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April 16, 2007

Blog Profiles: Vetiver Network

In the Aroma industry we are familiar with the aromatic and essential oils aspects of Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) (and in fact there is an extensive blog post here about that).

But what we may not be aware of is that there is an extensive international network dedicated to other aspects of Vetiver--in particular its economic value in preventing erosion throughout the world. There is a web site dedicated to Vetiver, (with an extensive bibliography that includes a number of reference links to the Medicinal and Insecticidal uses of Vetiver).  And there is a Blog.

The latest entry in the The Vetiver Network (International) - TVNI blog is here and talks about the unique roots of Vetiver grass, which tend to grow vertically, developing into a root system that is "massive, deep, penetrating, tough, very fine and producing essential oil as well." The author attributes this to "centuries of selection for essential oil production."

Essential oil: Essential oil extracted from vetiver roots is highly valued for its fragrance in the perfume industry, insecticidal characteristics for termite control and increasingly for its pharmaceutical values. Vetiver oils are so complex that so far they have not been successfully synthesised.

Another post on the Blog suggests that vetiver has a very high carbon sequestration rate. Effectively this means that only FOUR mature vetiver plants would sequester the same amount of carbon as ONE fast growing poplar tree, considered to be one of the most efficient ways of capturing carbon to fight global warming.

A single individuals "carbon foot print" could be negated by planting 50 to 60 vetiver plants in a tropical country (about 8 meters of vetiver hedgerow).

The bottom line is that you won't find a lot of information on this blog about the aromatic features of vetiver, but there is lots of information about the plant and its characteristics and uses. I get the feeling that these "vetivarians" are fanatics--maybe even more fanatical than we are about perfumery or aromatherapy.

Posted by Rob on April 16, 2007 in Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Oil Crops, Weblogs | Permalink

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