Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Before you tell a loved one you intend travel to the heart of a snake infested jungle to join a rebel militia, light off a diffuser using ylang ylang essential oil. It might just save your loved one from going into shock or having the granddaddy of anxiety attacks or clobbering you for even considering such an idea. I recommend that because ylang ylang essential oil is noted for its ability to calm jangled nerves.

What is ylang ylang essential oil?

Ylang ylang essential oil comes is steam distilled from the blossoms of a gorgeous tropical tree (Cananga odorata).  C. odorata is indigenous to Indonesia, but is common in Southeast Asia and Polynesia.

What’s cool is if you live in an area that doesn’t drop below 30F (-1.1C), you can probably grow your own tree. With proper pruning, you can keep it small enough to grow in a pot. That’s what I have to do with tropical plants here in Western Washington State. That way I can wheel the pot into the garage in the winter. Oh how I wish I had a heated greenhouse, particularly since the tree likes 80F nighttime temperatures which we never have, at least since I’ve lived here.


Legend of the first ylang ylang tree

Once upon a time Dumaleg, a skilled gardener and Amara his wife, lived peacefully in the countryside. They were a happy couple except they had no children because it had displeased the gods when Dumaleg married Amara. The gods wanted Dumaleg to focus all his attention on his gardening. Dumaleg accepted the fact that he would have no children, but that was not true of Amara. She was very unhappy because they were childless.

Not liking to see his wife unhappy, Dumaleg went to see a soothsayer. The soothsayer negotiated with the gods to allow a child to be born to Dumaleg and Amara. They agreed and said he could have a baby girl, but put the stipulation that when the child grew into a woman, she was never to be touched by a man. To that the gardener agreed and a beautiful baby girl was born nine months later.

The gardener and his wife were very happy and as the child grew into a beautiful young woman, they took extra care to make sure she was never touched by a man. However, one day the gardener and his wife went to market and left their daughter to tend the garden.

As it happened, a young man who had long admired the young woman saw her working in the garden and decided he would pick a bouquet of flowers and offer them to her. The young woman was delighted when she saw the flower, but when she reached out to take them, her fingers touched his. Instantly she disappeared and where she had been standing the first ylang ylang tree grew.

Bet you didn’t know how the ylang ylang tree came into being. Did you?

Ylang ylang essential oil ingredients

The major active constituents of ylang ylang essential oil are benzyl acetate (mild jasmine, fruity fragrance), linalool (antifungal, antiseptic, sedative, used in synthesis of vitamin A) p-cresyl methyl ether (odor) and methyl benzoate (fragrance). Other constituents that contribute to the fragrance of ylang ylang are p-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol, geranyl acetate and benzyl salicylate. The oil also contains farnesyl acetate (normalizes sebaceous glands) and other sesquiterpenes and their oxygenated derivatives.

Ylang ylang essential oil benefits:

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces rapid breathing associated with shock, anxiety and anger. (That’s why I suggest the diffuser mentioned in the introduction.)
  • Reduces PMS symptoms including mood swings. Use it in a bath with Clary sage for optimum results.
  • Normalizes sebum output and is great for oil, acne prone skin or dry skin.
  • Is a good shampoo additive to treat dry split ends.
  • Has calming effect making it great to use in a diffuser or bath.
  • Acts as an antidepressant
  • Has antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Is renowned as an aphrodisiac.

Ylang ylang Essential oil blends well with:

  • Bergamot
  • Sandalwood
  • Lavender
  • Grapefruit
  • Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Jasmine
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Neroli
  • Clary sage
  • mandarin

Precautions:

  • Don’t use if you are pregnant
  • Don’t use much. The deep aroma may give you a headache.
  • Do a patch test before applying to your skin
  • Don’t ingest ylang ylang essential oil unless under the care of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
  • Don’t apply undiluted to your skin.

There, now you have almost the whole story. The only thing I left out is where ylang ylang got its crazy name. It comes from a Filipino word generally thought to mean “flower of flowers” and is pronounced ee-lang-ee-lang.

You know, I was just wondering what kind of sacrifice the gods of gardening would demand to allow me to grow an ylang ylang tree in my yard here in the Seattle area. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Are any of you growing one? If so, where do you live? Maybe I’ll move there.

Now go have fun and relax.

Related articles:

Two Relaxing Essential Oil Recipes using Ylang Ylang

Essential Oils for Depression – Take them with you

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