Pulchritude: Jasmine

The Jasmine flower is internationally know for its intense fragrance. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is one of 200 flowers that constitute the Jasminum genus, and is often referred to as common jasmine. Often found in gardens, the flowers can be dried for various uses, or can be made into an absolute for aromatherapy or cosmetic purposes. Jasmine belongs to the olive family (Oleaceae).  Its native habitat is concentrated in west and south Asia, spanning as far north as Tajikistan, to the west of China, the west of Iran, and southern parts of India. Jasmine, and many other species of the Jasminum genus, are deciduous climbers–or vines. The vines can grow as high as 6 feet, with 5 petals that are white in color.  Cultivation of Jasmine dates back to ancient times, though a specific date or country of origin is uncertain.  Jasmine flowers are too delicate to undergo common processes to produce essential oils, therefore chemical solvents are often to used to extract oil.  Jasmine is used for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its soothing and calming effects in aromatherapy.  Jasmine is strongly revered in various parts of Asia.

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