Native to Southeast Asia, Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) tree and particularly its flowers, have many health, beauty and well-being benefits. More than a remedy for bites, nowadays Ylang ylang essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy and cosmetics. The essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the tree, and it is obtained by hydro-distillation. Let’s have a look at some of the most important properties of this oil, how you can use it, how to store it and where to find it.
A Filipino legend inspired by a true love story says that deities gave a girl named Ylang to a couple, and ordered “let no one touch her”! As an adult, she fell in love with a man who offered her flowers. Upon contact the girl transformed into a majestic tree with fragrant flowers. And since that day, the young man shouts the name of his sweetheart “Ylang, Ylang” …
Often called “the flower of flowers”, ylang ylang has earned this reputation thanks to its unique properties. That is the reason why today it is used for the production of one of the most powerful essential oils.
In the Philippines, healers use oil to treat wounds from burns, cuts or stings.
On the Moluccan Islands, people use ylang ylang oil as a main ingredient in Macassar oil – a hair ointment.
In Indonesia, flowers are scattered on the bed of the newlyweds to create a romantic atmosphere.
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Ylang ylang essential oil benefits for hair
The essential oil is a good tonic for the hair Add a drop of ylang ylang essential oil to the usual dose of your shampoo and massage your scalp to reduce hair loss.
If you have dry hair, make a mask twice a week, before going to bed. Mix 5 drops of essential oil and 20 drops of castor oil. The next day, wash your hair with a neutral shampoo.
Essential oil of ylang ylang as skin care product
Ylang ylang essential oil balances and stabilizes sebum production. In this way it prevents excessive dryness or oiliness. It also soothes inflammation and irritation of the skin and thanks to its antimicrobial properties this essential oil is an effective way to treat acne.
Thanks to its antioxidant content, ylang ylang oil helps to fight against free radicals. They are responsible for the early aging of the skin. Other essential oils with anti-aging effects that should not be overlooked are rose oil and geranium oil.
Ylang ylang essential oil benefits for health and well-being
The relaxing properties of ylang ylang are used in aromatherapy. The oil is used to reduce stress, anxiety, muscle and blood pressure, and sleep disturbances. Its pleasant floral fragrance, both delicate and intense, makes it an ideal ingredient for perfumes for men and women.
Ylang ylang essential oil is also known to have anti-depressant properties. It not only helps us get rid of of negative feelings, including nervousness and reduces fatigue, but also promotes positive feelings of cheerfulness and optimism, thereby improving the mood. In addition, it helps lowering high blood pressure, relieves rheumatism, edemas, heavy legs, cellulite, varicose veins, digestive disorders, neuralgia, calms painful periods, muscle, joint and dental pain.
It should be noted that the internal use of the essential oil ylang ylang is not recommended, because the oil can have toxic effects. In order to avoid any risk, pregnant or lactating women and children should consult their doctors before using essential oils.
How to use it? You can either inhale the ylang ylang oil using your essential oil diffuser, or massage this oil, diluted with a vegetable oil, directly on your skin: on your neck, on your wrists, etc.
Which fraction of ylang ylang essential oil to choose?
There are 5 varieties of Ylang Ylang essential oil available in the market. In fact, the different varieties are distinguished by the duration of their distillation:
- Extra fraction is obtained during the first 1-2 hours of distillation;
- Grades I, II and III are extracted in the following hours by specifically determined fractions of time.
- Fraction I – from 1 to 3 hours of distillation. This contains only the most volatile molecules. It is the most fragrant and the most expensive. The first two fractions are used exclusively in perfumery.
- Fraction II – from 3 to 9 h of distillation (used for the manufacture of cosmetics);
- Fraction III – from 9 to 10 h of distillation (used for the manufacture of cosmetics);
- Complete – This final distillation is typically achieved after 6-20 hours distillation and this is the variety we use in aromatherapy.