10% off £30

Code:SAVE10
Buy 1 Get 1 Half PriceSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offOutletBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBetter than 1/2 price2 for £18 Mix & Match25% off1/2 PriceShort DatedVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsGut HealthImmunityChildren's HealthEnergyHealthy HeartLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesRescue RemedyAshwagandhaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsCBD Homeopathic Buy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayH&B ExpertDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsWeight ManagementDental HealthFood & Drink Shop AllDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersJams & ChutneysSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuicesSoft DrinksWaterProtein ShakesAlcohol Free DrinksTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & RelaxationDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsVegan FoodCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesNutritionally Complete FoodBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadeHeath & HeatherPukkaNakdMeridianTwiningsHuelBionaGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeEgg FreeMilk FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeFish FreeMustard FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietySports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinWhey ProteinClear ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneElectrolytesEnergy GelsSports CollagenPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutCaffeine-free-pre-workoutAmino Energy PowdersBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price25% offOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDHuelSiSFoodspringYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreePalm Oil FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationSexual HealthWomen's Health - PregnancyJoints, Aches & PainsChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareSun Lotion SPFMineral Sun CareFace SPFAfter SunHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaSukinQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offGrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterNew NordicSlimExpertApplied NutritionDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseExercise & RecoveryWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthJoints, Aches & PainsImmunitySleep & RelaxationLow Mood & DepressionJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceOnline Only up to 50% offHolland & BarrettDr OrganicNaturtintVitabioticsSolgarOptimum NutritionWeledaNew NordicEthiqueWildDairy FreeGluten FreeAlcohol FreeSugar FreeParaben FreeParfum FreeSLS FreeWheat FreeSoya FreeSesame Seed FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

Vetiver oil: Benefits, usage & side effects

vetiver grass
Vetiver oil – why use it? What are the benefits, what’s it used for and what are the side effects? Discover all right here in this article.

Ever heard of vetiver oil? We'll go through how and why you can use it, as well its main benefits and side effects. 

What is vetiver?

It’s an essential oil renowned for its grounding, calming and stabilising properties.

Also referred to askhus oil, vetiver oil is made from a perennial grass that’s native to India.1

Part of the Poaceae plant family, vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) can grow up to 1.5 metres tall and has tall stems and long, thin, rigid leaves and purple/brown flowers.

It also happens to be related to other fragrant grasses, namely lemongrass and citronella.2

The name vetiver, Vetiveria Zizanioides in full, means ‘hatcheted’ up in the parts of India where it’s native to.

Vetiver grass thrives in sandy loam or clay loam soil and climates that are tropical, sub-tropical or Mediterranean.

The plant is indigenous to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

It can also be found in many other tropical regions, including Brazil, Jamaica, Africa, Indonesia, Japan and Australia.

How is vetiver oil made?

Like most essential oils, vetiver is made from the process of steam distillation, which involves vetiver roots.

This process has been used for many centuries, with vetiver oil dating as far back as the 12th century, when it was a taxable item in its native India.

The vetiver roots tend to be harvested for oil when the grass is around 18 to 24 months old.

Interestingly, there is no synthetic version of vetiver essential oil because it has such a complex scent profile, which is made up of more than 100 components, making vetiver oil that even more special.3

What does vetiver smell like?

Highly distinctive.

Some people describe it as woody, smoky, earthy and spicy. While others say it smells dry and leathery.

It’s also been said to smell quite a lot like patchouli too.

Because of its woody, smoky, almost rugged, smell vetiver is often classed as being more of a masculine scent and is widely used in colognes and other scented products for men.4

Men’s fragrances that contain vetiver include Creed Original Vetiver, Carven Vetiver, Annick Goutal Vetiver, Guerlain Vetiver Extreme, Il Profumo Vetiver de Java, Prada Infusion de Vetiver, Lacoste Red Style in Play and Tim McGraw Southern Blend.

Meanwhile, perfumes that contain vetiver include Chanel Sycomore, Lancome Hypnose, Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and DKNY Delicious Night.

