Jasmine is one of the most recognizable scents among perfume connoisseurs, but did you know that this tropical plant is also a tried and tested natural remedy for a variety of ailments? For centuries, jasmine has been used to alleviate everything from anxiety and insomnia to mood swings and upset stomach.
Essential oil extracted from the jasmine plant has demonstrated positive effects on mental and physical health. In fact, there are a number of scientifically-proven reasons why keeping a jasmine plant close by is good for your overall wellbeing. Here are just some of them:
· Anxiety Relief
Research has shown that the use of jasmine oil in aromatherapy reduces symptoms of depression and elevates mood. When subjects were exposed to the scent of jasmine, their brains registered higher beta brain activity compared to the control group. Beta brain waves are oscillations with frequencies between 13Hz and 30Hz and are normally associated with alertness and concentration.
Researchers have shown that the fragrance of jasmine acts as a natural sedative. Inhaling the scent of jasmine oil also affects a chemical in our brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a type of neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating stress and anxiety.
· Elevated mood
The relationship between fresh air and mental health is well-established. Breathing in oxygen-rich air lowers the risk of a number of mood disorders, including depression. Since people in industrialized society now spend around 90% of their time indoors, they simply don’t get enough fresh air on a daily basis. This is where plants like jasmine can work their magic.
The smell of jasmine oil has been found to induce happiness and optimism. While essential oils can’t cure mood disorders and are not a substitute for prescription medications, they can have a positive impact on the subjective feelings of contentment and tranquillity.
· Better sleep quality
Not only can keeping a jasmine plant in your bedroom help you fall asleep faster but it can also improve your sleep quality by lowering your heart rate and making you more relaxed.
According to Professor Helmut Hass from the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, inhaling the scent of Gardenia jasminoides, also known as cape jasmine, has a potent calming effect. Studies have shown that the fragrance of jasmine mimics the effects of benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and anesthetics – all of which are commonly prescribed for insomnia.
· Hormonal Balance
Jasmine has been shown to help with hormone imbalances, particularly in women going through menopause. A study on a group of Korean women who used aromatherapy found a reduction in menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and irritability.
Jasmine can also relieve the signs and symptoms of other hormonal imbalance disorders, including PMS, postpartum depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
· Healthy Digestion
In addition to the many benefits of inhaling the aromatic odor of jasmine, this sweet-smelling plant can also be used in tea form. Jasmine tea is commonly recommended by herbalists as a natural way to boost digestion and promote gastrointestinal health.
Jasmine tea is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and increase metabolism. This delicious tea also has antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that jasmine tea extract helps eliminate foodborne bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella from the intestinal tract.
So you know what to do next time you’re down in the dumps, anxious, can’t sleep, or feel like your stomach is bothering you: just breath in some fresh jasmine, add a few drops of jasmine oil in your diffuser, or reach for a freshly-brewed cup of this natural remedy.