Plants continue to play an integral role in both orthodox and traditional medicines for preventing and treating various diseases and ailments. Although not all plants fall into this category, yet a great number of plants have been recorded as excellent bioresources for medicinal purposes. This is observed through the production of several herbal drugs that fulfil our primary health care needs. One of such beneficial medicinal plants is jasmine.
Jasmine is botanically known as Jasminum officinale or jæsmᵻnəm and belongs to the olive family of Oleaceae. This shrub comprises of approximately two hundred species that are originally from Oceania, Eurasia and Australasia. Some species include; Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum), Jasminum glandulosum Wall. (J. dichotomum), Jasminum officinale (sweet jasmine), Jasminum dichotomum (Gold Coast Jasmine), Jasminum arborescence Roxb. (nava-mallikaa or nagamalli or tree jasmine), Jasminum sambac Linn. (motia or lily jasmine), Brazilian Jasmine, Jasminum (Joohi or jui), Jasminum grandiflorum (L.) (Chameli), Jasminum multiflorum Roth. (Safed chameli), Jasminum heterophyllum Roxb., Jasminum fluminense, Jasminum arborescens Roxb. (Tree Jasmine), Jasminum auriculatum (Juyi, needle flower jasmine, Juhi), Jasminum angustifolium Linn., Jasminum mesnyi Hance (Japanese Jasmine, Primrose Jasmine or Jasminum primulinum Hemsley) and Jasminum polyanthum (White Jasmine).
Jasmine is mostly planted for the distinctive fragrance of its flowers. Different countries have different names for jasmine for example; Marathi calls it kunda, Hindi calls it kundphul, India calls it Indian jasmine, Sanskrit calls it magha mallika or kundah and English people refer to it as downy jasmine. It is also known as winter jasmine.
Jasmine can be evergreen all through the year or deciduous with the leaves dropping during autumn. It can grow upright, climb other plants or spread on the ground. It comprises of five sections namely; unifoliolata, alternifolia, trifoliolata, jasminum and primulina. The leaves are alternate, pinnate or trifoliate in appearance and they bear flowers that measure approximately 2.5 cm in diameter.
The flowers form in cymose clusters but can also be solitary on the branchlets ends. Each flower bears approximately 4 to 9 petals, 1 to 4 ovules and 2 locules and 2 stamens with small filaments. The calyx has a bell shape while the bracts are ovate or linear in shape. Jasmine fruit berries usually change to black colour when ripe. Although jasmine can blossom all year round in a greenhouse but preferably from June to September.
Apart from being an ornamental flower as we commonly know, are you also aware of other things you stand to gain from this amazing plant? In response to this, Jain et al., (2011) attest that jasmine is analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, expectorant, aphrodisiac, sedative, stomachic, diuretic, depurative, astringent, stimulating, anti-oxidizing, anthelmintic and anti-inflammatory in nature. Furthermore, there are other numerous advantages this amazing plant offers to humanity. These benefits have been attributed to its phytochemical, medicinal and pharmacological properties.
Phytochemical Contents of Jasmine
Jasmine flower is a rich source of volatile oil, indol and jasminol. The plant also contains linalol, triterpenes, benzyl-acetate, jasmone, resin, glycoside, phenols, alkaloid, salicylic acid, terpenoids, jasminine, tannin, saponins and flavonoids.
28 Awesome Benefits of Jasmine
Borar et al., (2011) report that methanolic leaf extract of jasmine has an antioxidizing ability. As a result, it is suitable for inhibiting oxidation. It also helps to remove potentially damaging oxidising agents in a living organism. Furthermore, Dubey et al., (2016) assessed the antioxidant activity and phytochemical properties of the aqueous extract of Jasminum officinale leaves. This was evaluated in vitro using free radical scavenging assays for DPPH, NO, superoxide and ABTS radicals in addition to Reducing Power assessment. They also assessed the total phenolic, flavonoid and flavonol contents of the extract using standard procedures.
The phytochemical analysis of the extract showed the presence of glycosides, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, coumarins, alkaloids, terpenoids and saponins. Their study supports the use of jasmine in traditional medicines due to its significant antioxidant potential. The phenolic compounds in jasmine act as antioxidants that scavenge for free radicals associated with oxidative damage (Shi et al., 2006).
