Jasmine

Botanical Name : Jasminum
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Jasmineae
Genus: Jasminum
ingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Jasmine

Habitat:  Jasmine is native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers.

Description:
Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species..It can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne opposite or alternate. They can be simple, trifoliate, or pinnate. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish. The flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers, though they can also be solitary on the ends of branchlets. Each flower has about four to nine petals, two locules, and one to four ovules. They have two stamens with very short filaments. The bracts are linear or ovate. The calyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe.

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The basic chromosome number of the genus is 13, and most species are diploid (2n=26). However, natural polyploidy exists, particularly in Jasminum sambac (2n=39), Jasminum flexile (2n=52), Jasminum primulinum (2n=39), and Jasminum angustifolium (2n=52).

Edible Uses:
Jasmine tea :Jasmine tea is consumed in China, where it is called jasmine-flower tea. Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make jasmine tea, which often has a base of green tea or white tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. Flowers and tea are “mated” in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times. It must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves…....CLICK & SEE

In Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea is known as sanpin cha .

Jasmine syrup: Jasmine syrup, made from jasmine flowers, is used as a flavouring agent….CLICK & SEE

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents: The essential oil of J. grandiflorum contains methyl anthranilate, indol, benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, and the terpenes linalol and linalyl acetate.

As essential oil is distilled from Jasmine in Tunis and Algeria, but its high price prevents its being used to any extent.

Jasmine has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In southern and southeastern Asia, jasmine flowers are worn by women as hair decorations.

The applications of lotions made from jasmine flowers to skin problems like sunburns and rashes have been widely noted. The juices of the flower are said to restore the skin’s moisture and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving the skin a healthier look and feel.

In Cochin-China, a decoction of the leaves and branches of JASMINUM NERVOSUM is taken as a blood-purifier. The very bitter leaves of JASMINUM FLORIBUNDUM (called in Abyssinia, Habbez-zelim), mixed with kousso, is considered a powerful anthelmintic, especially for tapeworm; the leaves and branches are added to some fermented liquors to increase their intoxicating quality.

Although rarely used in Western medicine, a jasmine flower syrup for coughs and lungs was once made.  The flowers make a tea that calms the nerves and increases erotic feelings. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for 20 minutes.  The dose is a quarter cup, four times a day.  The East Indians do use it, chewing the leaves to heal mouth ulcers and softening corns with the juice.  They also make a leaf tea to rinse sore eyes and wounds and use it as a remedy for snakebite. In traditional Chinese medicine states that jasmine clears the blood of impurities.  Headaches and insomnia have been relieved with a tea made from the root along with pain due to dislocated joints and rheumatism. .  The oil of the leaf is rubbed on the head to heal the eyes.  The flowers of J. officinale var. grandiflorum are used to treat hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and dysentery; the flowers of J. sambac are used for conjunctivitis, dysentery, skin ulcers and tumors.

Aromatherapy:
The largest usage of jasmine can be found in aromatherapy. In this field, jasmine is said to have a calming, relaxing effect. In addition, the scent of the flower is said to help sufferers of depression find relief. Another field where jasmine finds a large market is essential oils. Jasmine as an essential oil has many beneficial uses.

It is used as an anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, and even as a medicine to help users sleep better. In fact, in India jasmine is said to be such a good aphrodisiac, the bride and groom’s bedroom are decorated with it for their wedding night.

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Different flowers are used for different things, of course. Jasmine is no different

Other Uses:
Jasmine essential oil:  Jasmine is considered an absolute and not an essential oil as the petals of the flower are much too delicate and would be destroyed by the distillation process used in creating essential oils. Other than the processing method it is essentially the same as an essential oil. Absolute is a technical term used to denote the process of extraction. It is in common use. Its flowers are either extracted by the labour-intensive method of enfleurage or through chemical extraction. It is expensive due to the large number of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil. The flowers have to be gathered at night because the odour of jasmine is more powerful after dark. The flowers are laid out on cotton cloths soaked in olive oil for several days and then extracted leaving the true jasmine essence. Some of the countries producing jasmine essential oil are India, Egypt, China and Morocco….CLICK & SEE

Jasmine scent has been reported to have sedative properties.

Jasmine absolute used in perfume and incense:
Many species also yield an absolute, which is used in perfumes and incense. Its chemical constituents include methyl anthranilate, indole, benzyl alcohol, linalool, and skatole

Jasmonates:
Jasmine gave name to the jasmonate plant hormones as methyl jasmonate isolated from the jasmine oil of Jasminum grandiflorum led to the discovery of the molecular structure of jasmonates

Cultural importance:
The White Jasmine Branch, painting of ink and color on silk by Chinese artist Zhao Chang, early 12th centuryMadurai, the Southern district of Tamil Nadu, is famous for the Jasmine production. In the western and southern states of India, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, jasmine is cultivated alongside other flowers in private homes, within gardens or as potted plants. These flowers are used in regular worship at home as well as for hair ornaments (for the girls and women of the house). Jasmine is also cultivated commercially, for both the domestic purposes discussed above and other purposes (such as use in the perfume industry). It is used in rituals like marriages, religious ceremony, and festivals. In the Chandan Yatra of lord Jagannath, the deity is bathed with water flavored in sandalwood paste and jasmine.

Jasmine flower vendors selling ready-made garlands of jasmine, or in the case of the thicker motiyaa (in Hindi) or mograa (in Marathi) varietal, bunches of jasmine, as well as flowers by weight, are a common sight on city streets in many parts of India. They may be found around entrances to temples, on major thoroughfares, and in major business areas (including bus stands). This is common as far north as Mumbai, and generally from Maharashtra southward through all of South India. Jasmine vendors may also be found in Kolkata, though roadside sales are fewer there, since in North India women and girls generally, by tradition, do not wear flowers in their hair….CLICK & SEE

A change in presidency in Tunisia in 1987 and the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 are both called “Jasmine revolutions” in reference to the flower. Jasmine flowers were also used as a symbol during the 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests in the People’s Republic of China.

In Syria, jasmine is the symbolic flower of Damascus, which is called the City of Jasmine. In Thailand, jasmine flowers are used as a symbol for motherhood.

“Jasmine” is also a feminine given name in some countries.

Jasmine as a national flower:
Several countries and states consider jasmine as a national symbol. They are the following:

*Hawaii: Jasminum sambac (“pikake”) is perhaps the most popular of flowers. It is often strung in leis and is the subject of many songs.

*Indonesia: Jasminum sambac is the national flower, adopted in 1990. It goes by the name “melati putih” and is the most important flower in wedding ceremonies for ethnic Indonesians, especially in the island of Java.

*Pakistan: Jasminum officinale is known as the “chambeli” or “yasmin”, it is the national flower.

*Philippines: Jasminum sambac is the national flower. Adopted in 1935, it is known as “sampaguita” in the islands. It is usually strung in garlands which are then used to adorn religious images.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasmine
http://www.naturalremedies.org/jasmin/
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/j/jasmin06.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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