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What is Ylang Ylang essential oil?
You’ve seen the name, but how in the world do you say it?
Ylang-ylang is pronounced /ee-lang ee-lang/. The “y” is pronounced as a long “e” so if you have been stressing the “y” with its traditional phonic sounds, you may have been getting a confused look or two.
No worries, though! Now you know and can pronounce it like an OG of the essential oil world.
Also known as Canaga odorata, ylang-ylang, according to the National Library of Medicine, comes from is a fast-growing tree and can be found natively in tropical Asia such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and some other islands of the Indian Ocean, mainly the Comoro, Nossi Be, and Madagascar islands.
Throughout this article, you will find out more than just how to pronounce this wonderful oil but also its background, its benefits, some of the best brands on the market, and how it is best used for particular ailments.
What else there is to know about Ylang Ylang?
As stated previously, it is native to Asia but has been made common in Africa, India, and America as well in an effort to exploit and manufacture the plant for its fragrant aromatics for the perfume industry as well as in aromatherapy and the food industry.
Traditional Medicinal Use
Ylang ylang, historically, has been used in both the East and the West. In the Philippines, where the flowers grow naturally, healers have used this oil in ointments to treat cuts, burns, and insect and snake bites.
It wasn’t until later in the twentieth century that French chemists found additional medicinal purposes for the oil. It was found effective in treating malaria, typhus, and intestinal infections.
Modern Medicinal Use
Today, with advances in modern medicine, ylang ylang is commonly used for a variety of ailments including but not limited to, PMS, insomnia, high blood pressure, as well as depression, anxiety, nervous tension, and as a sexual stimulant.
The Ylang Ylang Tree and Flower
This beautiful, lush tree grows anywhere about 80 feet tall with large yellowish-white flowers that are quite large in size in comparison to other blooms. However, for harvesting purposes since the ylang ylang flower is hand-picked, most trees that have been planted for commercial purposes are pruned to stay around six to eight feet tall.
The incredibly beautiful, star-shaped flowers are said to be picked at sunrise as that is when their fragrance is at its most potent. It is covered year-round with drooping, long-stalked, rich-scented flowers that have six narrow, greenish-yellow petals 5 cm (2 inches) long.
The alternate pointed oval leaves have wavy margins and are 13 to 20 cm (5 to 8 inches) long. The clustered oval black fruits hang from long stalks. While the fruits of the ylang-ylang tree are not used in foods, they are edible and are quite tart in taste.
Leis are made from the blooms, and the perfume is steam-distilled from the flowers. The essential oil is taken from the petals of the flowers through steam distillation.
Health Benefits of Ylang Ylang
There are many benefits of using ylang ylang oil. It has been used for hormone balance, low libido, impotence, mental fatigue, high blood pressure and rapid heart rate, anxiety, stress, stimulating hair growth, stomach aches, and colic to skincare.
We’ll go over all of these, some in more detail than others but let’s start with the fun stuff!
Ylang Ylang and Intimacy
So, the idea of using essential oils as a part of intimacy is not a new concept to the industry even though it may be a new concept to you.
Ylang Ylang has a floral scent, it increases sexual desire, encourages attraction, and supports the circulatory system. It claims it is one of the most powerful essential oil aphrodisiacs.
How to Use
To use ylang ylang as an aphrodisiac, you can diffuse approximately 10 drops in a diffuser of your choice.
You can also create a small rub with the oil by taking a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, adding a few drops of ylang ylang, and applying it to your pulse points on your wrists, neck and underarms.
Ylang Ylang Treating Anger and Anxiety
Aromatherapy in general is a great tool in managing anger and settling from anxiety. Just the process of setting up your space to calm down, choosing the oils, setting up your diffuser, and practicing mindful breathing while you consciously address your anger is half the battle.
Choosing the right essential oils for these particular states is equally powerful.
Ylang ylang has properties considered to be a sedative as well as an antidepressant. Coupled with its antispasmodic and hypotensive properties, it makes it a solid go-to essential oil in the arena of emotional benefits.
