Ylang Ylang oil is not only prised for its glorious fragrance but exhibits several highly beneficial properties that suit more practical applications. Ranging from stress relief to dispelling motion sickness, Ylang Ylang undoubtedly has more inherent medicinal potential than it is given credit for. Modern day use of this oil is a favourite among perfumeries, and has been added to well known fragrances.

Ylang Ylang’s exotic nature, with its sweet-sensual aroma has been a historic symbol of love and romance for centuries. The fresh blossoms were used as sultry decoration, worn in the hair of Tahiti woman as a display of beauty, and the floral-balsamic scent was used to create a relaxed and enchanting atmosphere for newlyweds by scattering Ylang Ylang petals on their bed.

Where Does Ylang Ylang Oil Come From?

The Ylang Ylang tree (Cananga odorata) is a member of the Anonaceae family, who’s large, predominantly yellow-green starfish shaped flowers emanate a highly distinctive sweet, floral-earthy fragrance. In reference to its quintessentially unique scent, the name Ylang Ylang is derived from the word “ilang-ilan” meaning ‘rare’ in the Pilipino language Taglog. Ylang Ylang oil is extracted from the fresh flowers by means of steam distillation. It takes a tree an estimated four years to produce five kilograms of oil.

This exotic evergreen is Native to Asian-Pacific Islands like Indonesia and the Philippines but is cultivated predominantly in Madagascar.

Therapeutic Uses

  • Commonly used as a remedy to dispel feelings of sorrow, Ylang Ylang is often used as a natural antidepressant.
  • As a nervine agent, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be used to calm nerves and promote relaxation, as well as treat more formidable conditions such as hyperpnoea, which is the formation of a rapid and abnormal respiration rate, and tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heartbeat.
  • In addition to having nervine properties, Ylang Ylang Oil helps to normalize hormone imbalance, stabilizing mood swings, making it a useful remedy for PMS and menopause. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil regulates sebum production and is thereby effective in treating skin disorders such as eczema and seborrhea, a condition in which over activity of the sebaceous glands cause the skin to become oily, inflamed and irritated.
  • Furthermore, by balancing the skin’s oil production, Ylang Ylang Oil can be used to both moisturise dry skin and moderate oily skin. As the Ylang Ylang plant has natural cellular regenerating hormones, the oil is often used in skin care products.
  • Ylang Ylang as an antiseptic efficiently destroys and inhibits the growth of microbial organisms, making it safe to disinfect minor wounds.
  • The Essential Oil of Ylang Ylang is highly beneficial for hair and scalp care. It acts on the follicles to encouraging hair growth and adds lustre.
  • Ylang Ylang Oil stimulates the increase of serotonin and beta-endorphin production in the brain and is therefore considered an aphrodisiac.

Awesome Tip: Ylang Ylang essential oil has antiemetic benefits which can help alleviate nausea associated with travel queasiness, and motion sickness, naturally. Put a few drops on a tissue and inhale.

Health Uses

  • Gain luminous, healthy looking locks and stimulate hair growth by massaging a mixture of the following blend into your scalp after washing and towel drying: 50 ml of Rosewater, 50 ml of distilled water, 15 ml of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, 6 Drops of Jojoba Oil, 3 drops of Carrot Seed Essential Oil. Use 2-3 teaspoons at a time, store the fridge and shake well before each use.
  • To help regulate sebum production and aid in unclogging congested pores, blend 3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 5 ml of Vitamin E Oil, 5 ml of Hazelnut Oil and 4 drops of Grapefruit Essential oil to 25 ml of a plain base cream. Apply regularly and store in a sealable container.
  • In a spray bottle, mix 1 drop of Ylang Ylang Essential oil, 2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and one drop of Chamomile Essential Oil with 15 ml of distilled water. Shake to thoroughly combine. Mist over your duvet and pillows an hour before bed time to help send you into a full and peaceful night’s sleep.
  • One for the romantics: Ylang Ylang Oil is known as the lover’s potion; you can infuse this delectable oil into chocolates by adding a drop or two of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil to a piece of absorbent paper and placing it, along with the chocolates, into a box. Cover and leave to absorb the Ylang Ylang for a few days.

Caution: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil may irritate sensitive skin and if used in high doses, may cause headaches and nausea. Should you be pregnant or breast feeding, avoid using as a precaution. Because essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances don’t use undiluted on the skin.

Disclaimer: We are not medically trained in any way; if you suffer from a medical condition, please consult your doctor or homeopath.


Aloha! I'm Carien. I live in South Africa in an area called the Swartland (Black Land). I live on a small holding (Homestead) and I am a full time house wife with one husband (yes, only one), one son, one dog, a few sheep and plenty of chickens. Living as natural as possible is a passion of mine. Inclined to a mostly organic vegetarian diet I tend to post healthy food recipes, green tips and information on natural and organic and natural living.

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