Vetiver is one of my favourite oils. Thick, decadent and earthy, it reminds me of a stately grand old home full of luxurious tapestries, big armchairs and ornate moulding. Plus it smells great in a bath after a long day.
doTERRA’s Vetiver is sourced from Haiti and when I heard the story behind the oil, I was really touched. Mostly I appreciated each syrup-like drop even more.
Why use Vetiver
- It’s perfect for relaxation – use 1 drop in your bath or add to a carrier oil for a massage.
- It supports a healthy immune system – use 1 drop in a tea or hot drink during winter.
- It blends well with Lavender, Serenity or Balance to reduce stress and help you sleep – consider diffusing or apply topically.
- It supports the people of Haiti to become more self-reliant.
The Essential Oil is extracted from the root of Vetiver grass. The plant is quite unique in that the roots grow downward in a thick tangle and take 16-18 months to mature.
The process of making the oil is very time and labour intensive. Harvesting involves digging up and then beating the dirt off the roots to retain a pure product.
500 bales of the Vetiver fill up a 20 foot still (Stills are the distillation apparatus used to extract the oil). Those 500 bales will produce 3.7L of oil or one gallon. In man hours, it takes five farmers working roughly two weeks to produce that 3.7L.
Haiti and Vetiver
Vetiver was introduced to Haiti by the perfume industry in the 1930’s. Farmers are many of the poorest people in Haiti, living in the foothills. While the Vetiver grass thrives in nutrient deficient soil, other crops do not. This makes Vetiver the farmer’s only source of income.
As it is generally harvested in the dry season, farmers are not supplied with a steady income source. To support their family, this often leads to farmers selling the root before it has fully matured. That means a lower quality oil, as well as a reduction in price for the farmer.
There is also a lack of organisation amongst the growers, leading to unfair pricing and a lack of shared knowledge. Specifically knowledge about harvesting methods and time-frames.
Without this knowledge, farmers continue to supply lower quality raw materials and receive a smaller income.
doTERRA and the Les Cayes Vetiver Farmers
doTERRA’s co-impact sourcing programme works with the farmers of Les Cayes Haiti in number of ways.
Firstly it has helped the farmers form co-operatives. The co-operative aims to educate the farmers concerning optimal harvesting conditions. This ensures not only a great product for us, but a great price for the farmers too.
Also a payment schedule has been put in place. Farmers now receive a steady stream of income. This covers all aspects of the growing cycle, not just harvesting.
Through its Healing Hands Foundation, a Vetiver office and warehouse has been established in Les Cayes. A safe place for the farmers to store their harvest, equipment and meet for training and discussions.
For more information and to view the Vetiver story take a look at this video.
Knowing where this beautiful oil comes from makes enjoying them even more rewarding.
To purchase Vetiver or any of the other oils mentioned, click here or on the pictures below: