Cestrum nocturnum, commonly known as the night flowering jasmine, lady of the night, night jasmine, queen of the night and night-blooming jasmine is a sprawling, evergreen shrub in the solanaceae family. The plant is thought to have originated in Central America or West Indies.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
The plant’s species name, nocturnum, refers to the species curious habit of opening its heavily-aromatic blossoms at night and shedding the flowers at dawn. This explains why it is fondly referred to as the lady of the night.
The queen of the night is said to be the most heavily scented plant in the world. In ideal circumstances, you can pick up its aromatic perfume from 165 feet away. While the strong perfume of the night flowering jasmine is loved and tolerated by most people, it is known to trigger allergic reactions in others.
Gardeners cultivate the night flowering jasmine as an ornamental plant due to its showy and sweet-scented blossoms. In the wild, the shrub thrives in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and can do well in most places.
Traditionally, the shrub’s flowers were presented as offerings to gods while Nepalese shamans smoked and ate the flowers to enhance spiritual healing energies.
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Apart from being a showy plant with white flowers, the night-blooming jasmine has medicinal qualities. These include anti-bacteria, anti-convulsant, anti-fungal, anti-viral, analgesic, anti-hyperlipidemic, and larvicidal properties.
While ancient people did not understand all there was to this plant, they heavily relied on it to cure or manage various ailments. Today, studies have confirmed that the plant contains flavonoids, steroids, glycosides, and alkaloids as well as saponins and tannins which set off healing effects in the human body.
Night jasmine flower extracts are great for regulating bowel movement and toning the stomach as they contain astringent properties. They are also ideal for preventing the formation of gas and managing flatulence in the gastrointestinal tract. The flowers inhibit the excess secretion of digestive fluids from the liver and help in the digestion process.
Night-blooming jasmine contains essentials oils that are famous for their therapeutic and fragrant purposes. These oils are used in aromatherapy for relieving stress, inspiring confidence, boosting moods, boosting libido, massaging and relaxing tired and tense muscles. In addition, the essential oils derived from the lady of the night are used in inhalants and diffusers to decongest clogged airways.
Since these oils have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant as well as tonic qualities, they are good for toning the skin and managing signs of premature aging.
Ultimately, night flowering jasmine is one of the few flowering plants that are considered a gift of nature to humankind. This shrub combines beauty, fragrance, and medicine in one tight package.