"the helpful friend"
When I think of Vetiver, all I can think is: Vetiver is helpful. He helps the earth, he helps your body and mind and he teaches you to embody the qualities of helpfulness through his teachings, for we become what we hang around, right?
This helpful plant friend is unique and has been used and is currently used in, what seems like, countless ways.
Vetiver is a grass. His brother is Citronella and his sister is Lemongrass as they are part of the same family. Although Vetiver holds many of the teachings his family members hold (abundance, boundaries, and protection)--the is in their DNA (literally), he provides something that no one else in his family can.
Vetiver grows tall, anywhere from 5-10 feet high. His stems are long and strong and his long leaves have flowers that are a brownish purple. Like all grass, he grows in a group, but because of his height he makes a natural “wall” or barrier. Because of this vibration, he will teach you to create healthy boundaries in your life. He has a reputation for bringing protection and blocking negativity. He will teach you how to create and uphold healthy boundaries while also coming in to protect you until you build up your boundaries.
Because of the wisdom on boundaries and protection he embodies, he is also a powerful ally for energy workers and healers helping them create healthy and ethical boundaries to help heal others and not take on or over-step bounds with their clients. He will teach energy workers/healers what is appropriate boundaries guiding them to understand this concept and employ it for the greater good, and he works as a guard protecting both parties (the giver and receiver) from picking up each other’s negative energies if there is any present (Sometimes the healer can feel nervous or in their head; often times, the client is releasing lots of negativity as that is why they signed up for a session). This is a wonderful plant teacher to help new energy workers/healers or those who struggle with this important part of being a healer. It is an important lesson to learn that takes time. Vetiver will help speed up the process on mastering this skill.
But that is not the most powerful part of Vetiver, for it is his roots where the medicine comes from. His roots are distilled into an essential oil (medicine makers have found the richest/most powerful oil comes from roots aged between only 2 or 3 years old). Vetiver teaches the importance of patience and slowing down. It takes a full 24 hours in the distillation process to turn the roots into essential oil. He speaks the medicine of slow and will teach you to do the same.
His roots are also dried and bundled and made into smudge sticks. The roots are then lit on fire and the white smoke and aroma that comes off the burning, dried roots work as energy medicine cleansing the body’s aura (the energetic field that exists around 5 feet outside the physical body). Using Vetiver in the smudging process (tracing the aura of the body with the smoke) is said to cleanse and replenish the entire energy body balancing the chakras while bringing grounding and calm energy. It is also said to release negative or excess energy from the body, increasing vital energy within it the mind and body. You can also burn the Vetiver in an ashtray or shell and let the smoke burn in a room (like an incense) to cleanse and re-energize the space. See what I mean: he is very helpful…
Vetiver’s root system is so powerful as medicine because it is intricate and finely structured and is the most potent part of him. The way in which this medicine grows is rare and unique. Most grasses’ roots grow horizontally spreading wide along the ground. Vetiver’s roots grow down vertically straight into the Earth. His roots grow deep (a minimum of three feet down) and commonly grow WAY, deep down anywhere from 10-15 feet tapping into the underworld. This root system is deeper than most trees. Because the medicine is taken from the roots, it holds the rare vibration of the energy that exists deep within the Earth’s core. Vetiver is taken from the deep areas of the earth, and so, he helps you go deep. For this reason, he is deeply enlightening allowing you to explore the depths of your mind, body and soul. He holds the door open for you to look deep within gaining new understandings of who you are. He is wonderful to use when meditating. I’d also recommend calling on Vetiver to use when you feel disconnected, you are questioning yourself, or if you want to get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Because of his deep roots, he is deeply grounding. He is calming and peaceful because he connects us to nature. We live in a world full of EMF (negative rays from technology and other negative energies) that bombard our health and mind. These rays take us away from nature: when was the last time you went outside (for more than a reason to drive somewhere in your car)? When was the last time you used your phone? Most of us spend not much time outside and most of the time on the phone, computer, car, or in front of the tv. We become dependent on technology and lose sight of ourselves. In a world where we can have essentially anything we want “amazon primed” to us within 24 hours, we are losing the natural teachings of patience or destiny or trust. In a world where we can “ask Siri” or google anything to find the answers to any of our questions, we are losing the natural teachings of intuition and inner wisdom and trust. Do you know that every bit of information of everything is stored in every one of our cells? With 37.2 trillion cells in the human body (I googled that..ha), we are jammed packed with wisdom, yet the current world rips us away from the need to explore this. This is why meditation or sitting in silence with ourselves brings great wisdom and answers to our questions. Vetiver, the helpful friend he is, will help bring us back to nature, strengthening our bond with the natural world. He is said to help improve our intuition. He routes for us to google ourselves and look within or out to the teachings of nature to learn and grow.
