Ylang Ylang Helps Boost Energy, Moods & Heart Health
Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) essential oil is derived from the flower petals of the large, tropical ylang ylang tree. Ylang ylang means “flower of flowers” and was given this name because of its sweet, floral scent.
It has been used for centuries thanks to its healing properties on the skin and natural thickening effect on hair. Historically and even still today, it was commonly used to decorate the bed of newlyweds on their wedding night in Indonesia due to its energizing, aphrodisiac qualities. Ylang ylang trees are grown in tropical areas throughout Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia and the Polynesian Islands.
Ylang Ylang Oil Benefits
Ylang ylang is often used for its effective antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative and antidepressant properties. Its positive effect on immune health, blood flow and emotions, make it an ideal natural remedy for the cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive and digestive systems. Ylang ylang oil is often used in foods and beverages as a flavouring and preservative. It is also used in product manufacturing, including as a fragrance for cosmetics, household cleaners, hair products and soaps.
Benefits of ylang ylang essential oil includes:
- Improving blood flow
- Reducing inflammation
- Eliminating parasites
- Regulating heartbeat
- Improving cardiac problems
- Increasing healthy intestinal function
- Improving someone’s mood
Many people like to diffuse ylang ylang in their bedrooms or add some to household cleaning products thanks to its naturally rich, floral scent that’s considered “romantic” and uplifting. Ylang ylang’s scent also has the ability to promote positive emotions, along with creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere in your home. It can be especially helpful for soothing you through a difficult day, you may also want to add some to your bath, lotion or other beauty care products.
Top 9 Ylang Ylang Oil Uses
- Natural Energizer
Ylang ylang’s scent is very energizing and useful for helping fight fatigue or body aches. It is ideal to use when you feel tired, drained or frustrated. Add a couple drops with some carrier oil to your wrists, neck or chest.
- Mood Enhancer
Inhaling ylang ylang can have an immediate, positive effect on your mood and act like a mild, natural depression remedy. This is due to its ability to act directly on the olfactory system of the brain when inhaled. Research shows inhaling ylang ylang can help release negative emotions, including anger, low self-esteem and jealousy.
Ylang ylang is also beneficial for fighting chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia without drugs as it has a mild sedative effect which can lower stress responses such as a fast heartbeat and high blood pressure. Try massaging some ylang ylang in to your skin or diffuse some in your home to bring on stronger feelings of self-love, peace, confidence and awareness.
- Heart Health Booster
Ylang ylang is known to improve blood flow and fight inflammation making it ideal to support a healthy circulatory system. It is particularly effective at controlling blood pressure and preventing heart arrhythmia (along with lavender, clary sage and frankincense). Add a single drop with some carrier oil and massage over the heart daily. Ylang ylang can also be taken as a dietary supplement too (only when using a therapeutic-grade oil) when using it as a natural high blood pressure remedy by adding one to two drops to water or warm tea.
- PMS Remedy
Including ylang ylang with aromatherapy or massage can help rduce PMS symptoms. Apply ylang ylang oil with lavender oil to the back of neck and lower abdomen to help reduce PMS cramps, tension and stress.
- Digestive Aid
Try inhaling ylang ylang, massaging it over the digestive organs or consuming several drops daily to help prevent poor blood flow or feelings of stress and anxiety which can interfere with healthy digestion.
- Skin Health Preserver
Ylang ylang is ofen used on the skin to preserve a “youthful glow” and help prevent signs of aging or irritation. It is even powerful at fighting the development of melanoma and skin cancer cells. Combine one to two drops with jojoba oil or coconut oil and massage it into the face once or twice daily for protection.
- Natural Hair Care Product
There’s an abundance of ways that ylang ylang and coconut oil can benefit your hair. To increase the appearance of healthy, shiny hair, try massaging ylang ylang into your scalp along with using coconut oil or jojoba oil (or your regular conditioner). It is also great to help prevent tangles and dandruff, along with being used as a hair loss remedy.
- Diabetes Fighter
Ylang ylang can help protect tissue and cells from damage and this is known to lower the risk for nerve damage due to diabetes complications, making it a natural diabetes remedy. Massage a number of drops into the reflex points of the feed, over the abdomen and pancreas.
- Aphrodisiac and Social Enhancer
Ylang ylang can help increase the libido of both men and women, making individuals feel more connected with those around them (including spouse or family members). Try diffusing ylang ylang in your room, add a drop to your body lotion, inhale it from the bottle or even apply a small amount to your bedsheets.
