Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family. It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia, Australasia, and Oceania. Jasmine is a popular flower associated with love and romance. Its showy white blooms and heavenly fragrance are ideal for moon gardens where lovers spend time whispering sweet nothings under the stars. As a cut flower, it fills the home with a relaxing scent perfect for drifting off to sleep. Some gardeners prefer to plant jasmine outside the bedroom window to allow its fragrance to drift in on the night air.
- Scientific Name: Jasminum
- Higher Classification: Jasmine
- Rank: Genus
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Oleaceae
- Genus: Jasminum
Of the 200 species of jasmine, the first plant known by the name was Arabian jasmine, known by the scientific term Jasminum sambac. This may be the best starting point to trace the history of jasmine flowers. Without a doubt, this tropical and subtropical flower are native to Asia. Many botanists believe Persia, now Iran, is where jasmine originated. It crossed the Red Sea into Egypt as early as 1000 B.C., then found its way to Turkey and Greece.
The jasmine flower is thought to have originated in the Himalayas in western China and Tibet. Reference to the jasmine flower can be found in ancient Chinese, Persian and Egyptian writings. The flower was revered by royalty in China and traded along the Silk Road.
Jasmine is a delicate flowering plant with many varieties. Its scent has probably been described in the literature with more superlatives than any other single essence. It has been described variously as heavenly smelling, exotic, exquisite, tenacious, sensuously rich, supremely sensual, intense, slightly heady, narcotic, intoxicating, sometimes clawing, warm with oily leafy-green, fruity undertones, elusive, sweet and warm.
Although the jasmine flowers themselves are delicate and quite feminine, jasmine is often described as the King of essences and the King of Essential oils. Patricia Davis describes it as having an “almost animal quality” and being more masculine in its scent and nature than Rose.The properties and uses of jasmine and rose do somewhat overlap, but jasmine is an oil better suited to both sexes, whereas rose is a distinctly feminine oil, with a particular affinity to the womb.
Widely considered to be the most exotic and wonderful of all scents, jasmine has been central to the perfume industry for centuries. Hence the expression “no perfume without jasmine”. Its expense is high, but even a very small quantity of jasmine oil can give body and fullness to most other perfume bases, or to aromatherapy blends.
Almost universally loved, jasmine evokes memories of summer evenings and gentle breezes, lifting the spirits, relaxing the body and dissolving emotional barriers, and therefore encouraging intimacy.
Originally native to Persia and Kashmir, and brought to Europe in quantities via Spain in the 17th century, Jasmine has a long and rich history in several cultures. In India it symbolizes divine hope; in China, the sweetness of women. The Indian Love God (Karma) tips his arrows with jasmine blossoms, to pierce the heart through the senses. In Hindu and Moslem traditions, Jasmine is revered as “the perfume of love”.
Long considered an aphrodisiac, jasmine has historically been associated with promoting Intimacy, romance, transcending physical love, closeness and breaking down barriers to the full expression of sexuality. Jasmine’s anti-depressant properties and beautiful scent are an excellent tool in helping overcome a range of sexual problems which are in the head, rather than direct physiological problems of the reproductive systems.
Variants: Jasmin, Jasmyn, Jazmin, Jazmine, Jazmyn, Yasmin, Yasmine, Yazmin, Jessamine, Jessamyn
Meaning of Jasmine Flower
The jasmine flower is associated with love.
Jasmine also symbolizes beauty and sensuality.
In some cultures, Jasmine represents appreciation and good luck.
When used in religious ceremonies jasmine represents purity.
Jasmine’s meanings vary depending on the culture and setting.
Symbolism and Religion
To the Chinese, jasmine represents feminine kindness, grace, and delicacy, as well as a means of attracting wealth and romance. In Thailand, jasmine symbolizes motherhood, while in India, Jasminum molle, commonly called Indian Jui, is used in Hindu religious ceremonies.
Jasmine, also known as true jasmine, common jasmine, poet’s jasmine, star jasmine, night blooming jasmine, and Jessamine, is a white colored, aromatic flower. Belonging to the genus Jasiminum and a member of the Oleaceae (Olive) family, Jasmine’s scientific name is Jasminum Officinale.
Jasmine is a white, flowering shrub, but has also been called a vine due to its twining nature. The plant is native to tropical areas such as Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. There are approximately 150 different species of jasmine grown all the over the world. Without the doubt, it is most popularly cultivated for its fragrance and as an ornamental plant. However, jasmine is also used in teas, and jasmine oils are used in perfumes and cosmetics.
The two parts of a jasmine plant that are used for varied purposes are its flowers and its oil. While the plant is extremely popular for its aromatic flowers, it is also used for its medicinal properties. Not only in India but also in China, jasmine has been used to treat illnesses and diseases for thousands of years. Jasmine contains several different compounds such as salicylic acid, linalool, and other alkaloids, and these give its bitter, cooling, and astringent properties.
How to Grow Jasmine
Jasmine grows in forests, valleys, ravines, thickets, woods, along rivers, and meadows in full sun to part sun.
Grows best in a good well-drained loam soil.
Choose a warm, sheltered location when growing jasmine. The vining varieties require a support structure as some can get 15 feet tall.
All jasmine plants prefer sun to light shade sites with well-draining and moderately fertile soil.
Install the plant in the ground at the same level it was growing in the nursery pot. Most jasmine plants are grafted onto the common jasmine rootstock because of its superior hardiness.
