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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!).
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata par, genuina) Ylang Ylang is extracted from a tropical tree that grows in the Philippines, Indonesia, the Comoros, and Madagascar. The name Ylang Ylang means, “flower of flowers”. The name suits the heady exotic sweet floral fragrance of this oil, which is distilled from the freshly picked flowers. Ylang Ylang s a traditional tropical remedy for infections and skin diseases, but is also well known for its use in the Victorian hair preparation, Macassar oil. Ylang Ylang is probably best known for its reputation as an aphrodisiac and can be used to treat sexual problems. In Indonesia, the Ylang Ylang flowers are spread out on the marriage bed for the bride and groom. Hoever, as well as being one of the nicest smelling essentail oils available, Ylang Ylang has many other beneficial properties, including sedative and antidepressant ones - it is also a tonic for the nervous system. Depression, anxiety tension, irritability, and stress-related insomnia can all benefit from its soothing properties. It can help to rebalance sebum production in oily skin, treat acne, and both dry and greasy scalps. It can also be used to calm irritated skin as well as insect bites and stings. It acts as a circulatory tonic and generally rebalances body functions. It can help to reduce blood pressure, and slow breathing and heart rate in cases of shock, panic, or rage. Ylang Ylang blends well with the following essential oils: - Bergamot - Cedarwood - Chamomile - Frankincense - Jasmine - Lavender - Rose - Rosewood - Vetiver After a hard, stressful day at the office, try eradicating your nervous tension by adding three drops of Ylang Ylang, two drops of Rosewood and three drops of Lavender to one and a half teaspoons of dispersible bath oil to a warm bath. Alternatively, just drip the oils directly into your bath water and disperse with yo
ur hand. Layback and relax in the bath for at least ten minutes, inhaling the vapours. Please note essential oils should not to be used by pregnant women without prior professional advice, people suffering from chronic illness, young children, or babies. Please also use with caution as Ylang Ylang can cause nausea or headaches if used in high concentrations. It has also been known to irritate some hypersensitive people.
The name of the Ylang Ylang tree comes from Malay word for flower. It is, literally translated, the flower of flowers. The scent of this flower is sweet and very strong. It is used primarily in the making of perfumes. The essential oil is made from these flowers by steam distillation and has lots of different uses. In Victorian England it was said to restore hair growth. (I doubt very much if that is the case!) Today it is used as an aditive to shampoo (just a couple of drops) to give your hair shine and vigour. So, I supose, the Victorians were on the right track. In the east it has been used to treat typhus, malaria and other fevers. We don't tend to find those conditions much in UK (yet!) but you never know when might be glad that you read this opinion. There has been much talk about the aphrodisiac effects of this essential oil. I've read several opinions on here that claim to have experienced these effects. (I did wonder why they were sitting writing opinions on here when they had unsheathed such a mighty weapon, but there you are.) Personally speaking, I did notice some effect at bedtime. I ran a warm bath and added a couple of drops of this oil. I was asleep in no time time at all. Aphrodisiac? Hmm! This oil is well know for its calming abilities. Use in a difuser or a warm bath to treat anxiety, insomnia, tension, anger and even depression. It relaxes the body and gives a pleasant sense of well being. If you use this oil to treat insomnia a few drops in a difuser placed in the bedroom are very effective. Use for a pleasant and sensual massage by mixing a couple of drops with a carrier oil and gently massaging before bedtime. This is very relaxing. Don't wipe, or wash the oil off afterwards, let it seep into your skin. WARNING: ++++++++ Aromatherapy is not a substitute for qualified medical attention. If you have a health condition consult a doctor first
. No reputable aromatherapist will treat you if you haven't previously seen a doctor about existing health problems, and got his permission, if appropriate, for teatment. Consult you doctor if you are breast feeding or pregnant before using any aromatherapy oil (just as a safe guard). Never take this oil internally. Don't use undiluted on the skin or use more than directed in the bath. You could get some nasty burns. Keep away from children. VERDICT: ++++++++ Gorgeous smell and very relaxing. It did help the muscle cramps that I get in my back (massage). As for the aphrodisiac properties, well, they didn't have any effect on me. There again, it's an essential oil, not a magic potion!
Ylang, Ylang - even the name is exotic. This is THE massage oil you need if you are giving your partner or spouse a sensual massage. The fragrance of this lovely, mid priced, oil is out of this world. If you are feeling in the mood for love, give yourself a rub before bedtime and your man or woman won't be able to resist :-) No really, Ylang, Ylang has the power to both relax and uplift. Indicated for frigidity and impotence, it has the ability to relieve sexual anxiety and unblock feelings of sexuality. Whew! On a more therapeutic level, Ylang relaxes tense muscles, calms and promotes restful sleep. It lowers high blood pressure and can brighten blue moods. For the most gorgeous aromas for around the house, it can me blended with jasmine, vetivert, rose, any of the citrus oils or patchoulli. Either burn in an oil burner, place a few drops of any of the above oils on a lamp ring or add to warm water in a plant squirter and shake vigourously beore spraying round the home.
This has to be the most talked about Aromatherapy oil out here since the interest of Aromatherapy grew! Yes it is lovely, yes it is relaxing, and when you get your little hands on a bottle, you’ll go through it so fast that you’ll be heading down to your Aromatherapy shop to get another! Yes it is lovely! It’s a very addictive smell that relaxes you and sends you on a little pleasure trip! Great for massaging as it makes you feel warm and sensuous, it also helps get rid of those nasty negative moods. I’m addicted to this one and I’m sure you would be too!