Thursday November 15th 2018

Awesome aromatherapy : Citronella Oil and Ylang Ylang

Citronella oil is distilled from the leaves and stems of different species essay writers online of a tropical grass, it has a rich, crisp lemony aroma and thus was given the name Citronella.

At present, the world production of citronella oil is approximately 4,000 tons. The main producers are China and Indonesia – producing 40% of the world’s supply. The oil is also produced in Taiwan, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, and South Africa.

The chemicals geraniol and citronellal that are derived from citronella find extensive use in soap, perfumery, cosmetic and food and beverage flavouring industries throughout the world.

Citronella oil is a renowned plant-based insect repellent providing a natural alternative to synthetic insect repellants containing DEET. It’s mosquito repellent qualities have been verified by research, however to be continually effective most citronella repellent formulas need to be reapplied to the skin every 30–60 minutes.

Therapeutic properties: Research also shows that citronella oil has strong antifungal and antiseptic properties.  It is helpful with colds, flu and minor infections. It has a general toning and tonic effect on the body and may be used for combating excessive perspiration and for balancing an oily skin.  It can help with fighting intestinal parasites and bringing down fever. It also has an excellent effect on clearing the mind and apparently is effective in calming barking dogs.

A Few Words of Caution: Citronella may produce irritation, dermatitis or sensitization in skin if used in higher concentrations. It should not be used on skin of small children and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Blending: The Essential Oil of Citronella forms good blends with the essential oils of bergamot, cedar wood, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, rosemary tea tree and pine.

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Ylang Ylang (pronounced  EE-lang-EE-lang) essential oil is extracted from the flowers of a tropical tree native to Indonesia, the Commores, Madagascar and Reunion. The flowers of the Ylang Ylang yield a strong, exotic and floral fragrance.

The flowers are usually picked in the morning for the best distillation of the essential oil; the scent of Ylang Ylang is strongest in the afternoon and early evening. The first distillation or ‘pressing’ is called Ylang-ylang extra, which is the top grade and then there are 1st, 2nd and 3rd distillations. The extra contains the highest amounts of esters and therefore has the sweetest odor, while the later pressings have a less-sweet odor. The ‘extra’ is not used in aromatherapy, but used in the perfume industry and to have a ‘complete’ essential oil for aromatherapy, the ‘extra’ is combined with the 1st and 2nd pressings to form the complete ylang-ylang essential oil. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (like Chanel No 5).

Therapeutic properties : This extremely fragrant essential oil is considered an aphrodisiac and can help with sexual difficulties. It has a calming effect on the mind and body and is recommended for treating palpitations and reducing high blood pressure. It can help relieve depression and feelings of anxiety, shock and anger. Ylang ylang has proven beneficial for treating PMS, especially associated with extreme mood swings that occur just before the onset of menstruation. It has a wonderfully balancing and stimulating effect on the skin, helps correct sebum production and is also used to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Ylang Ylang can help with motion sickness and hyper-activity in children.

A Few Words of Caution: Some cases of sensitivity, nausea and headache have been observed when taken in excess amount, otherwise it is non-toxic and a non-irritant.

Blending: The Essential Oil of Ylang-Ylang makes very good blends with those of bergamot, grapefruit, lavender and sandalwood.

Editorial kindly supplied by SOiL, a South African company producing certified organic Aromatherapy and Bodycare products .

Products are available in selected health shops or can be purchased online. Please see website for further info – www.soil.co.za

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