Amazing Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

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Vetiver essential oil isn’t a very popular oil (unlike the very popular lemon, peppermint, and tea tree, etc.), but it’s been used for centuries for its many benefits and uses.  Native to India, this herb is said to be naturally antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and act as a sedative.  

The earthy oil has a heavy scent, similar to patchouli, but with an almost citrusy bottom note.

Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

The entire plant is used for different purposes in India. Vetiver grass is used for many things, including bath powders, for mushroom cultivation, making roofs, and for crafts. Additionally, the roots of vetiver are helpful in preventing soil erosion, which you can see by their structure.

Vetiver essential oil is made from the roots of the plants.  It is a calming essential oil, so it has several uses in both aromatherapy and when applied topically.  

These are vetiver plant roots. Neat, huh?

Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits
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Amazing Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits & Uses

Vetiver essential oil benefits vary from skincare to emotional health, and more. Here is an outline of what you can expect from this potent oil.

Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits for Skincare

Vetiver is said to help the skin heal by promoting skin cell regeneration, so it’s a good oil for scars and stretch marks.  It’s also said to effectively treat dark spots, acne blemishes, and cracked skin. Got a zit…try vetiver!!

It’s also a natural antiseptic, so it can help kill bacteria when applied topically to the skin.  This makes it an excellent choice for skin care salves and balms, especially for dry or cracked skin.

Because of its multiple skin benefits, vetiver is a great essential oil to add to this Homemade Body Cream.

Vetiver Is Loaded with Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important in skin care because they can delay the visible signs of aging.  Vetiver is a powerful antioxidant, which makes it a fabulous oil to use in skin care products.

Antioxidants scavenge up free radicals, reducing or removing their damaging effects.

Just be careful to dilute this, or any essential oil enough for safe use, blend it well, and if you are going to use it in personal care products that aren’t oil-based, be sure to use an essential oil emulsifier.

Vetiver for Anxiety  – Take That, Stress!

When diffused, vetiver essential oil may help for natural anxiety relief. It may alleviate anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression.  In a 2015 study, scientists studied the effects of vetiver essential oil and its effects on the central amygdaloid nucleus, which is associated with emotional regulation, blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate.  

During the study, rats inhaled vetiver essential oil before performing stressful tasks.  They found that the oil performed the same as a prescription anti-anxiety medication.  

If you’re prone to feeling anxious, just dilute some vetiver essential oil on your skin, diffuse it, or wear it in a piece of quality essential oil diffuser jewelry.

Vetiver for ADHD

Vetiver can also be used in aromatherapy.  In a 2001 study, children with ADHD inhaled either lavender, cedarwood, vetiver, or a blend of essential oils three times a day and once at night.

Although it was a small study, the results showed promising results.  Lavender improved performance by 53 percent, cedarwood by 83 percent, and vetiver by 100 percent.

This post on ADHD and probiotics has other tips to support those dealing with this issue.

Vetiver for Stress

Vetiver oil has been used for years for relaxation and addressing stress, trauma, anxiety, and more. A 2015 study investigated vetiver oil as a way to help with anxiety.

Rats were given vetiver oil and it was found that the vetiver oil had the same impact as Diazepam, which is a medication that treats anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other medical issues. (source)

Vetiver As a Bug Repellant

Although citronella and cedarwood are often thought of as the best defense against an insect infestation, vetiver has longer lasting effects at lower concentrations.  Vetiver oil repels termites (source) and reduces mosquito larvae–go vetiver! Get those skeeters!

It can also help kill lice, so it’s a good oil to add to shampoo or use on the scalp if you’ve been exposed to a lice outbreak.  It could be added to this proven effective DIY Lice Spray.

Vetiver for Sleep

Though there isn’t a lot of information out there on this, vetiver has been known to be helpful for many people regarding their sleep.

That makes sense because it helps with calming, but there is this study on rats, showing that vetiver oil has a sedative effect.

Vetiver Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

How to Use Vetiver Essential Oil

You can use vetiver essential oil on the skin or via aromatherapy.  It’s generally not safe to take the oil internally.  Actually, the common safety essential oils guidelines state that you should not use essential oils internally unless under the care of a physician or aromatherapist. 

I used to think it was fine to use oils internally, but I have totally changed my mind on this one.

So don’t go drinking a bunch of oils, please, please, please.

As with all essential oils, always dilute with a carrier oil before applying to skin.

