How can one little flower have such a dramatic impact on the world?
Let’s take a closer look at the jasmine flower, its natural essential oil extract, and find out how this floral mainstay has been featured in everything from Rumi to revolutions to rhapsodic reviews of this ever-fragrant flower’s place in the skin and hair care world.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where Does Jasmine Oil Come From?
- 2 What Are the Benefits of Jasmine Oil?
- 3 What Does Jasmine Oil Do for Your Hair?
- 4 How to Use Jasmine Oil in Your Hair
Where Does Jasmine Oil Come From?
Part of the difficulty of ascertaining the efficacy of jasmine oil as a treatment for hair, dry skin, or anything else comes from the fact that it can be hard to pin down what even counts as “jasmine.”
The primary jasmine plant (Jasminum officinale) referred to as “jasmine,” and the one we’re going to use here is a type of shrub and vine with over 200 varieties across Eurasia and Oceania.
There are several other “jasmine” plants in Madagascar, South America, and elsewhere, but again, they are not related to the plant extracts described here.
The jasmine plants we’re concerned with are, and long have been cultivated widely in large part for their beautiful, fragrant flowers.
The flower is thought to have first arisen in Western China and Tibet before spreading throughout Asia and the Middle East, with jasmine popping up in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Persian writings.
It was a fixture of the Silk Road and the courts of kings across Asia before reaching Europe in the 16th century when Vasco da Gama brought some back from India. You may know someone named “Jasmine,” as it became a popular Persian name for girls.
In China and India, jasmine came to be equated with purity, with Chinese tea drinkers incorporating it into different beverages, while in India, it became a symbol for Vishnu.
We also have India and China to thank for the fashion phenomenon of jasmine flowers being worn in women’s hair.
Jasmine has a long history of being used as a political symbol — it is the national flower of both the Philippines and Indonesia, has state and national symbolism in Pakistan and Hawaii, and is the city flower of Damascus.
On the other hand, the sale of jasmine was banned in China in 2011 for allegedly being connected to “revolutionary” conduct during pro-democracy protests that year, with Chinese censors blocking the Chinese characters for “jasmine.”
China’s 2011 jasmine protests weren’t even the most dramatic example of jasmine serving as a revolutionary symbol, or even the most famous example of it being used that way that year.
That honor goes to the Tunisian Revolution, nicknamed the Jasmine Revolution, which was arguably the most successful of the revolutions and demonstrations that made up the wider 2011 Arab Spring.
Jasmine has long been a favorite of writers as well. The great Islamic Golden Age poet Rumi invoked jasmine in his poetry, while Emily Dickinson, a passionate gardener, placed jasmine on the first page of her herbarium.
Jasmine found its way into Cleopatra’s Egypt, which means it may have contributed to one of the most elegant and enduring legends about the Queen of the Nile.
Legend has it that the real-world Cleopatra coated the sails of her ship in perfumed oil before setting out to sea, a trait her Shakespearean self retains in Antony and Cleopatra as she is reported as arriving with her golden ship’s purple sails being “so perfumed that the winds were love-sick with them.”
The legendary love affair of Antony and Cleopatra has survived to this day, with a pair of luxury perfumes dedicated to the two featuring, you guessed it, “Egyptian jasmine.”
What Are the Benefits of Jasmine Oil?
Though jasmine oil has a much more prominent role on the tea and fashion side of things, jasmine oil has also been used in folk medicine treatments across the regions where it was first cultivated and gained popularity.
Among the potential benefits touted by some of these folk traditions are:
- Pain relief
- Menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms
- Aphrodisiac qualities
Unfortunately, much of these claims are simply not held up to the standards of scientific rigor expected for widespread acceptance of their validity, making further tests necessary.
Thankfully, that testing process is well underway. A 2010 study in which some participants were given jasmine flower extract for topical application saw members of the group in question report greater arousal and an overall improvement in their mood (potentially impacting the central nervous system).
One of the most common usages of jasmine in folk medicinal traditions is in the form of aromatherapy. It’s one of the most popular natural aromatherapy products.
A 2006 study examining the aromatherapeutic potential of jasmine flower oil extracts conducted on 52 women found that the combination of aromatherapy with massage treatments was beneficial in helping ease “hot flushes, depression, and pain in climacteric women.”
That said, the same study noted that it was impossible to tell whether it was the aromatherapy with jasmine oil, the massages, or the combination of both responsible for this result.
We recommend using scalp massages for hair growth, as the additional blood circulation of the scalp is thought to stimulate the hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. For best results, read this article on scalp massages.
Another study, published in 2017 in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, examined jasmine’s role in treating skin conditions such as dry or oily skin, inflammation, and psoriasis.
However, it should be reiterated that the claims of healing properties made by proponents of jasmine flower oil extract are still largely anecdotal, which is vital to stress. It is still not known how well the extracts might interact with other substances or medicines.
While jasmine flower should be safe for topical use in hair and skin care treatments, as mentioned below, it is nevertheless essential to make sure that you don’t expect too much from it in terms of actual medical assistance.
If you have any questions about possible interactions with other substances or medicines you are using, you should ask your doctor.
What Does Jasmine Oil Do for Your Hair?
1. Natural Moisturizing Properties
It is fair to say that few things are more annoying from a hair care perspective than having to deal with dry hair.
When your hair starts to dry out, it can start to become scraggly and scratchy, lose its luster, fray, and split, and simply become a nightmare to work with.
That’s why it is so important to make sure that your hair is well-moisturized, and thankfully jasmine oil can help you do just that.
Not only does jasmine oil help moisturize your hair, but it also helps trap and lock in moisture that is already present there, amping up its ability to soften your hair.
