Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver Essential Oil is extracted from the roots of Vetiver or Khus Bunchgrass (Chrysopogon zizanioides). Vetiver grass is a fragrant grass that is widely used for culinary and Naturopathic purposes.

Vetiver Essential Oil is not as well-known or widely-used as many other essential oils, but it has some unique properties that make it a useful addition to Naturopathic treatments for certain skin conditions, such as acne. Although Vetiver Essential Oil is not currently a common ingredient in Naturopathic acne treatments, it does appear to be gaining popularity for this application.

Vetiver is a perennial bunchgrass that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a fragrant grass that is similar in appearance to Lemongrass and Citronella. Like these other fragrant grasses, the essential oil of Vetiver appears to have strong antibacterial properties. Laboratory testing indicates that Vetiver Essential Oil is highly toxic to the acne-causing P. acnes bacterium, as well as other gram-positive bacteria.

Vetiver Essential Oil is used in a range of aromatherapy, ayurvedic, cosmedic and naturopathic skin care products.  Vetiver Essential Oil has been claimed to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sedative properties. Although there has been very little clinical research to verify these claims, the antibacterial activity of Vetiver Essential Oil suggests that this essential oil deserves to be further investigated as a topical treatment for acne. Vetiver Essential Oil contains many biologically active molecules, including significant concentrations of a unique molecule called Khusimol, which may be responsible for some of the reported effects of this essential oil.


Computer-aided identification of individual components of essential oils using carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy. Tomi, et al. 1995.
Extraction of vetiver essential oil by ethanol-modified supercritical carbon dioxide. Danh, et al. 2010.
Preliminary comparison of vetiver root essential oils from cleansed (bacteria- and fungus-free) versus non-cleansed (normal) vetiver plants. Adams, et al. 2004.
A Study on the Composition of Commercial Vetiveria zizanioides Oils from Different Geographical Origins. Champagnat, et al. 2006.
Qualitative and quantitative analysis of vetiver essential oils by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Filippi, et al. 2013.
The in vitro Antimicrobial Activity and Chemometric Modelling of 59 Commercial Essential Oils against Pathogens of Dermatological Relevance. Orchard, et al. 2017.
Antibacterial and antifungal activities of essential oils. Hammer, et al. 2011.