain health. Ylang ylang essential oil is also used in skin sprays. Perhaps most uniquely, this oil is often regarded as an aphrodisiac.
WOW Skin Science has our own Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. The 100% pure oil is our sensual essential. Our formula features a therapeutic, romantic, floral aroma that can help soothe tension. It is also believed to be ideal for helping to maintain hydration levels in your skin and hair.
In conclusion, vetiver oil is a valuable grass plant-based essential oil. The top benefits of vetiver essential oil include assisting with feelings of stress relief, helping to support your limbic system to boost feelings of focus and alertness, and supporting your sleep patterns to help you maintain your rest at night.
You may be tempted to get straight to application and inhalation with all of these benefits. Nevertheless, remember to take the necessary precautions first — test to ensure that your body reacts positively to the essential oil before using it.
If you find that vetiver essential oil is not the best choice for you, remember that there are several other options to try out instead, like lemongrass and ylang ylang essential oil.
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