What are the Benefits of Ylang-Ylang?
Discover how ylang-ylang essential oil is used to reduce tension and anxiety. Smell the sweet floral fragrance as it soothes your senses. This sensual oil has aphrodisiac qualities useful for impotence and frigidity.
How Do You Use Ylang-Ylang?
On the skin, ylang-ylang oil has a soothing effect that balances overly dry and oily skin by evening out the secretion of sebum. Ylang-ylang also stimulates the scalp to promote luxurious hair growth.
The sensuous fame of Ylang Ylang, celebrated around the world, originated in the exotic land of Bali. The plant’s fragrant yellow petals traditionally decorated and perfumed the nuptial bed.
The flowers and their oil were used as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, treatment for impotence, to reduce sexual anxieties, and for calming. Ylang ylang evokes feelings of deep, languid calm that melt away anxiety, tension and stress.
The ylang-ylang (pronounced lang-lang and e-lang-e-lang) tree grows in low-lying tropical areas of several countries stretching from India southwards and eastwards to the northern parts of Australia.
Ylang ylang is known by different names in different countries, however it is from the Tagalog language of the Philippines that the tree came to be known as ylang-ylang, or more correctly álang-álang, a Tagalog term meaning "flower of flowers." The flowers give off a pleasant, sweet and relaxing smell.
Cananga odorata is just one of about 130 genera contained within the large botanical family of tropical plants, shrubs and the Annonaceae, consisting of trees. This large tropical evergreen tree, growing to 20 meters high, is often planted as an ornamental tree because of the shade it gives and the attractive aroma of its flowers. Annonaceae, also called the custard apple family is a family of flowering plants consisting of trees.
The dark green leaves are arranged alternately on the twigs and are about 10cm long, 4cm wide with wavy margins. The flowers have six narrow petals and may be yellow, white or mauve, in color. The yellow, starfish-shaped flowers are produced year-round. Following the flowers, small green fruits are formed.
The flowers possess oil and because they attract night-flying moths, they usually emit pheromones after dusk or in the early morning when their oil is highest. The flowers are distilled in steam. The first fraction of oil that they produce (about 35 - 40% of the total) is considered to be the best quality. This first fraction is called ylang-ylang extra. As distillation continues a second fraction called "ylang-ylang" is taken. Finally a lower grade third fraction is collected; this third fraction, often sold as "cananga oil," is used commercially to perfume many household products. Some distillers do not fractionate the oil; in this case, it is known as a complete oil.
For skin care, ylang-ylang has been used to treat eczema, acne, oily skin and irritation associated with insect stings or bites. Ylang-ylang oil is thought to promote hair growth and was a constituent of macassar, a popular hair oil extensively used in Victorian England.
Ylang ylang has also been used to calm and reduce stress-related conditions such as anxiety, rapid breathing, rapid heart beat (tachycardia) and high blood pressure. It has been used to calm aggressive dogs.