Miraculous Environmental & Health Benefits of VETIVER GRASS| Khus Grass
Summer is in full swing in Texas. Temperatures are going above 100°F. It is hard for me to go out to check on my plants after 8 am without getting sunburns. But, whenever I come back in after taking care of my plants, I can enjoy this very fragrant and cooling drink, Khus sharbat.
I’m not sure how many of you have heard about this ancient medicinal grass Khus or Vetiver or Vala. It is a type of grass that has fragrant roots. Whenever I make this drink, it is not just refreshing to drink it but the aroma spreads in the entire room. I used to buy this ready-made syrup from the market but this time I decided to grow the grass so that I can get the fragrant grass in the most natural form without any chemicals or added sugars. The essential oils from Khas grass are widely used in the perfume industry, for soap and beauty product making. But many of you might not know that Khus grass is also traditional medicine.
Khus/ Vetiver Grass- A Traditional Medicine
For hundreds of years, probably thousands of years the essential oil from this grass is used to treat various ailments. I have already mentioned earlier that khus syrup has a very cooling effect on the body. It is also a stress reliever. Khus essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy. It is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can act as a sedative and potentially be used in the treatment of nervous system diseases such as epilepsy/ hysteria. The intoxicating aroma is linked to its aphrodisiac effect. Khus grass extracts reduce inflammation and promote healings of wounds are diminishes scars.
Other than these medicinal uses, Khus/ Vetiver grass has several other benefits that are very important. The refreshing scent of Khus makes it a natural air freshener. Leaves are used as fodder or cattle food. The plant as a whole is used in various art projects and the making of textiles, grass drapes/ curtains, garlands, baskets for Poo-Pourri. The curtains made from Khus grass are still famous in India. They are also used in traditional brick making. They are aromatic and cooling and can be produced with zero environmental waste.
Coming on to the most vital benefits of Khus grass are these plants are now considered one of the best remedies for erosion control. Every year tons of soil is washed off in the drains, rivers, and ultimately goes to the sea. Khus grassroots are pretty sturdy and hold on to the soil reducing this runoff of the soil and nutrients. Traditionally Khus grass was used along the sides of the fields, on river banks. But now even more attention is given to its benefit as a natural method of erosion control. This grass is drought tolerant, pest repellent, and also water-resistant. Even the world bank has taken a lot of interest in using vetiver grass for soil and water conservation. Isn’t it amazing?
Vetiveria zizanioides/ Chrysopogon zizanioides