The cananga tree (cananga odorata) belongs to the same botanical family as the tree which produces Ylang Ylang essential oil. It is a tall, tropical tree which grows up to 98 feet high and the oil is extracted from its large, aromatic, yellow flowers, identical to those of the ylang ylang. The cananga tree is native to tropical Asia, and the oil, that is steam-distilled from the flowers, is distributed from Java, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the islands of the Moluccas.
Cananga essential oil and Ylang Ylang essential oil have different (yet similar) aromatic properties. Traditionally, Cananga essential oil was used by local people to treat infectious diseases, such as malaria. Cananga essential oil is now used in aromatherapy to treat insect bites, for skin and hair care, to relieve anxiety, depression and stress related illness. It also has antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, and nervine properties. It is often used in soap perfumery and men’s fragrances but is generally considered of a lesser quality than Ylang Ylang, as it has a heavier and less delicate aroma.
Cananga essential oil has a balancing and stimulating effect on the skin and is beneficial for combination skin, irritated skin and areas with uneven skin tone. It can also be used to stimulate hair growth for those with hair loss or thinning hair. It can also help relieve irritability, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, high blood pressure, rapid breathing and heartbeat, nervous conditions, as well as impotence.