Latin Name: Cananga odorata
Extraction Method: Steam distilled using the flowers
Aroma: Floral, Sweet and Sensual
Ylang Ylang is a tropical tree that is native to Madagascar, Java, Sumatra and the Philippines. The best essential oil is derived from the yellowed-flowered trees. Timing is everything with Ylang Ylang and in order to obtain a good essential oil, this tree must be harvested early summer during the morning hour for distillation. There are as many as five different grades of ylang ylang in terms of fragrance quality so keep that in mind when purchasing this precious oil.
Emotionally this oil has sedative, antidepressant and aphrodisiac properties. It has been stated that ylang ylang has a profound ability to address anxiety about sexual inadequacy. Traditionally in Indonesia, the flowers of this tree are spread across the marriage bed of newlyweds. As stated by Gabriel Mojay, "The aphrodisiac power of ylang ylang is inseparable both from its ability to relax and uplift, and from its voluptuous aroma."
So as previously stated ylang ylang is known for its exotic spicy sweetness and it is a great addition to perfumery. Please keep in mind that using a high concentration of this essential oil may in fact cause nausea and/or headaches. This is a very profound oil so sometimes using less is more than enough.
Cosmetically Ylang Ylang is used for both dry and oily skin due to the balancing action on the secretion of sebum. So you can see how this oil obtains balance for the skin. It is great when added to a facial serum because it is a multipurpose essential oil when trying to address various skin types. It has also been stated that ylang ylang has been used to address hair loss and is considered a hair tonic.
Ylang Ylang is amazing in its ability to slow down an over rapid heartbeat and breathing. May be excellent for short term use to address conditions of shock, anxiousness or anger. This oil also demonstrates the ability to lower blood pressure. You must use caution using with individuals that suffer from low blood pressure.
Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999
Cooksley, V. Aromatherapy: Soothing Rmedies to Restore, Rejuvenate, Prentice Hall Press, 2002
Mojay, G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, The Healing Arts Press edition, Limited 1999
*Please note: This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease.
*Image courtesy of Susan Ford Collins/Jungle Mama (www.flickr.com/photos/jungle_mama/)