Probably an Iranian native, jasmine, whose name means heavenly felicity, has captured the imagination of poets and perfumers for thousands of years. In China it was used to scent and flavor jasmine tea. Jasmine’s aromatherapy applications and uses for the essential oil are many.
The small white flowers of this vinelike evergreen shrub, with their intriguing, complex scent, are intensely fragrant and found in most great perfumes. Jasmine is also known as mistress of the night and moonlight of the grove, because its seductive scent reaches its peak late at night.
Even the production of the essential oil is exotic. The flowers are gathered at night, when they produce the most oil, and laid on a layer of fat for the method of extraction called enfleurage. It is first made into a concrete, which is solid, then the fat is separated to leave an absolute. Try as chemists might to make it, the scent cannot be duplicated. Synthetic jasmine is so harsh, it demands a touch of the true essential oil to soften it.
Principal constituents of jasmine: Ketone jasmone, alpha terpineol, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, indol, linalol, linalyl acetate, phenylacetic acid, farnesol, and many more
Scent of jasmine: It has a distinctively rich, warm floral fragrance that is sweetly exotic, with a fruity-tea undertone.
Therapeutic properties of jasmine: Antidepressant; relaxes nerves, relieves muscle spasms and cramping
Uses for jasmine: Jasmine sedates the nervous system, so it is good for jangled nerves, headaches, insomnia, and depression and for taking the emotional edge off PMS and menopause, although keep in mind its age-old reputation as an aphrodisiac!
Studies at Toho University School of Medicine in Tokyo show that jasmine also enhances mental alertness and stimulates brain waves. In another study, it was able to help computer operators reduce by one-third the number of mistakes they made. It also eases muscle cramping, such as menstrual cramps.
Cosmetically, the oil is wonderful for sensitive or mature skin. In its native India, jasmine flowers infused into sesame oil are applied to abscesses and sores that are difficult to heal. A similar preparation can be made by adding 2 drops of jasmine essential oil to 1 ounce vegetable oil.
To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:
- Aromatherapy: Learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
- Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
- How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
- Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
- Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly newsletter. A writer, photographer, consultant, and teacher specializing in aromatherapy and herbs for over 25 years, she has written several books, including Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and Pocket Guide to Aromatherapy, and has written over 150 articles for such magazines as New Age Journal, The Herb Companion, and New Herbal Remedies. This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.