Ylang ylang essential oil , pronounced “Ee-lang Ee-lang,” comes from the star-shaped, yellow-green flowers of the canaga tree, which is native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. You can find it in cosmetics, bath products, candles, and most notably perfumes. It has a deep floral scent and comes with an array of benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
The canaga tree can is part of the custard apple family and commonly found in tropical regions like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Guinea. It can grow up to 16 feet per year and has smooth, glossy, waxy leaves and produces long-stalked, yellow- green flowers. These fragrant flowers contain large amounts of essential oil, which can be extracted. Today the Comoros Islands are one of the top producers of the ylang ylang essential oil.
Method of Extraction
The ylang ylang flowers are harvested by hand from the canaga tree, and then steam distilled. Steam distillation is one of the most popular forms of extraction and basically works by vaporizing the volatile compounds found within the ylang ylang flower to create a 100% pure essential oil. Ylang ylang essential oil comes in various grades — first (extra), second, and third — which mark how long each was distilled. First grade is the most potent and usually reserved for perfumes, whereas third grade has a slightly more mild scent and is commonly used as an additive in products like soaps or shampoos.
Traditional Uses of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang been used for centuries in both weddings and religious ceremonies as well as folk medicine. In Indonesia, ylang ylang flowers are spread on the beds of newlywed couples, as the sweet floral scent is believed to be an aphrodisiac. In the Philippines the flowers are used to make necklaces or leis, which are worn in ancient rituals. In Southeast Asia, ylang ylang essential oil has been used to aid in wound healing of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Many personal care products today such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, and fragrances use ylang ylang essential oil, including the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume.
Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support
With its lovely scent, Ylang ylang essential oil can be used in many body care and beauty applications. It can be used to cleanse the face and promote vibrancy when combined with a carrier oil. When used on hair, it can add luster and shine to dull or dry locks. In wound care it can help to ease irritation and promote the healing of minor cuts, burns, or scrapes. Additionally, ylang ylang essential oil contains linalool, which is a compound that has been linked to aiding in the treatment of skin fungal infections. For general skincare use, it can be added to lotions to provide natural fragrance and to soothe tired muscles.
Known for its balancing effect, ylang ylang essential oil can be deeply calming when inhaled and promote a sense of wellbeing and a positive environment.
How to use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
For the SkinBefore using on skin be sure to combine with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.
- Combine 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil with 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and massage into your face for a more radiant complexion.
- Add 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil to 5 drops of argan oil and rub on wrists and neck as a perfume.
- Mix 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil with 1 teaspoon of honey and add to a hot bath to soothe dry skin and to calm the nerves.
- Mix 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil and 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and apply to skin to aid with damp conditions that cause discomfort.
- Combine 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to minor cuts, burns, or scrapes to assist in wound healing.
For the Hair
- Mix 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and massage into hair and scalp and wrap in a towel for one hour for a deep conditioning treatment.
For Boosting Your Surroundings
- Add 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil and 2 drops of geranium essential oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to create an uplifting, positive environment.
How to Safely Use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang essential oil is overall safe for humans, however it is poisonous to pets. Be sure to keep it away from your furry friends. When using ylang ylang essential oil on your skin, be sure to combine it with a carrier oil and perform a patch test, as it can cause allergic reactions in some people. As with most essential oils, ylang ylang should never be ingested. Take a look at this article, for more essential oil safety tips.
Final ThoughtsAn exotic and aromatic essential oil, ylang ylang is a wonderful option if you’re looking to expand your essential oil collection. Its sweet floral scent and body and mood- boosting benefits makes for a great perfume, skincare addition, and de-stressor. When pairing with other essential oils, we recommend blending ylang ylang with orange, geranium, or palmarosa oil for even more sweetness. To learn more about other unique essential oils, take a look at this article: All About Cedarwood Essential Oil.