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Ylang Ylang is good for Yin and Yang
Member Name: Vialdana
Date: 15/07/12, updated on 15/07/12 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Wonderful scent with lots of great properties that can help with tension, depression etc.
Disadvantages: Not as easy to use as Lavender or Peppermint essential oils and needs to be used with care.
As I've mentioned recently in reviews about lavender and peppermint, I'm quite a fan of essential oils and I keep a fair few in my home for use in various ways. Another that I have is Ylang Ylang.
What is it?
Ylang Ylang oil is made from the flowers of the Ylang ylang vine which can be found high up in the canopy in the tropics of Madagascar. If you've never smelt it, it's quite a sweet fragrance - quite flowery and musky but still quite a soft scent if you get my drift.
Although this is quite a nice essential oil to use and is good for many things, there are a number of people who find the smell a little too sweet and that it gives them a bit of a headache.
It's Historical/World Uses
Back in the Victorian ear, Ylang ylang oil was used in macassar oil which was used on hair to give it a really good shiny look and is why we have 'anti-macassars' which were covers for the chairs to stop you getting macassar oil all over them.
In Indonesia one historical use for the flower itself is to spread it on the bed of a newly wed couple before the consummate the marriage. Over in the Philippines however, the flowers are strung to make a necklace that's worn by the women and also made to adorn religious statues and icons.
In terms of its uses, this is a great essential oil for helping with tension, nerves, depression and high blood pressure and for helping you to rebalance your body. It mixes well with other scents that have a bit of a tang to them such as lemongrass, bergamot or orange, although it also goes very well with sandalwood and cedar wood too.
One of my favourite mixes that is lovely is a de-stressing bath. 4 drops of bergamot and 2 of ylang ylang in a warm but not hot bath and then relaxing in there for half an hour is great. (Forget getting clean in this bath - have a shower first to do that if you want - this one is for laying in reading or just enjoying the peace and taking in the smells and its wonderful!). Actually it's best if you can mix these oils first with a carrier oil that's designed to disperse in water, but failing that, if you pop them into a little full fat milk (just a couple of table spoons full), it will help disperse the oil through the water better.
Actually even though macassar oil doesn't sound very appealing, I have heard of people putting a drop or two of this onto their hairbrush to help condition and add a healthy shine to their hair.
Another modern use for ylang ylang is in massage oils because it's said to have aphrodisiac properties, and also in many perfumes too - possibly for the same reason. It's one of the base scents in Chanel No 5 for example.
A couple of other thoughts
Ylang ylang isn't as easy to know what you're doing with as perhaps lavender or peppermint which are two excellent basic essential oils I'd advise you start your collection with. However, it's a lovely scent and mixes well with so many other essential oils that it's well worth having in your kit.
Now I've never really had a problem myself with communication or expressing my feelings, but I read recently that ylang ylang is very useful for helping people with this aspect of life, so if you're going to sit down and have a heart to heart with your partner, it might be worth popping a couple of drops of this on an oil burner in the room before hand (assuming you both like the smell of course!).
Summary: A beautiful scented essential oil that should be used with care, & which has really good properties.
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