Stress is something which seems so rife in today’s world. Is it just me or does everything seem to be moving faster and faster? From advances in technology - to fast food and fast fashion. Communicating all the time, on so many different mediums. We are sleeping less - working more, never disconnecting from emails and social media. Our diets have changed too - we are eating more processed and packaged foods with hardly a natural ingredient in sight.
The world is our oyster. We can do anything we want - but when did there become so many options?!! Does anyone actually know what they want to do for the next 60 years?
FOMO is a real thing. Social media adding fuel to the fire. With the common consensus that we need to be achieving, competing and excelling in everything we do. And if you haven't made it by now, what have you been doing? The country is in turmoil - Brexit, climate change, terrorism, rising rents, getting on the property ladder... And this need to consume more and more as a distraction. With an unhealthy underplaying of our addiction to alcohol, caffeine and drugs.
We’re constantly looking towards the future, thinking that's when we will be happy. Taking little time to stop. Step back, and feel content with where we are, and who we are.
It’s easy to see how we can get overwhelmed and feelings of anxiety and inadequacy can arise. I’m sure this is something that most people can familiarise with - whether it is fleeting feeling or something which you live with on a day to day basis. I know I certainly have had these thoughts - something that has challenged me over the years especially when starting a small business. With the constant juggle of time, cash flow, success, self motivation, are we good enough?
As May celebrates mental health awareness month, I thought I would share with you a natural remedy and essential oil - Ylang Ylang - A flower which has some beautiful properties and can really help those struggling from an array of common mental health problems. Commonly used in aromatherapy to boost energy, soothe the nervous system, relieve stress, combat anxiety and help with depression.
I learnt about this from ‘The School Of Natural Medicine’ run by Bonny Casel, where I am currently undertaking a diploma in ‘Healing Diets’ - I’ve always been into alternative medicine and now I’m learning to use myself as a guinea pig for self healing. Enjoy!
Ylang Ylang- Cananga odorata genuina
Ylang Ylang means "flower of flowers". It is also known as the "poor man's Jasmine" because it has a lovely floral scent somewhat similar to Jasmine but much more affordable. The two oils can be used interchangeably. Ylang Ylang is most often used as a stress reliever, as well as to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system. It has strong antidepressant properties and it helps to bring the emotions into proper balance. It helps relieve mental fatigue, anxiety, and tension headaches. It is also known for its powerful aphrodisiac properties!
Ylang Ylang will help balance the equilibrium and function of the heart and lungs. It helps reduce abnormally fast breathing when it doesn’t lower itself naturally. It will also help slow down heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
Ylang Ylang has a long history of use in hair care. It helps to moisturise and strengthen the hair. It has often been used to help slow down hair loss. It is also a good oil to use in general skin care, particularly when treating mature skin. It will help smooth out wrinkles and balance oily or dry skin.
Scent: Ylang Ylang Extra has a sweet, flowery, syrupy, scent that reminds you of exotic candies.
History: In Indonesia, Ylang Ylang flowers are put on the bed of newlywed couples for their wedding night. The leaves are often used to eliminate itching and the resin of the tree was used to treat muscle aches and pains. In Victorian England it was heavily used in a hair oil, known as Macassar oil. It was so widely used that housewives took to making covers to protect the backs of their chairs, which is where the name Antimacassar came from. It is most often used in perfumes, cosmetics, and hair treatments, as well as many desserts, sweets, and other food items.
Ylang Ylang is: Antidepressant, Calmative, Nervine, Stimulant (Circulatory), Antiseborrheic, Euphoriant, Regulator , Antiseptic, Aphrodisiac, Fixative, Hypotensive, Sedative (Nerves), Rejuvenator (Skin and hair)
Where to buy: When choosing essential oils it is important to get pure and organic. Some good retailers in the UK are: Florihana and Fragrant Earth
Blends well with: Rosewood, Jasmine, Vetiver, Bergamot, Cassia, Balsam of Peru, Rose, Orange, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Lime
How to use your essential oil:
You will need to blend with a carrier oil (such as almond oil or jojoba) before using topically. A general guideline is 4-8 drops in 1⁄2 teaspoon of carrier oil for adult topical use. Once you have tried it, you will know if you need to blend more or less.
To help you relax, put 2 drops of Ylang Ylang in 1 teaspoon carrier oil and use in your bath.
Put 1 drop Ylang Ylang with one drop of another favourite essential oil on your pillowcase to give you something to help the mood at night.
Try it in a diffuser or on the collar of your top
Make your own Dry Hair Conditioner:
• 1 ripe Avocado, mashed
• 2 tablespoons Sour Cream, Plain Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt
• 2 drops Ylang Ylang Extra oil • 1⁄2 teaspoon Castor Oil
Stir all ingredients together until you have a smooth paste; either with a fork or a blender. Apply entire mixture to your hair or scalp. Wrap hair with a warm towel or cover with a shower cap and leave treatment in for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water, then shampoo as usual. This is great for super dry or damaged hair.
Hope you enjoyed reading! Now you know of some ways to bring this powerful and peaceful flower into your own life !!