‘Shil il ham’, I’m just wishing you happiness, delights, hope and good spirits as this Arabic phrase means “smell the scent of Jasmine and forget your troubles”.
‘King of flowers’, ‘Queen of the Night’ and ‘Moonlight of the Grove’ are the ways by which the world adores Jasmine. The exotic, musky, mystifying, mesmerizing, sensual, zesty and the most masculine of all the flowery aromas in the world, Jasmine flowers grab the attention during their fullest blooms in the midnight.
Jasmine has derived its name from the Old French word Jasmine that is again derived from the Persian word ‘yasmin’ literally meaning “gift from God”. Admired for its absolute elegance and transfixing fragrance, Jasmine is always the sweetest and the most valuable flower in the garden of nature. Scientifically known as Jasminum Grandiflorum, this royal Jasmine variety blooms during the day and transforms its fragrant essence throughout the daylight hours. Jasmine essential oil is extracted by solvent extraction method from the flowers and is also known to the world by other popular names like Royal Jasmine, Spanish Jasmine, Catalonian Jasmine and Pichcha. Jasmine symbolizes a variety of exuberant thoughts in various parts of the world. It is a sign of divine hope in India and the sweetness of women in China. Jasmine and its essential oil have been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac all over the world. Since the ancient Arabic and Hindu traditional systems, it is admired as the ‘perfume of pure love’ and thus the expression “no perfume without Jasmine.”
Jasmine plants are vine-like and often climb up to a height of 12 feet or 3.6 meters and its flowers exude a divine aroma that conveys their presence to everyone who is nearby. The highly sweet fragrant blossoms of the species have been highly valued by various cultures across the globe for several centuries. In fact, it is said that the ancient Egyptian queen was so enticed by the scent of jasmine that she used it regularly on her hair. In Indonesia, a species of jasmine – Jasminum sambac – is the national flower, which is also widely used by the locals in wedding ceremonies. Similarly, Pakistan’s national flower is Jasmine officinale. Jasmine flowers are also used in religious ceremonies in the Philippines, people use garlands made of jasmine (locally called ‘sampaguita’) to adorn images of Gods and Goddesses.
The plant produces small deep green leaves that grow opposite to each other and comprise seven leaflets. Jasmine blooms are small, but extremely aromatic. Jasmine plants are grown extensively for their aromatic flowers. The flowers are delicate and open only during the evening and are picked in the morning when the tiny petals are closed tightly. The jasmine petals usually remain open between six and eight during evenings when the temperature comes down. They usually blossom during the period between early summer and early autumn filling the atmosphere with their aromatic scent. Apart from the different uses of jasmine mentioned above, this aromatic flower also possesses therapeutic properties and the essential oil is extracted from it is widely used in aromatherapy. Jasmine essential oil is very expensive and this can be gauged from the fact that as many as 8,000 flowers yield just one gram of the oil. Normally, the flowers are picked in early morning, but if they are plucked during the night, they possess more potent aroma. Jasmine essential oil is obtained by steam distilling the flowers that are required in massive amounts just to produce one ounce of this valuable oil. In fact, jasmine essential oil is said to be among the most expensive essential oils available anywhere. The numerous benefits offered by jasmine essential oil helps it to earn a place among the ‘should haves’. This essential oil is unusual, has an aesthetic effect, can easily combine with any other essential oil, is effectual for treating conditions like depressions, and also possesses aphrodisiac, sedative as well as antiseptic properties. Using only a few drops of this favourite oil has the aptitude to perform wonders when it is blended with any other essential oil. Similar to rose, genuine jasmine cannot be compared with any of the artificial fragrances that are found in abundance on the shelves of shops.
Although jasmine essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties, it is more popular for its aphrodisiac attributes. While not much scientific evidence is there to validate this attribute of jasmine essential oil, this does not prevent people in many parts of the world from using the oil to stimulate sexual activities as well as believe that it promotes fertility. For instance, people in Thailand sprinkle the flowers on the bed of the newly married, while aromatherapists even in the United States prescribe jasmine essential oil for treating a number of sexual disorders, including inhibition. Jasmine essential oil is also considered to be a natural antidepressant. Aroma- therapists are of the view that this oil is especially useful for people enduring symptoms of lethargy and exhaustion. They are of the opinion that jasmine essential oil functions partially to reduce apprehension and also open up new emotional pathways.
It may be mentioned here that jasmine essential oil is known to offer several emotional and physical benefits. In aromatherapy, jasmine essential oil is said to be a potent tranquilizer as well as a relaxant that induces warmth and promotes sound sleep. This oil is especially useful for those suffering from nervous anxiety, depression and insomnia. Jasmine essential oil is among the most common natural oils that are used for meditation. This oil not only encourages the feeling of harmony and hopefulness, but its use also brings about joy, contentment, cheerfulness and other similar feelings. Jasmine essential oil also possesses inspiring as well as antidepressant properties and is, therefore, very helpful for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, low spirit, mood swings or changing moods and similar conditions.
Blends well with
Any essential oil but especially with:
anorexia and bulimia
dry sensitive skin
increases breast milk
lack of confidence
Notwithstanding its therapeutic properties, one must always remember that the essential oil extracted from jasmine flowers should never be used internally or consumed. In addition, pregnant women should not use it in the initial four months of pregnancy. However, massaging this oil during childbirth helps to ease pains during labor.