If the jasmine flower were human, it would definitely be a party animal. Like many merrymakers, jasmine finds the daylight hours to be exactly the right time to fold up its petals and get some quality shuteye. When the sun returns towards the horizon, the white flower rolls out its petals and its nighttime festivities begin. Since we are, after all, talking about a one-inch flower, by party we mean it celebrates with a generous eruption of exotic fragrance to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone who just happens to be walking by. It’s no surprise, then, that this evening reveler and its seductive scent that reaches its peak late at night (even more so during a waxing moon) is oft associated with romance and widely considered one of the world’s fragrant aphrodisiacs. Not-so-mysteriously, this relative of the olive is nicknamed “mistress in the night.” (Oddly, in its essential oil form it is called the “king of flower oils.”)
In India, this little flower is the sacred blossom of Kama—the God of Love.
But we can’t all spend our evenings strolling around the vine-like evergreen shrub speckled with intensely scented flowers night after night to take in its natural perfume, especially if we don’t live in the parts of Africa, Asia or Europe where it happens to grow naturally. Lucky for us, jasmine has proven itself to be the flower that just keeps giving in all sorts of extracted forms that can be sent all over the world to help us relieve our stress and fill us with its anti-depressant properties.
Most jasmine gatherers opt to pluck the clusters of blossoms from their oval, shiny leaves in the wee hours of the night when it produces the most oil, catching the tubular flower in full bloom before it tucks itself into bed with the rising sun. From these small flowers that radiate an intriguing and complex scent, essential oil, perfume, creams, soap, incense, and even tea are made.
While it rightfully deserves attention for the exotic and natural perfume that it selflessly shares night after night, its uses and benefits are a’plenty.
LET’S START WITH JASMINE TEA
Jasmine tea is an herbal steep with a floral fragrance and fruity undertone that has not only been credited with helping to lift people out of depression, alleviating stress and relieving anxiety. It is health benefits galore with this tea, which contains antiviral and antibacterial properties, and is used to help us get over a cold, influenza, bronchitis, strep throat and even lung infections such as pneumonia. Jasmine tea is also often used in baths as well, to create an herbal soak that helps increase relaxation in the mind and entire body, relieving tension, inflammation, aches, pains and stiffness. It encourages good blood circulation, can soften skin, and even relieve hemorrhoids and some external bacterial infections.
BURN JASMINE INCENSE
Jasmine is a popular centerpiece in incense blends, providing a pleasing floral note in aromatherapy that is often a distinctly feminine, though this depends on the other fragrances in the mix. Depending on the other aromas in the blend, its scent provides a floral highlight. As a night-blooming flower, its contribution is always calming and potentially romantic.
Jasmin Incense: Matsya, Ganga, Gopinatha, Ragini Gujari, Ragini Gaudmalhar
JASMINE ESSENTIAL OIL
One of the main forms of jasmine is as an essential oil that can be diluted and massaged into the skin, or heated in an oil diffuser to fill a room with its fragrance for aromatherapy. Jasmine is rich in esters, a class of mostly fragrant organic compounds. Each blossom is made up of about 40% benzyl acetate, a specific ester that also exists in pears, strawberries, and the highly fragrant and much-loved ylang ylang flower. The natural fragrance of benzyl acetate, which is more concentrated in jasmine essential oil than the flower itself, can undoubtedly be described as sweet floral and fruity. For external use only, jasmine essential oil has not only anti-inflammatory properties but also anti-fungal.
JASMINE AND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
If your nerves are frayed, jasmine will be there for you to bring the feeling of calm that you seek. Any of its forms of aromatherapy will sedate your overrun nervous system, creating a soothing and uplifting feeling that will have you forgetting about any crazy-makers who jangled up your nerves during the day. Like a natural side effect, it helps alleviate headaches and insomnia, warms your emotions and dispels feelings of apathy, disinterest, and laziness. Feel these transform into passion, assurance and enthusiasm. WARNING: If you drink pure jasmine tea, be aware that it has caffeine. Also, some people who have taken in a large amount of jasmine tea can experience loose stools, though a reasonable amount should not cause this. Women who are breast feeding or trying to become pregnant should avoid jasmine as it may lower blood pressure. WebMD states that it is safe for women who are pregnant and breast feeding, in amounts that are found in food but a lack of information means it is unknown if it is safe in larger amounts used for medicinal purposes.
The information above is not medical advice.