Jasminum sambac or Arabian jasmine is the national flower of the Philippines, where it is known as Sampaguita. Contrary to its name, Arabian jasmine was not originally cultivated in Arabia. It originates from India and China. Some varieties of Jasmine sambac are known as ‘Maid of Orleans’, ‘Belle of India’ and ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’.
Jasmine is a flowering plant, which is widely grown for its intensely fragrant flowers. The white flowers that bloom in summer and in warm climates, appear in clusters. The Jasmine has an exotic, musky and sensual fragrance, which is why it is used in manufacturing aromatherapy oils. The Egyptians and Greeks used jasmine oil as a stimulant and aphrodisiac.
The flowers, leaves and the roots of the jasmine plant are widely used in Ayurvedic healing for treating ophthalmic problems, headache, ulcer, fever, leprosy, vomiting, glactorrhoea, wounds, and skin problems. The leaves and flowers are used in Ayurveda for treating and preventing breast cancer and controlling uterine bleeding.
Botanical Name: Jasminum sambac
Common Name: Arabian Jasmin
Hindi and Marathi: Mogra
Health benefits and Medicinal uses of Jasmine (Jasminum sambac)
The Arabian jasmine is considered an antiseptic, emollient (softens and soothes the skin), tonic and thermogenic (increases heat in the body). All parts of the plant – leaf, stem, bark and roots possess medicinal properties. The plant extract contains resin, salicylic acid, alkaloids, glycoside, flavanoid, terpines, and tannin. The jasmine plant also possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. According to webmd, “Jasmine has been used for liver disease (hepatitis), liver pain due to cirrhosis, and abdominal pain due to severe diarrhea (dysentery)…. and in cancer treatment.”
The Jasminum sambac flower is used for removing intestinal worms and is also used for jaundice and venereal diseases. The flower buds are useful in treating ulcers, vesicles, boils, skin diseases and eye disorders. Leaves and flowers of Jasminum sambac possesses antipyretic and decongestant activity where as its roots are analgesic in nature. Jasmine is used to add fragrance to creams, lotions, and perfumes.
Wound Healing Health Benefits of Jasmine
Jasmine helps in healing wounds because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. In a study published in the “International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2012; 4(3); 146-150” on the wound healing activity of Jasminum sambac, it was found that, “the fastest healing of wound took place in case of animals treated with the aqueous extract of Jasminum sambac leaves”. This could be due to free radical scavenging action and antibacterial property of the phytoconstituents like tannins and flavonoids that are present in it.
Jasmine Health Benefits for Infections
The plant is widely used for skin disorders like acne and skin infections, because of its antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. A study on the antimicrobial activity of Jasminum sambac on strains of Proteius mirabilis, Staphylococcus albus, and Salmonella typhii, revealed that Jasminum sambac callus was very effective against these strains of pathogens.
Anticancer Health Benefits of Jasmine
The Jasmine flower possesses antitumor properties. A 2011 study on ‘In vivo and In vitro Antitumor Activity of Jasminum Sambac (Linn) AIT Oleaceae Flower Against Dalton’s Ascites Lymphoma Induced Swiss Albino Mice’ evaluated the anticancer effect of Jasminum Sambac on mice affected by cancerous tumor in the lymphatic system. This study concluded that the methanolic extract of J.sambac possessed significant cytotoxic and anticancer properties.
Emotional and Psychological Health Benefits of Jasmine
The jasmine is used as a sedative to relax a person. It is also used as an aphrodisiac. The site webMd says that “There is conflicting evidence about the effects of jasmine on mental alertness. Some early research suggests that inhaling fragrance from a small amount of jasmine absolute ether, improves mental alertness. However, inhaling a larger amount of fragrance from jasmine absolute ether seems to have a relaxing effect. Other research suggests that jasmine odor does not affect concentration.”
Scientists have identified several active compounds in Jasmine, which promote vascular health, and aid heart function. The phenolics in jasmine help the body to detoxify. Jasminum sambac has many medicinal properties and its leaf extract was found to be very effective against Alternaria sp. which causes foot infection in cancer patients. Jasminum sambac was one of the 16 plants tested, whose extracts showed significant antiproliferative activity (prevents retards the spread of malignant cells into surrounding tissues). The flower extract was found to be anti viral, especially against herpes simplex viruses. Studies report that jasmine brought about a significant reduction in serum prolactum (a hormone released by the pituitary gland).
Jasmine Home Remedies
- In India, the fresh juice of the ground flowers is used for treating sores, itching and wounds.
- The young leaves of Jasmine Sambac plant is used to make a herbal infusion for curing gallstones.
- An infusion made from the roots of the plant is used in Borneo to cure diabetes mellitus.
- The leaves are antiseptic and are useful for wounds or acne when used as a poultice.
- The fresh juice of leaves can be applied to corns.
- The leaves when chewed are a very good home remedy for the treatment of ulcerations of the mouth.
- In China, the dried flowers and extract of flowers is used as herbal tea to treat fever, anxiety, stress and urinary inflammation.
- A herbal tea made from the flowers can also be used to treat wounds.
- Washing the eyes with a infusion of jasmine flowers is soothing and alleviates burning and irritation in the eyes.
In TCM, the whole plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, fever, dysentry and skin ulcers. The roots are used to treat headaches, insomnia, and pain due to inflammation, dislocated joints or broken bones.
Jasmine can be consumed in the form of a tea, as it is considered calming and helpful for nervous debility, and is beneficial for conditions caused by psychological stress and imbalance.