When asked by the journalist what she preferred to wear to bed, the legendary Marilyn Monroe replied with a phrase destined to be remembered, “Chanel number 5”. But what does a perfume that made history have to do with ylang ylang essential oil? Well ... the flower of flowers, as the ylang ylang is also called, loved by Coco Chanel is one of the main ingredients of Chanel number 5 perfume! But ylang ylang not only has a sweet and exotic scent, which captivates, it is also an essential oil that acts for our well-being to which science has dedicated several studies. So let's try to deepen the properties of ylang ylang.
Ylang ylang, relaxing and hypotensive
The essential oil of Cananga odorata, or ylang ylang, showed, during the experiment, an anxiolytic action. This property is due to the ability of ylang ylang to increase the amount of serotonin, also called the feel-good hormone, thanks to its main active ingredient, benzyl benzoate (Zhang et al, Phytomedicine, 2016). Not only that, the essential oil of ylang ylang also helps to improve mood, reduces blood pressure and relieves palpitations caused by stress (Kim et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012). You can diffuse the essential oil using an essence-burning lamp, one drop per square meter. Alternatively, you can pour on a handkerchief a few drops of ylang ylang essential oil and breathe as needed throughout the day. Another way to take advantage of the hypotensive properties of ylang ylang is to add 5 drops of essential oil to 50 ml of carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and use it for massages.
Ylang ylang, for sleeping
Thanks to its sedative, calming and soothing action, ylang ylang also helps you sleep better. In fact, it has been shown that a mixture of essential oil of lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang improved the quality of sleep in people who have inhaled this aroma and who have kept a handkerchief with these essences near the pillow (Mc Donnell et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2019). Therefore, to take advantage of the relaxing properties, also capable of inducing a good restful sleep, of ylang ylang you can pour a couple of drops of this essence directly on the pillow or on a handkerchief or cotton pad to keep next to you.
Ylang ylang for the skin
For its delicate and fascinating scent, ylang ylang is often added to face and body creams. But this essential oil also carries valuable antioxidant properties, which protect the skin from free radical damage and wrinkles (Wang et al, J Food Drug Anal, 2017). Not only that, ylang ylang also has healing and antibacterial properties, with a mild action against the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is the main cause of acne, it is also antifungal and anti-inflammatory, thus proving to be a good choice even in case of skin with irritation and acne (Han et al, Biochim Open, 2017). Not to forget another very important aspect in the care of acne-prone skin and in the case of oily skin, in fact, the essential oil of ylang ylang is also considered a sebum regulator (Orchard et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2017). You can add a drop of ylang ylang directly to a pinch of your usual face cream and apply on the face.
Ylang ylang, for the hair
The essential oil of ylang ylang can be added to masks and hair treatments, in order to protect the hair, strengthen it and stimulate growth but also to balance the production of sebum (Tan et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015). For example, you can add two drops of ylang ylang and two drops of lavender to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, apply the lotion on the scalp and massage, leave it on for ten minutes, then rinse with shampoo. Not only that, it seems that ylang ylang can help eliminate lice from hair. In fact, a study was conducted in which a mixture of coconut oil, essential oil of ylang ylang and essential oil of anise, applied on the head of children with lice every 5 days and kept on for 15 minutes, allowed to eradicate all the lice in the 92% of cases treated (Kosta et al, IMAJ, 2002).