Health Benefits of

vetiver

Also called Chrysopogon zizanioides, vetiver is cultivated in the Philippines and tropical regions of Asia. Vetiver oil is used as a culinary ingredient. The vetiver plant is used as an ornament, fodder, industrial product, and perfume. [1] Topical benefits of vetiver are discussed in the subsequent sections.

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Antimicrobial Activity of Vetiver for Treatment of Acne

Vetiver essential oil constituents enhance the permeability of bacterial cell walls and induce bacterial death. These constituents include vetiselinenol, beta-vetivone, khusimol, isovalencenol, alpha-vetivone, and khusenic acid. Vetiver essential oil is effective against acne-causing bacteria that include Cutibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus pyogenes. Inhibition of growth and activity of these bacteria result in improvement of acne. [2]

Vetiver as a Tick Repellent

Vetiver oil extract contains chemicals that are repellent and toxic to ticks, ants, and cockroaches. Nootkatone is a chemical found in vetiver oil extract that is non-toxic to humans but has harmful effects on ticks, ants, and cockroaches. Other chemicals in vetiver oil extract with similar properties include alpha-cedrene, zizanol, and bicyclovetivenol. [3]

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Figure 2 | Fig. 2 Time-kill dynamics of stable C. zizanioides emulsified lotion (at HLB 9) against acne-inducing pathogens (a) S. aureus (b) S. epidermidis, and (c) S. pyogenes. Blue-grey disrupted line: C. zizanioides emulsified lotion (HLB 9), black disrupted https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/a-1699-3284

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities of Vetiver

Vetiver essential oil contains chemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These chemicals are cedrene, alpha-amorphene, beta-vatirenene, and alpha-gurjunene. These chemicals regulate the gene expression of inflammatory enzymes and suppress the release of inflammatory cytokines. These chemicals also reduce the levels of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. [4]