Spotlight on Ylang Ylang
As this distinctively named flower hails from the warmer parts of the world, the [botanical name Cananga Odorata var. genuina] can also warm up your love life. Indonesian newlyweds discover their bed covered in the highly scented blossoms as according to “The Essential Oils Book” by Colleen K. Dodt, ylang ylang: “…. is believed to be antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, calming, euphoric…It has been found effective in reducing sexual difficulties resulting from anxiety, stress, and depression.”
Before you run out and purchase some ylang ylang, you should be aware of the fact that this is an aromatic plant that needs to be used sparingly. Too much ylang ylang and you’ll get a headache. The aroma is annoying to some, but to many it’s very soothing and calming.
Ylang ylang is reminiscent of another tropical floral star in aromatherapy, namely jasmine. It has been dubbed the “poor man’s jasmine” as the lower grades of ylang ylang are priced in the single or double digits. The botanical name is derived from the Malaysian word, “kenanga” which is the vernacular for the genus. “Odorata” simply means fragrant.
Grades of Ylang Ylang: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 [or fractions] ranging from the costly Ylang Ylang Superior Extra down to the least expensive, Ylang Ylang III.
Benefits of Ylang Ylang:Ylang Ylang is a calming, soothing essential oil that helps alleviate stress. It also helps high blood pressure and decreases nervous tension. Is an excellent balancing oil for oily or dry skin. Ylang ylang has been reputed to stimulate hair growth and is a natural conditioner. Julia Lawless, author of “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils,” writes: “In the Victorian age, the oil was used in the hair treatment Macassar oil.”
Safety/Precautions:Aromatherapy author Colleen K. Dodt wrote: “My sister found ylang ylang helpful during her pregnancy when high blood pressure threatened. The scent calmed and relaxed her, which naturally lowered her blood pressure.”
As with any natural product, common sense is the first defense. If you or someone you know has a strong dislike for a certain scent, then don’t use it. If concerned about safety, always check with your healthcare practitioner.
Uses for Ylang Ylang:
Blending with Ylang Ylang:Ylang Ylang can greatly enhance sandalwood, rosewood, or any citrus oil such as: grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, petitgrain, and other florals like lavender, jasmine, tuberose and rose. To offer a marvelous contrast, use black pepper, Peru balsam, patchouli or vetivert.
Ylang ylang is a fragrant year round reminder for those of us living in colder regions. Slip away on a tropical vacation as you inhale the heady floral bouquet. While not all of us can board a plane and benefit from a tropical vacation, for only a few dollars we can buy a ylang ylang scented product and transport ourselves there via the imagination.
About the Author
Lisa Maliga is the bath & body products designer for Everything Shea Aromatic Creations http://www.everythingshea.com Everything Shea offers a variety of glycerin soaps, lip balms, scented/unscented shea butter, Whipped Shea Butter, and custom SoapCakes and Mini SoapCakes. Discover 250+ fragrances, designer duplicates and essential oils.