Ushira or vetiver has many uses in ayurveda. It is used as urinary coolant in UTI and Cystitis. It improves skin health, heals wound, reduces burning sensation in herpes.
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About Vetiver or Ushira or Vetiveria Zizanioides
Ushira also known as Vetiver has a botanical name Vetiveria Zizanioides. It belongs to family GRAMINAE. This tufted grass is available throughout the plains of India up to a height of 1200 m. Vetiver is known for its perfumery and medicinal value since ancient times.
This plant has various names in local languages of India. It is
- Khas / Usheer / khus khus in hindi,
- Khaskhas, Venaghas in Bengali
- Vala in Marathi
- Valo in Gujarati
- khas khas grass, Kus Kus grass, Vetiver in English,
- Lavancha in Kannada
- Vattivellu in Telugu .
- Vettiver, Vetivera in Tamil
- Ramacham in Malayalam
This herb contains Allokhusiol, Benzoic acid, Cyclocapacamphene, Epikhusinol, epizizanal, 2- epizizanone, B- eduesmol, Eugenol, Iskhusimol, Isokhusinoloxide, Isovalencenol, Isovalencic, Khusimyl acetate, Khusinodiol, Khusinol, Khusitoneol, Laevojujenol, Levojunenol, Vanillin, Vertiselinenol, B-& J vetivene, Vetivenic acid, vetiverol, Zizaene, Zizanol etc
Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Ushira
Ushira is referred with various synonyms in texts of ayurveda, which are coined due to its medicinal properties, structure or habitat. These names are
Veerana, Virani, Veeratara, Valaka, Balaka, Truna Valukam, Veniga Mulakam, Abhaya, Ranapriya, Virataru,
Haripriya-very dearer to Lord Shri Hari
Jalavasa, Jalaamoda – As it grows in moist places
Nalada, Amrunala, Mrunalaka – It looks like lotus stalk
Sugandhika, Samagandhika, Sugandhamula – This herb has a pleasant odor
Bahumoola – bushy root
Shishiram, Sheetamoola – Its root is a super coolant
Sevya – This herb is suitable for daily consumption
Medicinal properties of vetiver are explained as follows in Ayurvedic Text “Bhavaprakasha” by ayurveda acharyas.
Based on principles of Ayurveda Vetiveria Zizanioides is light to digest (laghu) and dries up the tissues (ruksha). It acts as a body coolant (sheeta veerya) and normalises pitta dosha and Kapha dosha. This herb is appreciated for its cooling and cleansing properties.
Plant Parts used
The roots of this grass are used for medicinal purposes. The roots are washed and then dried in shade and sunlight alternatively. Fully dried roots are powdered and used for preparations of medicinal formulations. Essential oil of vetiver is also used in aroma therapy.
Ayurveda Health Benefits of Ushira or Vetiver
Vetiver is used in various health conditions to balance doshas and subside symptoms. Here are its uses.
Vetiver for Skin
Vetiver can be applied on skin as ayurvedic natural herbal face pack or its oil can be massaged on skin. The decoction of this herb can be used internally to increase fairness and glow of skin. This herb also heals acne, pimples and scars. This herb can be used along with turmeric (haldi), lodhra , saffron (kumkum Kesara) (Health Benefits of Saffron or Kesar or Crocus Sativus – An Ayurveda View) etc in beauty treatments. It reduces irritation and burning sensation of skin. An ayurvedic Vetiver Face Pack helps to cure acne, pimple and scars. Application of ushira water on body removes body odour and also prevents excess sweat secretion.
The root powder of ushira ¼ spoon mixed with sandalwood powder 1 tea spoon and rose water make a best face pack for oily skin acne and pimples. This mixture can also be applied on boils in genital herpes and oral herpes. Ushira and sandal powder pack also helps to control skin rashes.
Vetiver for Hair
Hair oil prepared using vetiver helps to relieve itching, flaking and dandruff of scalp. This herb is used along with other hair friendly herbs like bhringraj, amla , neem , gotu kola or mandukaparni etc to make effective hair oil. This herb helps to reduce inflammation, burning sensation and flaking of skin. This is useful in scalp psoriasis. (Check best ayurvedic oils for scalp psoriasis)
Ushira helps in Digestion
Ushira helps in normalising digestion. Its uses are well appreciated in controlling acidity, belching, excess thirst, indigestion, burning sensation of chest and throat, nausea and vomiting.It not only eases digestion but also help to balance agni. Even though it acts as a body coolant it helps body fire to get balanced. It eliminates ama or body toxin. This herb can be used in ayurvedic skin detox. It relieves nausea and vomiting. Vetiver helps to relieve constipation.
Relieves thirst and tiredness
This herb is eulogised as “trushnahara” which means it relieves thirst and also helps to get rid of fatigue and tiredness (klantihara). Ushira water is recommended in fever as it relieves thirst and fever. Vitever root powder mixed with rose water has to be applied on forehead. It reduces fever. Using Ushirasava in fever helps to reduce parching of throat and controls fever.
In Cystitis and UTI
Since this herb acts as a superb body coolant, it is recommended in treatment of cystitis and UTI. It reduces burning urination and sooth inner layers of bladder, urinary tract and urethra. It acts as a diuretic. This herb is very useful in diabetes related urinary problems.
Home Remedies with Ushira or Vetiver
Various home remedies using this herb are very useful to cool body and relieve symptoms of heat.
To relieve thirst in summer
Boil 1 tablespoon of root powder of this herb with 5 cups of water, for 2 minutes. Filter this and consume through out day. Prepare fresh ushira water daily. This relieves thirst and cools body in summer.
To Relieve Burning Sensation
Make a paste of root powder. You can use water or rose water. Apply this paste on boils due to burns, herpes or insect stings. This paste can also be used as face pack to improve skin glow and complexion.
In joint Pain and arthritis
Vetiver oil is used to relieve joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, osteo arthritis or gout.
Vetiver Essential Oil-
Vetiver essential oil is used in aroma therapy to reduce inflammation, sooth irritated skin and to reduce acne, pimple and blemishes. It is mainly used in cosmetic. Vetiver oil fragrance is aphrodisiac. It calms mind and increases libido
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Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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