The jasmine has been adored for years, from ancient times to the present. The jasmine plant has tiny white flowers that release their strong, sweet fragrance after the sunsets. People have loved this flower as it has been related to its scent. Some say it is sensuous, some call it romantic, and yet others call it delicate and pure. Whatever the description, the jasmine flower has an aroma that is uplifting and soothing. You’ll often smell it wafting out of cups of jasmine tea, and in regions of South Asia and the South Pacific, the flower is worn in the hair. The essential oil extracted from the flower, is used for its relaxing properties.
The jasmine plant name is Jasminum officinale (Latin) from the family of plants called Oleaceae. The plant is a native of tropical and temperate regions of the world – parts of Eurasia, Oceania and Australasia. Plants grow as delicate vines, and shrub varieties exist abundantly too. Leaves are a deep bottle-green color and flowers are stark white. You may see ivory-colored jasmine too. Star-shaped white flowers of the jasmine plant hold essential oils that have been used for centuries to maintain states of calm. Civilizations have hailed the bloom as the “Queen of the Night” as flowers bloom fully at night. Jasmine flower symbolism has roots in the ideas of peace and equilibrium of the mind and body. People through the ages have claimed that its scent produces feelings of euphoria as well as tranquility.
The Growth of Jasmine
Jasmine is widespread in its growth in tropical areas of the world as there are close to 200 sub-species of this plant. Depending on the plant type, it can grow as an upright shrub or an invasive vine that climbs high. In South and southeast Asia, the plant is seen in many of its varieties, and you will see these aesthetic beauties at hotels and spas. One species type is grown in Europe, and many have become acclimatized to Mediterranean regions. The primary variety, Jasminum, from where jasmine flower symbolism and history originate, is grown in northern parts of Iran and western regions of China. Some parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan grow this, as well as the European Caucasus and the Himalayas.
Jasmine plants love full to partial sunshine and grow in well-drained soil. Deciduous plants that shed leaves in the fall, there are some evergreen plants that hold an eternal meaning for some. Leaves are especially unique in trifoliate patterns (each leaf parts into three small leaflets). Pinnate leaves also grow on sub-types, and here, leaves develop in pairs that oppose each other on the stem length. Jasmine flower meaning comes from the intoxicating scent that yellow or white flowers reveal. Flowers are just around an inch in diameter but have been coveted for years for their fragrance.
Meaning for Cold Winters
If you want to own Jasminum as a houseplant, you will be thrilled that it thrives in cold winter months indoors. When its gloomy and dark outdoors, your home will be redolent of jasmine’s heady scent. In each room that you are in you will experience a cheery aura and a restful state. Many people who get depressed in the winter months hold this plant dear. It reminds them of the happiness and joy of the coming warm climate of the spring and summer. Jasmine flowers, meaningful as they are, are very common in gardens across the world. It is a delight to people in parts of the world where it is “not supposed” to grow, such as North America. It looks dainty, but is a hardy climber.
Euphoria in Jasminum
From ancient times, jasmine possessed the qualities of euphoria and flowers were cultivated for the oils that they held. Jasmine oil has true meaning for being a soothing balm for those in pain from mental or physical stress. The only way to extract this essence was through a very gradual method.
Flowers were stirred in boiling hot fat so that the aroma would be released. The flowers were then strained to drain out the residual liquid. New ones were added to the boiling pot and the process was terminated till the required potency was obtained. The oil was used as it was formed, or alcohol was added to it, the fat being removed and made into soap. Nowadays, it is extracted in a much more advanced way. Jasmine soaps and perfumes have been used by royalty and ancient nobility.
Jasmine in Beverages
Inhaling the delicious aroma of jasmine tea is a ritual for many people. If you take a sip of this refreshing brew, you will feel how the jasmine flower meaning holds importance for many tea drinkers. Infusions of this scent with regular tea leaves gives rise to a drink that you will cherish while you are sitting alone. Popularly made with green tea, you get jasmine with white tea too.
Age-old Ayurveda and Jasmine
In Ayurveda’s old tenets, or ayurvedic Hindu medicine, ancient scribes have written about jasmine being the bearer of a “tridosha” oil. As one of the most significant of jasmine flower meanings, this belief states that the oil pacifies all three “doshas”. The “doshas” are considered vital body elements, and when these are in balance, the mind and body function well. Ancient medicine also symbolizes the aroma of the jasmine flower with a sensual feeling. The oil is believed to have qualities of an aphrodisiac, aiding the release of inhibitions. It was used in ancient times to seduce and create a sense of intimacy.
While in deep states of meditation, infusions of jasmine oil are burned to achieve calmer states of being and release tension. Ancient cultures have always believed in the meditative powers of the flower and use it even today. The Chinese and Japanese claim that the oil of the jasmine flower elevates mood and fosters positivity. Consequently, it results in self-esteem and confidence to undertake challenging tasks. In far eastern cultures it is used as a massage oil, not just to relieve physical pain, but to lift spirits. It is also known to encourage a glow on the skin.
The Flower with True Symbolic Value
As fragrant flowers go, the jasmine flower meaning is the most evident through its scent. The aroma is said to have a mystic quality and it triggers emotions and memories. The symbolic value of jasmine far outweighs its beauty and it has become a flower of energizing qualities. Varying by culture and place, the most typical meaning of jasmine is love, beauty, purity, and sensuality. Since purity and sensuality are sourced from somewhat contrary aspects, it is said that the flower looks pure due to its color. On the other hand, it appeals to the sensual aspect due to its intoxicating scent.
In Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, the flower is symbolic of love and respect and is found at weddings. In India, women wear it in their hair as a sign of good fortune and luck. The western world, during the Renaissance especially, portrayed jasmine as a purity symbol associated with the Virgin Mary. Flowers were depicted in the paintings of great masters.