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Vettiver - Natural choice for Green Home Solutions

>> Wednesday, 13 January 2010

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.

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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!
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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.
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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 !
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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.
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This grass is actually strong enough to crack up wonder it is an ideal choice to hold up steep slopes from eroding...

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Beauty products
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. 
Other uses
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.

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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" sensible is it anyway? There must be similar products in every market across the world.
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 Sense & Spray™ Automatic Freshener
 Is it not better choose having a home made pot pouri of vettiver grass, enclosed in a small cloth or jute pouch
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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!
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Similarly, you will love this vettiver and bamboo blind or some other natural product instead of a plastic /metal blinds
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How about a natural bath loofah eco friendly choice over the nylon one right! Isn't this better...

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than this...

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Here is a glimpse of the range of vettiver products
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 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.


Harish 29 March 2010 at 02:34  

Hey Sudha, awesome job there. I was doing a bit of research on the Grass Cooler (I didnt know what it was called all this while, was googling KHUS to find only irrelevant hits). Anyways, I plan on using this Vettiver grass on my windows , this darn Bangalore heat is killing me (Global warming, I know, my place Bombay is getting cooler, no qualms there).

I was wondering, where could I get it (I meant what sort of a place should I go looking for this) and what do I call it other than Vettiver/Cooling Grass/ etc. My Kannada proficiency is as good as a 2 month old kid trying to speak to his mumma.

Thanks !

AswathiBabu 15 June 2010 at 03:05  

very informative article on Ramacham. Appreciating yr good work. Keep going...

sangeeta 2 March 2011 at 00:48  

Good work i missed this blog of yours'..

Sudha 2 March 2011 at 01:22  

thanks sangeeta...this is a lesser known blog of mine :)

dustan 24 March 2014 at 23:39  

Top web site, I hadn't come across earlier during my searches!
Keep up the superb work!

rkg1109 16 May 2015 at 04:14  

Hello Sudha, like Harish above, I also want to buy a few screens for our terrace canteen in our corporate HQ building. Please guide me to some on line store, or if you know where to go in Indore.

Thank you,

Rakesh Gupta

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