Family: Oleaceae, Jasminum spp.
Source: Simon, J.E., A.F. Chadwick and L.E. Craker. 1984.
Herbs: An Indexed Bibliography. 1971-1980. The Scientific Literature
on Selected Herbs, and Aromatic and Medicinal Plants of the Temperate
Zone. Archon Books, 770 pp., Hamden, CT.
The Jasminum species, primarily represented by poet's Jasminum
officinale L., and royal jasmine, Jasminum grandiflorum
L., are an important source of natural fragrances. Poet's jasmine,
also known as white jasmine, is native to the Himalayas of western
China. The vine-like plant reaches a height of 10 meters,
and has ovate leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that
bloom in summer and fall. Royal jasmine, also known as Catalonian
and Spanish jasmine, grows similarly to poet's jasmine but has
leaflets of a different size, shorter branches, and larger flowers
(11.1-50). This jasmine is most valued for its fragrance
and is the most extensively cultivated. Jasmine is grown in France,
Spain, Italy, and several North African and Middle Eastern countries.
The reported life zone for Jasminum officinale is 11 to
27 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 2.8
meters and a soil pH of 4.9 to 8.3 (4.1-31). The perennial
jasmine plants that grow outside in warm regions are grown inside
as greenhouse plants in northern climates. Poet's jasmine is much
more cold tolerant than royal jasmine, and cultivated jasmine
plants are usually grafted onto poet's jasmine rootstocks (11.1-50,
14.1-4). Jasmine can be produced on almost any soil type,
with ample water supply and full sun. Full production begins after
grafting in the second year. Flowers are picked in the early morning,
since they are the most fragrant at daybreak (11.1-50, 14.1-10).
Flowers from higher altitudes are of a finer quality than those
of lower altitudes (14.1-10).
Jasmine flower oil is extracted immediately after the flowers
are collected by enfleurage or the use of volatile solvents (14.1-10).
The extraction process to obtain high-quality jasmine oil
is delicate and laborious. The oil contains benzyl acetate, terpineol,
jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other
compounds 14.1-10). The concrete and absolute of jasmine
are available commercially.
The flower oil is important in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics,
such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos. Flowers are used in
jasmine tea and other herbal or black teas. Several types of jasmine
are used as ornamental plants.
As a medicinal plant, jasmine has traditionally been considered
an aphrodisiac and calmative. The roots and leaves of some jasmine
species have been used in folk medicine as an anthelmintic, active
against ringworm and tapeworm (11.1-50). The plant has been
employed against cancer (14.1-18).
Jasminum sambac (L.) Ait., commonly called Arabian jasmine,
is a white-flowered evergreen plant, from 2 to 3 meters in
height, of uncertain origin. The plant has been used to flavor
teas and is reported to have antimicrobial activity (2.1-54).
The names yellow jasmine and Carolina jasmine actually refer to
Gelsenium sempervirens (L.) Ait. f., a poisonous plant
of the Loganaceae family. Cape Jasmine is actually Gardenia
jasminoides Ellis, a common gardenia of the Rubiaceae family
that has fragrant flowers.
Jasmine is generally recognized as safe for human consumption
as a plant extractive or essential oil (21 CFR section 182.20
[Note: References listed above in parentheses can be found in full in the original reference].
Last modified 6-Dec-1997