The amount of carrier oil that you should use depends on how you’re going to use the oil and how often.

Always do a patch test before applying it to a large area of your body.  

To enjoy the many benefits of vetiver oil aromatically, use an essential oil diffuser and follow the directions from the diffuser manufacturer.

Please note that vetiver essential oil should not be used by pregnant women due to the increased risk of miscarriage–take care if you are nursing as well and make the best decision that you can about its safety.

Where to Buy Vetiver Essential Oil

It’s really really important to make sure that you are buying pure essential oils and not adulterated ones with synthetics added to stretch the oils. Some companies use cheaper versions of real oils and pass them off as more expensive oils.

No thank you!

Years ago, I spent hours and hours and hours on the phone, sending emails, and more, in an effort to find the “best” essential oils company and avoid adulterated or overpriced oils.

I actually can’t find my vetiver now–so I’m going to grab some Vetiver from Rocky Mountain Oils, the essential oils company I went with years ago when I was trying to find a company that I could really trust. You can read the whole series on my hunt for the best essentials oils, or skip to the end to find where to buy quality essential oils.

I hope this article inspired you to try this fascinating oil in your life.

Did you know about the many benefits of vetiver essential oil?
Have you used vetiver oil before, and if so, how?

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  1. In the intro you talk about sleep, but do not mention any studies or other information about it later in the article. What other information do you have showing it helps with dalling or staying asleep?

    And what dilution do you tend to put that 1 drop in?

    Thank you, I have Vetiver and have always enjoyed opening the cap to scent it, but never Used it.

    1. Hi Christine – thanks for asking this. It’s hard to keep on top of everything. I was thinking about this awhile ago and found one study about some kind of alertness, so I got distracted. However, I just put the information in the post about sleep. Hope that helps!

    2. Oops sorry I forgot about your dilution question. I am not sure why that paragraph didn’t have more information in it. I just updated it.

      It really depends on where and how you’re going to use the oil. You should dilute more for use on the face than for use on your arm, for example. How do you plan on using it? And is your skin sensitive or not?

    1. Hi there. I’m so sorry that I missed replying to your comment. It got buried and I didn’t get back to it until now. I have read that this can help soothe scarring. You might also be interested in trying this Overnight Peel from Beautycounter. It gets rave reviews for dealing with scarring and spots and they have a great 60 day return policy w/ free shipping on returns.

      Hope that helps. Let me know if you tried the Vetiver or if I can help with anything else.

  2. I literally just got mine in the mail last night, ordered it to help a loved one with anxiety issues. I love the smell, although my husband commented that it smelled just like earth/dirt. Hahaha. It’s just TOO obvious which group this oil belongs to. I’m looking for more ways to use it, and I’m glad that I came across this blog. May I know what other less popular oils would you recommend? Thanks.

    1. So great! Oh there are so many to try. Did you see this post?

      I hope to have more to share soon. I think it’s fun to look at reviews to see what others like. If you are subscribed, when I write more you will get updates :).

      Also, you could join our new Healthy Living Group on FB and ask there…

      Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for the tip on using vetiver for sleep issues. I have had to deal with both sleep apnea and insomnia. Years of taking melatonin helped little. Adding GABA quieted a busy brain and 3 grams of glycine at nighttime added some relief. But there was still a problem with taking over an hour to go to sleep followed by frequent arousals (noisy acceleration of the CPAP machine). No real normal sleep cycle as a result. I recently came across some experiments where tart cherry juice was found to aid sleep and prolong sleep hours by an average of 1 to 1.5 hours. I’ve tried it and it seems to help immensely. I go to sleep rather quickly, get a deeper sleep experience, get back to sleep quickly after dealing with the noisy CPAP machine. I feel much better. Maybe this will help other people with sleep issues.

    1. Thanks for the great tips and glad you are sleeping better!! We use GABA and cherry here as well! Have you seen sleep apnea exercises by any chance?

      1. How much GABA? I bought 750 mg. and didn’t work. Then I thought maybe that is too high a dose. I have serious sleep issues as a result of Adrenal problems and a series of traumatic events. I am finding melatonin is having adverse effects. Supposed to get lots of sleep for adrenal fatigue but only sleeping 2 hours a night. The magnesium isn’t even helping..probably cuz i am burning it all up with anxiety.

        1. I take 750 mg. I wonder if you might do better if you let it sit in your mouth for awhile. I don’t know. I have tried 2 other GABA’s recently that are sublingual. I can’t say for sure that it’s 100% a sure thing but it might be worth a try.

          2 hours of sleep is terrible! I’m so sorry! Have you seen this post?

          Here is another one:

          I hope you can find some relief! I have some more thoughts about adrenals so LMK if you would like more.

          1. Thank you Adrienne so much. I will look at the links and any info you have on adrenals is great to post/send.
            I like essential oils and use them daily.
            Have a great day….

        2. Hi! The article I read recommended 750 mg. I bought the NOW brand, powder, in vegetarian capsules. I worked for me. Within a few short days the night time “noise” (constant running thoughts that had plagued me all my life) in my brain stopped cold. It was amazing but did not address all my problems. The glycine, tart cherry juice, and now the Vetiver that arrived today, will all have their part to play. Maybe one day all issues will be resolved. Since you did not have a good experience with the 750 mg brand you bought you might want to try another brand and see if that makes a difference in your ability to absorb GABA.

          1. Hi KT,
            The brand of GABA I am using is Source Naturals. When done I will try the NOW.
            I am now off of all medicines except Thyroid. Went thru the whole melatonin…benedryl etc. issues. Best to not take any of that so one can sort out side effects and get to the bottom of WHAT is actually the root source of the problem, which I am doing.
            Thanks for all the tips… I just started 2 weeks ago on the vetiver and I like it. I also have the cherry juice in fridge. I will try glycine…problem is not having an unlimited budget for all these things.

  4. I don’t remember now why I bought it, but I do have vetiver and I recently bought a diffuser. I just set it up and will be going to bed soon. Thanks Adrienne!

    1. How to you administer the blend? Diffuser, applied to the skin with carrier oil, or directly inhaled…

      1. You may want to check out They offer free samples with your purchases above a certain amount. Hope this helps.

        Also, has this statement on their site: “Years ago, while on a mission trip in New Zealand, I would take walks through the countryside to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.” The owner’s identification as Christian might make her willing to help someone who can’t afford the products. I don’t know for sure. You’d need to get in touch with them and inquire.

        1. Hi there. Thanks for reading and for commenting! I did check out those companies when I started the series. Of course, things change over the years with all companies, but I decided not to go with them. I think that’s very nice about the owner. I’m not saying this is true about that person, however, but I have run into many who call themselves Christians who don’t have good business practices or other unethical issues. It’s a shame, but it’s called sin. 🙁

          You might want to look at this post to determine essential oil purity:

  5. I love Vetiver essential oil. I love the smokey campfire smell. I use it as a perfume with Clary Sage as the smokey campfire smell and sagey smell go good together. I use it every day on the dark spots on my skin, and they are fading away. I diffuse it to reduce stress and to induce sleep. I use it on wounds and scratches which heal faster than with any other oil except Black Cumin, so I combine it with Black Cumin for healing melanoma spots on my skin. It’s an AMAZING oil, and I would not be without it.

    1. Wow – that sounds so lovely!!! I hope you dilute it on your skin! I can’t find mine so I’m going to have to order more.

  6. I’ve been taking Young Living essential oils internally for years. They have always helped with colds and flu. We put Frankincense on the roofs of our mouths to help avoid cancer. I put lemon and orange in every glass of drinking water. I put tea tree on cold sores and on sores on the tongue” What kinds of oils are you selling that can’t be taken internally? If they’re truly pure essential oils, internal use should not be a problem.p with most of hem. I studied aromatherapy so I know whereof I speak. Taking contaminated oils would be problematic!

    1. Hi Dianne,

      Actually I used to think that it was fine to use essential oils internally without thinking a second thing about it, but I have changed my mind. It’s very important to talk to a practitioner or aromatherapist about this for information regarding interactions with medications, and such. Plus many oils can do damage to mucosal membranes. There is the chance that they aren’t good for gut flora as well.

      So purity isn’t the issue….it’s strength and when and how they are being used. I have consulted with a number of aromatherapists. In fact, some of the contaminated oils might be safer if they are “contaminated” or cut with something like castor oil, therein making them more diluted.

      I hope that helps. Happy to talk with you more about this and thanks for reading!

  7. I have some Vetiver EO, but. Ever knew how to use it or what to use it for. Thank you so much for this information.