There are more than 150 types of jasmine, and they all smell wonderful. Jasmine is native to the Indian subcontinent and Iran. It has been cultivated in Grasse for centuries for perfume making and was introduced into Europe in the 16th century. Its name comes from the Farsi, yasemin which means a gift from god.
   In India and Pakistan there is a night flowering variety known as Queen of the Night and jati in Ayurvedic medicine. Legend has it that a princess was enamoured of the sun god, Surya-Deva, who spurned her. She committed suicide and her ashes were scattered on the ground from whence jasmine began to grow. Because she had been spurned by the sun god, the flower would not give him the pleasure of its perfume so it only blooms at night.
  The European variety flowers during the day and evening, perfuming the air with its heady scent. Jasmine is a women’s plant as it helps as an aphrodisiac it is claimed, along with patchouli. As you would imagine as a “women’s plant” jasmine has been used to treat PMT, tension headaches, and to heal the female reproductive system. It has anti- spasmodic properties so can help relax the uterus and so helps with the labour pains of childbirth.
yellow jasmine
   In China jasmine is a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty and symbolizes deep affection, happiness and elegance. In the European Language of flowers different types of jasmine symbolize different things: yellow jasmine is for modesty, grace and elegance; white is for amiability and Pakistani Jasmine means attachment while Spanish jasmine as it is called stands for sensuality.
   Of course everyone has probably drunk jasmine tea and eaten jasmine rice, so you know what it tastes like. In China it is thought to have cooling properties and so is used to reduce fevers and cool the blood. It has antibacterial properties and can produce feelings of optimism, confidence and even euphoria.
   You can make a tisane of it with 2-3 ounces of flowers to 1 pint of boiling water and this is good to help sore throats and coughs. This is also good to heal wounds which the Greeks and Romans used jasmine for. It has antiseptic qualities.
red jasmine
   In Hinduism the flowers are sacred to Vishnu and Shiva and given to honored guest as garlands to be worn around the neck. The flowers are also used as votive offerings in religious ceremonies. Nycanthus arbortristis (Night flowering jasmine) is used in traditional Indian medicine to treat rheumatism, sciatica and bilious fevers. It is also believed to boost the immune system. In Ayurvedic medicine jasmine is used to treat gingivitis and other oral problems, as well as heatstroke. Compresses of the flowers are applied to the temples for headaches, heatstroke and to relieve anxiety and stress. The flower buds are used for eye problems like rose, boils and other skin disorders. The flowers are also given to cancer patients especially useful it is said for breast cancer.
    Recent medical trials have supported the use of jasmine oil in aromatherapy, as when mice smelled the fragrance both natural and a chemical substitute, they remained quietly in a corner of their cage. Brain scans showed that a chemical, GABA was acting as a sedative on the mice, relieving anxiety and promoting sleep. The British newspaper The Telegraph, hailed it as “calming as valium” (10th July, 2010).

2 oz jasmine flowers
2 oz lemon balm leaves, slightly torn
honey to taste
2 pints water

Boil jasmine flowers and lemon balm leaves in the water. When it has boiled, leave it to steep for 10 minutes and then strain. You can add honey at this stage or boil with honey.
This has Taste and is a Treat.