Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina) which means, flower of flowers is a tall tropical tree that grows up to 65 feet high. It has large delicate flowers that come in shades of yellow, mauve, or pink. The yellow flowers are preferred for the extraction of the essential oil. Ylang ylang is indigenous to tropical Asia, but the most prized oil comes from Madagascar and the Comoro Islands.
Extraction of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Ylang Ylang essential oil is extracted from the flowers which are freshly picked and the process is completed by steam distillation.
Grades of Ylang Ylang Oil: As with any essential oil, the higher the price the higher the quality. And Ylang ylang, unlike many other essential oils, has several different grades (The four grades of ylang ylang essential oil are ylang extra, ylang I, ylang II, and ylang III.) ranging from the costly Ylang Ylang Extra down to the least expensive, Ylang Ylang III.
The grades vary based on when the oil is removed in the steam distillation process. The lengthier the distillation, which generally can take up to 24 hours, the lighter the scent of the oil — ylang extra has the strongest scent and ylang III has the weakest. All grades of ylang ylang essential oil have a fairly heavy scent compared to lighter scented oils, so they should be added carefully to a blend.
Blending with Ylang Ylang: Ylang Ylang can greatly enhance sandalwood, rosewood, or any citrus oil such as: grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, and other florals like lavender, jasmine and rose.
Scent: The oil is characterized as intensely sweet, soft, floral-balsamic, with a slightly spicy scent and a creamy-rich top note.
Benefits and Uses:
- Ylang ylang oil has anti-depressant properties. It fights depression and relaxes body and mind, thereby relieving away stress, fatigue and anxiety. It also has an uplifting effect on mood and induces and feeling of joy and hope. It may be an effective treatment for those undergoing nervous breakdown and acute depression.
- Ylang ylang oil is a very good and effective agent for lowering blood pressure, unlike those medicine prescribe to lower blood which can have an adverse effects on health.
- Ylang ylang oil can help prevent and cure infection as it inhibits microbial growth and disinfects the wounds.
- Ylang ylang oil has been used as an aphrodisiac as well and works well for sexual inadequacy and dysfunction.
- Ylang ylang oil has been reputed to stimulate hair growth and is a natural hair conditioner. Just put one or two drops of oil to your hairbrush and brush your hair.
- Ylang Ylang oil is an excellent balancing oil for oily or dry skin.
- Ylang ylang oil can help cure seborrhoeic eczema, a dreaded skin disease which is caused by malfunctioning of sebaceous glands resulting in irregular sebum production and consequent infection of the epidermal cells. It looks very ugly as the skin, colored white or pale yellow, dry or greasy, starts peeling off, particularly from the scalp, eyebrows and wherever there are hair follicles.
How to Use Ylang-ylang Oil:
- Vaporization – Add few drops of essential oils to a nebulizer and the aroma will spread to the environment.
- Inhalation – Add few drops of oil to a bowl of hot steaming water and breathe in. It has a relaxing and calming effect.
- Bathing – Add few drops of oils to a hot bath along with a dispersant such as milk or alcohol to break up the oil droplets on water surface.
- Massage – Add 15 to 20 drops of pure oils to 1 ounces of carrier oil and massage it over the body.
- Spray – Add 1 teaspoon of essential oils to 7 ounces of distilled water along with 1 ounces of alcohol. Spray the mixture over bed, towels, linens and also in the room to deodorize the air.
Caution: Ylang ylang essential oil can trigger headaches or nausea in heavy doses.