Flowers of Ylang-Ylang tree - Cananga Odorata syn. Canangium Odoratum (Annonaceae)

Medicinal Use of Ylang-Ylang – Cananga Odorata syn. Canangium Odoratum (Annonaceae)


Evergreen tree growing to 80 ft (25 m). Has lance-shaped leaves and strongly scented yellow-green flowers.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to Indonesia and the Philippines, ylang-ylang is cultivated in tropical Asia and Africa.

Parts Used

Flowers, essential oil.


The essential oil contains linalool (11–30%), safrole, eugenol, geraniol, and sesquiterpenes (including 15–25% germacrene).

History & Folklore

The flowers are a traditional adornment in the Far East. Their scent is thought to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

The flowers and essential oil are sedative, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. The oil has a soothing effect, and its main therapeutic uses are to slow an excessively fast heart rate and to lower blood pressure. With its reputation as an aphrodisiac, ylang-ylang may be helpful in treating impotence.


Do not take the essential oil internally without professional supervision.