Joys of ylang ylangCredit: istock
Ylang ylang is Malay for “flower of flowers”. The flower petals are sprinkled over the marriage bed in Indonesia on the wedding night, as Ylang ylang has a reputation for being an aphrodisiac. The flower petals are steam distilled to produce the essential oil. it is one of the most used fragrances in perfumes and other toiletries. There’s no doubt the sweet, sensual scent of ylang ylang is hard to resist but there’s a lot more to this essential oil than meets the eye (or the nose).
People have benefited from using ylang ylang for issues such as cardiac arrhythmia, palpitations, tachycardia, high blood pressure and rapid breathing. In fact there are studies indicating that ylang ylang is beneficial for people suffering hypertension.
Mental and emotional state
There’s no doubt the sweet, sensual scent of ylang ylang is hard to resist but there’s a lot more to this essential oil than meets the eye (or the nose).
Ylang ylang has powerful relaxing and harmonizing properties. It can help reduce anxiety and depression, mental fatigue and insomnia. Because it is so calming it can help with anger issues. On an emotional level it can help with improving confidence and self-esteem and bring feelings of love and joy. Ylang ylang can also help with the balancing of male-female energies and bring one closer to spiritual attunement.
Other possible uses
- It has a sebum-balancing effect and so is useful for all skin types.
- Encourages hair growth and shine and lustre in one’s hair.
- Helpful in dealing with sex drive issues.
- Soothing insect bites
- May also stimulate the adrenal glands
- Historically it’s also been used for intestinal problems, constipation, indigestion, stomach-aches and colic.
How to use it
- Use as a perfume (see my blog Essential Oil Ideas for Valentine’s Day)
- Apply during a massage
- Diffuse it in your bedroom or living area for around 15 minutes at a time.
- Add a few drops to your hair conditioners or favourite skin lotion as ylang ylang is good for moisturising the skin and keeping your hair shiny and healthy.
- Use it in a scalp massage next time you’re at a hair salon.
- Add a few drops in a hot bath and soak yourself in it.
- You can add a few drops to something like coconut oil and rub it into your skin before bed. It will not only moisturize your skin but help you relax.
- Try rubbing a few drops at the base of the neck and on your temples if you’re experiencing too much ‘mind-chatter’ or anxiety.
Blending and usage data
Blend Classification: Personifier and Modifier
Blends with: Anise, bergamot, cardamom, chamomile, cumin, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, marjoram, sandalwood and vetiver.
Odor: Type: Middle to Base Notes (20-80% of the blend); Scent: Sweet, heavy, tropical floral, with spicy-balsamic undertones
Safety data: Not for children under the age of 6. To be used with caution by people with low blood pressure problems. Repeated use may result in contact sensitization.
Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.
Essential Oil Ideas for Valentine’s Day, Essential Oils For Living.
Emotional Healing with Essential Oils, Wellbeing
15 essential oils for stress relief, Wellbeing
Using essential oils in your love life, Part 2, Wellbeing
Essential oils for the spirit, Wellbeing
 Cha JH, Lee SH, Yoo YS. Effects of aromatherapy on changes in the autonomic nervous system, aortic pulse wave velocity and aortic augmentation index in patients with essential hypertension. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2010 Oct;40(5):705-13. Also Jung DJ, Cha JY, Kim, SE et al. Effects of Ylang-Ylang aroma on blood pressure and heart rate in healthy men. J Exerc Rehabil. 2013 April;9(2): 250-255
 Hongratanaworakit T, Buchbauer G. Evaluation of the harmonizing effect of ylang-ylang oil on humans after inhalation. Planta Med. 2004 Jul;70(7):632-6.
Like what you read?
Sign up for a weekly dose of wellness
Aussie bush aromas
Greg Trevena is the essential oil equivalent to the Bush Tucker Man. We chat to him about the healing powers...
Is it time for a green clean?
Clean your home simply, effectively and cheaply using natural, non-toxic staples such as fruit, essential oils and the humble contents...
Would you do No Poo?
Forgoing shampoo may seem like the choice of a radical few but the No Poo movement means more than just...