Since ylang ylang is also slated to treat rapid heart rates, which occurs when we have anxiety or are triggered into anger, the calming effects are quite strong.
How to Use
In using ylang-ylang for treating anger and anxiety, you can diffuse it of course.
You can also add 1-2 drops of ylang ylang oil to your favorite carrier oil, perform a small patch test especially if you are new to this oil or have sensitive skin. Then add this mixture to the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and inhale.
Blood Pressure and Heart Beat Issues
We know that high blood pressure and heart disease, in general, are on the rise in the United States. We also know that these conditions left untreated can lead to cardiac arrest, and stroke.
There was a study done in 2012 on high blood pressure using ylang ylang, lavender, neroli, and marjoram showing the use of essential oils to address hypertension thus lowering blood pressure. Its antispasmodic and hypertensive properties may help with lowering heart rate as well.
The following is a statement from the study regarding its results for using essential oils to reduce blood pressure:
“A four-week home BP monitor shows repeated increases and decreases in BP before and after intervention and an overall decreasing trend. Thus, essential oil inhalation not only has an immediate BP-lowering effect but also has a long-term effect.”National Library of Medicine
Although, the results of this study are promising it is still best to seek medical advice from your doctor before trying essential oils for any medical condition.
How to Use
- 2-3 drops of bergamot essential oil
- 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3-4 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
Combine ingredients into a diffuser and inhale for as long as desired.
Best Ylang Ylang Essential Oils
Edens Garden oils are always a favorite for us. They are affordable, accessible, and high quality. Their ylang ylang oil is no exception.
Customers love the strong floral scent of this oil and use it in a variety of ways. Many love to use it as a perfume or in a massage oil!
We love Plant Therapy for all the same reasons that we love Edens Garden: affordability, accessibility, and quality.
Plant Therapy carries a few ylang ylang oils. Our favorite is the ylang ylang complete oil. What makes it complete you may ask?
It is a complete combination of all four types of ylang ylang oil: ylang ylang extra, i, ii, & iii, which makes it more potent.
If you already love ylang ylang oil, we would recommend this oil over the Edens Garden one, which is not as potent.
If you are new to this oil then the Edens Garden oil will be your best bet. The aroma of this oil is strong, but not too much.
What does ylang ylang essential oil smell like?
Ylang ylang has a beautiful floral fruity scent that is one of the most popular scents in the perfume world. It is one of the top notes in the ever classic and one of the most purchased perfumes in the world, Chanel No. 5.
What does ylang ylang essential oil blend well with?
Overall, most agree ylang ylang blends well with bergamot, sandalwood, and marjoram.
Essential Oil Blend Benefits
Bergamot has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive properties that support ylang-ylang’s properties in helping to address anger, anxiety, and stomach issues. It also has a high concentration of limonene making it a great antiseptic that is a great added benefit. Its citrus notes allow it to aromatically agree with ylang-ylang as well.
Sandalwood’s promising properties consist of but are not limited to antidepressants, calming, and sedatives. Not only does it support the existing properties of ylang-ylang but it also adds a romantic, musky scent to the mix creating an incredibly calm aroma perfect for a bath or to diffuse before bedtime.
Marjoram contains properties of vasodilation, hypotensive, and sedative which support ylang-ylang’s effectiveness in treating impotence, high blood pressure, and anxiety. This plant is in the oregano family and smells similar but far less pungent and more pleasant than oregano. It has a woodsy, musk scent that adds a deeper aroma when combined with ylang ylang. Creating a massage oil with one of your favorite carrier oils would be a great way to apply this blend.
Yelling About Ylang Ylang
This is one of those oils that we often hear so much about but don’t try that often mostly because just the name looks intimidating. But once we know how to say /ee-lang ee-lang/, get a sense of where it comes from, what it smells like, and what it does, this essential oil opens up a whole new world of possibilities in alternative healing for you and your family.