Jasmine: plant and its properties

Jasmine: plant and its properties

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Jasmine, a name only to indicate about 200 different species of flowers and plants, but all obedient to the Oleaceae family just like ash, olive and privet, strange to associate, at least from the aesthetic side. It is an evergreen plant with small leaves and flowers, white but not only, always very fragrant.

It is precisely the powerful smell that emanates one of the characteristics for which the jasmine it is not easily forgotten. In the scientific world it is known as Jasminum, it climbs up to 4-6 meters, it also depends on the species we are facing, the best known and cultivated as ornamental plants are the common jasmine, that of Spain, trifoliate and marzolino.

From this plant, essential oil is extracted often and willingly used for the formulation of creams and essences. The typical perfume has been known since ancient times, in Persia, its homeland, but also among the ancient Greeks and Romans. The first to cultivate the jasmine in Italy it was Cosimo I de Medici, today in our peninsula it finds space above all, at an industrial level, in Calabria and Sicily where perfumes are obtained. Obviously, everywhere, there is no garden that you do not want to host one.

Jasmine: meaning

Jasmine usually means the flower, also called jasmine or jessamine: it is a name of Persian origin (yasamin), just like the whole plant, and it is confused and overlapped with the word mulberry. In botany the name is Jasminum officinale but refers to the pendula variety, J. Grandiflorum.

Jasmine: properties

Today the jasmine it is mainly used as an ornamental plant, both in gardens and as a lining of walls, fences, pergolas. Or as an excerpt for cosmetic products, as we'll see. Its medicinal properties were once more taken into account, today we have forgotten it a little but we can always remedy it.

Let's start with the perfume, so strong that it is impossible to ignore it, indeed, I know people who are sometimes sick of it. Certainly not me! And with good reason, because thejasmine aromatherapy it would seem to have a euphoric effect, placing us in an even unmotivated state of well-being and happiness. It dissolves fears and tensions, especially those related to sexuality: it was used to treat uterine disorders and to facilitate childbirth.

Variety in the herbal-phytotherapeutic field Gelsemium nitidum, typical of the Americas, has its fame as an antispasmodic and antirheumatic, as well as as a remedy against respiratory system ailments: cough, hoarseness, phlegm and mild laryngitis. Also, if we get the tincture, from the roots of the flower, here is the possible cure for insomnia, migraines, memory loss and colds.

In the field of cosmetics, the jasmine depopulated to say the least: essence to make perfumes, scented waters, lotions and creams, shampoos ... everything! There are even bath salts with jasmine essence, and not only are they very fragrant, so they bring a good mood, but they also have a mild sedative and relaxing effect, acting on a cerebral and psychic level. At the end of the bathroom we will be relaxed and proactive.

Finally, once upon a time, but who knows if someone still superstitiously still wants to believe in it a bit jasmine it was deemed useful for eradicate envy and jealousy to people, and to learn to take responsibility by becoming aware of how one acts and behaves. If it works, a jasmine bath for young and old, from the heel to the toe of our boot.

Jasmine in vase

Despite being one of those rustic plants, those that love to be in the sun, enjoying the cool climate, the jasmine when the climate is not at its best, it prefers to be grown in pots. Not only that: he wants loose, well-fertilized soil and doses of liquid fertilizer every month. With the history of perfume, he has perhaps gone to his head.

Often, once placed in a pot, the plant is accompanied with special circular supports so as to take the shape of a small bush, excellent for decorating terraces or apartments. Usually over time it is necessary to repot or re-bury in spring, bringing the pot out as soon as the weather is nice, so that it gets the sun. For more information you can read our article: "How to grow jasmine in pots".

Yellow jasmine

Among the more rustic species we find some such as the Jasmine of St. Joseph and J. Primulinum, with the yellow flower: they show it from the end of winter onwards on the branches still bare of leaves. They are from China, unscented, with long pendulous ramifications. They are not useless flowers even if they do not give off a great smell: in homeopathy, yellow jasmine can in fact be used against flu, colds, headaches and states of mental confusion, of shock, of public fear.

