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romatherapy Materia Medica

(Jasminum officinale and J. grandiflorum)

© Kathi Keville, Mindy Green
 (Excerpted from Aromatherapy)

Probably an Iranian native, jasmine has captured the imagination for centuries. Forty-three different species are grown in East India, where women dress their hair with it and where it is poetically known as "moonlight of the grove." Also called the "king of fragrance," jasmine's complex scent is found in most great perfumes. The most prized oil comes from France and Italy, although about 80 percent is Egyptian. Try as chemists do to reproduce it, synthetic jasmine is so harsh that it demands a touch of the true oil to soften it.

Family: Oleaceae
Extraction: Enfleurage of blossoms. Concrete, absolute (separated from the concrete, then steam distilled). The fragrance is fruity, floral and sweetly exotic.
Medicinal Action: Jasmine is a nervous-system sedative that reduces menstrual cramps and is sometimes used to alleviate prostate problems. Culpeper suggested rubbing it into "hard, contracted limbs."
Cosmetic/Skin Use: The absolute is used for dry, sensitive or mature skin.
Emotional Attribute: Jasmine's fragrance soothes headaches, insomnia, depression, anger and worry, and dissolves apathy, indifference and lack of confidence. Also an aphrodisiac.

Associated Oils:
Chinese Jasmine (J. sambac) --Also called "sambac jasmine," this is originally from India and is richly fragrant.

About The Author
Kathi Keville has studied herbs since 1969. Her attraction to fragrant plants led to an involvement in aromatherapy. Her other books include Herbs for Health and Healing;......more
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