Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) Overview
Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) other names: Catalonina Jasmine, Common Jasmine, Italian Jasmine, Jasmin, Jasmin Blanc, Jasmin Commun, Jasmin d’Espagne, Jasmin à Grandes Fleurs, Jasmin Officinal, Jasmin Royal, Jasminum grandiflorum, Jasminum officinale, Jati, Jazmín, Jazmín Silvestre, Poet's Jessamine, Royal Jasmine, Spanish Jasmine.
Jasmine belongs to the olive family, also known as Oleaceae. This shrub and vine genus comprises about 200 species that are indigenous to the warm temperate and tropical regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. Plants belonging to this genus are cultivated extensively for the typical aroma of their flowers.
|Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) flower|
Jasmines may be evergreen (having green leaves throughout the year) or deciduous (shedding their leaves in autumn). In addition, plants belonging to this genus may be of various types - erect, climbing shrubs, spreading or even vines. The leaves of these plants appear alternately or opposite to one another on the stem. In addition, the leaves of jasmine may be simple, pinnate or trifoliate. Usually, the flowers of jasmine measure about 2.5 cm (0.98 inch) across and their color may either be white or yellow. Although rare, in some cases jasmine flowers may even be somewhat reddish. The flowers appear in clusters and each cluster contains no less than three blooms. However, on many instances, solitary flowers can also appear at the terminal of the small branches.
Each jasmine flower comprises anything between four and nine petals, one to four ovules and generally two locules. Every flower of Jasmine contains two stamens having very small filaments. The bracts of the flowers are either ovate or linear, while the shape of the calyx is akin to that of a bell. Generally, the calyx is extremely aromatic. Jasmine bears berry-like fruits whose color changes to black when they mature.
Jasmines are indigenous to places having tropical as well as temperate climatic conditions and have their origin in Asia, Australasia and Africa. As of now, 200 different species of this genus have been identified. Some jasmine species are also found in South and Southeast Asia.
Despite the fact that this genus is not indigenous to Europe, several species of jasmines have been naturalized in the continent, especially in the Mediterranean region. For instance, the species called Catalonian jasmine or Spanish jasmine (botanical name Jasminum grandiflorum) was originally brought from Iran and some regions in the west of South Asia. However, now this species has become naturalized in the Iberian Peninsula.
It is also possible to grow jasmines in containers. Jasmines grown in full sunlight bloom abundantly and produce the best flowers. However, plants belonging to this species also have the aptitude to endure partial shade for some hours every day. It is advisable that you should move the jasmine plants growing in pots when the temperature soars on hot summer days. Doing this will save the plants’ leaves as well as flower buds from the scorching heat. When you are growing jasmines indoors, you should ensure that the pots are positioned in a sun-lit place or in the south or west facing part of your room beside a window. They grow best when placed in such positions.
Jasmines have the ability to grow in all soils, provided they are well drained. These plants cannot endure soil that is constantly damp or soggy. When grown in such soils, the plants can develop fungal diseases resulting to root decay. However, jasmines have a preference for watering at regular intervals during the flowering season. When the flowering season is over, the plants can be rested.
Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) Health Benefits
|Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) image|
Jasmine is a plant. The flower of Jasmine is used to make medicine.
Jasmine has been used for liver disease (hepatitis), liver pain due to cirrhosis, and abdominal pain due to severe diarrhea (dysentery). Jasmine is also used to cause relaxation (as a sedative), to heighten sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac), and in cancer treatment.
Jasmine flowers and the essential oil obtained from them have numerous uses. While they are frequently used in perfumes and to flavour foods, a tea prepared from the flowers is taken internally for therapeutic purposes.
Traditionally, people have used jasmine flowers in aromatherapy to treat various conditions, including, depression, tension, anxiety, and coughs as well as for relaxation. Initial findings of scientific studies have revealed that jasmine flowers may also be effective in enhancing alertness and improving memory.
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian herbal medicine system, jasmine has been traditionally used to lessen breast milk secretion. Moreover, initial studies on humans have shown that applying the juice or oil of jasmine flowers to breasts helps to lessen breast engorgement as well as milk secretion. However, further and more in-depth studies are necessary to corroborate these early findings.
In aromatherapy, jasmine flowers are frequently and extensively used to induce relaxation. Nevertheless, the initial evidence related to jasmine’s effectiveness in enhancing attentiveness is assorted.
Findings of initial studies on humans have hinted that consuming a tea prepared from jasmine flowers may not have the desired effects in certain forms of cancer. However, findings of other studies have shown that people who consumed jasmine tea, oolong tea or green tea have found them to be beneficial, especially in diminishing the chances of developing cancer. Further studies are necessary in this regard too.
In addition, aromatherapy has also used jasmine for massage. Findings of studies have shown that it may also be used to alleviate the symptoms related to menopause and regulate blood pressure. However, further studies are necessary in this field too, before arriving at any conclusion.
Findings of initial studies have shown that consuming jasmine tea may help to diminish the chances of having a stroke. Nevertheless, it has been found that the effect of jasmine tea is less compared to green or black tea. This is an indication that the benefits related to diminished stroke risk may not be associated to jasmine.
The aroma of jasmine is also said to possess tranquilizing attributes.
In foods, jasmine is used to flavor beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatins, and puddings.
|Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) tree|
In China, people often consume jasmine tea, known as the jasmine-flower tea there. People also make use of the flowers of Jasminum sambac, usually prepared with a base of white tea or green tea. However, sometimes it also has an oolong tea base. The tea and jasmine flowers are mated in machines, which can regulate the temperature as well as humidity. On average, it takes about four hours for the tea to take up the flavour and fragrance of the jasmine flowers. In order to obtain the best quality teas, it may be necessary to repeat the process several times - maximum seven times. It is also necessary to ‘refire’ or process the tea in order to prevent it from decomposing. Once the process is complete, you may or may not get rid of the used up flowers from the end product, as they have become completely dehydrated and fragrance-less by then. The tea is denser compared to the flower petals and you require giant fans to blow away the petals if you wish to remove them from the final product.
In manufacturing, jasmine is used to add fragrance to creams, lotions, and perfumes.
Jasmine (Jasminum Spp) Side effects
Jasmine is likely safe for most people in food amounts. It is not known if jasmine is safe when used as medicine. Jasmine may cause allergic reactions.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking jasmine in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stick to food amounts.