Edition 16: February 2010
Essential Oil of the Month
Exotic oil entices the sexually shy
YLANG-YLANG essential oil takes very good care of the skin in that it is extremely effective in maintaining its moisture and oil balance.
Its soothing action sorts out over-dry as well as overly-oily skin by balancing the secretion of sebum and it has a stimulating effect on the scalp, which promotes more luxurious hair growth.
In the Philippines the people would soak the ylang flowers in coconut oil to perfume their hair and bodies; the oil protected their hair from the salt water of the sea. In Indonesia, the flower petals are strewn upon the bed on wedding nights. The oil was once a popular ingredient of hair preparations in Europe and was known as macassar oil.
Ylang-ylang has been dubbed the “poor man’s jasmine” for its resemblance to the other exorbitant exotic oil.
Ylang can be used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, especially Seborrhea eczema (caused by the malfunctioning of sebaceous glands, resulting in irregular sebum production and consequent infection of the epidermal cells.) Ylang-ylang Essential Oil can be beneficial in curing this unsightly, inflammatory problem, by regularising sebum production, reducing the peeling skin and treating the infection.
This oil is wonderful in perfumery for its voluptuous exotic note and it is said to help keep the breasts firm.
Ylang demonstrates superb antiseptic action on wounds, helping to prevent tetanus and infections as it inhibits microbial growth and disinfects, effectively promoting more rapid healing.
This oil is a very good and effective agent for lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is growing alarmingly among the young and old - and drugs used to lower it have serious adverse side effects on the health, whereas ylang-ylang oil can be a safe preventative. It is particularly useful with rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat, (tachycardia) reducing the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome. It acts as an adrenal suppressant. It is said to aid autistic people as well as being useful in controlling epilepsy, especially when smelt before the onset of a seizure*.
It can be used to treat infections in the internal organs such as the stomach, intestines, colon, urinary tracts etc. This is where abdominal massage can be a most useful complementary treatment to allopathic treatment.
To help alleviate the blues, wear one drop of ylang-ylang as a perfume, either dabbed on your collarbone, on the inside of your shirt, to let the aroma rise during the day.
Ylang is a tonic for the womb and indicated for releasing tension during birth and particularly after a caesarian, encouraging bonding and a feeling of tenderness and intimacy.
The ylang-ylang essential oil is a wonderful tonic for the nerves, strengthening and making them more resilient. It helps heal nervous disorders and afflictions such as stress, anger, insomnia and anxiety. This oil sedates and induces a relaxing feeling; which is why it is so useful for depression; it awakens a feeling of safety and security and has an uplifting effect on mood, inducing feelings of joy and hope. It may be an effective treatment for those undergoing nervous breakdown and acute depression after a shock or accident.
Psychologically, ylang-ylang creates a sense of peace and aids self-expression of repressed inner feelings. Ylang makes us aware of our attachments and our rigid adherence to our own opinions and concepts, which can engender spiritual narrow-mindedness. This wonderful oil allows us to open up and be more expansive safely; anger is transformed to sadness and as the tears flow, this too passes.
Aphrodisiac in nature, ylang can be very beneficial for those people who are losing interest in sex due to tremendous work load, professional stress, worries and effects of pollution. While it is not physiologically active in terms of creating sexual response, its euphoric and relaxing qualities set the mood.
The oil creates the urge to give of ourselves to others, to love and to receive love and in this sense ylang’s aphrodisiac qualities are realised.
This voluptuous oil may be used by people who, in fear and withdrawal, have subconsciously blocked their sexuality. The paradisiacal sweetness of ylang entices them to open, centering them so they may inwardly unify and outwardly merge; expressing both pleasure and joy.
*(Ref: Dr Tim Betts neuropsychiatric clinic UK)
Burners and vapourisers: ylang-ylang oil can be helpful with anxiety, tension, shock, fear, panic, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat.
Blended massage oil or in the bath: ylang-ylang will assist with physical exhaustion, insomnia, frigidity, impotence, depression, anxiety, nervous tension and stress while having a calming and aphrodisiac effect.
Cream or lotion: In a cream or lotion it is used to balance the production of sebum in the skin and thereby correcting and balancing overly-dry as well as overly-oily skin.
Name: Ylang Ylang
Latin name: Cananga odorata
What is it? Meaning ‘flower of flowers’, Ylang comes from an evergreen tropical tree about 20 meters high with large, fragrant pink, mauve or yellow flowers and is cultivated in Java, Sumatra, Reunion, Madagascar and the Comoros.
