The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live. – Shakespeare’s Sonnet 54

A few years ago, I started using therapeutic grade vetiver essential oil on one of my daughters who often struggles with sensory issues. She loves it, and it smells so nice. I use it now, too, but I’ll get to that in a minute. When we first opened the bottle, we weren’t sure what we thought; but, once we applied it, we were captivated by the mysterious scent, and found that we really loved it!

Vetiver is a very thick, dark and syrupy essential oil. The aroma is earthy, sweet, and full of life. It reminds me of an early morning walk through a lush green forest filled with damp grasses and wild herbs. Like myrrh, vetiver oil has excellent fixative properties; therefore, it is often used in perfumes.

Vetiver has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system and is a wonderful oil to help quiet an overactive, exhausted, or stressed mind.  It is also said to be a good choice in helping to better manage anger, irritability, or compulsive behavior, as well as helping with occasional sleeplessness.

Recently, while researching essential oils commonly used for helping children with behavioral challenges, vetiver kept coming up. Many people feel very strongly that vetiver oil (along with several other choice oils) is making a huge difference in the lives of children with such challenges.

In the following study conducted in 2001 by Dr. Terry Friedman, several essential oils were used to determine their effectiveness for common behavioral challenge in children. Vetiver was found to be the most effective in observations and brain wave scans – showing improvements in 100% of subjects! Cedarwood essential oil was 83% effective, and lavender 53%.

CASE STUDY DR. TERRY FRIEDMAN, M.D. This case study was conducted for two years, from 1999-2001. Using Children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Twenty subjects [without diagnosed behavioral challenges] were used as the control group.

Twenty subjects with a [doctor] confirmed [behavioral challenge] of ADD/ADHD were used as the study group. Each group was pre-tested using a baseline evaluation with real time EEG and The T.O.V.A. Scale. The essential oils chosen for the case study were Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood and Brain Power (a blend of Frankincense, Sandalwood, Melissa, Cedarwood, Blue Cypress, Lavender and Helichrysum.) The oils were administered in this fashion: one of the oils were administered by inhalation 3 times a day for 30 days.

An inhalation device was also used at night to administer a continuous inhalation of oil. The subject then inhaled when needed, about 3 times during the day when they began to feel “scattered”. The inhalation of the oils proved to settle the brainwaves back into normal patterns and improved their scholastic performance and behavioral patterns.

Each subject was tested on each oil for 30 days and then reevaluated by testing. Then another oil was used for 30 days and reevaluated, until each of the oils had been tested. Lastly, oil combinations were used, each for a 30 day period. (Brain Power with Lavender, with Cedarwood, and Vetiver.) The final results were: Lavender increased performance by 53%,

Cedarwood increased performance by 83% and Vetiver increased performance by 100%. This study was published in the American Medical Association Journal.

Vetiver encourages normal function of the circulatory system and can help relieve occasional join stiffness and muscle cramping.  Treat yourself by massaging Vetiver into overworked muscles. We use it often to relieve skin abrasions and scrapes more effectively and with reduced scarring.

Some people add it to their face creams and lotions to revitalize mature, aging skin and rejuvenate wrinkly, irregular skin textures. Others may find it helpful for reducing the appearance of skin blemishes. Vetiver is among the oils highest in sesquiterpenes. Along with helping children better manage their behavior, it may also help many people cope better with occasional anxious feelings, or rediscover homeostasis after emotional trauma or shock.

Why I use Vetiver

Remember the old “Calgon, take me away” commercial in the 70’s? That lady didn’t need a bubble bath; she needed vetiver! Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of an introvert, but I can go on overload when I’m around crowds for too long. I also have the same reaction to loud or chaotic music or noise.

So, when I feel (occasionally) stressed or overwhelmed, or one of my children is having a tough time focusing or is feeling overstimulated by his/her surroundings, we apply a little vetiver to the bottoms of our feet and ankles (undiluted). Then we inhale what remains on our hands. I love the relaxing result!

How to Use: Since vetiver is so thick, and because I only use it topically, I go ahead and dilute it with olive or sweet almond oil and put one of Young Living’s roller balls on the end to make it easy to apply. You could also purchase individual roller bottles HERE. Then I apply it to the back of my neck and the bottoms of my feet. I also rub some in my palms, add a little Sensation Body Lotion, rub together, cup my hands over my nose and inhale deeply. Mmmmm…..

psycho chick gift bottleEven if you don’t think you need vetiver yourself, it’s a good oil to have on hand when friends come to visit! You never know who you may wind up helping! And what a great gift idea for an overwhelmed mom (thanks, Amy Maus and Tonya Patterson)! Spread the love!