Vetiver blinds, that lend to burning summer noons
the scented chill of winter nights.
Bihari (14th Century A.D.)
North India wild Vetiver traditionally infused in Copper vessels
Provenance: Uttar Pradesh, North India
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Ruh Khas is one of the most complex botanical extracts known to science. It is a mixture of more than a 150 sesquiterpenoid components – some still undiscovered. Ruh means ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ in Persian and Khas is the word for vetiver in Sanskrit. So the term Ruh Khas literally translates into ‘soul of vetiver.” Vetiver is a perennial grass of the Poaceae, native to India. The name vetiver is from the South Indian language (of Dravidian origins) Tamil, which calls it vettiveru. Tamil literature mentions the usage of vetiver for medical purposes. In North India, it is popularly known as Khas. Vetiver is closely related to other fragrant grasses such as lemon grass and Palmarosa and though it originates in India, vetiver is widely cultivated in other tropical regions of the world.
Ancient Indian inscriptions have listed vetiver as a favourite perfume worn by royalty. Vetiver is also an important ingrediant in ayurvedic science, where it is called Suganti-Mulaka which means ‘sweet smelling.’ Vetiver extract when presribed in ayurvedic medicine is called Sita-Mulaka (having cool roots) to cool the body by adding it to bathwater. In Ayurvedic medicine vetiver extract is known to strengthen the central nervous system, and is beneficial in overcoming melancholy, depression, insomnia, anxiety, stress, tension and nervousness.
Ruh Khas is different from Khas or Vetiver Oil. Vetiver oil would have the extract of vetiver blended with a carrier oil, most likely sandalwood. A Ruh Khas is quite different from the oil because in this case the botanical extract is not blended with any carrier oil. Therefore, a Ruh is quite pure in state and does not have an ‘oily’ feel to it. Khas oil is amber brown and rather thick. Ruh Kas, however, is a beautiful emerald green and since it has no base oil,is quite watery. Over time, as the Ruh matures, the watery consistency becomes quite thick and syrupy – a quality which is very desirable in Ruh Khas. The odor of Ruh Khas is described as deep, sweet, green, earthy, and mossy. It reminds one of damp, lush forest floors and of nature. Ruh Khas, like a good wine, ages very well and the fragrance of an aged Ruh is sublime. Ruh Khas is made using copper vessels called degs, as it has been made for thousands of years. Ruh Khas has such a delicate fragrance that it cannot yet be replicated synthetically.
Aside from its fragrant qualities, khas has been used for centuries as a refrigerant and an “air conditioner.” Khas screens are hung over windows and balconies, which keep the interiors cool on hot day s, when they are periodically sprinkled with cool water. The air passing through the screens not only cool the rooms, but also add a touch of the exotic by scenting the cool air with its natural perfume.
Ruh Khas promotes the energies of both the first chakra (root) and seventh chakra, the crown. However, the first chakra house is the dominant house.
The first chakra house or the Root chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts and our sense of connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally, this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security and dynamic presence.
The seventh chakra is the chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.