Ramacham-Vetiver (Cuscus-Grass) – Therapeutic Uses

Ramacham-Vetiver – Botanical name  – Vetiveria zizanioides (L) Nash,Andropogon muricatus Retz –Poaceae

Ramacham-Vetiver (Cuscus-Grass)

Ramacham in different Indian Languages :

  • Sanskrit – Usiram
  • Hindi – Khas
  • Bengali – Khuskhus
  • Tamil – Vetiver
  • Telugu – Kuruvera,vettiveru
  • Malayalam – Ramacham

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Ramacham-Vetiver Grass with fragrant roots

A dense perennial grass with fragrant roots which are yellow-grey and long.  The leaves are narrow,long and erect.  Fruits are oblong and grain-like.

Vetiver grows abundantly in tropical regions.  This plant grows throughout India in the plains and on the hills up to a height of 1200 metres.
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Parts used -Roots

Properties of ramacham vetiver

The roots are bitter,sweet,acrid and refrigerant with an aromatic fragrance.  They are diaphoretic,depurative,digestive,carminative,stomachic,constipating,expectorant,diuretic stimulant,tonic and anti-spasmodic.
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The roots are believed to be effective in curing a wide range of disorders.  In South India vetiver is cultivated mainly for the oil.

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Ramacham Therapeutic Uses

  • Infusion made with the roots is good for treating diarrhoea fever
  • Inhaling smoke dried roots can cure cough,bronchitis and hiccoughs,as an expectorant
  • Paste of roots can be applied externally to alleviate burning and itching
  • External application makes an excellent deodorant
  • In ancient times vetiver roots were used as a natural air conditioner.  Screens made of vetiver roots were used to cover windows and then sprinkled with water to produce cool,fresh and fragrant air
  • Dried roots are used for devotional poojas

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