Tag Archives: essential oil

Vetiver: Travel, Magical Indian Grass and Supporting Research

vetiver

When I first smelled vetiver, it blew me away. There was something so specific  about it… so, familiar. My co-worker was putting some on one morning (we are yoga teachers and work in inner-city public schools, so it was no surprise that she was loading herself up with protective essential oils to face the potential brutality of the day).

She asked if I wanted to armor up, and I immediately fell in LOVE with this smell, I couldn’t stop sniffing my sleeve where it’s magical droplets had found themselves. It permeated my skin, my car, and right when my mom hugged me several hours later, it was the first thing she noticed and mentioned.

Different countries have plants native to them. They may have a plant so ingrained in their culture it is like apples and bananas to us. Some magical and mysterious herbs and spices and scents that we had no idea existed, exist. Vetiver, I have come to find, is one of them. How fun would it be to travel and explore the smells of different lands…

Vetiver is native to India, but has exploded all over Asia and Africa. In Sri Lanka it is known as the “oil of tranquility”, because it is known for it’s COOLING properties; thus, tropical places use it to cool down in hot summer months. It is built into thatch walls to freshen up a room.

Positive Health Wellness dives into the value of travel for health, check out this great article:

8 Reasons Why Traveling Is Good for Your Health

Surprisingly, there has been quite a bit of research done on the effects of Vetiver:

-Skin problems (Biological activity of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts)

-Soothe feelings of anxiety and nervousness (Anxiety-like behaviour and c-fos expression in rats that inhaled vetiver essential oil)

-Treat symptoms of ADHD and ADD (ADHD Research by Dr. Terry Friedmann )

-Antioxidant Properties (Evaluation of antioxidant activity of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) oil and identification of its antioxidant constituents) (Vetiver oil (Java) attenuates cisplatin-induced oxidative stress, nephrotoxicity and myelosuppression in Swiss albino mice.)

-Improve Sleep (Modification of sleep-waking and electroencephalogram induced by vetiver essential oil inhalation.) ; (Odors enhance slow-wave activity in non-rapid eye movement sleep.)

vetiver

Historical Use of Lavender Essential Oil

“Lavender essential oil holds a special place in the world of herbs and has long been regarded for its wonderful healing properties. Its history goes back some 2,500 years to the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians who used it for healing, embalming, and perfume. The Romans were known to use lavender for its medicinal and cleansing properties, scenting baths, as an insect repellent, and even for smoking!

During the times of the Black Death in England, lavender was used for protection against the plague. People actually fastened stalks of lavender to their wrists and ankles to protect them against the disease, not understanding the exact reason for that protection. Now we know why it worked… lavender repels the fleas that carried the plague!

In times of war when medicines and antibiotics were not readily available, soldiers were often given lavender oil to ease the pain of injuries and to kill any bacteria in their wounds.

We have now discovered hundreds more uses for lavender. It is known to be calming and relaxing to the nervous system, it eases depression, and improves cognitive performance. Lavender essential oil heals burns, eases allergy symptoms, kills bacteria, neutralizes the itch of insect bites, is a natural antiseptic and antifungal, and so much more.”

-Marnie Clark , “Lavender Essential Oil Uses and its Benefits for Cancer Patients”

Read the full article, here.