Some of the natural essential oils that are available in the world are more exotic than others. Some of them are so exotic that they go a step above the others. There is a range of aromatic oils that fits into this category, and the following oil is one of them. These types of oils are considered absolutely sensuous, and are used in expensive perfume blends, as well as medicinal concoctions. The interesting thing about these oils is that, although most people would never even think of these being used for any medicinal purposes, they are actually some of our most important medicinal oils, and their healing value is vast.
The oil that we are going to talk about today is Ylang ylang essential oil. Ylang ylang, which is pronounced “ee lahng ee lahng”, is scientifically known as “Cananga odorata”. This incredibly sensuous essential oil grows in the Philippines and other Asian areas, like Commores, Reunion, Madagascar, and Indonesia. Ylang ylang essential oil is derived from the extremely sweet flowers of the ylang ylang tree. The ylang ylang tree is huge and grows to a height of up to 70 feet (or 30 meters) high, or more! It is produced by either steam distillation. Although it is mostly used in perfumery, to make the most exotic, sensuous, aphrodisiac scents, ylang ylang’s value as a medicinal oil is often misunderstood or understated. One of the good things about ylang ylang oil is that it is not very expensive as compared to its sister oil (similar aroma) jasmine, which is extremely expensive. Still ylang ylang oil is quite expensive, and is used in pricey perfumes word-wide. Its aroma is so heady that some people call it intoxicating.
Ylang ylang oil has been used for centuries, and the ancient Chinese used to claim that it was good for circulatory and heart problems. In Victorian times it was used for scalp stimulation, to promote hair growth. (If you are going bald, and going to be using herbs on your head, better ylang ylang with its amazing aroma, than garlic and onion like some people have tried!) At turn of the 19th century it was also discovered that ylang ylang was good for diseases like malaria and typhus. It was also found to be useful in fighting intestinal diseases. And, as the Chinese could have told them for ages, ylang ylang was discovered to be a heart calming agent. An interesting little tidbit is that in Indonesia, ylang ylang petals are used on the wedding beds of newlywed couples. (I can’t imagine that an aphrodisiac would be needed on the wedding night though!) As for its aphrodisiac properties, they are well known around the world. One of the powerful, helpful qualities that it has is that it is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Because of that duality, it is great for stress related problems, including high blood pressure and heart palpitations. It reduced nervous tension, and irritability. It is known to be helpful with premenstrual tension too. It is a great general hormone balancer.
Ylang ylang oil is great for depression as well, as it lifts the spirit and soothes. For people who suffer from insomnia ylang ylang is a life saver. Recent research has also shown ylang ylang to have some benefit against epileptic fits, so if you suffer from epilepsy, watch the research and try it. You may be happily surprised.
It helps oily skins, and is useful against acne, as it not only checks oil production, but also is an antiseptic, and kills the bacteria that form with acne. In some countries in Asia, a salve is made of ylang ylang flowers, and rubbed all over the body to improve the skin and prevent diseases too. It also helps with muscle aches and pains.
Ylang ylang oil is great for helping with bug bites, and is even used for snake bites too!
The only thing to be careful about with this perfectly safe essential oil is that you do not use too much, because this oil is very strong, and might cause headaches or nausea if used in a concentrated manner. A note here also, that ylang ylang oil works even better if combined with other oils, but its aroma is incredibly beautiful all on its own. A few drops are more than enough!