Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Calming, Balancing and Aphrodisiac....

Ylang ylang essential oil

Ylang ylang essential oil is one of the first oils I remember smelling as a child. At that time I had never even heard of aromatherapy, but I just loved the aroma as I walked into the room (it was being burnt in a diffuser), and I wanted to know what it was!

Sensual and exotic ylang ylang is renowned for its aphrodisiac properties and is often used in the name of love! Ylang ylang means 'flower of flowers'....and that in itself conjures up romance!

The tree grows to a height of 60 feet, and there are three varieties with different coloured flowers - pink, mauve and yellow. The best essential oil comes from the yellow flowered tree. The finest of all comes from flowers picked early in the morning in early summer!

There are several grades of ylang ylang essential oil as it is produced by fractional distillation. The first distillation is called ylang-ylang extra, which is the purest and finest. Then comes ylang ylang 1, 2 and 3. The 'extra' is not used in aromatherapy, but used in the perfume industry.

For aromatherapy purposes, the 'extra' is mixed with the first and second pressings (ylang ylang 1 and 2) and the resultant oil is known as ylang ylang complete. This is what we use in aromatherapy!

Ylang ylang essential oil appears to work best when it is blended with other essential oils. However, it can be overpowering, so it is best to use it in small amounts whether on its own or in a blend.

Common Name:
Ylang ylang

Botanical Name:
Cananga odorata

Madagascar, Phillipines, Indonesia

Common Method Of Extraction:
Steam distillation of freshly picked flowers.

Sweet, floral, exotic and spicy.


Blends Well With:
Bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, sandalwood, rose, clary sage, jasmine and neroli.

Antiseptic, antidepressant, antiseborrhoeic, aphrodisiac, hypotensor, nervine and sedative.

See the glossary for definitions!

Mind, Spirit and Body:

  • Ylang ylang essential oil is particularly useful in helping with a rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing. It is associated with the heart chakra and is thought to support the heart on both a physical and emotional level.
  • Ylang ylang has a calming and euphoric effect, so is wonderful for helping with anxiety, tension, palpitations, panic and shock.....in fact all nervous conditions.
  • It is a hypotensor so can also help with reducing high blood pressure.
  • Its antiseptic properties are particularly helpful with intestinal infections.
  • Helps relieve negative emotions such as anger, frustration and rage.
  • Ylang ylang is very yin and is considered to be very much a womans oil. However it's also good for bringing out the feminine side of men!
  • Its calming properties are great for insomnia.
  • Considered to be an aphrodisiac it can be useful for frigidity and impotence.

This essential oil has a balancing and stimulating effect on skin. It's a great oil because it can help with over-dry and over-oily skin - it balances the secretion of sebum. It also has a stimulating effect on the scalp, and is often used to help hair growth.

Ylang ylang Essential Oil Precautions:

  • It is classed as a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing oil......however, if used too much it may cause headaches and nausea - remember it has a strong, sweet odour.

Ideas For Using Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

  • Put a few drops in a diffuser/burner to help relieve anxiety, tension, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, stress and depression. Also good if you are feeling physically exhausted.
  • Put a few drops in a hot bath to help relieve nervous tension, stress or just general crankiness. Again, also good for fatigue, exhaustion and especially insomnia. It's a good idea to mix the drops in a small amount of milk first (essential oils mix better with fats) and then add!
  • Make use of ylang ylang's skin balancing properties and blend into a cream or lotion to help with both over-dry and over-oily skin.
  • Use on its own or as part of a blend in a carrier oil for aromatherapy massage. This can be especially helpful with anger, frustration, tension, stress and insomnia.
  • Add it to a carrier oil and massage into your temples to help with headaches.

Interesting things!:

  • Ylang ylang is one of the ingredients of the famous Macassar hair oil. The word "anti-macassar" comes from this - an anti-macassar was used to keep hair oil from staining upholstered furniture.
  • In Indonesia, they throw flower petals all over the bed on wedding nights.....very romantic!

Return From Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Properties to Home Page

Return From Ylang Ylang Oil Properties to Essential Oil Properties