Close your eyes and imagine the smell of your grandmother’s antique thatched cupboard, the musty earth or aunt Betsy’s potato cellar. Growing as a grass in Asian lands, tropical islands and African savannas, Vetiver is a unique plant whose oil bestows both grounding and stability on the user. This amazing grass helps preserve soil against erosion and cleans ground water of impurities, and the expressed oil can be distilled to calm the mind, settle the constitution and allow one more presence in their bodily form.
Few are familiar with the rooty smell of Vetiver, though once you become acquainted you can never again forget. Known by the name Khus in India and named after the Tamil word ‘vetriver’ – which means ‘root’, Vetiver becomes a favorite oil and plant after the first true introduction.
I had my first experience with Vetiver when making raw chocolate with my business partner. We had a small raw chocolate business at the time and used food-grade essential oils as the flavors in the chocolate. Often we would order in new oils that we had never before tried, and the day came that Vetiver was introduced and we were excited to give it a try. Without knowing the power and potency of Vetiver yet, we did what we might do with other oils and added several drops to a small batch. Little did we know the intensity of our impending experience.
The batch finished mixing, pouring and setting and we went to trying it as we did every new concoction. Each with a small square of the Vetiver-infused chocolate, we placed the bar in our mouths and sunk to our knees. The essence filled our mouths and bodies quickly and I remember feeling as though I was being sucked right into the earth as though I’d eaten a mouthful of fragrant dirt. To say the least, it was hard to swallow. My dear sister’s partner was nearby and we had offered him a piece as well. After just a moment on his tongue he began to attempt wiping the flavor off of his tongue intensely using first his hands, and then a napkin.
Though the experience was intense, we could see past our error and knew this oil was powerful. We were very aware that we had simply over-done it and that a smaller quantity would prove perfect and even beyond magical. In order to integrate the new taste and energy, and so as not to waste any of the batch we’d just made, we committed to finishing the Vetiver chocolate ourselves before making a new batch to sell. We did so slowly and humbly.
From that day on, I have fallen madly in love with Vetiver. It is by far my favorite scent and top choice for flavors mixed with chocolate. Something about it changed me forever and I have noticed that the same fate befalls anyone who can pass the initial test with this rooty grass.
Change the Earth and Body
Vetiver can change the face of the earth as it does people, as it has the power to pull out toxins from soil and ground water, leaving a healthy wake in its path. It can do the same for the body and especially the mind.
When stress or anxiety fills the body or the mind is spinning off in a thousand different directions, Vetiver can take one down to the ground and stabilize the senses, the mind and the thoughts. Useful for those with schizophrenic tendencies or even mild spaciness, Vetiver is a powerful oil that is similar in scent to Patchouli.
If you are feeling unrooted and out of your body at all, Vetiver can bring you down so as to fully inhabit your frame. There is nothing like the earthy fragrance of Vetiver. It has been shown to heal depression and anxiety, boost the immune system, balance every system in the body, heal wounds, purify the field around the body known as the aura, relieve cramps and headaches and so much more. Not only is Vetiver an amazing healer for the human body, but an amazing healer for the Earth body – with her ability to draw out poisons from land and water alike.
The oil is viscous and takes a bit of patience to drop out. Perhaps this cultivates appreciation as we wait patiently for the healing to come. Vetiver is good for grounding and stabilizing any system – and is one of the most earthy oils around. If you haven’t made your acquaintance with Vetiver before, get prepared to meet an old friend.
Written by: Stasia Bliss