Ylang - Cananga
odorata var. gernuia
tropical tree which can grow up to 20 metres tall,
with large, tender, fragrant flowers ranging from
pinks and mauves to yellow, depending on the variety
of tree. Yellow flowers are considered to be the
best for extraction of the essential oil.
calming, relaxing effect of the Ylang Ylang may
be where its reputation as an aphrodisiac stems
from, and in Indonesian folklore the flowers are
scattered across the beds of newly married couples
on their wedding night.
in skin care preparations, Ylang Ylang can be used
to treat acne, irritated and oily skin, insect bites,
and for general skin care. As a hair rinse or scalp
massage it promotes hair growth - during the Victorian
era, the oil was an ingredient of the popular hair
treatment Macassar oil, which in turn gave rise
to the ‘antimacassars’ used to protect the chair-backs
from the oily stain. A scalp friction / hair treatment
with an alcoholic base rather than a carrier oil
would result in a product less prone to stain your
bed linen or furniture.
Ylang is invaluable in helping to slow down over-rapid
breathing, and rapid heartbeat, such as the symptoms
caused by shock or anxiety - it is also effective
in calming cases of anger, especially the anger
resulting from frustration. The fragrance stimulates
the senses and induces feelings of well being, it
can also be helpful for treating insomnia.
for treating stress, tension, and insomnia, and
an effective antidepressant, ylang-ylang is a lovely
essential oil to add to a soothing bath, or added
to an oil burner to lift the mood of the room. If
you find the scent too heavy and sweet, you may
wish to balance it with a little citrus fragrance
such as lemon, grapefruit or bergamot, it also blends
rather well with jasmine and rose for a more luxurious,
cause headaches and nausea if used in too high a
concentration, or for prolonged periods of time !