Monday, February 28, 2011

Lovely Jasmine

I just recently purchased some Jasmine essential oil - my dad always grows confederate Jasmine on a trellis in the backyard and it smells sooooo heavenly on summer nights.
image from Floracopeia
Since the Jasmine flower is so small, it takes over 8 million flowers to produce one kilo of oil!  Therefore they sell it as an "absolute" mixed with a carrier oil.  Usually it's about 10% essential oil and the rest is carrier oil.  It is still very strong smelling and therapeutic - but it makes it more affordable.  I was researching some of the things Jasmine essential oil does, and I was surprised at what I found.  Here's what it can do:
  • Expectorant: helps to clear the accumulation of phlegm in the respiratory tract
  • Mild Anti-depressant:  It has an uplifting affect on the nervous system
  • Anti-microbial: it has anti-viral and bactericidal properties
  • Aphrodisiac: it has long been used to enhance feelings of love
  • Labor and Postpardum:  Helps to ease labor pains and tone the uterus
  • Menstrual Aid:  Can reduce cramps and nausea
and Sedative:  A recent report from German researchers stated that Jasmine is as strong or stronger than prescription sleeping/anxiety pills such as Valium. Two of the Jasmine fragrances have the same neurochemical mechanism of action as barbiturates!  Isn't that amazing?
This is from Dr. Weil's Blog

             The investigators from Ruhr Universit├Ąt in Bochum, Germany tested hundreds of fragrances to determine their effects in humans and mice on the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps control nervous system activity. The two jasmine fragrances that were strongest increased the GABA effect by more than five times, making the scents as powerful as some pharmaceutical drugs. One of the investigators noted that the results could be seen as supportive evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy. The researchers have been granted a patent for their discovery. The study was published online in May by the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

I think that's pretty cool!  Anyway, consider using Jasmine the next time you are sick or anxious.  At least you'll smell lovely.  Be well and have a great day.

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