Vetiveria zizanioides

scientific name: 
Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Tufted perennial grass with aromatic roots.  Culms 1-2 m high.  Leaves linear, 30-100 cm x 4-10 mm, margins scabrous, blade glabrous. Panicles long-pyramidal up to 20-35 cm long with many branches in several whorls, spikelets awnless, 4-5 mm long no bristles.

Voucher(s)

Girón,172,CFEH

Merlo&Tinoco,18,HPMHV

Ochoa,267,HPMHV

fever:

  root and entire plant, decoction, orally and in baths3

stomach pain:

  apical bud, decoction, orally2

urinary infection:

  apical bud, decoction, orally2

headhache:

  leaf and root, decoction, orally2

insomnia:

  leaf and root, decoction, orally2

cough:

  root and entire plant, decoction, orally and in baths3

abdominal pain:

  root, decoction, orally1

insomnia:

  root, decoction, orally3

nervousness:

  root, decoction, orally3

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

Any medicinal preparation must be preserved cold and used within the 24 hours.

According to published and other information:

The uses of root decoction against insomnia, nervousness and cough are classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, scientific validation and available published scientific information.

The use of root decoction against abdominal pain, and the use of leaf and root decoction for headache are classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys and toxicity studies.

The use of apical bud decoction for stomach pain is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, scientific validation and available published scientific information.

The use of apical bud decoction for urinary infection is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys and toxicity studies.

The use of root and entire plant decoction by ingestion and in baths for high temperature (fever) is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys and toxicity studies.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should symptoms persist for more than 2 days for high temperature (fever) and headache, for more than 3 days for stomach pain and urinary infection, or for more than 7 days for nervousness, seek medical attention.

TRAMIL Research25-27

The lyophilized aqueous extracts (decoctions) from the apical bud, entire plant (312.5 mg/mL) and root (250 mg/mL) administered orally at doses of 5 g/kg/day for 5 days to 10 Hsd:ICR(CD-1) mice (5 males and 5 females) caused neither mortality nor evident toxicity signs during a 12-day observation period.  The control vehicle was distilled and de-ionized water (0.4 mL) to another group of 10 mice with similar characteristics.

TRAMIL Research16

The aqueous extract from the dried aerial parts was administered to 39 albino mice at doses of 100, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg orally and intraperitoneally, and at a dose of 3 g/kg orally only.  There was no mortality during the procedure or during the two-week observation period.  The autopsy did not reveal any macroscopic alterations in vital organs.  This leads to the conclusion that the LD1 and LD50 are higher than the above mentioned doses, and that these extracts have relatively low toxicity.

TRAMIL Research28

The lyophilized aqueous extract obtained from the decoction of fresh leaves, and administered orally to 10 male Swiss mice (5 g/kg) with a 14 day-observation period caused neither mortality nor alternations in body weight nor signs of any alterations in the weight of their kidneys, liver, heart or lungs, compared to the animals treated with saline solution.

TRAMIL Research29-30

The lyophilized aqueous extracts (decoctions) from the entire plant and, separately, from the root (533.33 mg/mL), by topical application 1 mL/day/5 days on a 10 x 5 cm area of the back of three New Zealand rabbits injured with scalpel cuts caused neither abnormal symptoms nor erythema nor edema during the assay, followed by a 12 day-observation period.  The control vehicle was distilled and de-ionized water applied on the opposite side of the back of the same rabbits, in similar conditions.

The essential oil may cause reactions of hypersensitivity and caustic effects to the skin18.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant or lactating women.

TRAMIL Research4

Preliminary phytochemical screening of the ethanolic extract (70%) from the apical bud.

 alkaloids

 -    

anthracenes

 -

 tannins

 -

cardioactive glycosides

 -

 flavonoids

 -

cyanogenic

glycosides

 -            

 saponins

 -

sterols/triterpenes

 -

 coumarins

 -

 

 

The root contains essential oil : tricyclovetivenene, α and ß-isovetivenene, α and ß-vetivene, valencene, nootkatene, α and ß-vetisperene, bi and tricyclovetivenols, α and ß-vetivone, khusone, khusitone, khusimone, vetivenic acid, zizanoic acid, epi-zizanoic and iso-valencenic acids5-7; sesquiterpenes : khusimol and iso-khusimol8.

TRAMIL Research9

The decoction of the entire dried plant for 10 minutes in vitro (2 mg/mL) on agar plate showed no activity either against the bacteria causing gastrointestinal or urinary infection Escherichia coli ATCC25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC27853,Salmonella typhi ATCC14028 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6558 or against pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans ATCC10231 and Cryptococcus neoformans C13.

