Vetiver Balm

The following words were printed and folded into a handmade envelope enclosing a two ounce tin of Limited Batch Vetiver Balm and a small bundle of Hawaiian Vetiver roots featured in the August Elixir Collective subscription box. 

August Subscription Box

At the heart of this month’s featured elixir is Vetiver: one of the most grounding plants on the planet. A relative of Lemongrass, Chrysopogon zizanioides is an inconspicuous ornamental grass above the surface, but beneath it this botanical wonder is working magic. Vetiver roots itself straight down and several feet deep into the earth, and these roots hold on ever so tightly to soil loosened by erosion. For this reason, Vetiver grasses are planted all over Hawaii (and abroad) in places where the islands’ edges have begun to slip away. In addition to its underground strength, Vetiver is also extremely resilient: it not only survives but thrives in harsh environments. An effective bioremediation plant, its roots are able to remove pollutants, pesticides and heavy metals from the ground by absorbing and sealing them within its matrices. With these qualities, Vetiver teaches us to stay grounded by fostering a deep connection with the earth, and imparts the ability to flourish in places where the odds seem to be against us.

Vetiver Balms freshly poured

Vetiver Balm is a homage to this sacred grass, and both forms of the roots were sourced locally. I like to think of this blend as a mirror infusion, as I incorporated three whole herbs and their essential oils. The Vetiver roots were grown on the Big Island by Vetiver Farms Hawaii, a company that specializes in planting installations for erosion as well as distillation. The viscous, clear essential oil produced by the aged roots carries one of the deepest, woodiest smells this perfumer has in her palette (a friend of mine referred to its scent as ‘a deer running through the forest’). This specific Hawaiian Vetiver oil has a curious quality to it, unlike any other Vetiver I’ve encountered: as it oxidizes (through the natural exposure to oxygen) over time, the oil turns a vivid shade of bright green. The transmutation can be witnessed inside the bottle or in very concentrated amounts in blends (as seen in my Lucid Dream Balm). Vetiver is used for grounding us when we need to feel rooted, and allows us to be more in tune with our bodies. Topically, it increases circulation, decreases inflammation, and restores health to dry and aging skin.

Green Vetiver Stamp

Because I felt that the best way for you to experience Vetiver is with those who compliment its depth, I paired it with Bay {Laurus nobilis} and Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin} from my garden. The Bay I added fresh, while Patchouli needs to be slightly dry to impart its signature smell; after infusing the whole herbs, I blended in Bay and Patchouli essential oils along with the Vetiver oil. In ancient Egypt and Greece, Bay was reserved only for sacred rituals; it reignites our own inner power, and encourages us to express our best attributes and abilities. On the skin, Bay is antiseptic against bacterial, viral or fungal infections, helps to heal damage in the form of cuts and bruises, and de-stresses the skin to ease the effects of aging. Favored amongst the free love generation, Patchouli has earned quite a polarizing reputation for itself — however its complex scent and efficacy should not be overlooked. Patchouli aids those suffering from excessive worry, overthinking and nervous exhaustion; it brings those who are mentally active back in touch with their sensuality. Externally, Patchouli regenerates tissue and works well for chapped, cracked skin and wrinkles as well as irritated conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and hives in addition to treating sunburns and dandruff. Together, these three herbs work in unison to create a rich and rooted scent reminiscent of a wander through the woods, help to balance and nourish the skin, and allowing you to feel at home in your body.

Green Vetiver stamp & cards

The base of the balm consists of skin nourishing Hawaiian Macadamia and organic Coconut oils, raw organic Shea butter, and Beeswax sourced from conscious beekeepers here on Oahu. With its hydrating base, Vetiver Balm is a moisturizer for your entire body as well as your face and even hair. I originally dreamed it up as a ‘Camp Balm,’ which could be used from head to toe while out in the wilderness because this blend also helps to repel bugs! Apply it wherever your skin is dry after bathing, and rub a thin layer on your face as a restorative night cream or post-shave beard balm. Massage onto a dry or flaky scalp and leave in for a few minutes or overnight before washing to treat dandruff and itchiness. Spread a thin layer in your hands and smooth over thicker hair to rid frizz and hydrate the ends. To make the most of its grounding attributes and to ease tired, sore, and cracked feet, rub the balm from your ankles to your toes and feel some relief as it eases your woes.

Green Vetiver Stamped Elixir Collective Cards

Each Vetiver Balm contains a ring at its center, carefully formed from a single strand of Hawaiian Vetiver root by yours truly. Remove the ring as you wish, or leave it in the balm and run your fingers over it with each use as you take a few meditative breaths to feel aware of your body and ground your spirit. The accompanying bundle of dried Vetiver roots is also from Vetiver Farms Hawaii, and these can be used like a sage smudge wand. Light the end, inhale its fragrant smoke and waft through your living space for an ambient atmosphere. This card is made of recycled paper, and stamped with real Hawaiian Vetiver roots in the same shade of green as the oxidized oil.

Stamped handmade envelopes with Elixirs inside