Have you heard of vettiver? It is the English man’s pronunciation of the very Indian name “Vettiveru” the tamil name for a grass native to India. It literally means – root that has been dug up.This grass is also called Khus (not the poppy seed though!).If you are familiar with Indian air coolers, sun shades and awnings, then you would know the uses for this fragrant grass variety. It brings in a cool and refreshing scent into the surroundings it is used in.
First thing that comes to my mind when I think of Vettiver is the very fragrant summer drink my amma used to make for us. It is better than those store bought artificially flavoured drink syrups and mixes….Another very eco-friendly home solution to avoid all the plastic jars and tetra pack cartons…phew!
Find the recipe for this yummy non alcoholic summer cooler>>here. This root can be soaked in the water filter or a pot for natural citrus-scented freshness in your glass of drinking water.
The unique leaf tips make this grass a good choice for indoor ornamental use.
This grass variety has been found to prevent canal and river bank erosion and on embankments. I found this picture of vettiver being used by the Indian Railways …Konkan Railway has taken an eco-friendly budget friendly means to control landslides occurring in western ghats in India !
This grass is considered a miracle herb and has been cultivated in the Asian particularly Indian cultures for over thousands of years. This grass also grows as a weed and can grow untamed.
This grass is actually strong enough to crack up concrete…no wonder it is an ideal choice to hold up steep slopes from eroding…
Vettiver oils and extracts are popular in the fragrance and beauty industry. The oil extracted from this grass, roots and the stem finds its way into our homes as natural aroma therapy oils, herbal soaps and other skin care products.
This is considered a divine grass by ardent gardeners as it (is)-
- Absorbs water and maintains soil moisture
- Absorbs minerals and nutrients
- Decomposes well and is eco-friendly
- Absorbs toxic substances in chemical fertilizers and pesticides and reduces risk of soil turning non-arable
- Insect repellent and rodent repellent
I fondly remember the fresh grassy scents from the summer afternoons in my grandparents’ house. My thatha (grandfather) used to hang these vettiver grass mat shades on the windows for tackle Indian summers. These shades had to be watered from time to time through out the day…and ah! we kids had fun doing that…This natural eco friendly air conditioning system not only improved the air quality inside the house, but also let us avoid air conditioners, and ensured minimal power consumption! Another very good reason to prove that we had a very earth friendly lifestyle until the late 90’s. In fact we still live minimal and try to do our best in reducing our carbon foot print. It is just amazing to realize that our parents and our grandparents did their bit with out even knowing about the global warming phenomenon.
Is it not better to choose a naturally occurring, grass/roots as a room freshener instead of glade (from the family company which doesn’t bother about the amount of plastic and other non eco-friendly items it pumps into the market/environment?).This is their room freshener spray with “sensors”..how sensible is it anyway? There must be similar products in every market across the world.
Is it not better choose having a home made pot pouri of vettiver grass, enclosed in a small cloth or jute pouch
India summers remind me of the heat and the frequent power cuts…Would this hand fan made from vettiver be wonderful when you need it..or what!
Similarly, you will love this vettiver and bamboo blind or some other natural product instead of a plastic /metal blinds
How about a natural bath loofah ….an eco friendly choice over the nylon one right! Isn’t this better…
Here is a glimpse of the range of vettiver products
There are many more such wonderful uses for this versatile grass. Possibilities are endless!
Better be earth friendly and live well right! If not vettiver, we could look for locally available natural solutions and not suffocate the planet further.