Jasmines, the beautiful, white flowers are always known for their excellent mood uplifting and healing properties and have been a part of our tradition since time immemorial. Clad by the vernacular names Common Jasmine, Poet's Jasmine or White Jasmine, this highly scented flower offers quite a few health benefits including enhancing the immune system, boosting blood circulation, optimize hormonal levels, relieving stress and alleviating diabetes.
The word ‘Jasmine’ is derived from the Persian word ‘Yasmine’ which is translated into ‘Gift of God’. These scented flowers are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Australasia, Eurasia, and Oceania but are also commercially cultivated in different parts of the world.
Coined as the ‘Queen Of Flowers’, Jasmine has become widely popular, not just for its fragrance but also for its immense health benefits. It is also widely used in cooking such as jasmine tea and other herbal teas jasmine rice, sorbets and are also used for making perfumes, lotions, shampoos and various other skin and hair products.
The aromatic tea made from the freshly plucked jasmine flowers had become hugely popular during the Ming dynasty in China. The deeply aromatic tea was later introduced to many countries in the world and now it has become a part of our traditional remedies, thanks to the presence of potent antioxidants like catechin and epicatechin which not only soothes our mind but also promotes overall health.
What Is Jasmine Tea?
Although it may sound exotic, jasmine tea is merely green or black tea of any variety that is fragranced with jasmine flowers. It is usually made from combining green tea leaves with jasmine petals. The tea has a characteristic delicate flavour and a mild floral aroma that literally refreshes your mind and body.
How Is It Prepared?
While making jasmine tea from the scratch, try selecting jasmine species such as J. officinale, J. sambac, or J. polyanthum which are free of any chemicals or fertilizers. The flowers are usually plucked in the morning during the warmth of the day and after the dew drops have dried. Try picking the ones which are in bud stage or freshly bloomed. These flowers are then washed and towel dried and sandwiched in between two layers of normal tea. Lastly a weight of some sort is put on top of the layers for 24 hours to several weeks to allow the aroma of the jasmine flower to exude out and perfume the tea. While opting for the tea, you can select either white, oolong or black tea. You can keep the dried jasmine petals in the tea to get a more exotically scented variety.
To prepare the jasmine tea, take a cup of hot water, steep a heaping teaspoon of jasmine tea in it for 5-7 minutes, strain and serve and enjoy the sensual taste.
5 Health Benefits Of Jasmine
The richness of antioxidants in the jasmine flower help in interacting with the gastric enzymes thereby boosting digestion, relieving flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. It also functions to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria and AMA toxins from the body.
Promotes Heart Health
Being a powerhouse of antioxidants, jasmine is extremely beneficial for promoting heart functions and reducing the risk of heart ailments. The presence of anti-coagulant and anti-fibrinolytic properties reduce the bad cholesterol (i.e. low-density lipoproteins) and prevent blockage and formation of clots in the arteries that can lead to abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack or conditions like atherosclerosis.
Also Read: Top 10 Superfoods For A Healthy Heart
Boon for Weight Loss
Jasmine flowers are considered a boon by people undergoing a weight loss regimen. The presence of EGCG i.e. epigallocatechin and gallic acid, in the leaves prevent weight gain by speeding up your metabolism. It washes out the harmful toxins from the body and helps in burning out the excess fat faster.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Jasmine is an ancient and traditional remedy to increase the functioning of the brain. The potent antioxidants and polyphenols present in this scented flower improves the brain activity and helps in the secretion of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It also promotes memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Hence, it can be considered as a brain booster and is extremely beneficial in treating psychotic conditions like depression, insomnia, and ailments like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Also read: World Alzheimer’s Day: Try These Nutritious Smoothies To Enhance Brain Function
The hypoglycaemic property of the jasmine flower plays a significant role in alleviating the blood sugar level of the body. The production of insulin from the pancreatic β-cells become active on the consumption of jasmine tea due to the presence of bioactive catechins. Regular consumption of jasmine as tea or in dishes significantly reduces the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn lowers the fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.
The incredibly scented flower has immense health benefits. Imbued with powerful antioxidants, it is extremely beneficial in improving heart and gastrointestinal health, promoting brain functioning and managing diabetes effectively.