Essential Oils

Ylang Ylang essential oil (Cananga odorata)

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Sources:  Madagascar, Indonesia, Phillipines
Extraction: Steam distilled
Note: Middle, Base
Scent: Sweet, floral
Key points:

  • Use “Extra” or “Complete” for aromatherapy
  • Useful for depression, stress and anxiety
  • Too much can cause headaches, and can be euphoric

Properties:  antidepressant, antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, antibacterial, expectorant
Uses: Aphrodisiac, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, balances emotions, palpitations
Cautions:  Do not use during pregnancy.  Use sparingly as can cause headaches or nausea in larger doses.

Ylang ylang oil is distilled from the freshly picked flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. It has a very sweet, almost overpowering scent. It is best used in blends as it may be nauseating or cause headaches on its own.

You will notice there are different grades or distillations of ylang ylang oil. The oil is distilled and the first yield is termed extra. Distillation continues for a few more hours and then ylang ylang 2 is removed. Distillation for a few more hours yields ylang ylang 3. If that isn’t enough, sources vary as to what ylang ylang complete is–some say it is a blend of the first two distillations, while others say it is a blend of all 3. Whatever the case, for aromatherapy either extra or complete is preferred.

In a diffuser, it is best used as part of a blend. Ylang ylang can be used for calming nervous tension, to calm a racing heart, and as an aphrodisiac. It may also help in blends for insomnia. When blending, it blends well with other florals, citrus oils, sandalwood, vetiver, and cedarwood.


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