TRAMIL Research10

The aqueous extract (decoction) from the apical bud in vitro at a concentration of 1000 µg/mL showed no antimicrobial activity against either Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Salmonella gallinarum, or Escherichia coli.

TRAMIL Research11-12

Two lyophilized aqueous extracts obtained from the decoction of the fresh leaves and roots were orally administered to 10 NGP mice (5 males and 5 females) in a single dose of 3 g/kg.  The control vehicle was distilled water (0.5 mL) administered to another group of 10 mice of the same strain and characteristics.  After 15 minutes, each animal was given 50 mg/kg of sodium pentobarbital at 3% intraperitoneally.  Sleeping time was recorded as the interval from the moment animals fall asleep until they awake and can stand on their four legs (righting reflex).  Of the extracts administered, the leaf extract did not show statistically significant effects; however, the root extract did have significant effects (p £0.01) as a sleep inducer in mice.  Sleeping time of control group (in minutes) = 24.99 ±2.44.  Sleeping time of treated group (in minutes) = 48.72 ±4.18.

TRAMIL Research13

The lyophilized aqueous extract (decoction) from the root (83.33 mg/mL) orally administered in a single dose of 1 g/kg to 20 Hsd:ICR(CD-1) mice (10 males and 10 females) did not modify intestinal transit.  The control vehicle was distilled water (0.5 mL), administered to another group of 20 mice of similar characteristics.

TRAMIL Research14

The aqueous extract from the root was orally administered to 40 female Wistar rats on which a pylorus ligation had been previously performed as per the Shay model, with doses of 1 g of extract in 30 cc of distilled water.  The extract significantly reduced the number of ulcers compared to the control group (dose 25 mg/kg).  However, at a higher dose, the levels of free acid rose substantially, which is an impediment for the use of the extract for treating diseases with an increase of acidopeptic secretion (if no concomitant cytoprotector effect exists).

TRAMIL Research15

The lyophilized aqueous extract (decoction) of the fresh apical bud (200 mg/mL) by oral administration (2 g/kg/day/5 days) to 10 Sprague-Dowley rats (5 females and 5 males) provided protection against gastric ulcer by 65.11% following a protocol stated in the CYTED Manual of Research Techniques (“Manual de Técnicas de Investigación del CYTED”), 1995, and Dr. Giraldez Methods (“Metódicas del Dr. Giraldez”), 1991, as modified by LEBi.  The first and last doses were given 24 hours apart from meals to both groups.  Ulcerations were induced with 1 mL of pure ethanol, to both the treated and the positive control groups, one hour after the last dose.  Five hours later, stomachs were removed for analysis.  Ulceration level for the animals treated with the extract was 3.0 ± 1.24, and for positive control: 8.6 ± 9.19.

TRAMIL Research16

The aqueous extract from the root administered orally to 10 native adult rabbits (5, 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) caused slight respiratory stimulation, which reached its maximum level at the dose of 10 mg/kg.  In general terms, considering the maximum effects of this study, a notable increase of breathing frequency was observed, coupled with an increase of air flow through the trachea, wave volume, respiratory volume per minute and transpulmonary pressure.  On the other hand, there was a decrease in pulmonary resistance and adaptability as per the Amdur & Mead17 method, which might suggest that, in addition to a respiratory stimulus, there is a slight bronchodilation and a slight decrease of lung elasticity.  With regards to cardiac frequency, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, changes were minimal.

The essential oil was active as a fungicide (e.g. against Trichophyton equinum), fungistatic (e.g. against Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton rubrum), insectifuge (specifically attributed to zizanal and epizizanal)18-20 and antibacterial against vegetal pathogens21In vitro (0.18%) activity has been reported against Candida albicans , Aspergillus fumigatus (0.22%), Microsporum canis (200 ppm), Trichophyton rubrum (50 ppm)22, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, Fusarium oxysporum and Penicillium spp23.  The root essential oil, undiluted, externally applied to mice, inhibits 100% the transcutaneous penetration of Schistosoma cercariae24.

References:  

1 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

2 GIRON L, 1988 Encuesta TRAMIL (Costa atlántica). Centro Mesoamericano de Tecnología CEMAT, Guatemala, Guatemala.

3 LAGOS-WITTE S, 1988-89, 1996 Encuesta TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Histología Vegetal y Etnobotánica, Dep. de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras UNAH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

4 SOLIS PN, RODRIGUEZ N, ESPINOSA A, GUPTA MP, 2004 Estudio fitoquímico de algunas plantas TRAMIL con usos en Martinica. Informe TRAMIL. Centro de Investigaciones Farmacognósticas de la Flora Panameña CIFLORPAN, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Panamá, Panamá, Panamá.

