Vetiver – Vetiveria zizanioides Uses, Research, Side Effects

Vetiver is a coolant, but yet aids in digestion. It is widely used in treating fever, dysuria, burning sensation, fatigue syndrome, skin disorders etc.  Potable water prepared with this also has many health benefits. 

Botanical Name – Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn) Nash.
Synonyms:  Andropogon  muricatus Retz. Andropogon squarrrosus Hook. F. Non Linn. F, Chrysopogon zizanioides

Names in different languages:
Hindi Name- Khas
English name – khas khas grass, Kus Kus grass, Vetiver
Kannada name – Lavancha
Telugu name – Vattivellu
Bangali name – Khaskhas, Venaghas
Marathi name – Vala
Gujarati name – Valo
Tamil name – Vettiver, Vetivera
Malayalam name – ramacham

Cus Cus grassSanskrit synonyms:
Nalada, Amrnala, Veerana, Virani, Veeratara, Valaka, Balaka, Truna Valukam, Veniga Mulakam
Abhaya, Ranapriya, Virataru, Haripriya,
Jalavasa, Jalaamoda – Grows in moist places
Amrunala, Mrunalaka – Appears similar to lotus stalk
Sugandhika, Samagandhika, Sugandhamula – Has a pleasant odor
Bahumoola – bushy root
Shishiram, Sheetamoola – root is a coolant
Sevya – Suitable for consumption

dired vetiver rootClassical categorization
Varnya – Group of herbs useful in improving complexion
Stanyajanana – Group of herbs promoting lactation
Chardinigrahana – Anti emetic group of herbs
Daha Prasamana – Burning sensation relieving group of herbs
Angamardaprasamana – Bodyache relieving group of herbs
Shukrasodhana – Semen, sperm cleansing and quality improving group of herbs
Tikta Skandha – Bitter tasting group of herbs

Sarivadi, Eladi Gana
Pittasamsamana – Pitta pacifying group of herbs
Vagbhata- Sarivadi

Khus Khus grassDistribution-
Found in aquatic and sub-aquatic places across India.

LavanchaVetiveria zizanioides chemical constituents
Allokhusiol, Benzoic acid, Cyclocapacamphene, Epikhusinol, epizizanal, 2- epizizanone, B- eduesmol, Eugenol, Iskhusimol, Isokhusinoloxide, Isovalencenol, Isovalencic, Khusimyl acetate, Khusinodiol, Khusinol, Khusitoneol, Laevojujenol, Levojunenol, Vanillin, Vertiselinenol, B-& J vetivene, Vetivenic acid, vetiverol, Zizaene, Zizanol etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)


There are many ecotypes of vetiver. The vetiver called VS-01 (or Sunshine) is a South Indian variety, has robust root system, and has 1% aromatic oils in its roots. Other varieties like VS-03 have less aromatic oil content (around 0.3%). Research has shown that the aromatic oil is produced in the roots by certain bacteria from precursors released by the vetiver. Just to say that all vetiver roots are not the same.

Vetiver roots treat the mother earth too. Maybe it is mentioned in Krishi Shastra. Vetiver roots increase the ground water recharge capability of soils. Itv increases the biomass content in the soil upto 3 meters depth. It will be very difficult to add leaves and manure at that depth. Vetiver roots add the biomass as roots, and they decay after 18 months . Vetiver root oil is  termite-repelling. The vetiver rootsystem increases the aeration in the soil, and prevents nematode (small worms that attack the roots od other plants) infection. Because of these effects, vetiver grown as rows along vegetable farms, and around trees in orchard have improved the health and yield of the cultivated crops. Thus growing neem, tulasi and vetiver in farms and around houses is good for the health of the plants and animals in the earth. (Contributed by Mr Vinod Kumar).

Vetiver medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Madhura (sweet)
Guna (qualities) – Rooksha (dryness), Laghu (lightness)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – Cold potency
Effect on Tridosha – Pacifies Vata and Pitta

Ushira Dry root powderPart Used- Root, Vetiver Oil
Dosage- Powder 3-6g; decoction 50-100ml; infusion (Hima / Phanta) – 25-50ml

VetiverVetiver uses:
Pachana – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Stambhana – blocks, dries up channels
Dahahara – Relieves burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Madahara – relieves intoxication
Jwarahara  – useful in fever
Trushnahara – Relieves thirst
Asrajit – useful in blood disorders such as abscess
Vishahara – Anti toxic
Daurgandhyahara – relieves bad odor
Mutrakrichrahara – Relieves dysuria, urinary retention, acts as diuretic
Kushtanut – useful in skin diseases
Vaminut – relieves vomiting
Vranahara – heals wounds quickly
Klantihara – relieves tiredness, fatigue
Vataghna – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Mehanut – useful in urinary tract disorders and diabetes

Vetiver usesVetiver water – Vetiver is used to make potable water. A few grams of Vetiver root powder is added to water and this water is filtered and used after 2 – 3 hours. Once the vetiver is put into water, the water should be used within 10 – 12 hours of time. Each day, water and vetiver should be replaced with fresh ones.
Such prepared water will have almost all the qualities of Usheer, as explained above, but in slightly lesser intensities.

External application:

To apply externally as paste, to relieve burning sensation, skin disorders and to relieve excessive sweating, there is nothing better than Useera. Reference: Charaka Sutrasthana 25
Its root powder is made into paste and applied to relieve burning sensation, burn wounds, to relieve excessive sweating, in skin disorders and to improve skin complexion.
Vetiver oil uses:
Vetiver oil is used for external application in rheumatism, sprains and arthritis.

Antioxidant potential
Anti-tuberculosis activity

Ayurvedic medicines with Usheera as ingredient:
Usheerasava –
a fermented medicine used in skin diseases, intestinal worms, bleeding disorders etc
Shadanga Paniya – An herbal drink used to treat fever
Gopanganadi Kashayam – used in the treatment of Pitta type of fever.
Nisosiradi Oil – an effective Ayurvedic herbal oil used to treat diabetes carbuncles and abscesses.

How to take Usheera?
Its water, as explained above can be used as potable water.
Its powder or water decoction is also used in medicine. It is administered along with cow ghee, honey etc based on disease.
Its powder paste is applied externally.
Vetiver Home remedy for gastritis and heartburn 

Vetiver essential oil: Is used as ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines such as Borototal cream

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  1. sir, can we take Vetiver water on regular basis in summer for three months? but it was identified for promoting lactation. so if we take it on regular basis will it increases prolactin? iam pitta person basically . thts why iam asking

  2. Pavitra says:

    Hi doctor can i give ushira water for 7 month baby…

  3. How does the vetrivel watet taken help cancer patients taking chemo

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      It helps to reduce Pitta, it relieves burning sensation, heals skin wounds / ulcers quickly.

  4. Sudharshan Babu says:

    Hello Doctor, My son (7 year old) has excessive sweating during his sleep and while playing out door. Will drinking Vetiver water on regular basis help this condition. or can you recommend any alternate medicine for excessive sweating.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, Yes, vetiver water is very useful.
      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) –

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