Jasmine flowers

Chinese: 茉莉花

Pinyin: Mò Lì Huā

Parts used: Dried flowers

TCM category: Herbs that regulate Qi

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLiver

Scientific name: Jasminum sambac

Other names: Arabian jasmine, Sambac jasmine

Use of jasmine flowers (Mo Li Hua) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitionner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Take flowers and dry them

Dosage: 3 - 10 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Regulates Qi and calms the spirit.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which jasmine flowers may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Abdominal pain Dysentery Conjunctivitis Sores

Key TCM concepts behind jasmine flowers (Mo Li Hua)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), jasmine flowers are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that regulate Qi' category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called 'Qi Stagnation'. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body's Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It's also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders.

Furthermore jasmine flowers are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that jasmine flowers tend to help people who have too much "cold" in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much cold in their body are said to either have a Yin excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition jasmine flowers can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Jasmine flowers also taste Sweet. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like jasmine flowers tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such jasmine flowers are thought to target the Spleen, the Stomach and the Liver. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. The Stomach on the other hand is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine. The Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and body fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.

Research on jasmine flowers (Mo Li Hua)

Jasminum sambac has been shown to have antifungal activity and may in particular be used as an alternative treatment against Malassezia-associated skin infections.1

A study on rats showed that Jasminum sambac leaves had significant gastroprotective effects.2

Sources:

1. Santhanam, Jacinta; Ghani, Farhana Nadiah Abd; Basri, Dayang Fredalina (2014). "Antifungal Activity of Jasminum sambac against Malassezia sp. and Non-Malassezia sp. Isolated from Human Skin Samples". Journal of Mycology. 2014: 1–7. doi:10.1155/2014/359630.

2. Ahmed S. AlRashdi, Suzy M. Salama, Salim S. Alkiyumi, et al., “Mechanisms of Gastroprotective Effects of Ethanolic Leaf Extract of Jasminum sambac against HCl/Ethanol-Induced Gastric Mucosal Injury in Rats,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 786426, 15 pages, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/786426.

Use of jasmine flowers (Mo Li Hua) as food

Jasmine flowers are also eaten as food. It is used as an ingredient in dishes such as Jasmine Ice Cream.