Medicinal plant khus khus (Vetiver/Vetiveria zizanioides)
khus khus (Vetiver) has been harvested for 3000 years for its medicinal and economical use. The perennial grass grows in drier regions of Northern and Western part of the country. The root of the plant is aromatic and has a characteristic fragrance. It has long, thin and rigid leaves. It grows up to 1.5m in height. The roots are spongy, branched and most important part used as medicine.
Botanical name and family of Benachar
Botanical name-Vetiveria zizanioides
Geological distribution of khus khus (Vetiver)
khus khus is a widely distributed plant in South Asia such as Burma, Ceylon and also found in South Africa. The plant is also native to India, and it is mostly found in North India. The plant grows well in riverside, rich marshy soil in plains and lower hills. In North India, it is cultivated in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, whereas, in South India, it is grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Bharatpur is the biggest Khus oil industry in India.
Medicinal use of khus khus
The most important chemical constituents present in the plant are benzoic acid, vetiverol, furfurole, and vetivone. It is also used for its cooling purpose and used to flavour traditional juice or Sharbat. It is also used to make mat and hand fans. The roots are refrigerant, febrifuge and stomachic. Medicinal properties of the plant are described below:
- People take the plant vetiver for the treatment of nervous disorder and circulation problem.
- It adds flavour to alcoholic beverages.
- It cures insomnia and gives good sleep.
- The oil extracted from it is also useful for the treatment of trauma and other emotional problems.
- Vetiver is used for the treatment of muscular pain and joint pain.
- It is used against lice and other insects.
- Some women take it for abortion and continue menstruation.
- It promotes skin by preventing dryness and cracking.
- It has strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; hence it alleviates inflammation in the circulatory and nervous system.
- The essential oil extracted from it is used to make perfumes.
- The plant is widely used to make boundary in crop fields.
- It is also used for a gastrointestinal disorder.
- The oil is used for the treatment of colic.
- It reduces blood sugar in case of diabetics.
- The powdered root is used against pests.
- It is used against insects and people in India keep the leaf inside their clothes to save them from insects.
- It is also used against obstinate vomiting.
- The plant helps for the treatment of fever and dysuria.
- This is famous for increasing lactation.
- It is also used for the treatment of blood pressure and cardiac problems.
- It is also helpful for the treatment of paralysis and constipation.
- It reduces tiredness, adds strength and vigour to the body.
The plant is considered as a boon to farmers because it prevents soil erosion. The mats prepared from it are used to cool the room of excess hot. The plant is cultivated these days for it soil and water conservation properties.