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The first morning of my vacation in Bali, I walked out of our bungalow on the beach and was hit by the most ambrosial and heady floral smell that almost knocked me over. In the steamy morning air, the scent of ylang-ylang hung thick and intoxicating. And now every time I use this essential oil, I am transported back to that Indonesian paradise and a heavenly calm settles over me.

Ylang-ylang (pronounced ee long) translates into “flower of flowers” and is cultivated primarily in Sumatra, Java and Madagascar. The heavily scented flowers are harvested in early morning and are processed immediately to retain their odor. They are steam distilled into an essential oil and although other products are made from these flowers, the essential oil is the only one that should be used in massage.

This exotic oil has a wide variety of healing properties, but is best known for its antidepressant qualities. Ylang2 stimulates the part of the brain that releases endorphins into the body to help reduce pain. It also supports the adrenal glands creating an euphoric feeling, where a deep connection to inner tranquility and peace can be found. Ylang2 has sedative properties that aid in nervous depression, anxiety and inner tension. When this sweet scent is inhaled, tension and stress melt away being replaced by inner balance and centered focus. Anger, frustration, rage and fraught emotions are dissipated with ylang2, especially if used in conjunction with massage or if added to a relaxing evening bath, especially if these tense emotions cause insomnia or night-worry. Likewise adding ylang2 to a carrier oil and massaging it onto the temples can alleviate tension headaches.

Considered very yin, ylang2 is truly a woman’s oil (although it can be used on a man to bring out his feminine side). Well known in the Orient as an aphrodisiac, this erotic oil helps a woman connect to her deep passionate self, heightens her internal sexual fire and opens her heart chakra. She can feel self-confident, sensual and in control when wearing ylang2 added to her favorite perfume. Both frigidity (and impotence in men) are said to be overcome with this potent flower. It will also help with PMS and menstrual disorders as it supports the hormonal system. Added to shampoo or conditioner, split ends and dry hair can be a thing of the past, as can be weak and sagging facial muscles as this superb oil tones and strengthens the fascia while balancing skin’s pH.

Because it is attuned to the heart chakra on an energetic level, ylang2 also supports the heart on a physiological level and is said to help with tachycardia (an overly fast heart rate). This could be because it calms nervous tension and relieves negative emotions like anger and rage. By alleviating inner turmoil the heart can soften and joy, peace and tranquility can replace frustration and inner stress. The whole nervous system can relax and enjoy a calmer existence.

There are certain oils that seem to resonate with the current cosmic energies and ylang2 is definitely one of them. Because of its ability to open the heart area, expanding it to new levels of love and joy and because of its support of the Goddess energies, helping us to connect to our feminine wisdom, this supreme oil can be considered one of the best ‘”new age’ aids to bring us into higher consciousness and inner awareness. The feminine aspect is within us all and can always use the help and generosity of this loving oil.

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