Ylang ylang oil benefits are numerous, including helping you relax and reduce stress, and possibly even boosting your sex drive.
It’s the flower so nice, they named it twice. The whimsical-sounding flower, ylang ylang (say it like this: E-lang E-lang) is a staple in the cosmetics and hair-care industry.
Its fruity yet delicate scent is reminiscent of jasmine. Perhaps that’s one reason why arguably the most famous perfume of all time—Chanel No. 5—contains this botanical.
You can also find it in massage oils, moisturizing creams, bathroom deodorizers, scented candles and lots of other products. But it’s ylang ylang medicinal compounds that are helping fuel the growing interest in aromatherapy.
Ylang ylang oil benefits include:
- Reducing anxiety and lowering the severity of depression
- Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
- Increasing interest in sex
- Preventing mental fatigue
- Treating eczema, acne and other skin disorders
- Easing insomnia
- Inducing relaxation
Ylang ylang essential oil: Is there proof it works?
There are several research studies on ylang ylang (YY) that support its uses. Take for example, this study in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. It tests the effects of YY on blood pressure and heart rate.
The test subjects are 29 healthy men, 15 of whom took YY. Their blood pressure was taken with a cuff. And heart rate via EKG. The results demonstrate that inhaling YY significantly decreases blood pressure. It also significantly decreases heart rate.
Obviously, only 15 people isn’t a large number of test subjects. However, large-scale clinical trials are very expensive. Usually, for whole-plant studies, funding is limited.
Nonetheless, other small-scale studies show promise for YY as an antidepressant. It also demonstrates the ability to ease nervousness.
This study offers some proof of ylang ylang oil benefits. The study involves 40 people. The test subjects had YY applied topically. Skin temperature, pulse rate, breathing rate and blood pressure were recorded.
Like the previous study, YY in this study leads to a significant decrease of blood pressure. However, it also led to a significant increase of skin temperature.
The same study also reveals the subjects in the YYO group were more calm and more relaxed than subjects in the control group.
The authors of the study conclude, these findings are likely to represent a relaxing effect of the oil. Furthermore, the findings provide some evidence for ylang ylang oil benefits. This includes its usage in aromatherapy for relieving depression and stress.
This study from Portugal also suggests it may improve self-esteem.
Ylang ylang oil uses
This review in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine will tell you all you want to know about this botanical. It mentions it’s a plant exploited at a large scale for its essential oil. That’s because it’s an important raw material for the fragrance industry.
Not only is the plant prominently in the cosmetic industry, it’s also an additive in the food industry.
The review says that its traditional uses include treating:
- stomach ailments
Modern science is able to isolate and identify individual plant compounds. A single plant like YY can contain thousands of compounds.
A wide range of compounds in YY have been isolated. And because of this, evidence confirms other ylang ylang oil benefits, including:
- Killing germs
- Prevents harmful germs from clustering together
- Fights inflammation
- Repels insects
- Normalizes blood sugar
- Protects skin from sun damage
But let’s get back to some traditional uses….
In Polynesia, it’s added to coconut oil before being used for massage. And on some Polynesian islands, it’s a natural laxative.
On the Indonesian island of Java as well as in Vietnam, it’s a natural malaria treatment.
Traditional cultures also pound YY flowers into a paste for several uses, including asthma treatment. In addition, the flowers and bark treat pneumonia and stomach ailments. B
And throughout Indonesia, YYO is an aphrodisiac.
Moreover, in the Indian subcontinent, including its offshore islands, YY relieve itchiness and dandruff.
Other uses in India include treating headaches, eye inflammation, and gout.
ylang ylang oil for hair
In addition to enhancing the scent of cosmetics and food, another of the ylang ylang oil benefits includes benefitting hair.
Although there’s no definitive scientific proof, lots of people use it to protect, condition and regrow hair.
It can be massaged directly into the hair follicles as a regrowth treatment. This makes it an ideal natural ingredient for thinning hair.
Your hair and skin should produce the perfect amount of oil (sebum). However, some people don’t produce enough sebum in their glands. This causes dry scalp and brittle hair.
If you can relate to this, you might want to give YYO a try. It may help condition your hair.
You can combine it with a carrier oil like coconut.
Simply apply a few drops of YYO to coconut oil. Rub your palms together and massage deep into your hair.
YYO activates the glands that produce sebum (oil). Yet another benefits for hair includes treating lice.
Thus, you might want to include it in your natural medicine cabinet.
Side Effects: Do they Cancel Ylang Ylang Oil Benefits?
Although it seems the benefits are numerous, is there any downside to taking it?
In fact, there may be….
That’s because it’s a calming oil. As such it sedates your nervous system.
Which isn’t good if you’re, say, studying for a test. So even though you may be feeling anxious or nervous about the test, keep in mind, your brain might have trouble retaining any fact while you’re studying if you’re inhaling YYO.
However, any potential memory loss is most likely very temporary. That being said, however, if you struggle with memory loss, it might not be wise to use it often.
Remember from above it says that due to the fact YYO can increase skin temperature, use peppermint to cool you down? Especially if you experience hot flashes….
Well, if you do want to feel more at ease without the potential downside of brain fog, you can also use peppermint. This will help stimulate your senses after using YYO.
It’ll make you feel both calm and alert.
Side effects usually imply negative things. However, one side effect of taking YY that might be positive is an increase in arousal.
That sounds like a positive side effect, right? But keep in mind though, if making a baby is the goal, there is some research that shows YYO might be toxic to sperm.
Therefore, you might not want to wear that Chanel No. 5 after all….