10 Uses And Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
When it comes to finding the right perfume that smells decadent, promotes a relaxed mood, and helps regulate important chemicals in the body, don’t go rushing for the rare and elaborate mixes just yet — sometimes the simple choice can beat the pricey alternatives.
Ylang Ylang is amazing and relatively inexpensive oil extracted from flowers of the Cananga tree, native to rainforest areas in the Philippines and Indonesia. Despite how common it is, it provides fabulous and rich benefits. The scent fits in blends of other perfumes, works well both inhaled, as well as applied to the skin, and uniquely affects the nervous system in a way that both stimulates and relaxes. This may seem contradictory, but here are some ways Ylang Ylang can help you find that equilibrium.
Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil:
Possibly the oil’s most common association, Ylang Ylang has quite a reputation for getting caught up in heated, sensual situations. The scent is found in many perfume blends designed for helping the libido out and it is common in Indonesia to spread the scent or its flowers on the beds of newlyweds. It not only literally heats the skin’s temperature, but also affects internal functions of the body, which depend on both the sympathetic (the fight-or-flight response) and parasympathetic (relaxation, stimulating saliva and other functions) nervous systems coordinating properly.
Decreases Blood Pressure
Now it’s already getting a bit confusing — if it works to stimulate and arouse the body and mind, shouldn’t blood pressure rise too? Because Ylang Ylang inhibits the sympathetic nervous system, it keeps blood pressure and heart rate from reaching heightened levels of nervous reaction you find in anxious, fight-or-flight moments. Studies have shown the scent’s effectiveness in giving this reaction a bit of a break in favour of a more relaxed mood. (1)
On the flip side, the stimulation of parasympathetic functions helps actively soothe the body and mind. Between this and the subdued sympathetic response, it creates a mindset of clarity and peace perfect for relaxing or even just doing a focused task with a little less mental clutter.
This is another one of amazing benefits of Ylang Ylang essential oil. Not only does this oil help with the nervous system, but it also helps regulate cortisol, a chemical responsible for dealing with stress in a healthy and natural way. Multiple studies within the last few years found Ylang Ylang excellent for uplifting mood, relaxing and driving away anxiety in patients (2).
While many oils are effective for creating a calm, introspective atmosphere beneficial for meditating, because of its potency, Ylang Ylang is helpful in not only slowing the mind down but also providing a strong, grounded link back to the physical world, while the mind travels. This is an empowering connection often used with spiritual prayer but is equally effective in creating a strong relationship to effective meditation and confidence building.
Another one of great benefits of Ylang Ylang essential oil is that it helps relaxation. Perhaps, partially due to its role in decreasing blood pressure and stimulating circulation, the oil is effective in easing muscle tension and is even reported as an oil that provides supplementary aid to epilepsy treatment (2). Try applying a diluted mixture to a problem area or soaking with some in a warm bath to give your aches some relief.
Ylang Ylang Oil Is Great For Hair And Skin
Ylang Ylang is often used in skin and hair care products, thought to both help balance oil production in the hair and regulate the production of an oil called sebum, which keeps skin balanced between oily and dry. It has been useful for treating eczema and acne, and generally acts as an anti-inflammatory on the skin. Because of the strength of this oil it should never be applied undiluted, and those with sensitive skin should take extra care.
It can be kind of gross to mention this, but Ylang Ylang essential oil was also proven to be effective as one of the main ingredients in head lice treatment (3).
Found in many flowery perfumes. A diluted amount goes a long way as a prominent, floral scent. It’s also a versatile scent, falling into the category of a ‘middle note’, which acts as the main scent of a blend. Ylang Ylang pairs particularly well with rose, vanilla, sandalwood, and other woodsy scents.
With all of its ways to relax, balance, stimulate, and heal, Ylang Ylang may well have been put on this earth for massage. Diluted with an almond oil it can give you a meditative, spiritual link to feeling your body’s relief and possibly lead to an enjoyable night with your partner. Even if you don’t have time for a full body massage, applying a drop or two to your fingers and rubbing them into a muscle can help self-massage bring extra relief.
While it may not be quite as effective as a spray designed to ward off pesky bugs (4), it’s nice to know you can smell nice out in nature without attracting every mosquito along the trail. This one may seem a little out of place among all the deep mental, emotional, and physical benefits of Ylang Ylang, but to that we only have three words — outdoor massage anyone?
While Ylang Ylang is non-toxic at recommended doses, it is advised to dilute when applying to the skin, and excessive use can cause headaches or nausea. (5)
Do you know other benefits of Ylang Ylang essential oil?
Stay happy and healthy!