Botanical Name: Cananga odorata
Ylang Ylang essential oil is exotic with a heavy, narcotic, tropically sweet, floral aroma used a treasured perfume and symbol of love and beauty. Ylang Ylang is translated as ‘flower of flowers’ and its sensual aroma is used for relaxation, an euphoric, calming emotions and aphrodisiac effects. Ylang Ylang is a powerful aphrodisiac oil which makes it perfect for an organic valentine’s day perfume.
In the Philippines the bed sheet would be covered with the Ylang Ylang flowers for the wedding night. In Madagascar Ylang Ylang was used in coconut oil as a hair treatment to protect the hair from sand and salt water. In Ayurvedic terms it calm excess vata and excess pitta and is balancing to kapha. In TCM it calms shen (mind) and calms the heart meridian.
Ylang Ylang is a tropical tree in the botanical family of Annonaceae which originated in the Philippines and spread throughout Asia. The Ylang Ylang tree grows to 60 ft. in height with thin palm like leaves and for 20 days produces yellow flowers which exude a powerful fragrance at night.
Research in 2004 and 2006 by Thai and Australian research team found that Ylang Ylang essential oil had a ‘harmonizing effect’ on blood pressure with decreased heart rate and increased alertness. The second study concluded again a decrease in blood pressure and increase in skin temperature. Moss in 2006 released a study which showed Ylang Ylang essential oil increased calmness but decreased alertness and reaction time. According to the research it appears that Ylang Ylang has a measurable calming effect making it useful for massage and relaxation.
Ylang Ylang flowers must be picked by hand and carefully handled as bruised flowers will throw off the scent. It’s distilled in a unique way which produces several different grades or fractions. The steam from the still rises up through the Ylang Ylang flowers and then condenses into both the hydrosol and the essential oil. The grades are removed at different times in the distillation process; the first grade of essential oil is called Ylang Ylang ‘extra’ and is removed after the first hour of distillation. Ylang Ylang ‘extra’ is ideal for therapeutic uses as it contains more esters and terpene alcohols which give it a more calming effect and a rich aroma. The second grade is removed 3-4 hours later and known as Ylang Ylang ‘#1’ then at 5-6 hours Ylang Ylang ‘#3’ is produced. When all three grades are combined together it is called Ylang Ylang ‘complete’.
Ylang Ylang has a powerful aroma which is very versatile in blending and has a large part in perfumery. It blends very well with rose, jasmine, lemon, bergamot, ginger, vanilla, rose geranium, lavender, frankincense, clary sage.
Make a relaxing, balancing and aphrodisiac blend:
1 oz bottle of carrier oil (jojoba oil, marula, sunflower oil as long as they are cold pressed and organic)
4 drops Ylang Ylang
7-12 drops Lavender
6 drops Ginger
5 drops Clary Sage
Apply the oil to the whole body after or before a bath or shower. Carry this relaxing remedy with you and do a direct palm inhalation by putting a few drop of the oil on the palms rubbing them together and cupping the hands in front of the nose taking 3- 5 deep breaths. Then apply extra oils to the back of the neck, hands or areas of dry skin.