Botanical name: Jasminum officinale
Jasmine is thought to originate from the western Himalayas through to the Middle East. This delicate, fragrant flower got its name from the Persian word Yasmin, meaning “Gift from God” and is held highly sacred in India, Pakistan, China and the Himalayas. Jasmine is the national flower of Pakistan and the sacred flower of Kama, the God of Love. On the day before a wedding, the bride to be wears a garland of jasmine and roses around her neck as sensual symbol of her purity and passion.
Jasmine is both uplifting and mildly sedating and is used to improve mood, reduce stress and tension and ease depression. One study found that the essential oil participants felt more positive, energetic and even romantic. Another study found that it significantly increased breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure, with the participants reporting feeling more alert.
Conversely, compounds in Jasmine also have sedating effects on the nervous system, helping to soothe tension, ease stress and promote sleep. One study found that just the scent of Jasmine helped to reduce heart rate and bring on feelings of calm and relaxation.
Jasmine has a long reputation as an aphrodisiac, mainly due to its intoxicating sensual aroma, but also due to its mood enhancing, uplifting and relaxing properties.
It has a long history of use for female reproductive health. As an antispasmodic, uterine tonic and hormone balancer it is has been shown to reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause. It is used to reduce period pain, stimulate contractions during childbirth, promote breastmilk production, assist post-natal recovery and combat post-natal depression. Jasmine is not recommended during pregnancy (except during labour) as it can stimulate uterine contractions.
Jasmine is also used to promote healthy digestion. It is rich in antioxidants that interact with digestive enzymes to promote nutrient absorption and bowel function. It is also an antimicrobial that fights against pathogenic bacteria – one study found it to be effective at inhibiting the growth of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. It is also an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory that eases stomach cramps & indigestion. Jasmine has been found to promote beneficial gut bacteria.
1-2 tsp per cup. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste.
Deni Brown (2002), New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses, pp. 245-46.
Jasmine Common Uses
Jasmine is not recommended during pregnancy (except during labour) as it can stimulate uterine contractions.