5 SHIBAMOTO T, NISHIMURA O, 1982 Isolation and identification of phenols in oil of vetiver. Phytochemistry 21:793.

6 WEYERSTAHL P, MARSCHALL H, SPLITTGERBER U, WOLF D, 1997 New cis-eudesm-6-ene derivatives from vetiver oil. Liebigs Ann Chem 8:1783-1787.

7 WEYERSTAHL P, MARSCHALL H, SPLITTGERBER U, WOLF D, 1996 New sesquiterpene ethers from vetiver oil. Liebigs Ann Chem (7):1195-1199.

8 LU Y, 1989 Extraction of khusimol and other components fromVetiveria zizanioides roots. Patent Faming Zhuanli Shenging Gongkai Shuomingshu, 1, 033, 462

9 CACERES A, GONZALEZ S, GIRON L, 1998 Demostración de la actividad antimicrobiana de plantas tramil en base a los usos populares en la cuenca del Caribe. Laboratorio de productos fitofarmacéuticos Farmaya y Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala.

10 SOLIS PN, RODRIGUEZ N, ESPINOSA A, GUPTA MP, 2004 Estudio antimicrobiano de algunas plantas TRAMIL con usos en Martinica. Informe TRAMIL. Centro de Investigaciones Farmacognósticas de la Flora Panameña CIFLORPAN, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Panamá, Panamá, Panamá.

11 GarcIa GM, Coto MT, GonzAlez CS, Pazos L, 2000 Potenciación del sueño, del extracto acuoso de las hojas de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos LEBI, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

12 GarcIa GM, Coto MT, GonzAlez CS, Pazos L, 2000 Potenciación del sueño, del extracto acuoso de raíz de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos LEBI, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

13 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, QUIROS S, 2003 Tránsito intestinal, en ratones, del extracto acuoso de la raíz de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

14 CAMBAR P, COUSIN L, SANTOS A, ALGER J, 1989 Efecto del extracto acuoso de Chrysopogon zizanioides en la prevención de la producción de úlceras gástricas según el método Shay. Informe TRAMIL. Serie de comunicaciones progresivas. Unidad de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

15 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, QUIROS S, 2004 Actividad antiulcerosa en rata, dosis repetidas, del extracto acuoso de cogollos de Vetiveria zizanoides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

16 CAMBAR P, 1996 Efectos broncopulmonares y cardiovasculares de los extractos acuosos de raíz de Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash ex Small en conejos. Informe TRAMIL. Serie de comunicaciones. Facultad de Ciencias Fisiológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

17 AMDUR MD, MEAD J, 1958 Mechanics of respiration in unanesthetized guinea pigs. Amer J Physiol, 192(2):364-368.

18 JAIN SC, NOWICKI S, EISNER T, MEINWALD J, 1982 Insect repellents from vetiver oil: I. Zizanal and epizizanal. Tetrahedron Letr 23(45):4639-4642.

19 DIKSHIT A, HUSAIN A, 1984 Antifungal action of some essential oils against animal pathogens. Fitoterapia 55(3):171-176.

20 SINGH B, AGRAWAL S, 1988 Efficacy of odoriferous organic compounds on the growth of keratinophilic fungi. Curr Sci 57(14):807-809.

21 KINDRA K, SATYANARAYANA T, 1978 Inhibitory activity of essential oils of some plants against pathogenic bacteria. Indian Drugs 16:15-17.

22 CHAUMONT J, BARDEY I, 1989 In vitro antifungal activity of essential oils. Fitoterapia 60(3):147-153.

23 GANGRADE SK, SHRIVASTAVA RD, SHARMA OP, JAIN NK, TRIVEDI KC, 1991 In vitro antifungal effect of the essential oils. Indian Perfum 35(1):46-49.

24 PELLEGRINO J, 1967 Protection against human Schistosome cercariae. Exp Parasitol 21(1):112-131.

25 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2003 Toxicidad oral aguda en ratones, del extracto acuoso de raíz de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

26 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2003 Toxicidad oral aguda en ratones, del extracto acuoso de la planta entera de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

27 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2003 Toxicidad oral aguda en ratones, del extracto acuoso de cogollos de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

28 Hiruma-Lima CA, Souza Brito AR, 2002 Atividades biológicas do extrato hidroalcoólico das folhas de Vetiveria zizanoides. Informe TRAMIL. Depto. Fisiologia, Inst. Biociências UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brasil.

29 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2003 Irritabilidad dérmica, de piel lesionada en conejos, de planta entera de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

30 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2003 Irritabilidad dérmica, de piel lesionada en conejos, de raíz de Vetiveria zizanioides. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

DISCLAIMER

The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.