What You Need to Know: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
For starters, what is Ylang Ylang oil and how on earth do you pronounce it? Ylang ylang (ee-lang ee-lang) oil is derived from flowers that come from the ylang ylang tree. This delicate blossom is both beautiful and fragrant, giving off an irresistibly unique scent. The ylang ylang tree is native to the wild jungles of Indonesia and the Philippines. Known for its enticingly floral fragrance, the tree is also called the fragrant cananga or perfume tree. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a “perfume tree” growing in my back yard!
How Is the Oil Made?
This fragrant essential oil comes from the ylang ylang blossom. Immediately after harvesting, the flower will then undergo a three-stage distillation process required to extract the essential oil from the plant. Due to how ylang ylang is distilled, the oil from each distillation has varying properties. That being said, there are no set standards for how long each distillation is, nor are there any universal standards for how to label each “grade” of oil. Therefore, if you were to purchase ylang ylang essential oil, it could be a blend of all three distillations or one specific distillation.
In the first stage of distillation, the oil is at its finest. This high quality “first stage” oil is known as “Ylang Ylang Extra” by some essential oil companies (source). The poorer quality oil is taken last and is referred to as, Ylang Ylang III. It’s very helpful to know which distillation you’re getting before purchasing. So, be on the lookout for the common (but unregulated) “grades” of this oil: Ylang Ylang 1, Ylang Ylang 2, Ylang Ylang 3, and Ylang Ylang Complete (a blend of all three).
To learn more about the lack of standardization in the essential oil industry, read this:
What Can Ylang Ylang Oil Be Used For?
There are multiple amazing things you can do with this oil. First, not only does it smell fantastic and make for a good air freshener, but it is also said to be great for your mental health due to its ability to melt away tension and stress, even anxiety. While not conclusive, there is a long list of other possible physical benefits as well. Since evidence is inconclusive on these other benefits, I’ll leave you to research them for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Other Potential Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil:
- Bladder control agent (source)
- Antioxidant properties (source)
- Blood pressure reducer (source 1, source 2)
- Hornet and Yellow-jacket repellent (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), (source)
Ylang Ylang For Your Skin
Ylang ylang oil is also known to have skin improving abilities as well, thus giving your skin a healthy glow and nice complexion. You can also try applying it to smooth away wrinkles and prevent aging. Given it’s natural antibacterial properties (source), it may also prevent unwanted breakouts. This oil is great for all skin types, because not only will it improve skin elasticity, but it can help balance the naturally occurring oil that your skin already produces.
However, as with most if not all essential oils, we do not recommend that you apply pure ylang ylang oil directly onto the skin. Instead, you’d want to mix it with a carrier oil, like fractionated coconut oil, to prevent skin irritation.
Ylang Ylang For Your Hair
Everyone wants healthier looking hair, right? Absolutely! This oil is great if you want to give your hair that healthy glow you’ve been wanting to get for so long. Like I mentioned earlier, ylang ylang can help balance the oil your skin naturally produces. So, that means it’s perfectly suited for use in a scalp massage blend. Try mixing 1-2 drops of ylang ylang oil in with some virgin coconut oil for a relaxing hair-rejuvenating scalp massage.
Furthermore, there have even been a few small clinical studies in regards to ylang ylang oil’s toxic effect on lice eggs! But there hasn’t been a lot of extensive research on it, so it may not be a “miracle oil” in regards to uses pertaining to lice treatment. But, things do appear to be headed in the right direction (source).
The oil works great as a natural hair conditioner too! If you mix it with coconut oil, it will surround each strand of hair with moisturization that will give your hair a fabulous shine. If you would like to try it out, you can mix 1-2 drops of ylang ylang oil in a ¼ cup of fractionated coconut oil (similar to the recipe above) or your favorite conditioner. Massage the mixture from your roots all the way to the tips and ends of your hair. If you desire, use a comb for maximum moisturization. When rinsing, you may want to add a tiny bit of natural shampoo, just so your hair won’t feel too greasy. Using Ylang ylang oil as a conditioner will give your hair a healthy, irresistible shine!
Given its hormone balancing and calming properties, ylang ylang is extremely helpful if you are dealing with PMS. The calming aroma can really help with PMS symptoms, especially if you are experiencing hormonal mood swings. If you have an oil diffuser, try this simple PMS hormone balance blend.
- 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil
- 1 drop of Lavender oil
- 2 drops of Clary Sage oil
- 1 drop of Geranium oil
Another popular use for Ylang Ylang oil is for massage. Not only will the oil help you relax emotionally, it will calm and sooth your muscles as well. For a great massage blend: Mix 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil to one ¼ cup of virgin coconut oil. If you want to mix up the scent a bit, you can add a few drops of lavender or jasmine essential oils too. Also, if you want more of a liquid massage solution, just use jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.
Remember, it’s not advised that you ever apply pure essential oil directly onto the skin because all essential oils are different. That means that some are more potent than others. If you put pure concentrated essential oil on your skin, it could potentially lead to skin irritation, rashes, and even burns.
Ylang Ylang: Peace and Tranquility
Given its calming relaxing effects, many people claim that Ylang Ylang oil will help you find peace and tranquility within. So again, whether you want to smell an exotic floral scent, or just want to relax, ylang ylang oil is a great choice. Life can be tense, so sometimes it’s also nice to just slow down and treat yourself to a nice long fragrant bath.
Bath Relaxation Recipe: Mix 8-10 drops of ylang ylang oil, 8-10 drops of grapefruit oil, and 2 cups of Epsom salts into a full bath. Light some candles, turn on some relaxing music, and let all your worries drift away!
Always be sure to blend the oil with a carrier oil before putting it directly onto your skin. Like most essential oils, pure ylang ylang oil is very concentrated. So, mixing it with another carrier oil will reduce any chance of skin irritation even if you have sensitive skin. As long as you’re diluting your oils, there’s no need for concern here.
It is of great importance to us here at enticingly simple that you understand the wonderful benefits of ylang ylang essential oil. Everything from wellness to beauty, this essential oil is an awesome choice to add to your collection. Ask any aromatherapist and they’ll probably tell you that they could never go without it. Indeed, you will not want to be without this amazingly floral scented oil!
Thanks for reading and I hope you learned a lot and we’d love to hear from you about your experiences with this enticing aroma! If you have any comments or questions, please do send them our way.