Ylang Ylang, an Aphrodisiac

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ylang ylang aphrodisiac

Ylang-ylang (ee-lahng-ee-lahng), Cananga odorata, is a small but beautiful flower of the cananga tree. The tree attains an average height of 12 meters, grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The leaves are long, smooth and glossy. The flower is greenish yellow or pink, curly like a starfish, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil. A related species is Cananga fruticosa which is a dwarf Ylang-Ylang growing as small tree or compact shrub with hightly scented flowers. Ylang Ylang has been cultivated in temperate climates under conservatory conditions.

The word derives from the Tagalog (one of the native languages of the Philippine Islands) plant name ilang-ilang, and does not allude to the pleasant scent of ylang-ylang flowers.

Ylang-ylang essential oil is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes. Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells. In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples.


The scent of ylang ylang, if used in the right quantities, relaxes your troubled thoughts. It’s because it has a euphoric and sedative effect on the nervous system and helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic. As a tonic to the nervous system that has comforting and soothing effects plus it lifts the mood, it has been known as one of nature’s potent aphrodisiac which, some say, is useful for impotence and frigidity. In fact in parts of the Pacific Rim, ylang ylang is associated with weddings and honeymoons. This may account for its popularity in perfume blends. Of course, the so-called aphrodisiac scents also simply smell wonderful, which may be why they are attractive to most women.

Traditionally, it was used medicinally to treat malaria and to sooth insect bites and to fight off other infections.

1 comment :

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