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Aromatherapy
Ylang - Ylang

Cananga odorata

Ylang ylang is basically a tropical tree indigenous to Asia, especially Indonesia. The blossoms of this tree are used to prepare an essential oil that is widely used in manufacturing perfumes as well as in aromatherapy. The ylang ylang essential oil is extracted by steam distilling the highly fragrant flowers of the tree. Ylang ylang flowers have a profound and sweet aroma something akin to that of jasmine and in many cultures, they are scattered on the beds of the newly married as a sign of good luck or wishing fertility. For a long time, the essential oil obtained from ylang ylang flowers was regarded as an aphrodisiac, denoting that its aroma stimulates desire for sexual activities.

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Ylang ylang essential oil possesses other therapeutic properties as well. It is comforting and soothing oil that brings about a general feeling of wellness. In addition, this essential oil is also said to be effective in lowering blood pressure, especially when the condition is a result of tension or shock. Since, this essential oil has a very potent aroma, it remains for a longer period and even has the aptitude to suppress other comparatively lighter fragrances. As the fragrance of ylang ylang is enduring, it works fine as a fixative in several perfumes. In fact, when ylang ylang essential oil is combined with other suitable aromatic oils, it becomes all the more potent. This oil is also used in the manufacture of skin care products, especially those meant for treating oily skin as well as stressed skin.

The ylang ylang trees bear blooms that vary in color - pink, cream, mauve or yellow. These flowers have a potent, unusual and flowery scent. Owing to its potent aroma which is similar to that of jasmine (botanical name Jasminum officinale) - an expensive flower, ylang ylang is often referred to as 'the poor man's jasmine'.

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Generally, the ylang ylang flowers are collected in the morning for flowers picked during this time of the day are best for preparing essential oil through steam distillation. In fact, the aroma of ylang ylang flowers is most potent during the morning and afternoon. Normally, the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers collected in the morning are of superior quality in the first distillation, while the latter distillations are somewhat lesser in excellence. The lesser quality ylang ylang essential oil is sold as Cananga instead of ylang ylang.

As discussed earlier, the ylang ylang trees produce flowers having extremely sweet and floral scent. In the Malayan language, the term ylang ylang actually denotes 'flower of flowers' or a superior quality flower. The ylang ylang essential oil was used as an active element in the well-known Macassar hair oil during the Victorian era. Both men and women widely used the Macassar hair oil with a view to encourage glossy hair growth. Presently, ylang ylang essential oil is extensively used to manufacture floral perfumes.

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Generally, ylang ylang oil is considered to be warming and stimulating oil which also possesses aphrodisiac properties. The use of this essential oil has the aptitude to cause relaxation as well as inspire and inculcate a feeling of wellness among people. Ylang ylang essential oil is excellent for comforting the nerves, especially during stress, and also alleviates restiveness and tetchiness. A few drops of this essential oil added to bath water or watered down for use as massage oil helps in promoting sound sleep. In addition, ylang ylang essential oil is also said to be highly effective in treating rapid breathing and palpitations or tremors. This essential oil is also helpful in alleviating premenstrual tension and depression. The other therapeutic properties of ylang ylang essential oil include its effectiveness to combat typhus, malaria and other types of fevers.

It may be noted here that ylang ylang essential oil is frequently used in the form of candles, in baths or in oil burners to create a romantic setting or to work as an aphrodisiac prior to making love. In addition, this essential oil may also be diluted in suitable carrier oil and used for massage. The ylang ylang blooms possess a potent flowery scent that invokes the feelings of the tropics. Using this essential oil as a dab in a cotton ball endures for several hours.

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Like in the case of rose and jasmine, ylang ylang flowers too must be picked early in the morning and prepared immediately for steam distillation. In fact, ylang ylang flowers are processed by steam distillation in fractions. In other words, this means that the steam distillation of the ylang ylang flowers are stopped at various stages of the process and the oil is collected during the intervals. After the oil is collected, the distillation process is started once again.

As in the case of all other essential oils, even the quality of ylang ylang essential oil also differs from one distiller to another. In addition, the quality of this essential oil also varies depending on the crop condition for a particular season and the time selected for harvesting the flowers and distilling them. In fact, very little proficiency is required on the part of the distiller as this wonderful oil can be obtained without much effort. The fact that ylang ylang essential oil is quite inexpensive denotes that there is little or no room for the distillers' art to produce this oil.

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In fact, there are three fractions in the process involving preparing the ylang ylang essential oil by vapour distillation. In other words, the distillation process is halted thrice. The first distillation of ylang ylang flowers yields the highest quality of the essential oil and is believed to be possessing maximum insubstantial fragrance. This quality of ylang ylang essential oil is highly prized by the perfume manufacturers. In fact, the different stages of steam distilling ylang ylang flowers are determined according to principle that cannot be easily described. Nevertheless, the distillation stage is split by the time taken to distil each fraction of the process.

While Ylang Ylang Extra is the most costly quality of essential oil obtained from the ylang ylang flowers, Ylang Ylang I, II and III as well as Ylang Ylang Complete are also complete distillation of this essential oil with no fractions or breaks during the process.

