Ylang Ylang Ylang Ylang (Madagascar)
2022 Sourcing Impact
Total Lives Impacted: 8,242
People Empowered via Sourcing Jobs: 1,335
Lives Supported by Sourcing Jobs: 6,542
- Lives Impacted through Social Impact Projects: 1,700
Derived from unique star-shaped flowers, Ylang Ylang oil is often used in making perfumes and in aromatherapy.
Ylang Ylang essential oil comes from the island of Nosy Be—off the northwest coast of Madagascar. The trees thrive in the hot, wet climate.
The Harvesting and Distillation Process
Ylang ylang trees are fast-growing, reaching up to 40 feet high. For ease of harvesting and increased productivity, they’re regularly pruned and kept around 10 feet tall. The essential oil comes from distilling the tree’s small flowers. Ylang ylang trees must grow for three to four years before harvest, but they’ll then produce flowers for potentially 30 or more years. When a tree is properly cared for, it can produce up to 22 pounds of fresh flowers per year.
The flowers turn yellow when they’re mature and ready to harvest. The flowers grow year-round, but the primary harvest is from April to June—just after the rainy season. The harvesters (typically women) handpick the flowers early in the morning when the blossoms are open and releasing their sweet fragrance.
The flowers need to be distilled within 24 hours of collection. Otherwise, they lose their aroma, and the essential oil yield from distillation is reduced. Distillation takes 18 to 24 hours. Because of the large volume of flowers required to produce the essential oil, the whole process requires an enormous collective effort.
Empowering People: Fair and On-Time Payments
By partnering with us, ylang ylang harvesters and distillers in Madagascar receive regular, fair compensation for their efforts. Because we’re a guaranteed buyer, growers are less likely to lose out on income because of price speculation and bidding.
Along with ongoing, on-time compensation, growers who produce high-quality essential oil can also earn annual bonuses for the quality of their work. This incentive provides them with additional resources to expand their production capacities.
Impact Stories: Social Impact
On Nosy Be—where we source Ylang Ylang essential oil—reliable healthcare can be difficult to come by. Because of this, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® has helped establish a mobile health clinic that travels to various villages on the island.
doTERRA Healing Hands works specifically with 10 village communities where most of the people involved with the ylang ylang harvesting cooperative live—between 750 and 900 people. One person from each village is chosen as a health officer, trained, and provided with first aid kits and essential oils. Each health officer is instructed in the appropriate uses of these resources. A doctor is also employed to work for this clinic and visit each village twice a week to see patients in their homes.
Eventually, a permanent structure will be built near the Ylang Ylang essential oil distillation compound, with a regular staff to handle more serious issues. This medical dispensary will also serve as a maternity clinic. But even after the establishment of this dispensary, the mobile clinic will continue.
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