Known as a “poor man’s jasmine”, Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is one of the most relaxing, sensual and euphoric essential oils. Even though Ylang Ylang is mostly known for its sweet and colorful aroma and was used for years in perfumery, originally it was used for more practical and healing purposes.
The name Ylang Ylang comes from the Philippine alang ilang in referral to the flowers that “flutter” in the breeze. Local people would pick up these flowers and place them into the coconut oil, and produce a so-called pommade “boori-boori”. They would rub this pommade into the body to prevent the fever and infections during the rainy season, and of course to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Also it was used as a protective barrier from the sea water for keeping the hair nice and soft.
Another very interesting fact is that in Indonesia they were traditionally placed on the bed of a newly married couple. I guess they knew the aphrodisiac power of this exotic flower.
The aroma of Ylang Ylang is very heady, intense sweet floral, slightly spicy, exotic, deep and rich, smooth and very persistent.
Ylang Ylang essential oil is really fantastic for balancing our emotions, for releasing the tension both emotional and physical. With its very soothing and calming actions it makes it a really good choice to use for stress management issues as well is to control our mood swings during the woman’s cycle.
Ylang Ylang is known to be able to slow the heart beat where it becomes really helpful if you struggle with anxiety or worry. Also it’s known to be able to reduce blood pressure and may not be the best choice to use excessively for people with low blood pressure.
From the emotional side Ylang Ylang shares very similar actions with Jasmine essential oil and helps to :
- reduce irritability
- relieve depression
- reduce stress and tension
- awaken the sensuality, promotes feeling of romance
- uplift the mood
- brings calmness, joy and harmony to our inner-self
- reduce anger
- reduce anxiety
- improves good quality sleep (good for insomnia issues)
As a strong aphrodisiac it is often used to promote a healthy sexual energy flow. It is often used in seduction blends. Known for its powers it is also indicated for people who has loss of libido or impotence. Often people suffer there due to anxiety, fear, excessive stress or fatigue. And then Ylang Ylang becomes very helpful.
Ylang Ylang apart from great emotional support is a fantastic essential oil for beauty care. It has skin healing properties and is often added to skin care cream and lotions. It help to sooth skin irritations, balance the sebum, helps to reduce signs of ageing and in general is good for stressed dull skin conditions. It’s best to be used with oily skin or normal to oily skin. Ylang Ylang is great hair tonic and is just perfect for hair masks or hair oils.
You can easily make a nourishing and protective hair oil at home. As a base I would probably go for a very light carrier oil…