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Jasmine; Legends and Benefits

 

 

Jasmine;   Legends and Benefits of ‘Night blooming Jasmine’

Species: Jasmine grandiflorum, Jasmine sambac, Jasmine auriculatum

Family: Oleacea

Aroma: sweet, floral, warm and exotic

These exquisitely fragrant star-shaped flowers are white, pink or yellow and grow on deciduous evergreen shrubs or climbing vines that can reach 32 feet tall. There are 200- 300 species of Jasmine which are native to Northern India, Persia and China. The plant is now cultivated throughout the Mediterranean and North Africa.  The world’s largest producer is Egypt.

Jasmine is revered as the King of all flowers; Rose being known as the Queen of flowers.                                                                                                                           

The flowers have been used for centuries for personal adornment and religious ceremonies, medicine and perfume.

In India, Jasmine is known as “Queen of the night”, as its aroma is particularly intoxicating at night, when the flowers bloom. In India it is a sacred flower that has been woven into bridal wreaths and worn as scented ornaments by women. It has been a favorite scent and hair oil of Indian women. Jasmine flowers were used to adorn the bride. The flowers and the aromatic oil were used for the “First Nights” to adorn the wedding chamber to relax and enhance the nuptial experience.

The Hindu god of love, Kama, the Greek Eros and the Roman Cupid are represented with a bow and arrows tipped with jasmine blossoms in order to pierce the heart with desire.

In China jasmine is a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. It was also used to cleanse the atmosphere that surrounded the sick. Additionally, a good hostess would be sure to have Jasmine on hand to give to inebriated guests to clear their heads.

In Hindu and Muslim traditions the luxurious perfume is associated with femininity, love and fertility.   

The oil and flowers have long been major ingredients in love potions and were associated with the Moon, the goddess Diana and the maternal creative aspect of the universe.

With Christianity Jasmine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the star-shaped flowers symbolized heavenly felicity. White jasmine flowers were known as ‘the star of divine hope.’ In the language of flowers, white jasmine symbolizes deep affection, happiness and elegance.

The Greek physician Dioscorides reported that Jasmine was used in the 1st century AD by Persians to perfume the air at their banquets. It is also mentioned in Sufi poetry as a symbol of love and spiritual longing.

As jasmine can reawaken passion and reunite it with love, on a mental-spiritual level it can restore a capacity for creativity for “fertility of mind.”

Its astrological symbol being the Moon, the oil may be used to enhance intuition and the potential for original thought.

Valerie Worwood describes Jasmine personality as the passionate seductress, gentle and charismatic, bewitching all those who come into her presence.

According to Lavabre Jasmine releases inhibition, liberates imagination, develops exhilarating playfulness and has the power to transcend physical love, fully releasing male and female sexual energies.

The therapeutic value is closely related to the exquisite, comforting sweetness of its aroma, and its effect on the mind and emotions. It supports the Qi-energy of the Heart, calming the nerves, releasing tension, and uplifting the mind. Thus jasmine is one of the most effective essential oils for nervous anxiety, restlessness, and depression.

There are three species of Jasmine that are commercially cultivated for use as absolutes for medicine and perfume.  Opinions vary as to the descriptions of their aromas. I find them each lovely and intoxicating in their own way.

Jasmine auriculatum - native to southern India, has adapted to regions of high altitude and above average rainfall. Aroma of this Jasmine is the most mellow to the ‘nose.’

Jasmine grandiflorum - native to northern Iran, Afghanistan, and Kashmir. Has been cultivated in many countries around the Mediterranean. It has adapted to milder climate.

Jasmine sambac - naïve to southern India. Longtime cultivated in India. Commonly referred to as Mogra.                                                                                            

Grasse, France was the principle supplier of Jasmine absolute. Due to high cost of production, most jasmine is cultivated in Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and India.

Production:

1,000 pounds of unbruised hand-picked or 3.6 million blossoms are required to produce one pound of Jasmine oil.

One pound of pure Jasmine oil = $4,500 per pound.

One pound of synthetic (perfume quality) Jasmine oil = $3.50 per pound.

If the cost is too reasonable, the quality is likely not pure.

Methods of Extraction:

Steam distillation of the Jasmine flower, is not practical as the flower, like other flowers are too delicate for this process.

Absolutes are produced by alcohol extraction followed by the evaporation of the alcohol.

Effleurage is an extraction in an odorless fat, which is then treated with alcohol to produce an absolute ex pomade. This process is expensive and not widely used.

Therapeutic Uses:

Skin care – Traditionally used to restore the skin. Hydrates for softer skin. Helps heal bruises. Increases the skin’s elasticity and helps balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness. Can help calm skin irritation and inflammation.  Beneficial for dry, brittle, dehydrated, aggravated skin – eczema, dermatitis.  Not recommended on broken skin. It is used in face creams, hand & body lotions, shampoos and soaps.

Garden of Eve Face Creams formulated with Jasmine: 

 

 

Emotional – the oil of support helping you find your own inner support and strength, rooting yourself into your own center allowing you to find support in new ways.

Antidepressant – fights depression and awakens romantic and poetic feelings,

Antiseptic and, disinfectant when applied to wounds to prevent infection. And can relieve infection in respiratory system when inhaled.

Antispasmodic - relaxes spasms such as coughs, cramps, congestion, asthma, breathlessness, even spasmodic cholera.

Aphrodisiac – Known as the ultimate aphrodisiac. Jasmine enhances mood, love and sexual desire.                                                                                

Cicatrant – helps to fade scars and after marks from acne, boils and other wounds

Expectorant – Helps to clear nasal passages respiratory tract to reduce snoring and afford a good night’s sleep.

Emmenagogue – regulates periods and relieves period pain, fatigue, nausea and mood swings.

Galactogogue – increases milk flow and protects from breast tumors and breast cancer.

Parturient – Facilitates and eases the birthing process. Reduces labor pains, strengthens contractions, aids postnatal recovery, relieves uterine pain

Sedative - Calms the body, mind and soul, bringing forth positive emotions. Relieves anxiety and stress. Helps to diminish fear and build self-confidence.    

Uterine – Tones the uterus and promotes the secretions of hormones which promote good health and function of that organ.

 

Culinary uses:

To flavor alcohol, confectionery and deserts.

Safety:

Generally considered safe. Non-irritating, non-sensitizing, non-phototoxic. However, always patch test essential oils for allergic reactions,

 

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Author, Eve Stahl, is a Health Consultant, Herbalist and Skin Care expert. She specializes in using nature’s plants to enhance the health of people and to protect the health of our planet. To achieve this purpose she has created Garden of Eve Skin Care products for sensitive skin and all skin types. You can visit her company at: www.gardenofeve.com Prospective Affiliates visit: www.gardenofeveskincare.com/affiliate-application

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