Vetiver (Ramacham, Khus) – Chrysopogon Zizanioides

What is Vetiver ?

Chrysopogon Zizanioides, commonly known as Vetiver (derived from the Tamil: வெட்டிவேர்) is a perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family, native to India.


Both it’s leaves and roots have wonderful uses. It’s roots are mainly used in home remedies. It’s root is dried and sold in the markets and they last for quite some time. Since it is very fragrant and cooling, using bath powders made with it, cools the body and prevents heat rashes.

It’s grass is used in mushroom making, as a roof material and for making handicrafts. Other main important use of it is the conservation of soil. The roots are very effective in preventing soil erosion.

It’s essential oil also has wonderful benefits for treating ADHD, acne, depression, arthritis, stress, in making perfumes, etc. Vetiver essential oil is also good for insomnia. A few drops of this essential oil rubbed on the feet calms the mind and brings in sleep for people who suffer from insomnia.

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For Skin

You can use it’s grass powder in your homemade face masks or you can prepare it’s root water and use it as hydrating mist on a daily basis. Vetiver is an antiseptic and is very effective in preventing acne. It is used as a face pack along with sandalwood for making an effective treatment for acne.

To make this home remedy for acne, soak dried root in water overnight. Next day take a sandal wood bark and rub it into a paste with the it’s water. Add few drops of it’s essential oil and apply on the affected area continuously for best results.

For Hair

At home, you can your it’s root water as a clarifying agent for your scalp and hair. It helps to cure painful urination, ulcers and bad breath. This aromatic water has a calming effect on the nerves and regular intake of this water helps in general well being and it acts as a blood purifier. Traditionally it’s water is always made in clay pots.

To make it’s water, Take a bunch of vetiver root and place it in the bottom of clay pots. Pour cooled, boiled water on top the vetiver root and cover the pot for at least 2 to 3 hrs. After 2 to 3 hrs, the it’s essence would have infused into the water. Now take a lime cut into thin slices and add the slices to the water. You can strain the water while drinking.

For Sleep

The vetiver roots are dried and then woven into window curtains. These curtains are very fragrant and make the whole room smell fresh. The smell from these vetiver curtains relaxes our mind and brings in peaceful sleep. Usually during the hot afternoons, water is sprinkled over these vetiver mats. When the hot air passes through them it cools the air and also adds it’s unique wonderful fragrance. It is much better than our regular air coolers, economical and saves so much of electricity.

For Health

In India ‘ Khus or Vetiver syrup ‘ is really famous to make summer coolers or drinks which instantly cools down body temperature and flush out the toxins. It has antibacterial properties which are highly beneficial if you are suffering from acidity or heartburn problems.

These scrubs are made from vetiver roots. These scrubs are antibacterial, can be reused again and again and are greatly fragrant. It improves the circulation in the body and is used to exfoliate the dead cells naturally and keeps the body healthy. Before using it, soak it in water for some time.

Take a thick bunch of dried vetiver roots and tie them into a bunch in such a way that it will be easy to use it as a scrub. Soak it in water for few minutes and your scrubber is ready!

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Used in Bath Powder

There are so many handmade soaps and body sorbets, lotions and even scrub available in the market. These body care products contain Vetiver powder as a major ingredient. It is a great detoxifying agent too.

The bath powder is made with vetiver and green gram dal. This bath powder does not strip the skin of the natural oils and regular use prevents black heads and softens the skin. This bath powder cleanses well and it can be made into a paste with water and used as a face scrub too. During winter season, mix the green gram powder with milk or yogurt and use.

To make this powder, sun dry green gram dal and vetiver in bright sunlight till they get very crisp. Powder it finely in a mixer. Vetiver is very aromatic, so use just little to make this powder. Keep the left over powder in an air tight box away from moisture.

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