Ylang-ylang: origin, indications and side effects

Ylang-ylang is an exotic plant belonging to the Annonaceae family. It is found for the first time in Southeast Asia. Moreover, in the official language of the Philippines, its name literally means “the flower of flowers”. Its scientific name is Cananga odorata. The flowers are very rich in essential oil, which in turn contains a high concentration of active ingredients. It also contains linalool and germacrene.

Therapeutic uses

For decades, ylang-ylang has occupied an important place in the field of perfumery. This is mainly due to its powerful and exotic smell. In phytotherapy, it is attributed benefits for health, well-being and beauty.

Health benefits

This plant is mainly indicated for treat heart and cardiovascular problems. Thanks to its hypotensive and sedative effect, it is particularly indicated in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders.

Moreover, being antispasmodic and relaxing, ylang-ylang helps to soothe respiratory spasms. It also helps relieve pain during difficult menstruation. In addition, it soothes muscle and joint contractions.


Ylang-ylang is an excellent general and sexual tonic. In case of physical or mental fatigue, it restores vitality to the body. It is, moreover, recommended in case of anxiety, overwork, irritability and nervousness.

Thanks to its soothing property, it also helps to better manage mood swings during menopause. It helps to fight insomnia and any other sleep disorder.

At the sexual level, this plant is an aphrodisiac. It stimulates the libido and is recommended in case of frigidity or impotence.


Ylang-ylang is a good solution for skin problems. Its anti-inflammatory and healing effect acts on skin inflammation. It also helps to tone the skin and slow down the aging of tissues.

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In hair care, it gives vitality and shine to dull, fine and dry hair.

Forms of use

Essential oil and hydrosol are extracted from the flowers of this plant to be used in herbal medicine.

Instructions for use and usual dosages

I’ylang ylang essential oil can be used in several ways. Its use is mainly external. It is best never to use it in its pure form. The recommended dosage for dilution is 1 to 20 drops of essential oil for 100 drops of vegetable oil. It is then sufficient to apply the mixture directly to the skin, massaging the parts concerned.

For the hair and skin caredilute the essential oil to 0.5% in cosmetic products.

In diffusion, it is possible to take advantage of the relaxing and anti-depressive effects of this oil.

Precautions for use

Ylang-ylang essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. Its use is also not recommended for children under 3 years old.

Used in its pure form, the essential oil can lead to skin irritations. Thus, it is recommended to dilute it with each use.


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