What Is Ylang Ylang Oil?
Ylang ylang oil1 is derived from the fresh flowers of the ylang ylang tree (Cananga Odorata),2 which is usually found in the rainforests of Asian and South Pacific islands like Indonesia, Philippines, Java, Sumatra, Comoro and Polynesia.
There are several grades of ylang ylang essential oil sold in the market, but ylang ylang extra oil is considered to be the best among other varieties. Because it is the product of the first extraction, ylang ylang extra oil has the highest amount of esters and the sweetest scent.3
Uses of Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil helps relax the body and soul and may be helpful for people suffering from insomnia, fatigue and frigidity.
This essential oil has been proven to help regulate the production of sebum, an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, to protect your hair and skin from drying out.4 It has many cosmetic uses, including:
• Maintaining skin moisture
• Clearing and healing acne
• Promoting hair growth
• Acting as a natural conditioning agent for your hair5
Ylang ylang oil also has antimicrobial properties that can help reduce skin irritation and redness.
Composition of Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil is composed of chemicals like benzyl acetate (28 percent),6 linalool (nine percent), methyl benzoate (six percent), P-cresyl methyl ether (10 percent) and 3-methyl-2-butenyl acetate (five percent).
Benefits of Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil can help protect against infections in the stomach, intestines, colon and urinary tract. Aside from that, using ylang ylang oil can allow you to reap the following benefits:
• Antidepressant for nervous breakdowns, acute depression, anxiety, sadness and chronic stress
• Antiseptic to speed up the healing of wounds and infections and to avoid sepsis and tetanus
• Hypotensive to promote healthy blood pressure levels
• Nervine and sedative to soothe tension and bring a sense of calm7
How to Make Ylang Ylang Oil
In order to obtain ylang ylang oil, fresh flowers from the ylang ylang tree has to undergo the process of steam distillation at various stages.
According to Easy Aromatherapy Recipes, the first extraction is called "extra" while subsequent extractions are called Grades 1, 2 and 3. Lower-grade essential oils are often combined with the extra to form a "complete" ylang ylang essential oil.
The finished product has an intensely sweet aroma and floral with watery undertones and can have a colorless to pale yellow hue.8
How Does Ylang Ylang Oil Work?
Ylang ylang oil may be used in the following ways:
• Aromatically — 9 Inhale directly or put three to four drops10 into a diffuser.
• Topically — When combined with milder carrier oils, ylang ylang oil may be used as a:
◦ Massage oil:11 Combine two to three drops with coconut, grape seed, or olive oil.12
◦ Anti-aging skin toner: Add five drops into chamomile tea, allow it to cool and apply to your skin.
◦ Hair treatment: Add two to three drops to your regular shampoo or two to three drops into coconut oil. Massage it onto your hair and scalp. Leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with water and mild shampoo.
Is Ylang Ylang Oil Safe?
Ylang ylang oil is safe to use when taken in recommended doses. However, I strongly discourage taking ylang ylang oil internally without expert supervision and advise you to make sure that it doesn't come into contact with your eyes.
I highly recommend consulting your physician before using this essential oil, especially if you're pregnant or a nursing woman. Children under the age of six are advised not to use this oil as well.
Side Effects of Ylang Ylang Oil
There are no severe cases that highlight the negative effects of ylang ylang oil, however, when taken in excessive amounts, it can potentially cause sensitivity, nausea and headache.
The oil can cause skin irritation in some individuals, so I suggest diluting it with milder carrier oils and doing a skin patch test before using it topically.