White jasmine

In general the jasmine is white, the Jasminum polyanthum, however, it is well known and literally called 'White jasmine' and it is like its fellows a vigorous and rustic climbing plant up to 6 meters high. Its flowers, winter, are numerous and in clusters, externally pink, powerfully scented.
Always white is also the "common" type, native to Iran, China and India, very resistant to frost and present in Sicily, even re-wild in its spontaneous state. The Jasminum grandiflorum, coming from Nepal but called 'jasmine of Spain'Or' from Sicily ', has large flowers that bloom from spring to autumn and is suitable only for mild climates where it is used to cover pergolas, walls, fences.
Among the most popular cited in previous paragraphs, the Jasminum azoricum known as 'trifoliate', also preferentially intended to be an ornamental plant for walls and fences such as the Jasminum sambac, or 'of Arabia', bearer from June and October of numerous particularly fragrant white flowers.

Night jasmine

We cannot talk about jasmine without mentioning Pascoli and his poetry "The night jasmine", Composed - so they say - after a long gestation, after a thousand variations, on the occasion of the wedding of his friend Raffaele Briganti. Among the verses, in part later reported, the union of the two spouses appears side by side with the budding of a new life, and jasmine, in fact.
And the nocturnal flowers open / in the hour that I think of my dear ones / Twilight butterflies have appeared in the midst of the viburnums / For a long time the cries have ceased: / there alone a house whispers. / Under the wings the nests, / like the eyes under the lashes. And in the end the flower appears. It is dawn: the petals close / a little crumpled; it hatches, / inside the soft and secret urn, / I don't know what new happiness”.

If you really want to honor and remember this poet and our flower, here is a pack of night jasmine seeds to plant and cultivate so as not to forget that, with a touch of poetry and perfumed air, life is much richer. This kind of jasmine, which blooms at night, is native to southern Asia, Pakistan and Nepal. If we work hard, we will get a shrub or a small tree up to 10 m high.

Primulin Jasmine

It is one of the most spectacular species of Jasmine with bright yellow flowers, odorless and up to 4 cm wide, and glossy green leaves. The flowering period usually takes place between spring and summer.
Being a climbing species, to ensure proper growth it needs a support to "climb" on, especially in the first years of life. Although it is a plant born in a Mediterranean climate, it also adapts to less hot areas, especially if placed in sheltered positions. In any case, it does not survive in too cold climates.

As for pruning, we recommend carrying out it 15 days after the end of flowering. The average height is 1.5 meters but if well cultivated it can reach 5 meters!

Jasmine: flowering

Unless there are exceptions, declared by particular types, i jasmine flowers they are commonly small and white, or have shades of pink on the underside of the petals. They are splendid and I understand well that, according to an Arab belief, heaven was pervaded precisely by jasmine flowers, still understood as a symbol of divine love. Always in ancient times, it was the flower of immortality, in Spain also of sensuality.
Usually flowering occurs in late winter but if we go through the 200 different habits of all jasmine existing, we certainly find many exceptions, also linked to the areas in which they grow. Wherever we are, however, there is certainly hope that flowering will be abundant since 8,000 flowers must be used to obtain 1 kg of essence. This is why very oftenjasmine essential oil often it does not have affordable prices, if it is not a synthetic product that imitates it.

Jasmine oil

The essential oil that is extracted from flower petals is the reason why so much is grown jasmine, craving the fragrant and refined fragrance that we can then feel, at home, on the body, wherever we spread a little. Also Persians they went crazy about it and offered it to the guests at banquets, aware and also convinced of its therapeutic power in the field of sexuality.
Believe it or not in certain effects, certainly among the main constituents are linalyl acetate, linalool, benzoyl acetate, phenylacetic acid, make it alone and, above all, jasmone, the ketone characterizing the extract and responsible for the typical fragrance. These and other chemical components are extracted by steam distillation or enfleurage.

For more information, you can read our article dedicated tojasmine essential oilwhile to experience its effects or simply to perfume ourselves, here is a bottle of jasmine oil described as an essence with an aphrodisiac effect.

It can be used, when in doubt, as a cure for sensitive and delicate skin, for mild skin irritation. Furthermore, if applied in the massage, in addition to perfuming, it relieves muscle and joint pains and tension, if vaporized it gives relief from the symptoms of stress, tension, cough and sore throat. It should not be swallowed and costs 20 euros.

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