The first documented use of Vetiver was in the 12th century in an ancient Hindu text. In this sacred text, he was referenced as “the tranquil oil”. He was known (and is still used today) to be used to make garlands to be offred to Ganesha (the Hindu god to remove obstacles from our lives) and Lord Shiva the Dancer (the Hindu god representing liberation, transformation and dancing on life’s ignorances). I don’t know about you, but If he’s good enough for the Gods, he is good enough for me.
Ayurvedic medicine and chinese medicine has used Vetiver for hundreds of years to help calm the systems of the body and mind. Vetiver invites us how to live in the here and now and says, “Everything is right and perfect in this present moment, my friend.” Current research has supported Vetiver as true brain medicine. He is said to aid nervousness, anxiety, ADHD, nervous tension in the mind and body, restlessness, and anger. He is said to help cope with fear and stress. He is helpful medicine with insomnia, and he is also uplifting helping fight depression.
Vetiver, in his make up, is resilient and strong. He is drought tolerant yet can survive while being completely covered in a deep water flow: Vetiver can actually live with no water for long periods of time or live underwater for about 2 months. His flexibility and resilience provides great lessons to the human race. He will teach you these qualities and show you how to apply them in your everyday life. I told you Vetiver likes to go deep, so he is particularly helpful with healing emotional trauma or shock and pains of the past that are “too hard” to get over. He teaches us to endure, stay strong and move forward living in the now. His oil is sticky and so helps put us back together when we feel broken or undone.
Vetiver is so helpful to not just Mother Earth’s people but to the Earth itself. Vetiver helps “save the earth” and if he were a person, he’d totally be a “hippy environmentalist”: I can picture him now wearing a green “Save-The-Earth” tee-shirt and “Water Conservationist” trucker hat leading peaceful rallies to clean and help save and use the Earth’s resources for good. Vetiver has been globally is recognized as a solution to contamination, soil and water pollution, and erosion. He plays a serious role in infrastructure stabilization, wastewater treatment, migration and rehabilitation, prevention of storm damage and sediment control. There is a movement called “The Vetiver System” (Meditate on it or ironically enough, read about it here), but basically he is used in over 100 countries as means to help the Earth. Vetiver has literally been used to stabilize railway cuttings and prevent mudslides and rock falls: check out the story here about how Vetiver helped save the day for the Konkan railway in India. Another amazing, super-hero-of-the-Earth story about helpful Vetiver is he can grow in fuel-contaminated soils and cleanse the soil to be almost entirely fuel free. Aside from all that, he is a protector from weeds and pests and very helpful in the garden (when, of course, used mindfully as he is a grass so he will grow abundantly).
Where else can Vetiver be of service? Pretty much everywhere...he is an insect repellent and is wonderful to help keep away ticks (and if you have been bitten by a tick/have Lyme Disease is powerful medicine here). He is strong immune system medicine being antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal. He is highly antioxidant and fights free radicals. He is great for skin care (acne, scars, stretch marks, burns and wrinkles). He is wonderful for circulation and boasts the metabolism. His speeds up the healing process and promotes growth of new tissue. He is a wonderful medicine for hormones and will help regulate a woman’s moon cycle. He is strong inflammatory medicine as well. He is said to bring alertness and focus to the brain. Spiritually he is an abundance-drawer and is said to not only attract money but “protect you from thieves” and mystically, he is known to “break a case of a run of bad luck.”