More power to the flower

The delicate, star-shaped and aromatic jasmine has more to it than just medicinal properties.

Published: 14th August 2011 10:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:21 PM   |  A+A-

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Since ancient times, Jasmine has been thought of as the ‘queen of flowers’. And I believe it is very rightly crowned, as there is no fragrance sweeter than that of jasmine. A small white, star-shaped flower with a smell so sweet it entices you to have an aromatic affair with it, this magical flower has been used for centuries by many cultures worldwide. The name jasmine is derived from the Persian word ‘Yasmin’, meaning “gift of God”.

Ancient Asians believed that jasmine penetrated the deepest layers of the soul and opened emotions. In China, the relaxing jasmine tea has been a popular beverage for thousands of years. The root is used to treat headaches, insomnia and pain due to

dislocated joints and broken bones; it is reported to have anaesthetic properties. Several jasmine species have been used in cancer therapies. The Arabians and Indians used jasmine medicinally, as an aphrodisiac and for ceremonial purposes. It is used in aromatherapy to treat depression and nerve conditions, and as a massage oil for cramps. Aroma-therapists find the flower an anti-depressant and relaxing herb, which is said to help with dry or sensitive skin and tiredness. Jasmine has been used in Ayurveda for several thousands of years. At the time of Buddha, its oil was used for anointing kings and wealthy people of the society. It has a cooling and soothing effect. In short, jasmine is used for various things... an aphrodisiac, brain stimulant, calming, restoring balance and confidence, anti-depressive, soothes headaches, insomnia and psychosomatic problems, promotes feelings of optimism and increases receptivity, and much more.

I definitely wasn’t thinking of all this when I planted my jasmine shrubs. All I had on my mind was the delicate and sweet aroma, which could even bring a dead person back to life. With time, they grew and blossomed and multiplied, and before I knew it, I had an entire stretch of these beautiful shrubs in my garden. Every evening, the whole house fills up with the magical smell of these flowers and when I bought myself my very first ice cream maker, I could not resist infusing this delicate aroma in the cream. This was one of my very first attempts at ice cream, and I was quite happy with the outcome. The recipe makes a rather rich and creamy delight. Not too sweet and gently scented with jasmine. I can’t encourage you enough to get yourself an ice cream maker and try out this recipe, and infact give yourself a treat by making ice cream for family and friends using seasonal fruits and fresh ingredients.

Tejsinghani is the author of Aapplemint, a food, travel and photography blog.

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