Tag Archives: roots

VETIVER the oil of tranquility

vetiver roots

vetiver roots

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) also called khus khus, is a perennial scented grass. It has a straight stem, long narrow leaves and grows in tufts, reaching a height of 2 meters. It has abundant white scented rootlets.Vetiver is native to South India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated in the Comoros Islands, Reunion, Java and Haiti. In India and Sri Lanka the essence is known as The oil of tranquility.

Vetiver handbag

Vetiver handbag

The fibrous grass is used for many different purposes; as protection against soil-erosion during the tropical rainy season, as pest and weed control in fields and to protect domestic animals from vermin. In 19th century Calcutta the rhizomes of Vetiver was manufactured into awnings, blinds and sunshades. During the hot season water was sprinkled over them which cooled the room while perfuming it. This made vetiver a very popular scent in Britain as it reminded the former British dwellers in India of the colonial times. At the time it was also used for perfuming linens and preventing moth. Ground rhizomes were used to manufacture sachet powders.

VetiverEssentialOilVetiver is widely used in perfumery. It has excellent fixative qualities (binding and stabilizing more volatile essences in a perfume blend). It imparts a woody, slightly earthy, green scent to the finished blend. The essential oil of vetiver is obtained by steam distillation of the washed, chopped and dried roots and rootlets. It is a viscous oil with an amber to brown, olive colour that deepens and turns reddish-brown with age, the scent is deep, smoky, woody and earthy with a touch of green freshness. The best quality oil comes from Reunion and is called Bourbon Vetiver.


  • Skin: Acne, oily skin, cuts and wounds
  • Muscle: Anti-inflammatory, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains and stiffness.
  • Nervous system: Depression, nervous tension, sleeping problems, stress, PMT.

Personal: I love this beautiful oil. It is safe to use with children, elderly or the very ill. It is deeply relaxing without being sopoforic rather, it brings you back into yourself and gives a feeling of calm assurance. I used it together with Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) for a nap when I was pregnant and to this day it was the most glorious sleep-time I ever had 🙂 I use it for clients mainly when they seem to be “outside of themselves” and can’t find peace and balance. Vetiver is deeply grounding and nurturing in nature. It is often well-liked by children and helps them to calm down when upset. I think the deep earthy scent reminds them of playing outside in the park or forest and it brings them to a happy place.



I have an ever increasing love for these flowers. When I was a child my grandmother grew deep-red peonies that used to bloom around midsummer. They were always used to crown the midsummer-pole – The Queen of Midsummer.

There exists about 25-40 varieties. They are heavenly scented with huge flowers ranging from white and yellow over many pink hues to deep red. The leaves are dark green, pointed with clear tracings of nerves. There exists about 25-40 varieties and they are native to Asia,  Europe and north America. They are perennial and reach a height of about 1m, but there are some that become small trees, reaching a height of about 3 m.

Peony is named for the mythical Greek figure Paeon, who was said to be a student of Aesculapius, the great physician. Paeon used the peony plant to heal a wound for the god Pluto. This earned Aesculapius’s jealous wrath, but Pluto saved Paeon from death by turning him into a peony plant.

In China the roots (and sometimes bark of the peony tree) of peonies have a long history of medicinal use, often in combination with licorice root, for cramps, spasms, fever. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) peonies have often been used for women’s health problems. For more in-depth information on peonie’s use in alternative medicine look here.

  • The Chinese name for the peony is sho yu. This means “most beautiful.”
  • The peony is the traditional flower symbol of China.
  • In Europe the peony has been called “The rose without thorns”.
  • The history of the peony in China and Japan spans more than 4 000 years.
  • In Asia the peony is a symbol of wealth, good fortune and prosperity.
  • The peony is an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.
  • The peony is the state flower of Indiana USA since 1957.
  • Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony thus causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers. (So if you find me hiding in the petals of a Peony, just pretend you didn’t notice)

Yun Shouping, 17th century