Today's Spotlight: Background, "Benefits" & Uses for Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

what is ylang ylang essential oil


Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorta) is yellow in color and is a star-shaped flower. It is a tropical species found natively in countries surrounding the Indian Ocean like India, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia and grows on the Cananga tree. The sourcing of this essential oil is from the flowers of Cananga odorata botanical via steam distillation.  

C. odorta has been used to treat things such as malaria, stomach ailments, asthma, gout and rheumatism, according to the Evidence Based Complementary Alternate Medicine Journal, 2015

One of the main components of the oil is linalool, which is a compound that been found in several studies to help with symptoms of stress. One such 2018 study suggested linalool may be considered an alternative to more traditional treatments for social stress induced mental illnesses

Like with many oils, it is thought to stimulate a part of the brain called the limbic system, and in turn may help decrease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and tension of the mind. It also has a history of being used to help treat cuts, burns and insect bites, most notably in areas of the world like the Philippines

ylang ylang essential oil for the skin and body

For many years, the oils from these flowers have been used to make some of the most popular perfumes, with it's amazing versatility. There are several types of essential oils this flower has the ability to produce. 

The oils from the Ylang Ylang flower vary in intensity of their scent, but truly are one of our favorite scents. The profile of this scent is heavy on the sweet, and slightly floral, with notes of jasmine and neroli. 

Ylang Ylang Extra is the most potent oil and is mostly used in top-notch perfumes, and may be described as having a rich aroma, by many. This oil has many uses, either aromatically in things like aromatherapy diffusers, topically in massage oils, and even other bath and beauty products. 

It is mainly used externally and is said to promote things like healthy skin and hair. It is touted for it's ability to balance oils in the skin and hair, helping with irritation, and encouraging new hair growth

Another great aspect of this fragrance, like lavender, is that it can be used quite nicely as a top note, or middle note when creating personalized aromas.

Uses of Ylang Ylang Essential Oils

potential benefits of ylang ylang essential oil


  1.         Ylang Ylang oil can be put in your bath with carrier oils.
  2.         Apply it on your wrists for a sweet floral scent.
  3.         Use it to refresh your face with an aromatherapy steam facial.
  4.         It's said to act as a deep hair conditioner when added to fraction-ate coconut oil.
  5.         May help to kill lice in certain spray combinations.
  6.         In food and beverages, Ylang-ylang oil acts as a flavor additive.
  7.         It can be used as a fragrance for soaps and other bath and beauty cosmetics.

Main Components of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Linalool, Geranyl acetate, Germacrene-D, beta-Caryophyllene, Benzyl acetate, Geraniol, Methyl p-Cresol, Methyl benzoate, Geranyl acetate, Farnasene, and Benzyl benzoate. 

The main component for many of the following benefits of this oil is Linalool. 

Benefits Of Ylang Ylang Essential Oils


1. Relieve Stress

ylang ylang oil and stress relief

The thought on many essential oils, when it comes to being stress reducing and being used heavily in aromatherapy applications, is that they can simulate positive emotions within the brain. 

The region of the brain called the limbic system has influences on the nervous system and emotions. 

So whether through inhalation or when ylang ylang essential oil gets absorbed through the skin, it is believed to have the ability to reduce stress levels. Since linalool is a compound that has shown to have abilities on stress symptoms, it's no wonder ylang ylang oil is used by some to help combat things like social-anxiety and stress.

In one study in 2006, ylang ylang oil was applied transdermal, to investigate human psychological parameters and self-evaluation after adsorption. The results were positive for ylang ylang oil as a means of relaxation effects in aromatherapy.


2. High Blood Pressure

ylang ylang and blood pressure and cortisol reduction

A residual effect of essential oils like ylang ylang, and their common properties can potentially therefore be linked, at least short-term, to lowering blood pressure. 

Many people when stressed, or anxious have increased blood pressure as a side effect. Ylang Ylang essential oils and it's calming properties can therefore have the potential to lower blood pressure. 

In fact specific bioactivities have also been extensively studied over the past decade, according to the Evidence Based Complementary Alternate Medicine Journal, 2015 of the essential oils and extracts of C. odorata. Essential oils have shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures through sniffing, as well as decreased pulse rate and stress level. 

One study in 2006, concluded that essential oil blends including bergamot, lavender and ylang ylang can be considered an effective nursing intervention that reduces stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as blood pressure.

Another study in 2012, used an inhaled blend of ylang ylang in 83 subjects, along with lavender, marjoram and neroli. Like in the above 2006 study, the individuals assigned to the experiential group, experienced decreases in blood pressure. Cortisol levels were also measured and showed decreasing levels. 

A 2013 study further looked at ylang ylang oil (YYO) specific to healthy men. The experiment determined HR, blood pressure (systolic & diastolic) as well as analyzed EKG rhythm before and after inhalation of YYO. The results showed significant decreases in both SBP & DBP.

3. Repair Damaged Hair

for hair health and support

Ylang ylang has been shown to stimulate sebum production and has been found to be included in many cosmetic products. These range from skin care, to hair growth promotors, and sunscreen compositions

4. Boost Mood?

boost mood

We know there is some evidence to support ylang ylang oil acting more as a sedative, as well as it's abilities to enhance mood. 

A study in 2018 revealed YYO as having a positive effect on anti-anxiety. This effect was associated with a specific pathway in the hippocampus and relevant to the serotonin system.

One study in 2008, looked at peppermint vs. ylang ylang oil, and found that peppermint oil increased alertness and memory, while ylang ylang impaired memory, lengthened processing speed and and alertness, it had a more calming/sedative effect.

5. Antibacterial/Immune System Support

immune support and health

Ylang ylang has also be scientifically proven to possess antibiofilm, and antioxidant properties. This knowledge certainly seems to be indication for future and more rigorous studies of it's ability to effect or alter bacteria, or infectious processes. 

As well as having antibacterial properties, ylang ylang oil has also been studied as an anti-inflammatory, insect repellent, sedative and as having relaxative properties. 


6. Dry & Oily Skin

ylang ylang oil for dry skin

There is some evidence of ylang ylang being healthy for the skin due to it's antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The oils have been known to help with individuals with varying degrees of dry and oily skin when combined with a carrier oil. 

There is also some evidence of certain compounds within ylang ylang oil inhibiting cell melanogenesis. There is some potential that ylang ylang oil can help offer a a certain level of protection to the skin from oxidative stress. 

Ylang ylang oil is also touted for it's ability to maintaining hydration, conditioning and enhancing circulation in the skin. 

Side Effects of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Do not ingest any of the essential oils talked about here at RN to Zen. The application we refer to is only externally. It's important to also consult with a medical expert before using any essential oil for therapeutic purposes. In the event you feel one of the oils we've talked about may be beneficial to your livelihood, it's always encouraged to speak again with a medical professional, as we are not doctors, we are simply providing research and data on the essential oils we use in our products. 

Do not use essential oils children or in pregnant women without consulted your healthcare provider. 

Do not stop any current treatment or interventions that have been approved by a doctor. If you wish to use essential oils, again speak with a medical professional, if they're in reference to helping treat a medical disorder

Final Thoughts!

As with any essential oil you choose to use for any purpose, it's important to do your research. We love Ylang Ylang oil, specifically for it's aromatics and use in aromatherapy, as it brings us a sense of peace and relaxation. 

Be sure to share your experience with the use of this oil and the application you may have used it in in the comments section of our blog. Thanks for stopping by!














Add Comment