Ylang Ylang
A Sweet Smelling Hypotensive

Ylang ylang is known by most of us as a beautiful smelling component in perfume, and it is. There is however much more to this beautiful flower`s power than just its scent. For high blood pressure sufferers, it has the potential to lower it significantly

Ylang ylang (Cananga Odorata) is a hypotensive, having power to reduce stress and in addition, open blood vessels.

But what are the ingredients that cause this to happen and how do they work on the body to produce these effects?

Notable Compounds in Ylang Ylang

The essential oil from the flower has 2 ingredients that draw our attention. One is Linalool and the other is Benzyl benzoate.

Linalool was tested by Japanese scientists on restrained rats and found to reduce stress levels after they inhaled it. These tests have not been carried out on humans but the oil is extensively used in aromatherapy for its calming and sedative effects. For stress related high blood pressure, this therapy will be of much benefit. This led the Japanese researchers to carry out the tests.

What about Benzyle benzoate? What is it and how does it work?
This is an organic compound that is found in many blossoms. It is an antispasmodic and has a vasodilating effect on blood vessels by inducing the relaxation of smooth muscle in the artery walls. This causes vessels to open up and allow more blood to flow through them. Pharmaceutical companies use this compound in drugs for hypertension. They are called Angiotensin Receptor Blockers or ARB`s.

As you can see, there are good reasons for considering this essential oil as an alternative therapy for high blood pressure. To use it in aromatherapy, apply a few drops to reflex points, use in massage, or inhale.

Be extra careful when using this aromatherapy oil. It has a very strong and heady scent and can induce headaches if it is overwhelming.

Authoritative Sources

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless pg. 104

Nakamura et al. Stress Repression in Restrained Rats by (R)-(-)-Linalool Inhalation and Gene Expression Profiling of Their Whole Blood Cells.

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry

Inhibitory effects of benzyl benzoate and its derivatives on angiotensin II-induced hypertension

Osamu Ohnoa, Mao Yeb, Tomoyuki Koyamab, Kazunaga Yazawab, Emi Muraa, Hiroshi Matsumotoa, Takao Ichinoa, Kaoru Yamadaa, Kazuhiko Nakamuraa, Tomohiro Ohnoc, Kohji Yamaguchic, Junji Ishidad, Akiyoshi Fukamizud, Daisuke Uemuraa, e,