Ylang ylang is a superior variety of sesquiterpene (any specific terpene whose molecules contains 1.5 times as many atoms as a normal terpene). Ylang ylang III is the final fraction of the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of the plant and it is collected during the final hours of the distillation process. This variety of ylang ylang essential oil is somewhat viscous, cruder and not as sweet oil as the other varieties of this essential oil. This variety of ylang ylang essential oil is also more or less wholly made of sesquiterpenes. It may be mentioned here that sesquiterpenes are basically a category of chemical substances naturally present in higher plant and also found naturally in different alcohols. It may also be noted that sesquiterpenes are hardly present in volatile or unstable aromatic oils. When sesquiterpenes are extracted from the plants, these chemicals are known to invigorate the liver and endocrine glands. In fact, the potent antispasmodic and sedative properties of the ylang ylang essential oil are attributed to the presence of sesquiterpenes.

Inhaling ylang ylang essential oil is beneficial for overcoming fear as well as nervous tension. In fact, ylang ylang essential oil should be considered foremost among all essential oils when an individual requires help to regulate as well as balance his or her nervous system. This essential oil is effective in facilitating one's respiration for slower and more rhythmic breathing and is useful for treating panic attacks. Findings of several researches have demonstrated that ylang ylang essential oil invigorates the central nervous system and facilitates alleviating depression.

The essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of ylang ylang plant is a wonderful natural treatment for comforting tachycardia (rapid heart rate) as well as high blood pressure or hypertension. Ylang ylang essential oil is frequently used in massage oil lubricants and is reputed to provide relief from throbbing muscles and pains. This essential oil is beneficial for treating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings. In addition, it is also an effective remedy for lessening emotional blockage or congestion in the region of the heart.

Ylang ylang essential oil is specifically feminine or yin oil and is said to be obsessive and alive with sensations. You may try using this essential oil at times when you require integration as well as healing the shadow elements of the Divine Feminine. Ylang ylang essential oil helps to activate the Divine Feminine's inexplicable magnetism as well as aptitude for living life completely. The essential oil obtained by steam distilling ylang ylang flowers invigorates sensations of delight and self-confidence. It can also be effective in prevailing over performance nervousness.

This oil is regularly used in fragrances meant for men and is said to be a therapeutic oil for men. Ylang ylang essential oil endorses a man's relation and expression of the womanly and instinctive part of his nature. You may consider combining ylang ylang essential oil with petitgrain, bergamot or any spice or wood oil to diminish the intoxicating flowery quintessence of ylang ylang essential oil. At the same time, ylang ylang essential oil has the aptitude to facilitate counterbalancing protective coping approaches that is able to result in aggressive types of communiqué. In fact, ylang ylang essential oil helps to coordinate the mind and emotions. At the same time, it mitigates preset attitudes, mental approaches as well as opinions. It also encourages straightforward communication with other people. You may use ylang ylang essential oil to comfort the nerves in stressful circumstances.

Ylang ylang is beneficial for the functioning of the kidneys as well as the adrenal gland. In addition, this essential oil is excellent for people with feeble knees and suffering from loss of bladder control.

Traditionally, ylang ylang essential oil has been used for beauty and skin care since the hormones of this plant encourage renewal of the cells. Using this essential oil bring in a balance in moisture retention by the skin, which is effective for maintaining the natural sebum production by the skin. This particular attribute of ylang ylang essential oil makes it an appropriate remedy for different types of skin - sensitive, oily as well as dry mature. In addition, ylang ylang essential oil promotes growth of healthy and lusty hair and may perhaps also be beneficial for people enduring split ends. To obtain the utmost benefit, add a few drops of this oil to your preferred hair conditioner or shampoo and use it on your scalp.

In aromatherapy, ylang ylang oil is primarily used for its potent antiseptic properties that help to comfort, soothe, balance as well as work as a tranquilizer. In addition, ylang ylang essential oil is also beneficial as a stimulant for the reproductive system and has the aptitude to heal sexual problems of an individual. The other therapeutic properties of this essential oil include treating problems, such as insomnia or sleeplessness, hyper-activity in children and tension. Moreover, this essential oil is effective in alleviating problems associated with oily and arid/ dry skin. It is an effective for most types of skin care. Ylang ylang essential oil also supports hair growth.

Ylang ylang is an effective essential oil that soothes as well as provides comfort. This attribute of ylang ylang helps to alleviate nervousness, depression, shock, insecurity, anger as well as obstinacy. When you use this oil it will facilitate in overcoming all such problems. In addition, similar to the essential oil obtained from rose (botanical name rosa damascena) and sandalwood essential oil (botanical name santalum album), the oil extracted by steam distilling ylang ylang flowers also acts as an aphrodisiac. Moreover, ylang ylang essential oil often forms an active element of several perfumes and cosmetics. It is also used to flavour foods and beverages.

General properties

  • antiseptic
  • aphrodisiac
  • relaxing
  • stimulant

Blends well with

General uses

Precaution

Be careful, high concentrations of ylang ylang essential oil can cause nausea or headache.

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