In this month's edition of the aromatherapy blog, we will be talking about the sweet, flowery scent of ylang ylang. Many people are familiar with the aroma of ylang ylang because it is used to make the perfume Chanel No. 5. The ylang ylang flower grows on a type of evergreen tree most commonly found in rainforests, particularly those in parts of Asia and the South Pacific.
As with any other essential oil, it is important to pay attention to the quality. Make sure that you are getting a high grade essential oil rather than a fragrance oil which has potentially harmful chemicals added to make it cheaper. Like many others, ylang ylang is best used in moderation. It can often be a somewhat overwhelming scent. Start off with a drop or two and add in small increments if you feel like you need to.
Like all of the other aromas we have talked about, aside from smelling nice, ylang ylang has a large number of health benefits. It is wonderful for the skin, and is good for treating things like high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Let's take a look at those and many more benefits of the ylang ylang flower.
Anti-Depressant and Emotional Support
Ylang ylang is a great aroma for helping to treat depression. It has a very sweet, uplifting smell that is associated with the heart chakra. Ylang ylang can be diffused, or you can try putting a drop over your heart. The smell of ylang ylang is said to help promote joy and calm and relieve anxiety and sadness. It can also be used to aid in emotional healing due to trauma, loss, shock, fear, sadness, anger, and grief.
Anti-Septic, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Inflammatory
Because of all of these properties, ylang ylang can be used to help clean wounds, clear up fungal infections, and relieve pain caused by inflammation. If you like to make your own healing products, ylang ylang can be mixed into a natural all-purpose first aid spray to aid in many kinds of healing. I like to use a base of aloe, witch hazel, and some water with healing essential oils. You can also mix ylang ylang with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond and rub it onto the affected area.
Healthier Skin and Hair
Ylang ylang is what is known as an anti-seborrhoeic. It can be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, and can help to reduce the inflammation and pain that they cause. It also helps to balance oil, which makes it great for people who have oily skin. Ylang ylang can also be used as a toner and can help to clear up acne. If you want to use it for your skin, try adding a few drops to your favorite toner, cleanser, or moisturizer, or add some to a base lotion or oil to apply to larger areas. Ylang ylang is also great for the hair and can be used to treat hair loss. If you suffer from thinning hair, try mixing some ylang ylang with a carrier oil (coconut is a great one for skin and hair), and massage it into your scalp before you go to bed. After a little while, you should begin to see a difference.
Lower Blood Pressure and Stress
Ylang ylang oil is often used as a sedative. It has a very calming effect and can effectively be used to aid in lowering blood pressure. It also tends to relieve stress and anxiety, both of which are often causes of high blood pressure. Try diffusing it or adding it to a carrier oil and rubbing it on your feet and over your heart.
Because of it's use as a sedative, ylang ylang can be used to help you get better sleep. It helps you to clear your mind and ease tension before bed. Not only can it help you to fall asleep, but ylang ylang can help you have better sleep by helping you to have a calmer, more peaceful rest, and clearing out some of the tension and stress that you may be manifesting in your dreams.
Ylang ylang is often used as an aphrodisiac. It can help to promote feelings of love, decrease frigidity, and increase sex drive. This is a great oil to have around if you think that your lack of sex drive may be related to stress, tension, or depression. It won't help to cure medical conditions that impede sexual activity, but it can help with those whose love life is suffering due to emotions or stress.
Have you ever used ylang ylang oil? Leave your comments letting us know how and why you have used ylang ylang!
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.