Ylang- Ylang Essential Oil (pronounced ‘ee lang ee lang’) is an oil extracted from the flowers of the Cananga Odorata Tree grown mainly in Indonesia and the Philippines. It has a unique floral, sweet and slightly fruity aroma.
Ylang-Ylang is a beautiful oil that I find very powerful. It can benefit the nervous system as it is an antidepressant and sedative; this is mainly because of its scent. Ylang-Ylang can relax the body, promote deep breathing and induce sleep.
I remember the first time I smelled Ylang-Ylang essential oil. I was in a gift shop in Cornwall, not long after I had decided to become an aromatherapist. I went looking for all the essential oils I could and decided to treat myself to one. The one I was drawn to the most was Ylang-Ylang. The smell immediately made me happy and excited. It got me thinking of the amazing career that I had signed up for. I was so lucky! Now every time I use and smell Ylang-Ylang essential oil it brings me straight back to that moment.
Blended with citrus oils such as Mandarin and Bergamot, Ylang-Ylang can help uplift the mind and re-energise. It can help with people in a state of restlessness and agitation, fear, panic, shock or anger, anxiety and depression. It can be beneficial for those suffering from an anxiety or panic attack as it can help to lower the blood pressure.
It is also known for being an aphrodisiac and has been used throughout history to help people suffering with sexual problems. It can be beneficial for those who have lost interest in sex due to tremendous work load, professional stress, or depression. Known as the ‘oil of lovers’, the flowers are spread on the bed of newly wed couples in Indonesia as part of a tradition to celebrate new marriage. Ylang-Ylang is said to appeal to our inner femininity.
Not only is Ylang-Ylang great for the mind, it can also benefit the body too.
Ylang-Ylang can help control the production of sebum in the body. It is extremely effective in helping to maintain the moisture and oil balance of the skin, keeping the skin looking hydrated, smooth and young. It also can be used as a scalp tonic to stimulate hair growth and to also balance the sebum, production in both dry and greasy scalps. Ylang-Ylang can generally be used to help balance and regulate bodily functions.
In the Philippines, locals would pick the Ylang-Ylang flowers and immerse them in coconut oil, producing a pomade called Bori-Bori, which gets used as a remedy or body rub to prevent fevers and infections, as well as being nourishing and rejuvenating for the skin. In the 20th Century, French chemists Garner and Richler discovered the oil to be effective against malaria, typhus and infections of the intestinal tract. They’ve also noticed its calming action on the heart.
Ylang-Ylang essential oil has been used in many perfumes because of its sweet and floral scent.
It can be great for holistic health too. It has an uplifting effect on the mood and sensual nature of individuals, helping feelings of restlessness, agitation, isolation and depression. Ylang-Ylang both soothes and entices, opens and centres us. It allows us to inwardly unify and outwardly emerge.