Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Health Benefits & Invigorating Recipes (Updated April 2020)
For many years now, ylang ylang essential oil has been gaining steady popularity for use in aromatherapy due to its antidepressive, antiseborrheic, and analgesic properties, just to name a few. This oil certainly has a lot to offer, and is full of possibilities for various applications.
Ylang ylang” is popularly believed to mean “flower of flowers,” and while it’s definitely catchy and highly appropriate as a nickname, it’s actually wrong. “Ilang” is an archaic word from the Tagalog language that means “wilderness.” Before they were cultivated for commercial purposes, the wilderness was exactly where the flowering ylang ylang trees were most commonly found.
The ylang ylang tree is still abundant in the tropical forests of Asia. The good news is that you don't need to go exploring the wilderness to harness the captivating aroma of these tropical flowers.
By purchasing our ylang ylang essential oil, you will not only be able to enjoy its aroma, you can also reap the many health benefits it offers. Curious about these health benefits? Read about them below. Guaranteed pure to the very last drop, Aroma Foundry's essential oils are sure to be worth every single cent.
We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.
The History of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang flowers have traditionally been used for various purposes in many cultures. Said to be an aphrodisiac, they’ve traditionally been strewn over the beds of newlyweds in Malaysia. They’ve also been found to be effective for improving scalp health and promoting a thicker and more luxurious growth of hair.
In their native lands, ylang ylang has traditionally been put to many medicinal uses as well. For example, the Javanese people used dried ylang ylang flowers to help treat malaria and its accompanying symptoms. The Vietnamese were also known to do this, and the people of the Northern Marianas Islands made paste out of the aromatic flowers to ease asthma.
Along with the flowers, bark from the ylang ylang tree was also used for the treatment of pneumonia and stomach complaints.
Parts of the ylang ylang tree were also natural antiseptics, and they were used to disinfect wounds and help them heal faster. Ylang ylang has powerful yet gentle antibacterial and astringent properties and thus shows great results when applied to the skin.
As the ylang ylang is indigenous only to the Pacific archipelagos, as well as a few other countries that share a similar climate like Madagascar, most people from other parts of the globe only get to experience this tree and its aromatic flowers through its essential oil.
In modern times, the distinctive, sweet-smelling ylang ylang essential oil found its way to many perfumes and other cosmetic products.
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Uses and Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang essential oil has a lot to offer. Because of a growing body of research, we now also have a better understanding of how essential oils in general and ylang ylang in particular works. Let’s now explore these effects in greater detail.
1. For mood regulation
In the Philippines, fresh ylang ylang and jasmine flowers are traditionally made into garlands. They’re mostly used as religious offerings, but many simply buy these ubiquitous and inexpensive flower necklaces to scent their spaces. Not only has ylang ylang’s scent been shown to induce the production of the happiness hormone called dopamine when inhaled, it’s also been revealed that it sends the mind into a state of deep relaxation.
However, ylang ylang oil can also decrease cognitive performance. This simply means that the oil can play a part in slowing down brain activity. Slowing brain activity can give sufferers of anxiety and/or depression a break from aslew of negative, unhealthy, and constantly spiraling thoughts.
Of course, even if you're just having a bad day, you'll be able to enjoy the effects of ylang ylang essential oil. Ease your fatigued mind and tired body simply by adding a few drops of this oil to your diffuser or making a handy perfume out of it so you can have this lovely scent on you all day long. Learn how in the Recipes section.
Which other essential oils can help uplift the mood?
2. For clear and healthy skin
Like any essential oil with antibacterial, antiseborrheic, and astringent properties, ylang ylang has been known to consistently show desirable results when it comes to helping clear the skin from acne and from other dermal conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Regular use kills the bacteria trapped in the skin. It also helps clean out dirt, melt away the hardened sebum within your pores and regulate its production, and tighten the skin, giving it a smoother appearance while depriving dirt and bacteria of any more foothold.
To enjoy these benefits, add two to three drops of ylang ylang essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier agent. Ylang ylang works particularly well with coconut oil or other skin-friendly oils, but you can also simply add the drops to your face cream. Mix it well and apply.
To treat other skin conditions like dermatitis, add the drops into your liquid soap or shampoo during every use. Massage into the skin and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat as often as needed.
3. For thick and vibrant hair
For helping to reduce hair loss, encourage thicker growth, or simply to have a more luxurious head of hair, mix ylang ylang essential oil with coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio, the amount for each depending on how much hair needs covering. Leave the solution on for about half an hour and wash as usual, then prepare to be amazed.