Ylang Ylang Research and Studies
The quality of ylang ylang oil depends largely on the cultivation of flowers that are used – and in particular, the time of day that the flowers were picked. Since the flowers are pollinated by night moths, it’s believed that flowers picked early in the morning yield the most beneficial oil. The lower temperature and dewiness that can occur overnight may also have positive effects on the oil’s chemical structure. The flowers’ natural aroma fills the air when sunrise comes thanks to the most intensive smell which is released from dusk until dawn.
The distillation process used to extract ylang ylang oil takes 14 hours in total and also impacts its potency and abilities. To best preserve the oil’s volatile compounds, steam distillation is the preferred method. The first proportion of oil extracted during the long distillation process is believed to be the highest quality of the whole batch and is often called “ylang ylang complete” or “ylang ylang extra”. Lower-grade oil is produced upon repeat cycles of the distillation process, this is usually just called “ylang ylang oil” or “canaga oil”.
High quality ylang ylang oil has been shown to hold a high percentage of active constituents called terpenoids. Isolated terpenoid derivatives show promising results in treatment of several skin disorders as an alternative natural therapeutic agent. Antioxidants in ylang ylang oil have been shown to help protect skin cells from oxidative stress and DNA damage that can lead to cancer cell formation.
There are a number of volatile organic compounds produced by the flowers that cause ylang yang’s pleasant fragrance, including several types of flavonoids, terpenes, o-methylmoschatoline, liriodenine and dihydroxybenzoic acid. The floral scents of ylang ylang are a key factor in plant-insect interactions and are vital for successful pollination since they repel pests and bugs, according to a report published in the Journal of Experimental Botany (2014).
These phytochemicals also possess antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities when used topically or internally by humans, as demonstrated by researchers from the Phytochemistry Research Department at the University of Rajshahi in Bangladesh. In addition, they can also help lower inflammation and improve immune function, which is a leading contributor to most diseases, such as autoimmune, cancer, heart diseas and cognitive-related disorders.
Another of ylang ylang’s benefits is its ability to help prevent nerve damage which can contribute to complications seen in diabetes. A report published in the Journal of Natural Medicines (2014) demonstrated terpenoids and flavonoids in ylang ylang were shown to act like aldose reductase inhibitors. Where aldose reductase inhibitors have been studied recently as a way to prevent nerve and eye damage in people with diabetes.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Recipes
Dilute ylang ylang oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, in a ratio of 1:1 before applying to your skin. Prior to using it on large or sensitive areas of the skin, always test for skin sensitivity via patch test on your arm or feet. Remember to keep the oil out of your eyes, ears or nose and away from pets too.
Add ylang ylang oil to your diffuser to diffuse throughout your home, or inhale directly from the bottle.
ONLY recommended when using very high-quality oil brand. Prior to use, check ingredients carefully – you are looking for only Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil. In addition, only use 100 percent pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil is you plan to take this oil internally.
Ylang ylang combines well with other essential oils such as rose oil, frankincense oil, bergamot oil, jasmine oil and lavender oil. It can double as both a relaxant and a stimulant depending on what you want to use it for. It each case, use several drops of mixed essential oils, and dilute with a few drops of a carrier oil.
Some combinations you may want to try:
- Release tension: 2 drops ylang ylang with 2 drops frankincense
- Build confidence: 2 drops ylang ylang with 2 drops bergamot
- Energy boost: 2 drops ylang ylang with 2 drops citrus oil (e.g. lemon oil, orange oil or grapefruit oil)
- Aphrodisiac massage: 2 drops ylang ylang with 2 drops sandalwood
- Natural home freshener (tropical scent): 2 drops ylang ylang with 2 drops jasmine
Feeling inspired? If you want to learn more about how essential oils can form a wonderful part of your whole health protocol, join my essential oils newsletter list and I’ll share some information with you very soon.
Interactions and Side Effects of Ylang Ylang
It is recommended to use ylang ylang sparingly whether its topically or internally. High levels of use may cause reactions and sensitivities, so make sure a skin patch test is done before using on the face, skin or ingesting.
Take care when working with low blood pressure and medications or with existing heart conditions. It is encouraged to talk to your doctor before beginning treatment with any new herbal remedies.
Ylang ylang appears safe for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and children in small amounts when a high-quality oil is used. It also seems save when applied to the scalp, skin and mouth in combination with other herbal essential oils. There is insufficient information to confirm if ylang ylang oil taken by mouth in higher amounts than what is typically advised can cause serious reactions, in which case it is recommended to always stick to a small dose.