What is Ylang Ylang Essential Oil?; Uses, Pros and Cons 

Cananga odorata, known as the Cananga tree, is a tropical tree that is native from India, through parts of Indochina, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, to Queensland, Australia. It is valued for the perfume extracted from its flowers, called ylang-ylang (a name also sometimes used for the tree itself), which is an essential oil used in aromatherapy. The tree is also called the fragrant Cananga, Macassar-oil plant, or perfume tree. Its traditional Polynesian names include Mata‘oi (Cook Islands), Mohokoi (Tonga), Moso‘oi (Samoa), Moto‘oi (Hawaii), and MokosoiMokasoi or Mokohoi (Fiji).


The ylang-ylang vine and climbing ylang-ylang are woody, evergreen climbing plants in the same family. Artabotrys odoratissimus is also a source of perfume.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Health Benefits

A Filipino legend talks of a young girl, whom the gods named Ylang and demanded that no one ever touch her. When she grew older, Ylang fell madly in love with a young man. Ylang’s love was too strong and she eventually allowed herself to accept flowers from him, touching his fingers. This triggered a spell transforming her into a beautiful tree bearing an intoxicating flower – Ylang Ylang.

Ylang Ylang has earned its prestigious nickname due to its unique properties which produce one of the most powerful Essential Oils.

Skin booster

When applied topically to the skin, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is well known for its ability to stimulate a natural glow.



Thanks to its antibacterial compounds, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can help fight infections by purifying, protecting and healing.

Improves heart health

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil has been shown to improve blood flow and fight inflammation, supporting a healthy circulatory system. Ylang Ylang oil is considered one of the most helpful oils for controlling blood pressure, along with lavender oil and Clary Sage oil.

“Particularly favoured by women, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is the ideal oil for reducing anxiety caused by heart palpitations or increased blood pressure”, says Dr Couic Marinier.

Natural energizer

If you are feeling tired, drained or lethargic, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be particularly effective in helping you to re-energise.

Mood enhancer

Its antidepressant benefit is one of the oldest known medicinal properties of Ylang Ylang oil. Thanks to its ability to act directly on the olfactory system in the brain, inhaling Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can have immediate positive effects on your mood. 

What is Ylang Ylang Essential Oil used for?

12 Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Uses & Benefits (Plus Recipes ...

Boasting particularly powerful healing properties, including Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in your skin regime can reward your complexion greatly.

  • Purifying: The potent anti-bacterial properties of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil make it a very effective skin cleanser. It also acts as a healing powerhouse, boosting the regenerative process of the epidermis.
  • Balancing: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil works wonders to regulate your sebum production. Whether your skin is dry or oily, Ylang Ylang oil corrects the amount of oil your sebaceous glands produce, ensuring your complexion has just the right amount of moisture.
  • Anti-ageing: With its powerful antioxidant properties, Ylang Ylang oil can help to fight off the free radicals that are responsible for premature ageing. For other anti-ageing Essential Oils, also look to rose oil and Geranium oil.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Ylang Ylang Oil

Ylang Ylang oil seems safe for children and adults in the amounts found in foods. It also appears to be safe when applied to the scalp in combination with other herbs. There isn’t enough information to know if Ylang Ylang oil taken by mouth is safe or what the possible side effects might be if it is used in amounts higher than what is typically found in foods. It is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women only up to a certain amount.

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