4. For heart conditions and blood pressure
A study performed on a group of men revealed that inhaling ylang ylang can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure. This was performed on healthy men and only sought to prove the sedating effects of ylang ylang oil by simple inhalation—as opposed to topical application described in another study—but even so, its results have far-reaching implications.
It could potentially help alleviate conditions like hypertension, as another study revealed, as well as regulate pulse rate and blood pressure to keep them from exceeding healthy levels. Ylang ylang essential oil has also been shown to help with spasmodic conditions like arrhythmia which, while usually non-threatening, can be alarming for sufferers.
To take advantage of these benefits, mix two to three drops of ylang ylang essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage over the affected areas. It can also be diffused at any time when relief is needed, or even before bedtime so it could also aid in achieving deeper and better quality of sleep. For best results, blend ylang ylang with essential oils that share similar properties like lemongrass and patchouli.
5. For relieving menstrual pain
For many women, getting their period each month is a dreaded yet inescapable reality. Along with wreaking havoc over their emotional and mental balance, menstruation also does a number on their skin as well as in their internal organs. They’ll have pain from cramps, nausea, and diarrhea, just to name a few, and in extreme cases, symptoms of PMS could make them unable to function normally.
Ylang ylang has many of the properties necessary to alleviate these symptoms. As a sedative, ylang ylang essential oil can help the body relax while ridding the mind of negative thoughts. As an analgesic, it can help relieve cramps and other muscle pain, working wonders too when diluted and massaged over the neck and temples to soothe nausea and headaches.
Meanwhile, as a general regulator of various systems in the body, ylang ylang oil could help regulate whatever’s been thrown out of whack internally and get the body closer to a normal level of functioning.
Which other essential oils can help relieve menstrual pain?
6. For the libido
We mentioned how ylang ylang flowers have traditionally been strewn on marriage beds to facilitate the start of a satisfactory married life. While this traditional practice no doubt still continues in many places, it’s since been disproven—or at least, we now know that ylang ylang’s purported aphrodisiac effect doesn’t work in quite the way we thought it does.
Instead, it actually works more like a sip of strong alcohol for courage. As the aroma works its way through the body, it relaxes tension and eases away doubts and other niggling thoughts. This should work well enough, or the tradition wouldn’t have survived to this day.
Of course, the bedroom isn’t the only place or situation you could put this effect to good use. Take a good long whiff of ylang ylang essential oil if you need to relax before a big interview. For added confidence, rub some on your pulse points and carry the confidence-boosting scent with you all day.
7. For easing inflammation
In nature, ylang ylang’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects are some of the strongest. In some cases, its powerful effect of easing pain and inflammation can be on the same level as pharmaceutical drugs which had been developed for such a purpose. Nature did it all on its own, and there’s none of the dangers and side effects of our man-made remedies.
Use ylang ylang essential oil to target certain areas, or use it to soothe pain away from your entire body. All you’ll need is a few diluted drops to rub over aches, or a few more to add to your bath water so you could soak everything away.
8. For the household
The usefulness of ylang ylang isn’t just limited to the body, it can be for the home too! Use it as a bactericidal for the air and various surfaces. Simply mix with water or alcohol and use in a spray, or else pop a few drops in a diffuser and let your next aromatherapy session have double purposes.
Ylang ylang oil’s antimicrobial property can be particularly beneficial for disinfecting gadgets and other objects in the household that are frequently handled and can therefore be teeming with bacteria. Put a few drops on tissue or a clean rag and wipe those germs away, or make another spray with a finer mist so you could disinfect regularly.
Remember, while ylang ylang essential oil can help you treat various illnesses, prevention should always come first.
As with any essential oil, exercise caution when applying ylang ylang essential oil topically. The oil is relatively milder on the skin than other oils, but always stray on the safe side and perform a patch test first to see if you have sensitivity to it. Dilution is still highly advisable, especially when more than two drops at any given time is to be used.
It is considered non-toxic and can safely be administered to children, under professional guidance. If you are pregnant, lactating, or taking medications, please refrain from using any kind of essential oil before proper consultation with a qualified practitioner. Keep away from the eyes and other mucous membranes and out of reach of children and pets.
Ready to try on your ylang ylang essential oil and experiment with blends and uses? We’re here to help you get started. Following are simple blends and recipes that would make the most out of your enchanting bottle of flower essence.
- In the bottle, mix together the drops of essential oils. Let it sit and meld together for a few minutes up to an hour to ensure optimal blending.
