In India and throughout the Himalayas region, jasmine is a sacred flower associated with love, sensuality and spiritual awakening: garlands of jasmine flowers are offered to Hindu deities such as Kama, the god of love, and given to bridal couples to ensure their love lasts. Jasmine’s wonderful ability to calm the mind and bring balance to turbulent emotions has created a strong basis for the many spiritual uses of jasmine oil in South Asia. Jasmine is probably best known in the West as an aphrodisiac oil for both men and women, but the physical and spiritual uses of jasmine oil go far beyond that. Read on to learn about jasmine’s healing actions on the mind and spirit!
Jasmine holds the same status as a symbol of love in the East as does the luscious rose in the West. Hindu legends connect jasmine with undying love, sometimes in tragic ways: for instance, one legend tells of an Indian princess who falls in love with Surya-Deva, the sun god; when he rejects her, she is so heartbroken that she dies of grief. Upon cremation, her ashes are scattered and the jasmine flower grows up where they land. Because the sun spurned her, jasmine flowers open only at night to release their delicate perfume. Another myth relates that Kama, the Hindu analog to Cupid in Roman myth, would drape his arrow tips with jasmine flowers to ensure that they pierced the human heart and filled it with love.
When the effects of pure jasmine oil on the emotions are examined, it’s no wonder this flower has so long been associated with love and compassion, including the kind of cosmic compassion that is so valued in Eastern spiritual practice. Jasmine oil is listed as a calming sedative in aromatherapy, but some research has suggested that jasmine oil also activates beta waves in the brain—the type of brainwaves that indicate feelings of alertness.
Because of jasmine oil’s ability to promote calm alertness, one of the invaluable spiritual uses of jasmine oil is in helping those struggling with emotional issues to sort out their feelings in a tranquil, self-aware manner. Jasmine oil can be used to help someone confront emotional dilemmas, especially those that relate to love and relationships; to address states of shock, trauma, emotional stress, low self esteem, or body image issues. Overall, jasmine oil seems to offer the emotions a reset button, helping the user gain clearheadedness and perspective when they have become demotivated, mentally lethargic, or discouraged for any reason.
When employed in meditation, a common spiritual use of jasmine oil is to balance the body’s chakras—collection points of energy throughout the body in Hindu and Buddhist practice. As an anointing oil, jasmine is used to faciltate the opening of the third eye chakra, as well as the sacral chakra. The third eye chakra, located in the forehead, is associated with the pineal gland—the symbolic seat of wisdom, imagination, creativity, and clairvoyance. As you might expect, the sacral chakra, located around the sacrum or tailbone, is associated with sensuality, being in touch with the physical body, and being comfortable in one’s own skin. Jasmine oil tends to be quite yang, meaning it encourages outwardly directed energy, helping the practitioner to put themselves forward and be more confident in who they are.
We will leave you today with Peter Holmes’ beautiful invocation on the value of pure jasmine oil for universal healing in Western society: “We’re all survivors of trauma. Western culture has a deep need for jasmine. Our individual sensual repression and our social sensual deprivation in the alienated Western lifestyle cry out for the sensuous euphoria that jasmine provides. The Queen of the Night can connect us to the feminine source of life, presently stirring from a deep unconscious sleep. Her night-blooming pearls can lead us once again to the fragrant dawn we yearn for.”
From Peter Holmes. “Jasmine: The Queen of the Night” in International Journal of Aromatherapy 8 (4): 8-12.