Researchers reveal that ethanolic and aqueous extracts of jasminum angustifolium Linn. plant exhibit antitumor potentials. Shekhar and Prasad (2015) report that Jasminum angustifolium Linn plant can be used for suppressing tumour syndrome.
Costa et al., (2012) report that jasmine is a rich source of phytol, which exhibits anticonvulsant activity. This is done by modulating the neurotransmitter systems in piloacarpine-induced seizures.
Jasmine sambac roots can be boiled with water and the infusion taken for treating diabetes mellitus and regulating the blood sugar level (Sunilson et al., 2010).
Jasmine flowers act as a lactifuge and as such useful for reducing milk secretion during life-threatening conditions. Jasmine flowers can be macerated and applied on the breast for a couple of days until secretion stops.
Treatment of Constipation
Sulaiman et al., (2012) report that the flowers, roots and leaves of jasmine plant can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating and preventing constipation and flatulence.
Jasmine roots can be decocted and used for treating skin diseases such as scabies, ringworm, leprosy and pimples.
Treatment of Dysmenorrhoea and Amenorrhoea
Jain et al., (2011) report that jasminum species can be used for treating dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea. Dysmenorrhoea is known as painful menstruation involving abdominal cramps while amenorrhoea is a health condition marked by an abnormal absence of menstruation.
Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
Jasmine plant can be decocted and used for tackling gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach ache, dysentery and diarrhoea.
Studies reveal that jasmine has antilithiatic properties and as such can be used for preventing the formation of kidney stones. It also offers relief from the symptoms of kidney stones.
Treatment of Headache
Due to its analgesic properties, jasmine leaves can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating headache.
Jasmine flowers can be soaked overnight in water and used as an eyewash. The dried flowers can also be decocted and used as eyewash during swelling, inflammation and reddening of the eye.
Jasmine flowers can be soaked in alcohol extract or oil and then used for treating rheumatism.
The leaves can be decocted and used for treating and healing wounds. Jasmine flowers and leaves can be squeezed and applied as a poultice on wounds, cuts and sprains to seize bleeding and facilitate healing.
Otorrhea or ear pain or ear drainage is a health condition marked by inflammation of the external or middle ear or both. Jasmine oil can be dropped into the affected ear for tackling otorrhea.
Jasmine is an aphrodisiac and as such, both the flowers and leaves can be applied as a poultice on the pubic areas and loins for stimulating sexual desires.
Jasmine is a rich constituent of tannins, which are considered anti-cancerous. As a result, it is deemed useful for treating inflamed or ulcerated tissues associated with cancer. It also helps to reduce peritoneal cancer cell counts.
Jasmine can be used as an emmenagogue for stimulating and increasing menstrual flow.
Jasmine sambac Linn. is effective against viruses and as such the leaves can be used for treating cough, cold and fever as reported by Sabharwal et al., (2013).
Treatment of Gallstones
Sabharwal et al., (2013) agree that the juices from Jasminum sambac Linn. leaves can be used for treating gallstones. Jasmine sambac leaves can also be soaked in cold water and consumed for treating gallstones (Sunilson et al., 2010).
Jasmine flower is antidepressant and relaxing in nature thus can be used for alleviating depression.
Jasmine plant is diuretic in nature and as such can be used for preparing herbal medicines for increasing the passage of urine.
The leaves can be decocted and used for treating ulcerative stomatitis.
Jasmine can be used for preparing hair creams and hair ornaments.
Jasmine Tea Production
Jasmine flowers can be used for producing jasmine tea (mò lì huā chá, sanpin cha, pinyin, jasmine-flower tea, さんぴん茶, 茉莉花茶). Jasminum sambac flowers are the most commonly used for making jasmine tea.
Fragrance Industrial Production
Due to the aromatic fragrance of jasmine, it is normally used by fragrance industry for producing perfume, scent, fragrance, aftershave, eau de cologne, moisturisers, anti-aging, lotions, shampoos and body spray.
Some countries use jasmine for religious purposes during festivals, rituals, events and cultural activities.
Jasmine plant can be planted for ornamental and decorative purposes due to its glamorous appearance. Planting it around houses helps to beautify and adorn houses, environments and gardens. Jasmine flowers can also be used for making bouquets for weddings and garlands.
DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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