Production of Jasmine Oil
The production of jasmine oil is a multi step process. The
jasmine flower is fragile and therefore must be handled carefully
in order to preserve the valuable oil. Once the flower is
bruised it becomes useless to the oil making process.
The oil making process starts with up to 10,000 individual
blossoms. This is a full day’s work for an experienced
harvester. The flowers must be sold at market quickly, so
that they can be used before spoiling. Jasmine flowers bloom
either at night or in the early morning time, so jasmine harvesters
work all night long to pick the blossoms.
Once the blossoms have been harvested, the oil production
starts with what is called an organic solvent extraction.
The process takes the blossoms and saturates them with a solvent
which breaks the flowers down to remove the oil. This process
is done at a low temperature since the high temperature of
steam distillation, which is what is used to make essential
oils, would destroy the blossoms.
After this initial solvent maceration, or soaking, the product
is then called a jasmine concrete. It’s a waxy product
that contains a mixture of essential oils, resins, and waxes.
But this product can’t be used in this state, so a second
solvent extraction is performed with a different solvent to
remove the solid materials. This solvent is an alcohol based
solvent, and once all of the waxes and resins are removed,
the alcohol itself is removed and leaves only the oil behind.
Since jasmine can’t be processed by steam distillation,
it cannot be called an essential oil, even though that is
exactly what it is. Instead jasmine is called an absolute
because of the solvent extraction. Another example of an absolute
is rose absolute. For an essential oil to be called an essential
oil, it has to be processed using steam. This is the only
difference between an absolute and an essential. The two are
used in exactly the same ways in aromatherapy and alternative
To use jasmine oil, you could use it in a diffuser, a massage
oil or lotion, or in a bath. Use caution when using this oil
however because it is very strong. A little will go a long
way. Jasmine is used to treat conditions such as depression,
menstrual cramps and it is also an aphrodisiac. It should
absolutely be avoided during pregnancy, as it stimulates contractions,
but it is often used in the birth process to help labor along
and ease pain.
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