Botanical Name: Cananga oderata
Part Used: Flowers
Process: Steam Distillation
Plant Description: Native to tropical Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines; grows wild, semi-wild or is cultivated commercially in many parts of tropical Asia as well as Madagascar, Reunion, and the Comoros Islands. Cananga odorata var. genuina is a tall tropical evergreen tree that grows to an average height of 75 feet; throughout the year it bears large, very fragrant flowers consisting of long drooping petals that can be yellow, mauve, or pink (the yellow flowers are preferred for the extraction of the essential oil). The commercially grown trees are topped when young to encourage horizontal growth of the branches. This facilitates harvesting of the flowers which are picked very early in the morning, with distillation always carried out close to the harvest site. The stills are rather small to prevent the tender flowers from being crushed by their own weight when combined with the added pressure produced within the still. Ylang Ylang essential oil is not to be confused with the very closely related Cananga essential oil that is distilled from Cananga odoratum var. macrophylla; the aroma is inferior to and not as refined as Ylang Ylang.
Oil Description: Very pale to light yellow oily liquid with an intensely sweet and powerful but also a soft, very smooth balsamic-floral aroma and unusually tenacious floral-woody undertones. (The aroma is best appreciated when well diluted or evaluated in dry down on a scent strip.)
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang is well noted for its influence on the emotions. R. W. Moncrieff states in his book Odours that ylang ylang soothes and inhibits anger born of frustration. It reportedly does so by slowing down over-rapid heart and breath rate that may arise from sudden shock, fright, panic, or extreme anger. Because of its calming and relaxing properties and its ability to instill self-confidence, it is indicated for high blood pressure as well as for issues of impotence and frigidity. It is used as a stimulating tonic for the scalp to encourage hair growth and is beneficial for both oily and dry skin. In perfumery, Ylang Ylang is considered a middle note with great fixative value that blends well with balsam of Peru, bergamot, carnation, cassie, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, grapefruit, ho wood, jasmine, lemon, mimosa, neroli, opopanax, orange, orange blossom absolute, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, tuberose, and vetiver. It is used to create many floral bases such as lilac, lily, narcissus, gardenia, violet flower, hyacinth, honeysuckle, peony, freesia, sweet pea, etc.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Ylang Ylang essential oil is non-toxic and non- irritating; for those with sensitive skin, sensitization may occur with repeated use. Best to use in moderation and well diluted to avoid headaches and/ or nausea that can be caused by the intense aroma.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.