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Jasmine Essential Oil–History, Benefits & Uses

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Jasmine is one of the most alluring and sensual fragrances used in perfumes and cosmetics. It has been part of traditional and religious ceremonies in many different cultures and honored for its symbolism. As a flower that opens at night under the light of the moon, it's no wonder that it has always had a romantic association. Jasmine was recognized for its medicinal properties in the distant past during the tenth century.

What is Jasmine?

Jasmine (Jasminum) is a flowering shrub and vine in the Oleaceae (olive) family. The origin of the name Jasmine comes from the Persian word Yasameen, which translates to “gift from God.” The genus originated in Persia, China, and India, and there are more than 200 species in Jasminum.

Jasmine's leaves are evergreen or deciduous, meaning they fall from the vine in autumn. The flowers are white, yellow, and rarely can be slightly red-tinged. The flowers are very fragrant with a strong and sweet scent. The petals open at night to release their fragrance and are popular in lunar gardens. [1, 2, 3, 4]

Jasmine grows in tropical and subtropical areas, mostly in South and Southeast Asia, but some species have been naturalized in the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean Europe. Two species of Jasmine, J. fluminense and J. dicotomum, are invasive in Florida and Hawaii, and another species, J. polyanthum, is considered an invasive weed in Australia. [1]

Other flowers often include the name of Jasmine but are completely unrelated, such as star jasmine (Trachelospermum), Carolina jasmine (Gelsmium sempervirens), and others. Carolina jasmine is also called false Jasmine and has toxic constituents which are lethal even in small doses. [3]

What is the history of Jasmine Essential Oil?

Jasmine is the national flower of Pakistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Many cultures revere the flower, and it has a cultural and religious significance across the world. It is cultivated for garden plants, cut flowers, and house plants. [1, 3]

  • Persia: Avicenna (the “Father of Medicine” and 10th-century author, physician, and astronomer) noted Jasminum officinale in his works The Canon [5]
  • Thailand: Jasmine symbolizes motherhood in Thai culture.
  • Indonesia: The species Jasminum sambac is known as “Melati,” and symbolizes eternal life, purity, nobility, and feminine beauty. It is the principal flower in wedding ceremonies for Indonesians, especially in Java. [3] Indonesians boiled the flowers to make compresses with the tea and to treat eye infections. [4]
  • India: Jasmine is used as a sacred offering in Hindu religious ceremonies, especially molle, which is often used to make garlands for women's hair. J. grandiflorum is often used in Ayurvedic medicine. [6]
  • Pakistan: The species Jasminum officinale is known as “Yasmine,” “Chameli,” and in Sanskrit, “Mallika.”
  • Philippines: The species Jasminum sambac is known in the Philippines as “Sampaguita.” [3]
  • China: A decoction (boiled extract) of the twigs and leaves of Jasminum nervosum was used as a blood purifier and the treatment of hepatitis. [4, 7]
  • Hawaii: The species Jasminum sambac is known as “Pikake.” [8]

Common types of Jasmine

The largest producer of Jasmine in the world is Egypt, which exports 6 to 8 tons annually. Morocco, India, France, Italy, and China follow as some of the largest producers of Jasmine flowers in the world. [4]

  • Jasminum officinale
    • Also known as “white jasmine,” “true jasmine,” “summer jasmine,” and “poet's jasmine” [7]
  • Jasminum auriculatum
    • Also known as “Indian Jui” or “Juhi,” or Jasmine molle, it is a sacred flower for the Goddess Devi. [9]
  • Jasminum sambac
    • Also known as “Arabian jasmine” [10]
      • Varieties include:
        • Maid of Orleans: also known as “Bela,” “Mograw,” and “Motiya
        • Grand Duke of Tuscany: also known as “rose jasmine,” and kampupot in the Phillippines
        • Belle of India: double-petaled
        • Mysore Mallige: similar to Belle of India variety, is extremely fragrant
        • Arabian Nights: double layer of petals [11]
      • Jasminum grandiflorum
        • Also known as “Spanish jasmine,” “Catalan jasmine,” and “Royal jasmine.”
      • Jasminum Fluminense
        • Also known as “Brazillian jasmine,” it is considered an invasive species and weed in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. [12]

What is an essential oil?

An essential oil is a volatile oil from plants, fruits, or flowers that contain aromatic components from many different chemical compounds. They are made of an average of twenty to sixty constituents that contain the distilled essence of the plant and contain terpenes and aromatic components. [13, 14]

How is Jasmine Essential oil made?

J. grandiflorum, J. sambac, and J. auriculatum are the species most commonly used for essential oil. Essential oils

are generally made through steam distillation or chemical solvent extraction. [14]

Jasmine essential oils contain very heat-sensitive compounds and steam distillation often degrades the oil and fragrance. The most successful extraction for Jasmine is via solvent extraction with methanol and ethanol. Using ethanol solvent extraction, the oil yield is around 14%.

