Ylang ylang essential oil is a very valuable oil whose properties are essentially calming and relaxing, which is why it is highly appreciated as a massage oil. Traditionally, aphrodisiac abilities have also been attributed to it.
The plant and the production of essential oil
Ylang ylang essential oil is the more precious of the two oils that are obtained from a plant called Cananga odorata (the other is the macassar). Cananga odorata is a medium-sized tree that belongs to the Annonaceae family. In an ideal environment it reaches 12 meters and has a very rapid growth, even more than 5 meters per year, so it reaches its typical size in a very short time. The area of diffusion is a bit all of Southeast Asia, but also eastern Australia and even the Solomon Islands. The local populations call it with various common names, often with that of the oil that is extracted from it. The name ylang ylang comes from the Tagalog language which is the main idiom of the Philippines, probably from the term ilang which means wild. It produces flowers gathered in clusters that start out greenish yellow and turn intense yellow when ripe.
The essential oil is obtained from the steam distillation of the flowers; in this regard it is important to clarify that since the flowers are quite resistant they can be distilled several times and therefore essential oils of different qualities are obtained from the plant, ylang ylang is the most valuable because it is the richest, the one with the most components in its internal, the other is called macassar.
Properties of ylang ylang essential oil
As we anticipated, the relaxing and antispasmodic properties are the main ones of this essential oil which is highly appreciated as a massage oil. The oil is also very fragrant, the very intense fragrance has also made it highly appreciated by the perfume industry. According to minority sources, the etymology of the name would instead come from a term that means "uncommon" and would refer precisely to the particular aroma. Regarding the unproven aphrodisiac abilities, however, this attribution is not surprising, considering that often what prevents you from enjoying sex pleasantly is precisely the inability to relax.
Topical use of ylang ylang essential oil
We have actually already talked about the main use, ylang ylang essential oil added to massage oil is very appreciated, in particular it would be very effective when you want to give refreshment to weak and tired muscles (asthenia). Among the attributed properties there would also be the ability to help in case of hypertension and tachycardia, but we certainly don't feel like proposing it as a therapy for these serious medical conditions, it could help, after all relaxation is still recommended by specialists to these patients. In the cosmetic industry the essential oils obtained from cananga odorata are used in hair care products, there are many on the market based on macassar, nobody forbids using the much more precious one for the same purpose ylang ylang essential oil, has a nourishing and protective action on the hair.
How is ylang ylang essential oil used in aromatherapy?
In aromatherapy, the environmental diffusion of ylang ylang essential oil is essentially used to obtain a relaxing effect but according to some it would also improve the mood and have a aphrodisiac effect.