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Ylang Ylang for High Blood Pressure and Tachycardia

Updated on March 1, 2011
Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang | Source

My grandmother has anxiety attacks that lead to spikes of high blood pressure, headaches and rapid heartbeat, also known as tachycardia. She refuses to take anti-anxiety medications or herbs. What to do?

Sniff some ylang ylang.

Ylang ylang is a tropical, flowering tree with a heady, intoxicating fragrance. It is best known as one of the main ingredients of Chanel No. 5.

The name, ylang ylang, is Tagalog for “flower of flowers.” If you have ever had the pleasure of walking under a ylang ylang tree, you would not question this appellation. The scent stops you in your tracks.

Distilled into an essential oil, ylang ylang has a laundry list of health care uses, mostly revolving around its ability to relieve nervous tension. It is perhaps most noted for its ability to calm the heart, bringing down blood pressure and heart rate at times of extreme stress.

Kurt Schnaublet, PhD, in his book Advanced Aromatherapy, notes that even in the minutest amounts, ylang ylang has a marked and immediate effect on heart palpitations.

For hypertension, Dr. James Howenstein MD recommends rubbing a single drop of ylang ylang oil between the fingertips and inhaling for one minute. This should be repeated as needed.

It is unclear if ylang ylang helps with all types of high blood pressure, but it certainly seems to have an effect on symptoms that are anxiety-induced. In my grandmother’s case, her headache (a symptom of uncontrolled hypertension) goes away within a few minutes of dabbing a drop on her collar.

In addition to treating cardiovascular symptoms, ylang ylang is also considered an aphrodisiac. It helps us to let go of stress and focus on sensual pleasure. Ylang ylang can be helpful in treating impotence and lack of desire when sexual anxiety is at the root of the problem.

Ylang ylang can, of course, be helpful for any type of anxiety, restlessness, or agitation. It has a mild antidepressant effect and helps promote sleep. It is great in a bath after a stressful day at work.

Be warned, a little ylang ylang goes a long way. Generally, it should only be used one drop at a time. Too much can be overly heady, producing a feeling of intoxication, stupor or even nausea.

Ylang ylang, like most essential oils, should never be taken internally. It is best applied, by the drop, to fingertips, clothing, or a tissue for inhalation. It can also be diffused through a vaporizer or diluted into a relaxing massage oil or lotion.

Remember that high blood pressure and uncontrolled heart rate are serious health conditions that should be evaluated by a physician. Ylang ylang may help complement but will not replace necessary medication

Sources: Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay,,

Copyright Emily Snelling 2011.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.


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      Rachel Calvert 3 years ago

      Actually, if you use CPTG Ylang Ylang from doTerra, it can be taken internally. doTerra is the ONLY company that uses CPTG oils. Only about 4-5 oils should not be taken internally. Having said that, let me say that I've recently begun using Ylang Ylang for my Tachycardia with great success. Any questions, feel free to email me at

    • Emily L Snelling profile image

      Emily L Snelling 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe, Nevada USA

      It definitely has a noticeable effect--at least for me. I remember staying at a hotel in Dominica where I had to pass under a blooming ylang ylang tree to get to my room. Each time I walked down that path, I stopped in my tracks without even realizing it, took deep breaths, and smiled. Changed my mood instantly.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      Fascinating. I certainly feel divine whenever I use a few drops of Chanel no. 5 bought duty-free on a plane. I thought it was the high of using such a classic but it appears from your article that its success is based on the high rather than the contrary!