The extract of jasmine flower oil is a popular fragrance used in aromatherapy for stress relief. It is reputed to sedate the nervous system, and is therefore prescribed for a wide range of emotional conditions. It is also a popular ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics such as creams, soaps and shampoos. The flowers are renowned for their intense exotic fragrance, and are reputedly an aphrodisiac. In China, the flowers are also used to scent and flavour tea. Jasmine typically grows as a shrub, vine or creeper, and is a member of the olive family, found in tropical and warm temperate regions. Today, most jasmine is cultivated in Egypt and India, while smaller quantities are produced in Morocco, Algeria, France and Italy.
Because of the quantity of flower petals it takes to make a small amount of oil it also a very expensive essential oil. The difficulty in extracting the oil in sufficient quantities using traditional steam distillation requires solvents to be used to produce what is termed a concrete. This is made up of fats, waxes, essential oils and plant matter. The solid perfume or a viscous liquid is then extracted from this. Many products sold as an essential oil will be prediluted in a base oil such as grape seed oil.
Jasmine is a versatile agent indicated in numerous conditions. Some of the well documented actions include:
There very few side effects associated with jasmine, though due to its potency it should be used sparingly. People with hypersensitive skin may have to dilute it to prevent irritation, and it should not be applied internally. Essential oils are also highly concentrated and should be used with care.
If you think you have a condition that may benefit from the use of jasmine consult your naturopath or complementary health stockist for further advice.