Ylang Ylang Oil: Uses & Benefits


Are you looking for a natural way to improve the health of your skin and hair?

Do you want to chase away feelings of stress and tension?

Do you want to make your home smell fantastic?

Ylang Ylang oil is extensively used in the perfume and cosmetics industries primarily because of its delicate tropical aroma.  The same aroma, in combination with its soothing effects on the body and mind, translate to extensive use in aromatherapy and massage therapy practices as well.  But its benefits don’t stop there!  This oil also hosts an array of beneficial properties for the body.  For example, it has antiseptic properties that can be used to promote expedient healing of wounds and to reduce the risk of infection.  Topical use can also reduce irritation and redness of the skin and promote scalp health!

What is Ylang Ylang Essential Oil?

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Canaga odorata
  • Application: Aromatic, topical
  • Plant Part: Flower
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • Aromatic Description: Sweet, spicy
  • Main Chemical Components: Linalool, Germacrene, Geranyl acetate, Caryophyllene

Principal Benefits

  • Aids relaxation and tension-relieving efforts
  • May provide antioxidant support
  • Improves skin and hair health

How to Use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy practices and in rubs and balms to use its sweet scent to dispel anxiety.  Its antiseptic properties support the body’s ability to fight off infections and its antioxidant properties can boost the immune system in a pinch.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Uses

  • Add a few drops to a bubble bath to enhance feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation
  • Apply to a cut or sore to minimize the risk of infection
  • Incorporate into a hair conditioning product to support healthy, luxurious hair
  • Diffuse to use as a steamy facial to promote skin health – exercise caution so as not to burn yourself on hot steam
  • Take 1-2 drops in a veggie capsule to provide some additional support for the immune system
  • Diffuse to calm nervousness, anger, and stress

Directions for Use:

  • Aromatic: Add 3-4 drops to a diffuser, or dilute one drop with carrier oil and place directly beneath the nose.
  • Topical: May be directly applied to skin, or diluted with a carrier oil.
  • Internal: Not recommended for internal use.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Health Benefits

  • May be incorporated into hair conditioners to provide deep conditioning therapy, supporting healthier, shinier hair, particularly to offset the damage of extensive exposure to the sunlight during the summer months and to supply additional nutrients during the dry winter months.
  • Internal use is not generally recommended due to observed cases of sensitivity and nausea; however internal use in very small doses may be used to reduce the effects of infections in the stomach and digestive system.
  • Can be used to boost the libido, reducing disinterest in sex resulting from common areas such as work stress, depression, or side effects of other medications.
  • May be used to maintain healthy blood pressure levels (though not as a substitute for prescribed blood pressure medications).
  • Internal use is not generally recommended due to observed cases of sensitivity and nausea; however this oil does have antioxidant properties and, when consumed in small amounts, can provide a boost to the immune system.
  • Supports overall health of the nervous system by both reducing stress on the system and by repairing previously accumulated damage.
  • Topical use, especially in the areas near eyebrows and the hairline where hair follicles can be found, can reduce the appearance of redness in the skin and minimize the onset of inflammation.
  • When used as an antiseptic to open sores, cuts, and scrapes, this oil can inhibit growth of bacteria and microbes to minimize the risk of infection or inflammation and may also reduce the risk of developing conditions such as tetanus or sepsis.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang – Canaga odorata

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Research

Much like jasmine, Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries – both the beautiful star shaped flower and essential oil derived from it – in wedding ceremonies and other religious applications across many cultures.  Perhaps this is because of its ability to inspire a positive mental state and to invoke calmness and reduce anxiety.  In the modern era is was, until recently, primarily (and widely) used in the cosmetics industry because of its exotic scent, but its appearance in numerous products has led to additional research into this oil’s other amazing properties.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Nutrition

No nutritional benefits – not even fringe benefits for the digestive system.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Safety

Ylang Ylang oil is not recommended for internal use safe to ingest in small quantities; however it does offer some benefits when consumed in very small doses.  Users who wish to use internally must exercise caution, as internal use has been noted to lead to nausea and headaches. This oil is safe to apply directly to the skin without dilution, but users with sensitive skin may wish to dilute with a carrier oil or lotion prior to topical use in order to minimize the risk of irritation.  The use of essential oils should not be substituted for any prescribed medication for any medical condition, and should not be used against the advice of a medical practitioner.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Substitute

The benefits of Ylang Ylang oil are not backed by scientific studies.  As mentioned above, essential oils should never be substituted medications prescribed by a doctor or against the recommendation of a medical practitioner.  However the benefits of this essential oil may be used to complement medications and supplements that target specific ailments.  For example, using it in combination with a prescribed blood pressure medication may increase the positive effects of that medication, but this oil should never be used as the exclusive treatment for unhealthy blood pressure levels

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Blends Well With

Ylang Ylang oil can be blended in a number of combinations to bring out different notes of its exotic scent.  Citrus oils pair exceptionally well, lending a bright note to its sweet, rich undertones.  Consider adding a few drops of lemon or bergamot oil to your diffuser to fill your home with a delicious scent.  Combinations with light, woody oils will also produce a pleasant smell, adding an earthy element to its light, airy scent.  Consider using sandalwood to produce such an effect.

To enhance its soothing, calming properties, consider pairing with another oil that can produce similar benefits.  Other flowery oils, such as lavender and jasmine, make strong choices.  Eucalyptus oil, with its light fresh aroma, would also pair nicely.  Bergamot oil would also be a great choice to produce these effects, and this pairing may also increase focus and mental acuity.

Other popular aromatic oil pairings include arborvitae, basil, cypress grapefruit, lime, orange, and vetiver.


Ylang Ylang oil is used worldwide in cosmetics and perfumes because of its unique, spicy, sweet scent, but it offers many benefits beyond a pretty aroma.  Its use can also improve overall feelings of well-being and calm by chasing away feelings of doom and gloom.  Topical use can minimize the risk of infections in open wounds, and use in skin care products can reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation.  You can even incorporate it into air conditioners to produce a deep conditioning effect.  It’s not wonder that this oil is so popular!


Can Ylang Ylang oil really keep you calm and relaxed?  There are no published and scientifically backed studies that would support this claim, and the FDA does not evaluate any stated health benefits of this oil.  Essential oils should never be used in place of prescribed medication or specifically to treat or diagnose any illness, nor should they be used against the advice of a doctor.  However avid users of essential oils have reported feeling healthier and losing weight more easily when supplementing healthy lifestyle practices with Ylang Ylang oil, and similar testimonials exist for the other benefits detailed in this article.