"Ylang ylang is the tenderhearted one whose hanging pearls dance in the wind, as if, through flexibility, it protects its tender heart from destruction," writes Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul.
Worwood says the emotional benefits of ylang ylang essential oil (Cananga odorata) are to encourage self-confidence, warmth, awakening, sensuality, upliftment, calm, joy, and enthusiasm.
Beyond these nourishing qualities, the benefits and uses of ylang ylang oil include skin and hair care, calming sore muscles and frazzled nerves, and acting as an aphrodisiac.
Plant family: Annonaceae
Production: Steam distilled from the flowers of the ylang ylang plant.
Aroma: Intense, sweet, floral. Ylang ylang varies due to differences in climate and botany — several commercial grades with different scents are available.
Perfume note: Middle to base
Is ylang ylang safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby.
Is ylang ylang essential oil safe for children? Yes, but do not to apply this oil to the skin of children under the age of 2. Use to alleviate anxiety, hyperactivity, and temper tantrums, according to Authentic Aromatherapy.
Cautions: High concentrations may cause headache or nausea. Ylang ylang may irritate highly sensitize skin and may not be appropriate for hypersensitive, diseased, or damaged skin.
Components: Vary depending on the commercial grade. See Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition.
The Heart of Aromatherapy lists the following benefits of ylang ylang:
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Ylang ylang is a tonic that balances oil production for all skin and hair types but is most often recommended for dry hair and skin.
Aromatherapy for Dummies: Ylang ylang can be both relaxing and stimulating and has aphrodisiac qualities. It seems to energize or relax, depending on a person's needs. As a hair conditioner, ylang ylang balances oil production. Good for all skin types, especially combination skin.
The Fragrant Mind: Ylang ylang promotes assertiveness, contentment, focus, joy, self-awareness, and self-esteem. It helps relieve dejection, doubt, fear of failure, fear of change, guilt, irritability, moodiness, and passivity.
Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine ylang ylang is energetically cool and moist and has a calming, supportive action on the heart. As an aphrodisiac, ylang ylang helps reunite a person's emotional and sensual natures.
The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils suggests rubbing a drop or 2 of ylang ylang over your heart to relax and calm yourself.
Aromatherapy relaxation bath: Stir 5 to 10 drops ylang ylang into one cup Epsom salt or sea salt. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup salts to a warm bath.
Aromatherapy steam facial:
PMS: To relieve PMS tension and stress, apply ylang ylang oil combined with lavender oil and diluted in carrier oil to the back of your neck and lower abdomen.
Aphrodisiac: To use as an aphrodisiac, diffuse ylang ylang, add a drop to your body lotion, or apply a small amount to your bed's sheets or shirt collar.
Here are a few other ways to use ylang ylang:
I recommend ylang ylang essential oil from Young Living. The oil is made from the flowers of trees grown in Ecuador.