Jasmine oil can do all of this because it is a natural emollient. If you are looking for a moisturizing agent but don’t want to sink money into potentially harsher or more chemically-based hair care products, you might want to give jasmine oil a try.
What’s more, jasmine oil can also be added to body lotion with ease.
That latter point is good news because scalp care is an essential part of hair care. Just as dried-out soil cannot give rise to a flourishing flower bed, a dried-out scalp cannot grow healthy hair.
If you want your hair to grow and flourish, therefore, you need to make sure that your scalp is well-moisturized, and a natural emollient such as jasmine oil can help you do just that.
2. Potential Antimicrobial Properties
Few things spell bigger trouble for your scalp and hair than a bacterial infection. Thankfully, there are plenty of organic hair and skincare treatments that can help protect against this, and jasmine oil is one of them.
A study conducted in 2008, first published in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Studies, tested jasmine oil on E. coli and found what asserted that the investigation “amply proved the antibacterial activity.”
Another study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that jasmine oil warranted further study as a treatment for hepatitis B.
While those are just two studies and, as mentioned previously, tests on the full efficacy of jasmine oil from a medical perspective are ongoing, this nevertheless shows promise for its potential use as an antimicrobial agent.
3. Anti-Dandruff Agent
Combine the two points above, and you can start to see why jasmine oil shows promise as a potential anti-dandruff agent. Bacterial infections and dried-out scalps are the two most common causes of dandruff.
Being able to combat either can help you cut down on the risk of dandruff significantly, so something that can serve as a combo treatment such as jasmine oil could prove to be a gamechanger for you.
No one likes having to deal with the nastily fluttering flakes that accompany dandruff, so if you are looking for a new solution to that age-old problem, you might want to give jasmine oil a try.
4. Improve Your Mood
You probably already know that stress can have a deleterious effect on your hair.
As such, while the hard science on jasmine oil’s overall effect on your health may be lacking, one of the better-established ideas for not just it but many other oils burned for incense or in other perfuming, pleasing fashions is that this can indeed improve your mood, thus lessening stress.
A 2005 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology attests to its ability to help subjects relax, thereby helping to lessen stress and improve your mood.
5. Naturally Sweet Jasmine Fragrance
As already alluded to, jasmine flowers have been grown for millennia in large part because of their sweet-smelling nature.
While the medical benefits of jasmine oil require further review, this is one claim that definitely doesn’t – if you are looking for an all-natural way to give your hair a fragrant burst of floral-scented beauty, it’s hard to beat jasmine oil’s naturally moisturizing and perfuming nature.
6. Softening Anti-Frizz Agent
Whether you have naturally frizzy hair or live or are visiting a humid climate that induces frizzy-ness, it can be all too easy to go into a tizzy over frizzy hair.
Thankfully, jasmine oil has shown promise as an anti-frizz agent. Part of this is because, as mentioned above, jasmine oil can help soften your hair, making it easier to fight frizziness, comb out tangles, and make it more manageable.
How to Use Jasmine Oil in Your Hair
You can apply jasmine oil to your hair in a variety of ways. For example, jasmine oil can be used as a deep conditioner, which can be a great way to restore hair strength and reinvigorate your hair.
Here’s a fun DIY recipe: Try using 1/4 teaspoon of jasmine oil with 1/2 avocado, 1 ripe banana, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Blend all of that together in a food processor until it is well-blended, wet your hair, separate it into four different sections, and then apply your deep conditioner to each section.
Cover your hair with a thick hair cap and wait for at least an hour to let it sink in before rinsing everything out with lukewarm water.
If you want to use jasmine oil as a hair treatment post-shampoo, mix 1/4 teaspoon of jasmine oil with 1/4 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil, 1/2 tablespoons of jojoba oil, 1 tablespoon of argan oil, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (preferably fractionated).
Part your hair into six or eight sections and massage the oil directly into your scalp. Leave it in for the rest of the day before washing it out the next day.
If you want to use jasmine oil as a styling spray to help style hair that’s curly or in danger of drying out, try mixing that same 1/4 teaspoon of jasmine oil in with a 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of either olive or argan oil, and 2 tablespoons of a natural leave-in conditioner.
Combine and blend all of this, mix it into a bottle, and spray it onto your hair strands before styling it. If you’re not interested in making a DIY recipe, Dabur Amla Jasmine Hair Oil is one of the most popular products on the market.
Should you incorporate jasmine oil into your beauty regimen? We think so, however, there is one final word of caution – as with other essential oils, you don’t want to apply jasmine oil directly to your scalp undiluted, as this can cause burning, so always make sure to dilute jasmine oil first.
Jasmine essential oil is a natural oil with a great aroma that can be used as a massage oil, body oil, natural hair oil, or paired with other essential oils (or a carrier oil) within DIY hair care products. Plus, jasmine oil works on all hair types, including curly hair.
In terms of DIY hair care recipes, jasmine hair oil is often paired with mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), peppermint oil, almond oil, lavender oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, and castor and amla oils. Drops of jasmine oil can also be added to your favorite shampoos and conditioners.
It’s important to note that there is controversy with using paraffinum liquidum on your hair, so do your research before using mineral oil. Some women describe it as a viscous liquid.
As always, check with your doctor before using natural herbs and oils. This applies to everyone, but pregnant women, those with sensitive skin types, people suffering from hair loss (i.e., hair fall in some cultures), an itchy scalp, or other uncommon hair problems should consult a medical professional before changing their hair care process.
Jasmine flowers (and the flower petals) have an incredibly long history as a perfume and beauty product, so trying its extracted oil can lend the sweet smell of success to your skin and hair care routine.