Another popular method to extract Jasmine essential oil is enfleurage, which is using lipids, or fats; but it is a very expensive process that does not yield high quantities of oil. The flowers are first hand-picked at night when the petals are open, and then the petals are spread over fat-covered glass panes. The process is repeated, and more layers of stacked flowers are added to leach the essential oil from the flowers over several days. Then the saturated fat that now has been permeated with the essential oil is melted with very low heat. The melted fat is then filtered and distilled which leaves a product called a “concrete,” or sometimes called an oleoresin.

The “concrete” is a semi-solid mass which also contains waxes and colors, along with jasmine essence. The concrete is then processed further with ethanol to create an “absolute.” Though this generates a better yield of essential oil, it is cost-prohibitive and most commercial producers prefer to use solvent extraction. [15]

The absolute is an orange-brown color that is powerfully fragrant. [16]

What is Jasmine Essential Oil made of?

Jasmine essential oil contains:

  • Benzyl acetate: 0.33 %
  • Cedrol: 0.14%
  • Nerolidol: 0.11%
  • Methyl myristate: 0.75%
  • 7-Tetradecene: 0.20%
  • Neophytadiene: 0.23%
  • Benzyl benzoate: 4.84%
  • Perhydrofarnesyl Acetone: 4.85%
  • Phytol acetate: 0.22%
  • Geranyl linalool: 0.12%
  • Nonadecane: 0.14%
  • Methyl palmitate: 1.57%
  • Hexadecanoic acid: 9.16%
  • 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-1-1Hexadecen-3-ol: 12.42%
  • 3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadecanoid acid methyl ester: 0.60%
  • Heneicosane: 3.12%
  • 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid methyl ester: 1.33%
  • Phytol: 25.77%
  • 9,12,15-Ocatadecatrienoic acid: 4.82%
  • Octadecanoic acid methyl ester: 0.56%
  • Docosane: 0.25%
  • Tetracosane: 0.58%
  • Tricosane: 4.00%
  • Pentacosane: 15.1%
  • Heptacosane: 1.81%
  • Hexacosane: 2.54%
  • Octacosane: 1.26%
  • Nonacosane: 3.00%
  • Squalene: 0.46% [17]

Safety and Side Effects of Jasmine Essential Oil

The most common side effect of Jasmine Essential oil is contact dermatitis and sensitivity. Some of the sensitivity may be delayed-type hypersensitivity. Other side effects may include itchy skin, reddened skin, hives, chest tightness, and wheezing. [18]

Jasmine is an emmenagogue, which means that it can promote menstruation and regulate menstrual cycles, so it should be avoided in pregnancy. [19]


  1. “Jasmine.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasmine.
  2. “Jasminum Officinale.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_officinale.
  3. “Jasmine.” New World Encyclopedia, www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Jasmine.
  4. Ryman, Daniele. “Jasmine.” aromatherapybible.com/jasmine/.
  5. Mahdizadeh, Shahla et al. “Avicenna's Canon of Medicine: a review of analgesics and anti-inflammatory substances.” Avicenna journal of phytomedicine vol. 5,3 (2015): 182-202.
  6. “Jasminum Grandiflorum.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_grandiflorum.
  7. “Jasminum Officinale.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_officinale.
  8. “Jasmine.” www.theflowerexpert.com/content/giftflowers/flowersandfragrances/jasmine.
  9. “Jasminum Auriculatum.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_auriculatum.
  10. “Jasminum Sambac.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_sambac.
  11. “Jasminum Sambac.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_sambac.
  12. “Invasive Species Compendium.” www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/115014#tosummaryOfInvasiveness.
  13. Yap, Polly Soo Xi et al. “Essential oils, a new horizon in combating bacterial antibiotic resistance.” The open microbiology journal vol. 8 6-14. 7 Feb. 2014, doi:10.2174/1874285801408010006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3950955/
  14. Younis, Adnan, et al. “SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE EXTRACTION AND GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY ANALYSIS OF JASMINUM SAMBAC ESSENTIAL OIL .” Pak. J. Bot., vol. 43, Dec. 2011, pp. 163–168., www.pakbs.org/pjbot/PDFs/43(SI)/24.pdf.
  15. “Can Anyone Help Me to Get the Technology to Isolate Jasmine Oil from Jasmine Flower?” Research Gate, www.researchgate.net/post/Can_anyone_help_me_to_get_the_technology_to_isolate_jasmine_oil_from_jasmine_flower.
  16. Clarke, Sue. “Essential Chemistry for Aromatherapy (Second Edition).” Essential Chemistry for Aromatherapy (Second Edition), 2008.
  17. “Gas Chromatographic-Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Essential Oil of Jasminum Officinila L Var Grandiflorum Flower.” Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 149–152., doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v14i1.21.
  18. “Jasmine.” Foods, Herbs & Supplements. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=617#adverseEvents
  19. “Emmenagogue.” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmenagogue.


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