Ylang Ylang is the common name for the tree Cananga odorata, also known as the “flower of flowers,” something that’s been celebrated throughout history. It’s native to the rainforest regions of the Philippines and Indonesia and has been highly sought after for centuries because of its ability to thicken hair and heal the skin. In Indonesia, newly married couples spread ylang ylang petals across the bed for its sensual effects.
This powerful essential oil offers multiple properties, as an effective antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic and sedative, providing a positive effect on immune health, blood flow, and emotions. It can impact the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems, as well as being a flavoring and preservative for foods and beverages, and a fragrance in personal care products, household cleaners, and cosmetics.
Make sure you purchase 100% pure ylang ylang essential oil free of additives and adulterants like this one available over at Plant Therapy.
The oil is collected from the fresh flowers using the steam distillation process and can be used for many purposes, including:
1. Fights Stress & Lifting One’s Mood
Ylang ylang is an excellent essential oil for battling stress. Research conducted by Korea’s Geochang Provincial College found that study participants using ylang ylang essential oil combined with lavender and bergamot daily for four weeks experienced reduced “psychological stress responses, serum cortisol levels, and blood pressure”.
It has the ability to act directly on the olfactory system of the brain, for immediate positive effects on one’s mood. It can ease depression and even release negative emotions like jealousy, anger, and low self-esteem. It acts as an antidepressant to relieve anxiety, sadness, depression and chronic stress.
2. Boosts Sex Drive
Ylang Ylang is especially known for its aphrodisiac properties and is unique in that it can be either calming or stimulating. It can fuel sexual desire as a natural stimulant while easing performance anxiety and stimulating circulation. As mentioned, in Indonesia, the petals of the ylang ylang flower are frequently laid across the marriage bed, as it’s known to help relax a nervous partner and stimulate the senses while increasing libido in both men and women. It acts like a natural impotence remedy, which can be used by inhaling the scent right from the bottle or diffusing it in your bedroom.
3. Treats High Blood Pressure
Ylang ylang offers mild sedative effects that can lower stress responses like a fast heartbeat and high blood pressure, which is why it may be beneficial for treating hypertension. A 2012 Korean study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, focused on participants with either prehypertension or high blood pressure. They were asked to inhale the aroma of either a blend of ylang ylang essential oil, lavender essential oil, marjoram essential oil and neroli essential oil, or a placebo fragrance. The results demonstrated that those assigned to the essential oil group experienced a decrease in blood pressure as well as in levels of cortisol, which is a hormone released during the stress response.
4. Natural Energy Boost
If you feel like you’re always tired, ylang ylang can help give you a natural energy boost. The main reason it works is that many people find the scent to be energizing and even motivating.
When you’re feeling especially fatigued, try adding a few drops to your diffuser and let the aroma fill the room. You can also take 5 breaths while inhaling deeply directly from the bottle.
5. Fights PMS & Cramps
Ylang ylang has long been used for fighting PMS as well as painful cramps. Massaging with ylang ylang, or diffusing it throughout the air can help relieve those symptoms, including pain, tension, and stress. Use it by applying ylang ylang essential oil mixed with a carrier oil to the back of the neck and lower abdomen. Combining it with a couple of drops of lavender oil can enhance the effects. The oils are able to penetrate through the skin, into your bloodstream, to get to the root of the problem.
6. Supports Skin Health
Ylang ylang offers many benefits to the skin, from healing various conditions to preventing the signs of aging and even fighting skin cancer. You can apply it to your skin to promote a more youthful glow, while preventing wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging. To do so, combine two drops of ylang ylang essential oil into a teaspoon of liquefied coconut oil or jojoba oil. Immediately after washing your face, apply this mixture to your face, throat, and chest – don’t rinse, think of it as a healing moisturizer. Be sure to avoid getting it into your eyes by using your fingertips to tap a tiny amount onto the skin around your eyes.
If you experience frequent breakouts, mix two or three drops of the oil into a teaspoon of your regular face wash to help prevent them and heal acne quickly, thanks to the oil’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It also helps to control excess sebum production, a primary cause of acne. For skin problems like rashes and eczema, you can also use ylang ylang oil directly on the affected area when mixed with a carrier oil, for relief as it helps to provide a cooling, calming effect to soothe red, irritated skin. Mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil for added relief.
If you have a wound, combine ylang ylang in a 50/50 ratio with jojoba or coconut oil and apply to the affected area to prevent a bacterial infection and help speed healing. Wash the wound thoroughly with mild soap, and then pat it dry before gently applying the oil. Place a clean bandage over the area, keeping the wound covered.
7. Eliminates Dandruff & Dry, Itchy Scalp
If you’re suffering from dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or simply have an itchy, dry scalp, you can use ylang ylang to eliminate it. Add a few drops of the oil to your regular shampoo, and then work it into a lather, gently massaging it into your scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse.
8. Improves The Appearance Of Hair
You can also improve the health of your hair, and its appearance, by using ylang ylang oil mixed with coconut oil, in a 50/50 ratio. Combine the oils and then massage the mixture into your scalp Place a shower cap or towel around your hair, and then let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes; wash as usual. Your hair will be easier to comb out as it prevents tangles, and will be left shiny, more beautiful and more manageable.
9. Promotes A Healthier Heart
As mentioned, ylang ylang can help fight hypertension, serving as a natural high blood pressure remedy, which also results in a healthier heart and circulatory system. It also helps to prevent heart arrhythmia. You can use it for this purpose by combining one drop of ylang ylang essential oil with a small amount of a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil, and massage the mixture over your heart.
10. Aids Digestion
Ylang ylang can help ease digestive woes that are connected to anxiety and stress. To use it for this purpose, try massaging it over your digestive organs once diluted with a carrier oil as above.
11. Up Your Confidence Level
Ylang ylang can help you feel more calm and confident so that you can face just about anything, making it especially useful for an important meeting, presentation, first date, and other anxiety-causing events. Add a few drops of the oil to your diffuser, inhale directly from the bottle just before the event, or add a drop or two to your wrists or neck – when diluted with a carrier oil, and let the fragrance continue to waft up around you, taking that nervous energy away.
12. Prevents Diabetes Complications
If you have diabetes, you can lower your risk of developing complications, such as neuropathy or nerve damage as the oil helps to protect your cells and tissue from damage. Massage a few drops diluted with coconut oil into your abdomen and into the balls of your feet.
13. Lowers Inflammation & Strengthens The Immune System
Researchers from the University of Rajshahi in Bangladesh discovered that the phytochemicals in ylang ylang contain antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities when used topically that can enhance immune function and reduce inflammation, the root cause of many different diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, cognitive-related conditions and more.
You can use a 50/50 ylang ylang/coconut oil blend to help strengthen your immune system – the coconut oil will enhance the effects with its own highly beneficial properties – by applying the mixture to your neck, chest, and abdomen and then thoroughly but gently massage it into your abdominal area, ensuring that it’s rubbed into the skin over the stomach, intestines, liver, and gallbladder.
Ready to try ylang ylang essential oil yourself? Buy a bottle of 100% pure ylang ylang essential oil free of additives and adulterants over at Plant Therapy here.