(Linn.) Nash (Gramineae) /
Andropogon muricatus Retz. / A.squarrosus
Hook. f.,non Linn. f. /
(Linn.) Hitchcock & Chase.
Ushira, Reshira, Sugandhimula
Vetiver has been known in India from the ancient
times. It has been considered a high-class perfume. Copper
plate inscriptions listing the perfume as one of the
articles used by royalty have been discovered. In Ayurvedic
literature it is called 'Suganti-mulaka' (means Sweet
smelling) and 'Sita-mulaka' (having cool roots). All over
India, the roots are made into scented mats, fans,
ornamental baskets and many other small articles. Also burnt
as a fumigatory.
|It is found throughout the
plains and lower hills of India, particularly on the
riverbanks and in rich marshy soil.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a densely tufted grass. The culms are arising from an
aromatic rhizome. The grass is stout, up to and over 2 m.
tall, in dense tufts, with stout spongy aromatic roots. The
leaves are narrow, erect, keeled, glabrous and its margins
are scabrid. The inflorescence is a panicle of numerous
slender racemes in whorls on a central axis. The spikelets
are grey-green or purplish in colour and in pairs. One is
sessile and the other is pedicelled. Those of each pair are
more or less alike in shape and size, different in sex and
2-flowered. The lower floret is reduced to a lemma. Upper is
bisexual in the sessile. Male is in the pedicelled spikelet,
glumes armed with short, tubercle-based spines, lemmas
awn-less, palea minute.
The main constituents are a- and b- Vetivone. Zizanal and
Epizizizanal were isolated from the oil.
Zizanal and Epizizanal exhibited insect repellent activity1.
It is widely used in perfumes and cosmetics, and for
scenting soaps. It blends well with the oils of sandalwood,
patchouli and rose. A decoction of the leaves is recommended
as a diaphoretic. When locally applied in rheumatism,
lumbago and sprain, it is a good ambrocation and affords
relief. In Madhya Pradesh, the plant is used as an
anthelmintic for children The oil is reported to be used as
a carminative in flatulence, colic and obstinate vomiting.
It is regarded as a stimulant, refrigerant and antibacterial
and when applied externally, it removes excess heat from the
body and gives a cooling effect. A decoction of the leaves
is recommended as a diaphoretic.
- Tetrahedron Lett., 1982, 23, 4639.