- Add in the hydrosol, then add distilled water to fill the rest of the bottle.
- Shake thoroughly and enjoy whenever! You could use it to scent not just your body but also your bed, or any space you occupy that you want to turn into a magical woodland.
Ylang ylang bath blend
- 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
- 2 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 2 drops of patchouli essential oil
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil (as carrier; substitutes include olive or jojoba)
- Add all the essential oils together and let it blend together for a time.
- Mix the carrier oil and blend well. The resulting massage oil for the entire body is good for one use. If you want to create a bigger batch that may be stored for future use, adjust the ratio of essential oil to carrier oil accordingly.
- You might also need a light-filtering glass bottle as container to ensure the essential oils would keep for a long time.
- 6 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
- 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 oz massage oil
- 1 oz jojoba oil
- A glass bottle for storage
- Add the drops of essential oil together and allow to meld for a time.
- Add in the massage oil and the jojoba oil. Screw on the lid and blend everything well.
- Coat and work over sore parts of your body whenever you need it, or make rubbing it all over your skin a ritual before going to bed. Enjoy!
Ylang ylang essential oil blends
- 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil
- 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
- 3 drops of carrier oil
- Mix the drops of essential oil and let it sit for a time to meld.
- Add the carrier oil, blend, and anoint your pulse points with the resulting perfume!
- 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
- 1 drop of patchouli essential oil
- 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
- 1 drop of cedarwood essential oil
If you have a range of essential oils available, you could literally mix and match to come up with a blend that most suits your senses or particular health needs. Also, invest in stocking up with skin-friendly carrier oils as you’ll need plenty of those in your quest to reap the full benefits of your essential oils of choice.
Lastly, some citrus-based essential oil may be so acidic that they could damage ordinary diffusers. Please make sure yours could handle citrus essential oils before putting some on.
Check out a variety of essential oils you can use in these recipes here in our shop.
Ylang ylang is one of those plants that our ancestors reached for when seeking a remedy for their ailments.
Nowadays, we can all enjoy and bask in everything already available to us in the form of this oil. Breathe in its scent and be transported to a calming inner place, or massage all over the body and feel it drain away all your aches and tensions. Whatever purpose you put it to, one thing’s for sure, the mystical scent from this flower of flowers will be a fragrance unlike anything you’ve ever known before.
The ylang ylang used in Aroma Foundry’s essential oil was sourced from Madagascar, one of the largest exporters of this special bloom. As such, our ylang ylang essential oil is guaranteed to be all-natural and 100% pure with all the accompanying benefits.
- "10 Recipes with Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – Cananga Odorata." Suzannerbanks. March 28, 2018. https://suzannerbanks.blog/2014/04/30/10-recipes-with-ylang-ylang-essential-oil-cananga-odorata/.
- "7 Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Uses for Anxiety and More." DrEricZ.com. March 25, 2018. https://drericz.com/ylang-ylang-essential-oil-uses/.
- Babcock, Jillian. "Ylang Ylang Boosts Heart Health, Moods & Energy." Dr. Axe. December 04, 2017. https://draxe.com/ylang-ylang/.
- Cha, J. H., S. H. Lee, and Y. S. Yoo. "[Effects of Aromatherapy on Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System, Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Aortic Augmentation Index in Patients with Essential Hypertension]." Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. October 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21157172.
- Jung, Da-Jung, Jun-Youl Cha, Sung-Eun Kim, Il-Gyu Ko, and Yong-Seok Jee. "Effects of Ylang-Ylang Aroma on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Healthy Men." Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. April 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3836517/.
- "Romantic Ylang Ylang: 5 Sensual Recipes to Caress Body & Soul." All Things Herbal. February 03, 2014. https://allthingsherbaldotorg.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/romantic-ylang-ylang-5-sensual-recipes-to-caress-body-soul/.
- Seward, Marc. "11 Proven Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Benefits." Healthy Focus. June 13, 2016. https://healthyfocus.org/ylang-ylang-essential-oil-benefits/.
- Tan, Loh Teng Hern, Learn Han Lee, Wai Fong Yin, Chim Kei Chan, Habsah Abdul Kadir, Kok Gan Chan, and Bey Hing Goh. "Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivities of Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang)." Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM. 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4534619/.
- The History of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- Uses and Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- For mood regulation
- For clear and healthy skin
- For thick and vibrant hair
- For heart conditions and blood pressure
- For relieving menstrual pain
- For the libido
- For easing inflammation
- For the household