Jasmine, Flower of Optimism
Also known as the "King of Flowers", Jasmine (of the Oleaceae family of plants) is a beautiful evergreen shrub or vine with delicate, bright green leaves and very fragrant, star shaped white flowers. The essential oil produced from this beautiful little flower has the most exquisite sweet floral and exotic, slightly heady fragrance. Jasmine has long been used in perfumery and therapeutically. In China, the flowers are used to treat hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Although originally grown in the South of France commercially, today, the world's supply of this oil mainly grows and is cultivated in Morocco, Algeria and India.
Jasmine is reputed to have many properties including, antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, sedative & uterine to name but a few. It is especially helpful for emotional dilemmas, particularly when they involve relationship and sex. Existing problems seem easier to solve because they usually result from unresolved emotional blocks. Aromatherapist Susanne Fischer-Rizzi says of Jasmine:
"The fragrance diminishes fear, it is helpful in enhancing self-confidence and defeating pessimism. No other oil is quite as capable of changing our mood so intensely, it offers little choice other than optimism."
Jasmine Essential Oil has aptly been called an antidepressant and is equal to Melissa, Basil and Ylang-ylang in this respect. It is also known as a hormonal balancer and is effective in the treatment of post-natal depression. It can be used for spasms of the uterus and soothes menstrual pain.
If you are not able to use an oil burner in your office, you can add these essential oils to a 50ml spray bottle full of purified water with 10 drops of essential oil solubiliser and spritz yourself as you need to. Most reputable Aromatherapy Stores will be able to do this for you if you need help.
In pregnancy, Jasmine is beneficial in the last 2 weeks before labour is due to its euphoric, anti-depressant and uterine tonic properties. Again the same blend above can be used in your oil burner (although not before the 2 weeks prior to labour), or combined into a cold pressed vegetable oil (25ml) and applied to the stomach and lower back to help alleviate discomfort and stress. These days many hospitals allow you to take your essential oils and oil burner with you to the labour ward.
For those tea totters out there, the dried flowers can also be used to make a delicious and uplifting tea. It can be infused by itself with a little honey if you have a sweet tooth, or combined with other herbs such as green tea or St John's Wort (another traditional depression remedy). Simply add a teaspoon of your dried herbs per cup into a teapot and pour boiling water over them, cover and let sit for approximately 5 minutes. Pour and enjoy! The best way to buy your teas is loose, to ensure you can see the quality of the herbs before you buy. Plus it adds to the relaxing experience to see these beautiful little flowers in your teapot too! Please note that St John's Wort should be avoided if you are taking anti-depressant medication of any sort.