Other Name(s):

Anatherum zizanioides, Andropogon odoratus, Chiendent des Indes, Chiendent Odorant, Chrysopogon zizanioides, Cuscus, Cuscus Grass, Cuseus Grass, Khas, Khas-khas, Khus Khus, Khus-khus Grass, Phalaris zizanioides, Reshira, Sugandhimula, Usheer, Ushira, Vétiver, Vetiveria zizanioides, Vetivergras, Zacate Violeta.


Vetiver is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.

People take vetiver for nerve and circulation problems.

Some women take it to start their periods or to cause an abortion.

Vetiver is sometimes applied directly to the skin for relieving stress, as well as emotional traumas and shock; treating lice; and repelling insects.

Vetiver is sometimes inhaled as “aromatherapy” for nervousness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and joint and muscle pain (rheumatism).

In manufacturing, vetiver is used as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages.

How does it work?

Vetiver contains an oil that repels insects. It is not known how vetiver might work as a medicine.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...


  • Causing an abortion.
  • Nerve problems.
  • Circulation problems.
  • Other conditions.
  • Lice.
  • Repelling insects.
  • Stress.
  • Other conditions.
  • Joint and muscle pain (rheumatism).
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of vetiver for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

Vetiver is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine. But the possible side effects are not known.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to take vetiver if you are pregnant. It might cause a miscarriage. It's also best to avoid vetiver if you are breast-feeding. The effects on a nursing infant are unknown.


The appropriate dose of vetiver depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for vetiver. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Agri Res Svc: Dr. Duke's phytochemical and ethnobotanical databases. (Accessed 3 November 1999).

Brown D. Encyclopedia of herbs and their uses. New York, NY:Dorland Kindersley Publ., Inc., 1995.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

Martinez, J., Rosa, P. T., Menut, C., Leydet, A., Brat, P., Pallet, D., and Meireles, M. A. Valorization of Brazilian vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash ex Small) oil. J Agric.Food Chem 10-20-2004;52(21):6578-6584. View abstract.

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