Tag Archives: Relaxation

Topics in Aromatherapy-Ylang Ylang

21 Feb

Ylang Ylang

Welcome to the 5th post in my blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy.  Each week I am focusing on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties.  I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oiltea tree oilsweet almond oil and lavender.

What is ylang ylang?

Ylang ylang is the common name for Cananga odorata, a fast growing tree with flowers that can reach a height of 40m.  It is grown in temperate climates.

The fragrance of ylang-ylang is  due to the components benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate.  It has been said to smell like  rubber and custard with hints of jasmine and neroli (source).

What are the health benefits of ylang ylang?

Ylang ylang essential oil have been shown to:

  • Be antifungal and cytotoxic(source)
  • Repel beetles (source)
  • Be part of a compound, Slim339, which was shown to be a potential therapy for obesity (source)
  • Produce relaxation after applied on the skin (source)
  • Be antifungal, anti-mycobacterial, antimalarial and be able to kill human malignant melanoma cells (all in vitro)
  • Reduce psychological stress responses and serum cortisol (stress hormone that causes the retention of belly fat) (combination of lavender, ylangylang, and bergamot)  (source)
  • Reduce the blood pressure of individuals with essential hypertension (combination of lavender, ylangylang, and bergamot)  (source)

It has been shown that ylang-Ylang oil does not pose a health risk to humans (source)

How is ylang ylang used in aromatherapy?

As ylang ylang has shown to induce relaxation, this would be a great essential oil to put onto a pillow before you sleep or to add to a face scrub used at night.  Small quantities could be gently massaged into the temple or added to massage oil, lotions, etc.  People in the tropics actually use it to protect their hair from salt water damage. (source)

Question?

Have you ever heard of ylang ylang?  What scents do you find to be most relaxing?

Topics in Aromatherapy

14 Feb

Topics in Aromatherapy-Lavender

Welcome to the 4th post in my blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy.  Each week I am focusing on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties.  I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oiltea tree oil and sweet almond oil.

This week, we are going to talk about lavender.

What is lavender?

Lavenders (Lavandula) are a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. (source)

What claims have been made about lavender?

A number of studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including:

  • insomnia
  • alopecia (hair loss)
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • post-operative pain
  • being antibacterial and antiviral
  • The German Standard license and European guidelines for medicinal tea preparation lists lavender for use in sleep disorders, lack of appetite, mild tranquilizer, and treatment of irritable stomach (source)

What studies have been done about lavender?

Most of the studies concerning lavender were not well carried out, too small or used a non-standard dosing of lavender

Some reputable studies have found:

  • The combination of lavender and imipramine was significantly more effective than imipramine alone in treating depression (source)
  • Animal models have found that Lavandula angustifolia can treat painful and inflammatory conditions (source)
  • Lavender extract can reverse learning deficits in rats with Alzheimer’s Disease (source)
  • Lavender oil is effective in reducing challenging behaviours in individuals with dementia (source)
  • Lavender has shown to decreased perception of stress in nurses (source)
  • Lavender was shown to reduce needed pain medication, improve sleep patterns and enhance perception of well-being in patients with rheumatoid arthritis  (source)
  • Lavender was found to be anti-fungal  (source) and anti-bacterial(source)

How it is used in aromatherapy?

Commercial preparations are made from dried flowers and essential oils of the lavender plant to be used in:

  • Aromatherapy oil
  • Bath gels
  • Extracts
  • Infusions
  • Lotions
  • Soaps
  • Teas
  • Tinctures
  • Whole, dried flowers

(source)

I recently made some lotion and a face scrub with dried lavender and they smell so lovely and are very relaxing.

Cooking with lavender

Lavender is also used in cooking:

  • Its flowers yield a nectar which is transformed by bees into honey.
  • Its flowers can be candied for cake decorations
  • It can be made into sugar
  • It may be blended with tea
  • It can be added to baked goods (source)

Cautions

Some people may develop an allergic reaction to lavender (source)

Question?

Have you used lavender before?  What is your favorite way to use it?  Have you grown lavender?

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