Care of a Jasmine Vine
Jasmine plant care is not difficult but does require vigilance. The vines need to be trained early when they are young. You may use plant ties or just weave them through trellis sections.
Fertilize the plant in spring just before new growth appears.
Pinch off the tips of the vines in the second year to promote branching which will fill the trellis with bushy growth.
The vining jasmine plant is prone to spider mites, which can be combated with horticultural oil or neem oil.
History of Jasmine Tea
First produced in China over 1,000 years ago, jasmine tea is made by scenting tea leaves with jasmine flowers.
This process began during the South-Song Dynasty in China and was further developed during the Ming Dynasty. By the early 1900’s, the blend was popular enough to be a fast-moving trade item. Demand increased production costs when the jasmine flowers had to be planted in pots and moved indoors to stay warm over the winter.
Though Taiwan got a taste for jasmine blends and began cultivating their own flowers in the late 1800s, China is still regarded as the best producer of this particular tea blend.
Benefits of Tea with Jasmine Flowers
Jasmine flowers originated in Persia, which is now Iran, and provide unique benefits when blended with tea. Since green tea is generally the most popular, many of the health effects of drinking jasmine tea come from the antioxidants and polyphenol compounds in the tea leaves. A particular polyphenol called EGCG has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and may also be beneficial for weight loss. Antioxidants in general work to combat the aging process, lower disease rates and improve cardiovascular health.
The scent of jasmine has been used in aromatherapy to ease anxiety and help people relax. In fact, jasmine essential oils are considered to have a tranquilizing effect that calms excitable states and may also boost mood. Inhaling the scent as you sip a cup of tea infused with jasmine lowers your heart rate, helping to trigger a natural state of relaxation. Jasmine is also purported to have antibacterial properties.
Enjoy tea with jasmine flowers as part of your daily routine to reap all the benefits that it has to offer.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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. 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.
Medicinal Uses of Jasmine
Whether it is a jasmine flower or essential jasmine oil, jasmine can be used as an aphrodisiac, a sedative, an antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, and analgesic. In Ayurveda, jasmine has been used as an aphrodisiac and as a means to increase immunity and fight the fever. It has also been regarded as a means to treat conjunctivitis. In traditional Chinese medicine, jasmine flowers are brewed and consumed as an herbal and remedial tea. An infusion of jasmine tea is known to be beneficial in treating fevers, urinary inflammation, and other infections. In addition, jasmine tea can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. It can be extremely helpful for people suffering from heat stroke or sunstroke.
Jasmine tea can also be administered as a tincture to treat cuts and scrapes. A compress using jasmine flowers can be useful for headaches and strokes. Jasmine juice is useful for treating corns. In fact, various skin conditions including sunburn and rashes can be treated by apply jasmine in lotion form. Jasmine oil is an integral part of aromatherapy. It is used in the form of incense, candles, and jasmine body oil, providing several benefits including uplifting the mood. The scent of jasmine is said to be useful in treating depression, in particular, post partum depression and emotional depression. A body massage with jasmine oil is known to not only lift spirits but also relieve aches and pains.
Care of Indoor Jasmine
Cool temperatures and the right location in a well lit room or sunny window is important for this plant. Good air circulation helps promote showy white, winter blooms of the J. polyanthus when growing jasmine indoors. The plant can tolerate as much as four hours per day of direct sunlight, from late spring through fall. Decrease direct sunlight in winter.
Soil for indoor jasmine plants should be porous and may be modified with bark, coir or other organic materials. The soil mixture should remain moist throughout the year, but not soggy. Less water is needed during the resting period following bloom decline.
Care of indoor jasmine includes fertilization with a weakened houseplant food throughout the growing season. High phosphorus fertilizer prolongs the length of bloom time.
White, cottony masses under leaves and on stems may indicate that mealybugs have taken up residence on your plant. Remove as many as possible when pruning. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove any masses left when pruning is finished.
Pruning is necessary when growing jasmine indoors. As you’re learning how to care for a jasmine houseplant, you may find it getting out of hand if you don’t prune regularly to keep it under control. Prune heavily at the beginning of the spring growing season while training the twining vine to a support.
Indoor jasmine plants have a long lifespan when cared for properly. Repot in spring. Prune the roots when moving to fresh soil, as needed. If you have a different type of jasmine and want to try growing it indoors, follow the above guidelines. Other types may not need as much sun, but often grow equally well and bloom when grown as indoor plants.
Facts About Jasmine
- Jasmine shrubs reach a height of 10-15 feet, growing approximately 12-24 inches per year.
- Jasmine leaves are either evergreen or deciduous.
- A Jasmine leaf is arranged opposite in most species. The leaf shape is simple, trifoliate or pinnate with 5-9 leaflets, each up to two and a half inches long.
- The Jasmine stems are slender, trailing, green, glabrous, angled, and almost 4-sided.
- Most of the Jasmine species bear white flowers, which are about 1 inch in size.
- The Jasmine oil, which is a very popular fragrant oil, contains benzyl acetate, terpinol, jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other compounds.
- The variety Jasminium samba is a clustered flower of an equally strong scent known in Hawaii as the Pikake.
- The two types of Jasmine which are used for oil production are the Jasminum grand forum and Jasminum officinale.
- The nectar of the fragrant flowers of Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is poisonous, although its dried roots are used as a sedative in medicinal preparations.
- The Jasmine flower oil, extracted from the two species Jasminum Officinale and Grandiflorum, is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos.