The History And Benefits Of Jasmine
Jasmine’ is a common name for plants classified in the genus Jasminium. There are over two hundred individual species of jasmine, which come from Asia, Europe, and Africa. The precise original location of jasmine is heavily disputed.
Some botanists pinpoint as originating from India in the northern parts of the Himalayan valleys. Others place it as far away as Egypt or ancient Persia. The name itself, ‘jasmine’, comes from a Persian word meaning ‘fragrant flower’.
Where it is Grown
Jasmine tolerates a variety of soils, which makes it excellent for many different gardens.
Jasmine prefers sun to shade; in fact, this plant like sun so much it does not do well in shade at all. If the garden is filled with trees, the gardener must carefully trim them on a regular basis in order to make sure that jasmine stays in the sunshine.
For this reason, jasmine is mainly grown today in tropical and subtropical regions.
Jasmine is actually a vine-like plant, and one vine can grow to cover a large area, so gardeners may only need one jasmine plant to completely fill the space that has been prepared for it.
Prepping for Use
This flower can be pruned as a shrub or as a vine, so making sure what form to keep the plant in is critical in the early stages of growth. The holes for jasmine must be placed about eight feet apart. Each hole should be about three to six inches in width. When planting jasmine in the ground, be very careful not to choke it by covering its base with too much dirt. This will kill the plant; it is very sensitive to being suffocated, so keep that in mind.
To make jasmine into a consumable form such as jasmine tea, the blossoms from the plant are added to a bag of dry tea leaves. The unique thing about this flower is that it only opens at night. For this reason, unopened blossoms are used to make tea. The bad is stored over night so the blossoms can open and scent the tea leaves. This process is repeated ten times until the tea leaves are thoroughly saturated with the smell. This makes for some excellent tea.
Since ancient times jasmine has been known as the queen of flowers. For this reason, jasmine has held a place of preeminence among rulers throughout history.
History And Origin Of Usage
Egypt dynasties, Chinese emperors, and kings of Afghanistan, Nepal and Persia were all said to keep jasmine flowers in their royal gardens. One Chinese emperor, living in the time of the Sung dynasty, kept a large quantity of jasmine in the grounds of his palace because he enjoyed their scent so much.
Varieties of the main species of jasmine used in perfume had found their way to Spain through the Moors in 1600. Major European powers such as France and Germany first came into contact with jasmine by the 1700s.
Jasmine has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In southern and southeastern Asia, jasmine flowers are worn by women as hair decorations.
The applications of lotions made from jasmine flowers to skin problems like sunburns and rashes have been widely noted. The juices of the flower are said to restore the skin’s moisture and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving the skin a healthier look and feel.
The largest usage of jasmine can be found in aromatherapy. In this field, jasmine is said to have a calming, relaxing effect. In addition, the scent of the flower is said to help sufferers of depression find relief. Another field where jasmine finds a large market is essential oils. Jasmine as an essential oil has many beneficial uses.
It is used as an anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, and even as a medicine to help users sleep better. In fact, in India jasmine is said to be such a good aphrodisiac, the bride and groom’s bedroom are decorated with it for their wedding night.
Different flowers are used for different things, of course. Jasmine is no different.
There are over two hundred different species of Jasminium. Each species is called by a characteristic name; for instance, the main species, which is simply known as jasmine, is Jasminium Officinale. A popular vine-growing jasmine species in the southern United States is jasminoides, also known as star jasmine or confederate jasmine.
All the variations of the jasmine flower have the same bloom shape: five petals that unfold outward like a star. This makes jasmine easy to recognize, even for newcomers to botany.
Jasmine flowers generally fall into three groups: shrubs, hardy climbers and indoor flowers. The shrubs are usually in a loose, open configuration. If left alone, the shrub will eventually reach ten feet by ten feet.
Fortunately, the shrub variety of jasmine is easy to control. Since it roots so easily, it is also easy to propagate. The most notable species of this group is Jasminium nudiflorum, or winter jasmine. During the cold months it retains green stems and yellow flowers even in the midst of snow.
A Transforming Flower
Hardy climbers are the vine-like family of jasmine flowers. These flowers are distinguished by their ability to cling to walls without supports, which makes them great for walled gardens. The species known as Jasminium officianale, or summer jasmine, aside from being the main jasmine species and consequently the most well-known, is also the species that best exemplifies this group.
They can transform a garden on a warm summer’s evening into a romantic paradise. This plant will cover an area of forty feet by twenty feet.
Finally, the indoor flowers are known for their ability to brighten up a room. Even having only two flowers will noticeably suffuse a room with wonderful fragrances. Indoor flowers typically reach dimensions of twenty feet by twenty feet. These plants are great for making a room feel like spring in the winter months.
What It’s Used For And Why It Works
Jasmine is used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Jasmine is said to either aid in the treatment of or cure a wide variety of common symptoms:
- sunburns and rashes
- sexual problems
- heat exhaustion and sunstroke
- uterine problems
These issues are aided by using jasmine in tea or lotion form. Topical remedies include the fresh juice squeezed from the plant; it is good for healing corns that appear on the foot.
One of its most famous uses is as a purported aphrodisiac. Jasmine tea is said to be particularly effective in this way; it increases the production of sperm as well as helps in healing the causes of both frigidity and impotence.
Subjectively, it is said to restore optimism and confidence in addition to mental energy and vitality. Jasmine tea contains benzoic acetate, linalool, indole and jasmon, all of which are used to make aphrodisiacs. Some say that jasmine is better than other stimulants because these compounds occur in the plant naturally.
Jasmine is also wonderful as massage oil. The restorative effects of jasmine on the skin are widely noted, as are the benefits of jasmine massage oil. The unique properties of this plant allow the skin to rejuvenate, since the oil moisturizes the skin and restores elasticity.
Use for Traditional Diseases
Jasmine is used to relieve all manner of symptoms and diseases, including even some forms of cancer, like breast cancer. Jasmine can even be used to clean scrapes and cuts.
The medicinal properties of this plant, from sexuality to healing patients at death’s door, bears out the designation of this plant as the “queen of the night” by the Indians in ancient times. Jasmine is an extraordinary plant.
How It Is Used Today
Today, jasmine is used mainly in the beauty and healthcare industries. The two biggest ways that jasmine is used are as an aromatherapy product and as an essential oil. An essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid that contains high concentrations of the native plant juices from which they are made.
In other words, jasmine essential oil is basically the jasmine plant in oil form. Aside from essential oils, jasmine tea is also very popular. This tea is very aromatic, and known for its relaxing properties, especially for providing relief from fatigue and stress.
Jasmine plants are also used for landscaping. The romantic connotations of jasmine make it perfect for decorating outdoor villas, especially during the summer months. Botanically, jasmine plants like winter jasmine are classified as deciduous perennials.
Since jasmine plants love being out in the sun, this makes them great for decorating walkways and sidewalks in gardens and parks. Jasmine plants brighten up rooms and make the indoor environment seem friendlier.
Proven And Unproven Claims About Jasmine
Over the centuries, jasmine has acquired a veritable corpus of mythological beliefs. Some of these allegations, like the statement that jasmine green tea has spiritual benefits to the drinker, may never be able to be tested properly.
Although many people have reported experiential benefits from consuming jasmine in some form, many of these claims have not been tested. New users must remain cautious and approach using jasmine with an attitude of respectful curiosity. Jasmine may trigger allergic reactions in some people; the full extent to which this is possible has not yet been explored.
Use as a Healing Product
Jasmine as an aphrodisiac and as a healing element has not been seriously disputed, although there are hardcore skeptics who deny the benefits of anything outside of their own experience. The main thing to keep in mind about jasmine is the fact that the plant is merely a plant.
Certain properties may be helpful under particular circumstances, but the overriding factor is the idiosyncratic constitution of the individual. This may mean that jasmine is totally ineffective with certain people or with certain conditions.
For instance, one claim about jasmine tea, especially jasmine green tea, which has been made is its calming properties. The question that arises is how could green tea calm anyone when it has caffeine? To be sure, jasmine could have some way of integrating the caffeine with other properties in the tea, but this still remains a relatively unproven claim, although many have attested that it does, in fact, calm them considerably.
Typical Dosage When Used
The appropriate dose of jasmine depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for jasmine.
Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
What level of dosage for jasmine depends on multiple factors including age, overall health, etc. Specific dosages are usually not issued for jasmine. Generally speaking, since any product containing jasmine is typically very potent, do not take more than you want. Only start using jasmine in small amounts, and increase the amounts if the patient feels it is necessary.
Take note that using jasmine in a massage context requires no dosages at all. In fact, it is disputed whether the concept of doses is even applicable to jasmine at all.
Currently, jasmine tea is legal for both recreational and medicinal use in all countries of the world. There have been no serious claims made against the use of jasmine for either herbal uses or as simply drinking tea or brightening up one’s yard.
Potential Side Effects
While many people report beneficial effects from using jasmine in some form, others report side effects. For example, it is commonly known not to use jasmine more than is necessary for such purposes as food preparation if the patient is pregnant or nursing.
Aside from this all manner of side effects have been reported from using jasmine. So far no serious side effects have come up. The majority of these effects can probably be attributed to allergic reactions. Customers are well advised to follow the rule of caveat emptor when looking for products made from jasmine; it is their responsibility to research as much as they can before buying anything.
Where To Find Products
Jasmine flowers, essential oils and aromas can be found online and in multiple locations. Amazon offers a huge variety of jasmine flowers through its Home and Garden department. Essential oils made from jasmine are sold wherever health products are available, whether online or from a local store. Typical prices can range from five to fifteen dollars and up for more rare products.
Aromatherapy products can easily be found online. Flowers can be purchased through nurseries as well as through online flower shops.
Buying products online is the best way to find the same products at discounted prices. Online stores offer jasmine products at half-price or even a fraction of the regular price at regular stores.