Alongside a swirl of dazzling white – the waxy gardenia blossom’s appearance is both pure and sensual – there is this intoxicating sweet fragrance, tickling all your scent sensors from afar, a veritable invitation to push your nose into one of those wonderful flowers and swoon away. The heavenly scent evokes memories of lazy balmy evenings spent on the veranda.
All parts of the gardenia plant are antispasmodic, cathartic, anthelmintic and external antiseptic. The bark contains beta-sitosterol and nonacosane, the leaves and flowers contain mannite. The seeds contain starch and an oil which is principally composed of palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid. The roots are used to treat headache, dyspepsia, nervous disorders, and fever. The leaves are used as poultices to treat fever and the fruits are used against jaundice and diseases of the kidneys and lungs.
Gardenia Origin & Characteristics
Gardenia is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar, Pacific Islands, and Australia.
They are evergreen shrubs, ranging from dwarf to a large sized bushy shrub, its leaves are dark green and glossy with a leathery texture, growing opposite each other or in whorls of three or four. The extremely strong scented flowers grow solitary or in small clusters, coloured white or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla. Gardenias possess a diverse array of natural products such as methoxylated and oxygenated flavonols, flavones, and triterpenes which accumulate on the vegetative- and floral-buds as yellow to brown droplets of secreted resin.
Gardenia Oil & Benefits
Are you already considering adding a beautiful essential oil to your home remedy cupboard? In addition to the seductive and intoxicating scent of gardenia, gardenia oil can be the right choice to help overcome many small and large ailments.
Let’s explore some of its beneficial properties.
Gardenia essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore an effective agent in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis and intestinal inflammation. The two special chemicals in gardenia oil (geniposide and genipin) are strong anti-inflammatory agents and can even help treat the symptoms of jaundice, oedema, fever and liver disease.
Gardenia essential oil is an effective remedy for treating bacterial infections such as sepsis and tetanus due to its strong bactericidal properties. Because of this bactericidal activity it is also a great agent to be used to keep surfaces germ-free, whilst spreading its lovely smell. Simply add a few drops of the gardenia oil to water in order to use it as a spray. Gardenia oil can also help to protect you from potentially dangerous bacterial infections caused by bacteria like salmonella and e-coli.
The amount of antioxidants contained in gardenia oil is high! Antioxidants are chemicals that inhibit free radical formation and reduce oxidative stress. They can also help reduce the risk of cancer and remove damage-causing toxins from the body. Antioxidants play an important role in skin health, healing minor injuries, reducing scars and pigmentation.
Gardenia is also said to be a great remedy to relieve colds. The reported antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral compounds can help fight respiratory or sinus infections. Clear a stuffy nose by evaporating some gardenia oil or add a few drops to hot water for a liberating steam bath.
Gardenia essential oil is an effective sedative and has many other health benefits, such as helping to overcome seizures. Some studies have concluded that gardenia oil exhibits sedative, anti-epileptic and hypnotic activities in mice.
Being a purported aphrodisiac, the intoxicating scent of gardenia essential oil is believed to stimulate libido. A few drops of this oil added to a bath or used as a stimulating massage oil can boost passionate feelings and spice things up in the bedroom.
Gardenia Oil & Aromatherapy
The scent of gardenia is as sultry as a hot summer’s evening. The exotic flowery fragrance is a huge part of its appeal – cool, bold and fresh, yet woody and feminine – and probably makes it the most intoxicating fragrance in the world.
Gardenia oil might just be the suitable aroma oil for you if you are sensitive to the influence of aroma to improve your mood. The floral scent of gardenia has properties that can induce relaxation and reduce stress. Whatsmore, its antibacterial properties can clear the air of airborne pathogens and eliminate odour when used as a room spray.
Gardenia essential oil improves your mood, reduces anxiety and induces relaxation. An invigorating bath with gardenia oil or a body-warming massage can help to do the trick.
Reduces Fatigue and Pain
Gardenia extract and oil are used to fight pains, aches and discomfort associated with headaches, PMS, arthritis, injuries including sprains, and muscle cramps. It’s been found that gardenia can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote the oxygen and nutrients delivery to parts of the body that need healing. Due to this ability, it’s been traditionally used to treat chronic pain, fatigue and various other illnesses.
Improves Cognition and Protects Memory
Certain stimulating properties of gardenia can also help improve mood and cognitive functions. As published in the Chinese “Journal of Natural Medicines”, a study found that gardenia extract may improve memory, especially among the elderly affected with memory-deficit, including Alzheimer’s disease. The main components in gardenia are geniposide and gardenoside. These seem to contribute to addressing the underlying mechanisms of memory impairment through their anti-inflammatory effects.
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
The aroma of gardenia flowers is known to promote relaxation and help de-stress people who are feeling wound up. Traditionally, the Chinese have included gardenias in both aromatherapy and herbal formulas that are used to treat mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and restlessness.
Some studies claim that gardenia can promote weight loss. This is due to some compounds in the flower that help to speed up metabolism and regulate the liver’s fat-burning ability. Inhaling its scent by adding a few drops to a diffuser, can suppress appetite.