Handpicked content: What is patchouli: Benefits, risks and uses

Summary

  • Vetiver essential oil is made from the vetiver grass plant (Chrysopogon zizanioides) that’s native to India
  • The oil is extracted from vetiver roots using steam distillation
  • It has an extremely distinctive, masculine smell that’s woody, smoky, earthy and spicy

5 benefits of vetiver essential oil

You may not have heard of it until now, but vetiver oil’s been used for many years and has been linked to many different benefits, some of which we’ve listed below:

  1. Helps to manage dandruff

Vetiver's moisturising properties can help to manage dandruff. 

How to use vetiver oil for dandruff

1

Massage

Massage your scalp and hair with a blend of vetiver and almond oil before going to sleep.

2

Towel wrap

Wrap a steamed towel around your scalp to allow the oil to penetrate deep into the sebaceous glands.

3

Leave overnight

Leave the towel on overnight to allow the oil to further absorb. 

4

Lemon juice

Rub some lemon juice onto your scalp before shampooing your hair.

  1. Repelling insects

Most of us light our citronella candles when we’re in the garden and want to keep wasps and other insects at bay, but not as many of us realise vetiver can do pretty much the same thing too.

It can reportedly repel termites and reduce mosquito larvae, as well as kill head lice.5

  1. Stress reliever

Vetiver contains the active ingredients, khusimone, vetivenene, vetiselinenol, khusimol, alpha- and beta-vetivone, which give it its unique smell.

These compounds also give vetiver oil antioxidative, chelating, anxiolytic and neuroprotective qualities that have been linked to potentially helping ease oxidative stress and anxiety.6

  1. For bathing

Vetiver oil can be blended with other calming essential oils for a luxurious bathing experience.

How to use vetiver oil in your bath

Try this soothing bathtime blend:

1

Fill your bathtub with warm water. 

2

Add all the ingredients, mix well and let them all dissolve.

3

Once dissolved, soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes to allow all of the essential oils to fully absorb into your skin.7

  1. Intensive moisturisation

Vetiver roots are said to hold water and help hydrate the soil around the plant.

And when applied to skin, vetiver is reportedly good for giving your skin a dose of intensive moisture.

Try combining vetiver oil with mango butter and coconut oil for a gentle body oil that helps keep skin hydrated.8

Summary

  • Several benefits have been linked to vetiver oil
  • They range from rejuvenating and moisturising skin, to helping boost the immune system, repelling insects and tackling dandruff

Does vetiver make you sleepy?

Vetiver essential oil, with its deep and rich scent, is widely reported to be deeply grounding and often used to help promote a peaceful sleep because of its calming effects.

It’s because of this that some people also call it the Oil of Tranquility.9

Whether it actually helps people sleep is yet to be scientifically proven.

However, it’s still combined with many other essential oils to help create sleep-inducing blends that may help with relaxation and sleep when used alongside other methods.

These include avoiding caffeine 12 hours before bed, turning off devices 60 minutes before going to sleep and not exercising right before you go to sleep.10

When it comes to using vetiver before bedtime, try combining 3 drops of juniper berry, with 2 drops of vetiver and 2 drops of bergamot, or 2 drops of vetiver with 2 drops of lavender and 1 drop of frankincense.

Handpicked content: Guide to sleeping better: 35 natural sleeping remedies

Vetiver oil side effects

Vetiver essential oil is completely safe to use in moderation. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, speak to a medical professional first before using it.11

As is the case with all essential oils, vetiver can be infused or gently inhaled, but should never be swallowed or applied directly to skin without being diluted with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil first.

If you do intend to use it on your skin, make sure you do a patch test first.

Handpicked content: All about jojoba oil

Takeaway

While it may not be as commonly heard of as the likes of lavender, tree oil or eucalyptus essential oil, there are lots of reasons for vetiver oil to now be on your radar.

If not just for the distinctively rich and enticing scent, but for the many benefits that are associated with using it.

As with all essential oils, you can use it on its own or alongside other essential oils for more of a blended effect.

We hope you’ve found this article useful and plan on adding vetiver oil to your essential oil wish list!

With so many different essential oils out there, it can be difficult to know which ones to use.

Take a look at this article for some inspiration and practical insight, ‘The 7 most popular essential oils.’

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 24 August 2021

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.