Scent: A Heavy and intensely sweet floral. Ylang is exotic, with woody and balsamic undertones. Considered a base - middle note in perfumery; ylang-ylang oil is slightly yellow in colour and extracted from the freshly picked flowers by water or steam distillation. The first distillation is called ylang ylang extra and is the top grade
Therapeutic Properties: anti depressant, anti seborrhoeic, anti septic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, nervine and sedative.
Ylang-ylang oil blends well with: bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, sandalwood, vetivert, cedarwood, clary sage, nutmeg, geranium
What Herb is That?
Living fossil gets blood racing
CHARLES Darwin called the Gingko tree a living fossil, as it is a relic from the dinosaur age and thought to be the oldest tree species on earth.
Sometimes called the maidenhair tree, Gingko has existed for more than 200 million years and is considered sacred throughout Asia; often found around Buddhist temples.
In China’s first great herbal, it was deemed to benefit the brain as well as the heart and lungs and it was used to treat circulatory problems such as chilblains and to treat asthma.
In ancient India it was associated with longevity. Introduced to Europe in 1730, the gingko tree is now popular in parks and streetscapes, though it didn’t feature in western herbal medicine until relatively recently and now it is one of the most widely used and best researched herbal medicines.
The herb contains more than 40 active substances; however, out of all these, most of the ginkgo biloba benefits are due to flavonoids and terpenoids. This high antioxidant component inhibits free radicals that if uncontrolled can cause premature ageing and dementia. They improve memory and the body’s metabolism, while increasing the efficiency of the immune system by neutralising the effect of the free radicals.
Gingko biloba is understood to be a brain tonic, promoting short and long term memory. Ginkgo biloba improves the blood flow to the brain and enhances the mental processes. Reaction time, as well as mental clarity, can be improved by using supplements based on ginkgo biloba. Approximately 20 per cent of the oxygen consumed by the body goes to the brain. Ginkgo biloba extract prevents this amount from becoming lower and may also enhance cognitive performance in healthy older adults and in people suffering from age-related cognitive decline. Enhancement of blood flow to the brain of the elderly can be a preventative for stroke; extract of ginkgo biloba enlarges the blood vessels but also helps them to relax.
Vertigo and dizziness
Further ginkgo biloba benefits include improvement of ear and eye conditions. A French study showed gingko to be “conclusively effective” for chronic ringing in the ears, or tinnitus. Other studies have revealed ginkgo biloba can be successfully used for treating eye problems when these are determined by diabetes or age-related macular degeneration by enhancing blood flow to the retina to promote visual keenness. Research has verified this herbs effectiveness in treating vertigo or chronic dizziness.
Gingko enhances the overall circulation; it helps dilate the blood vessels and helps the blood to circulate more easily. People suffering from other circulation-related conditions such as leg cramps could experience favorable results from using gingko. Gingko improves blood flow also to the heart muscle, its antioxidants help prevent heart disease and it also helps prevent blood clots that trigger heart attacks. It prevents cholesterol from forming into plaques. (Plaques are the cholesterol that clogs in the arteries.) When cholesterol deposits narrow the arteries in the legs, intermittent claudication occurs with pain cramping and weakness, especially in the calves, and gingko can provide great relief by improving blood flow through the legs. By inhibiting platelet stickiness, Gingko could decrease the risk of circulatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
Gingko is good news for those suffering from impotence, the type caused by reduction of blood supply to the penis due to narrowing arteries. Pertinent usage of the herb improves erectile function. This is also helpful for those on anti-depressants who experience sexual problems, as gingko enhances sexual desire, function and pleasure.
Latin name: Gingko Biloba
What is it? It grows up to 30 metres and can live for 1000 years. Ginkgo grows most predominantly in the southern and eastern United States, southern France, China, and Korea. The leaves of the tree are used for their medicinal effects as the foul-smelling fruit is inedible.
Therapeutic uses: Cerebral insufficiency, (cases of trauma to the brain: disorientation, headaches, and depression) peripheral vascular disease, tinnitus and vertigo. Disease of the aged: Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart disease, impotence, deafness, blindness, and dementia memory loss.
Caution: Gingko in extract form should be avoided by pregnant and nursing mothers, those with blood clotting disorders and those on anti-coagulants.