Plant Profile: Ylang Ylang

First published in The Wellness Room magazine Summer 2022

Ylang YlangCananga Odorata Genuina

Ylang Ylang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows on the Cananga tree. It is used to make several types of essential oils, via steam distillation, that give off a fruity, flowery and rich scent. The tropical species is a native to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, such as India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of Australia. 

The essential oil is typically used on the skin to promote relaxation, kill bacteria and lower blood pressure. It is also commonly used as part of a combination spray to kill head lice. It can also be used (with different strengths) in aromatherapy, for memory and thinking skills, in food beverages, as a flavouring and in manufacturing, as fragrance for cosmetics and soaps.

Key Therapeutic Properties: Mood boosting, antidepressant, anxiety reducing, lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate, stimulates oil production, repels insects

Can be used for: Stomach distress, rheumatism, gout, malaria, headaches, pneumonia

Blends With: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Clove, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Patchouli, Sweet Marjoram, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood, Tangerine, Vetiver

Safety Data: Since Ylang Ylang oil can be irritating for some people, always do a patch test first and wait 24 hours before using.

The essential oil is typically used on the skin to promote relaxation, kill bacteria and lower blood pressure. It is also commonly used as part of a combination spray to kill head lice. It can also be used (with different strengths) in aromatherapy, for memory and thinking skills, in food beverages, as a flavouring and in manufacturing, as fragrance for cosmetics and soaps.

Key Therapeutic Properties: Mood boosting, antidepressant, anxiety reducing, lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate, stimulates oil production, repels insects

Can be used for: Stomach distress, rheumatism, gout, malaria, headaches, pneumonia

Blends With: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Clove, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Patchouli, Sweet Marjoram, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood, Tangerine, Vetiver

Fun Fact: Ylang Ylang is commonly known as an aphrodisiac and can often be found as a top note in perfumes, such as the infamous Chanel No. 5

Safety Data: Since Ylang Ylang oil can be irritating for some people, always do a patch test first and wait 24 hours before using.

NB: Only members who hold an appropriate aromatherapy qualification, accepted by the FHT for membership and insurance purposes, can make, use and supply aromatherapy blends and other products containing essential oils.

  • First posted in The Wellness Room magazine Summer 2022