Featured Essential Oil: Ylang Ylang

Featured Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang has an exotic, sweet smell and is slightly yellow in colour. Its name comes from the Malayan language and literally means “flower of flowers” and no tree produces blossoms more sweet and flowery. The Victorians used it in the famous Macassar hair oil, used to promote hair growth in both men and women; ironically, the name of this hair oil is probably best remembered by the words “anti-macassar” - washable cloths which would protect expensive upholstered furniture from the hair oil!

Ylang-ylang oil has a euphoric and sedative effect on the nervous system and helps with anxiety, fear, tension, shock, and panic. It is reputed to have aphrodisiac properties, probably because the sensual effect is inextricably linked to ylang ylang’s ability to relax and uplift.

It is particularly useful with rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat; it can also help with reducing high blood pressure and has a calming effect on the central nervous system.

On the skin, ylang-ylang oil has a soothing effect and its balancing action sorts out over-dry as well as overly-oily skin by balancing the secretion of sebum, and has a stimulating effect on the scalp which promotes more luxurious hair growth - as indicated by its popularity with the Victorians!

A little of this oils goes a LONG way - you will need less than you think in a blend as it can be overpowering. Ylang Ylang, along with other richly floral scents such as Narcissus and Jonquil, are sometimes referred to as narcotic, hypnotic or intoxicating; in sufficiently high concentration, they can be intoxicating in the medical sense of the word, resulting in headache and nausea.

Use wisely, but use it well. The benefits can be immense, but blending with other oils can take practice to get the balance right!

Our featured oils are available to try at Women+Health reception.

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