Roots of vetiver are used for a variety of purposes. The bulk of the oil produced in India consumed for soap making. Apart from extraction of oil, the roots are used to make aromatic mats, brooms, screens, pillows and mattresses along with bamboo splits. In summer seasons a few bits of roots are pat In drinking wafer for imparting the aroma.
The roots are also used in pharmaceutical preparations both in the Allopathic and Ayurvedic systems of medicines. It is used as a stimulant refrigerant and stomachic.
The vetiver belongs to the genus Vetiveria which includes seven species. It is a perennial grass, densely tufted upright, often growing luxuriantly on rich, marshy soil, attaining a height of 1-1.8 meter with root portion branching into spongy, aromatic and fine rootlets. It grows in large clumps, the leaves of which are long, erect, narrow, and stiff with high margins and non aromatic and up to one meter in length.
The grass puts forth a long terminal panicle carrying, numerous slender racemes of spike lets. The awnless, spike lets are in pairs, one sessile and perfect, the other pedi celled and staminate, the sessile spikelet bearing minute spines. Many of the cultivated types rarely flower and the flowers that are seen on other types-do not get seeds.
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