As a grass related to citronella, it may be easy to overlook the numerous benefits and uses of vetiver essential oil. It has been used to help prevent soil erosion, but its uses go beyond what the plant can do for the landscape. Its sedative properties may be what you're looking for to help with anxiety or focus.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased, at no extra cost to you. This does not affect our opinions expressed above. For more info, read about our approach.

As a grass related to citronella, it may be easy to overlook the numerous benefits and uses of vetiver essential oil. It has been used to help prevent soil erosion, but its uses go beyond what the plant can do for the landscape. Its sedative properties may be what you’re looking for to help with anxiety or focus.

Looking for the Best Vetiver Essential Oils?

6 Major Benefits and Uses of Vetiver Essential Oil

1. Skin Care

Vetiver essential oil has two properties that make excellent for skin care: it is an antioxidant and it is antibacterial. The antioxidant factor helps prevent damage done to skin by free radicals found in the environment. Vetiver oil may help reduce spotting and even scarring by helping skin cells regenerate. (1)

The antibacterial properties can be useful in the treatment and prevention of acne. Skin eruptions are often caused by bacteria which is trapped under the skin. Using vetiver oil in witch hazel may help balance the oil of your skin and kill the bacteria which causes the skin eruptions. (2)

2. Improve Focus

We are constantly pulled in several directions each day and are often required to try and focus on many tasks at once. This can cause stress, which in turn further affects our focus and ability to remain on task. Vetiver has been shown to have sedative properties which reduce the stress hormone cortisol and allows our bodies to use energy on our tasks instead of fighting a stress response. (3)

Vetiver has also been studied as a complementary therapy for children diagnosed with attention issues. With its effects on anxiety and calming properties, many children have seen improvement in focus and attention when using it as a complimentary aromatherapy. (4)

3. Increase Libido

There are many causes of decreased libido, such as many medications or even as an effect of stress. Vetiver can be used to decrease stress and thus relieve performance anxieties in the bedroom. Combine with ylang-ylang and lavender and diffuse in your bedroom before you and your partner are ready to sleep. You should feel relaxed and be able to enjoy your time together.

Studies have found that high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can have a deleterious effect on testosterone production in the body. This can lead to decreased sex drive in men and women. Vetiver’s stress relieving properties can help reduce cortisol and may help balance other hormones as well. (5)

4. Ease PMS Symptoms

Pre-menstrual symptoms can interfere with daily living, due to a variety of symptoms that often differ from month to month. One common symptom can be increased stress and muscle pains. With its sedative benefits, it can help relax muscles and balance the amount of cortisol in the body during that time of the month.

It is beneficial as both aromatherapies and as a topical application. Add a couple drops of vetiver, lavender, and rose oils to 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil and apply directly to the abdominal area to help relax muscles which may be tense from cramping. The aroma will also provide additional sedative effects. (6)

5. Soothe Anxiety

Vetiver has long been used in traditional Indian and Asian medicine for treating anxiety. Studies have shown a marked sedative effect on mice and a reduction in anxiety symptoms was noted. Inhalation of vetiver in aromatherapy may have nearly the same effect as some medicinal sedatives. It may be useful as an addition to traditional anxiety therapies.

Using vetiver with a carrier oil could be applied topically to stress points on the body, allowing the skin to absorb the relaxing properties and for the aroma to help reduce stress-induced hormones in the body. (3)

6. Insect Control

Insects such as mosquitoes and termites are pests which can cause health issues and damage to property. The chemicals we use to keep these insects away from our homes can be dangerous to kids and pets and may even aid in the creation of insects which are resistant to these treatments. Essential oils such as vetiver can be a more natural alternative. (7)

Treating your lawn and standing water with vetiver and citronella should not only repel insects such as mosquitoes but will prevent termites from being able to reach the structure of your home. It may also interrupt the egg laying cycle of mosquitoes. (8)

What Is the Best Vetiver Essential Oil?

The best Vetiver essential oil comes with a very strong and smoky scent in a dark bottle to preserve the oil’s potency. It’ll be able to promote relaxation and balance you effectively. You want 100% pure essential oil to ensure potency.

Plant Therapy Organic Vetiver Essential Oil

This essential oil will help calm and relax your mind before you go to bed to help promote a restful sleep. You’ll get an earthy, woody, and smoky scent each time you use this oil that lingers in the room for hours.

Best for: Bedtime Use


Aura Cacia Organic Vetiver Essential Oil

You’ll get essential oil from the plant roots when you order this product, and it works to ground you every time you smell it. It has an organic certification from Quality Assurance International, and it’s easy to add to a diffuser to get the full effects.

Best for: Grounding


Mountain Rose Herbs Vetiver Essential Oil

The strong scent combined with the antimicrobial properties make this a good essential oil for laundry. You can sprinkle some in your wash water to get clean clothes, and the dark bottle helps keep the oil fresh until you use it all.

Best for: Laundry


My Favorite Uses For Vetiver Oil Essential Oil

I don’t know anyone who isn’t inundated with too many things to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done. If it isn’t trying to balance work and things that need doing around the house, it’s playing chauffeur to the children. I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions and never get to complete any tasks.

When I read about vetiver being used for children with attention issues, I felt it certainly couldn’t hurt with my being able to focus at home and work. I was already using rosemary and eucalyptus, which worked wonders with remembering that I still had work to do, but I still had issues focusing on one task long enough to get it done.

Adding vetiver to my diffuser mix has not only calmed my mind enough to enable me to finish what I start, but I can feel the tension just drain from my body. It is like what I feel when using lavender but not as strongly, so it is a better addition to relieving stress. I’ve also found that my children are a little calmer around the house when they get a chance to inhale some of the vetiver mixes. Having children who are calmer and more focused is definitely a bonus and helps to further reduce the stress I feel every day.

Recommended Vetiver Oil-Based Products

Epsoak Everyday Soothe + Calm Bath Salts

Epsoak Everyday Epsom Salt - 2 lbs. Soothe + Calm Bath Salts
  • SOOTHE + CALM SOAK - Promotes a calming effect on both the skin and...
  • MADE IN THE USA - Made with Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate), Aloe Vera,...
  • ALL-NATURAL CRUELTY FREE BATH SALTS - Leaping Bunny certified cruelty...

Adding Epsom salts to your bathwater is a great way to relax and unwind, and these bath salts come formulated with natural essential oils. The soothing and calming mix works to relax your muscles while slowing your thought process down.

These salts dissolve quickly in warm water, and the essential oils release a soothing aroma that drifts around your bath and helps you unwind. It can help relieve pain and inflammation, soothe sore muscles, and reduce aches. When you’re done, the bag simply seals back up until you want to use it again.


Grab Green Natural Room and Fabric Freshener

Grab Green Natural Room & Fabric Freshener, Phthalate-Free, Vetiver, 7 Ounce Bottle (3-Pack)
  • REFRESH FABRICS & FRESHEN ROOMS: Perfect for scenting the air,...
  • SUPERIOR, RESPONSIBLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS: Higher quality ingredients...
  • SAFER FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY & THE PLANET: Made without, phosphates,...

Anything that can freshen my house and use more natural ingredients is always welcome. This spray can be used in the air and on furniture such as couches and beds. Since vetiver is antibacterial, it can kill the germs that cause odors on fabrics, giving them a refreshing smell between washes. It may also help manage any airborne bacteria, helping to keep your home healthy without harsh chemicals like bleach or alcohol.


Caution of Vetiver essential oil

  • Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use vetiver as it may have an abortive effect. The effect on children and babies is unknown.
  • Always choose quality vetiver essential oil from reputable suppliers..
  • Take in low dosages when ingesting to prevent side effects.
  • May cause marked drowsiness if used in conjunction with sedatives.
  • Use with caution if taking medicines for anxiety as it may increase the sedative effects.


Though it may not be the most common essential oil when you think of focus and relaxation, vetiver can be a powerful scent to have around. Please be sure to share this information with anyone who is looking to reduce some stress in their lives and are ready to focus on getting things done.