Jasmine Flower Meanings, Folklore & Uses

Jasmine Flowers

Jasmine flower meanings and symbolism include love, purity, feminine powers, sensuality, modesty, hospitality, community, inspiration, and spiritual ascension.

There are over 200 species of jasmine and today the fragrant plant grows in warm climates around the world. With its star-shaped flowers and sweet fragrance, jasmine is a popular flower for both gardeners and those who are simply passing by and inhaling its aroma. Because of its cross-cultural popularity, jasmine has important symbolic and spiritual meanings to many people. In fact, its meanings are one of the reasons that Jasmine is a popular girl’s name.

In this post, you’ll learn about jasmine flower meanings, including color and spiritual meanings. Plus, you’ll learn about jasmine folklore, uses, and more.

Jasmine Vine Around Window

History of Jasmine

Botanists believe the jasmine plant (Jasminum officinale) originated in the Himalayas of Asia. From there, travelers and tradespeople spread the fragrant flower westward to the Caucasus and the Middle East, where it eventually crossed the Red Sea via trade shipping routes1. It was in the Middle East where jasmine got its popular name – yasmin, which means “fragrant flower” in Arabic. (However, some interpretations say the name means Gift from God.) By 1000 BC, jasmine was popular in Egypt and then Greece, eventually spreading to the rest of the world2.

What does jasmine symbolize?

You can read more details about each of these meanings below, but here’s a quick overview of jasmine meanings:

  • Love
  • Purity
  • Feminine powers
  • Sensuality
  • Modesty
  • Hospitality
  • Community
  • Inspiration
  • Spiritual ascension

Detailed Jasmine Meanings

Love

Jasmine Meaning Love

Jasmine is a symbol of love for a few reasons. To begin, many would describe its powerful fragrance as intoxicating, just as the feeling of being in love is. In addition, as a meandering vine, jasmine symbolizes the ups and downs of romantic relationships, which can withstand the test of time and continue to blossom. Furthermore, while jasmine comes in a few different colors, white jasmine is a symbol of new beginnings. Thus, jasmine flowers are a popular choice in bridal bouquets. In addition, the beautiful flower reminds us that even old relationships can be new again.

Purity

Essential oils derived from jasmine can fight infection. In addition, jasmine tea offers health benefits, such as helping to prevent cancer and diabetes. Because of these qualities and jasmine’s ability to freshen the air, the flower is also a symbol of purity. In fact, practitioners of a variety of spiritual faiths, from the East to the West, place jasmine in temples, churches, and other places of worship as a symbol of spiritual purity and faith3.

Feminine Powers

Jasmine has long been associated with femininity and motherhood. To begin, jasmine has medicinal properties that can help to alleviate menstrual symptoms and pain in childbirth. In addition, some holistic healers say that jasmine can help with fertility. Because it’s a symbol of feminine power, jasmine is often used to honor goddess figures, including the Virgin Mary, the Buddhist goddess Tara, the Hindu goddess Shri Durgadevi, and others.

Sensuality

Known for its aphrodisiacal qualities, jasmine is also a symbol for sensuality. It’s powerful fragrance can overtake the senses with a euphoric effect, drawing you in before you fully realize what you’re experiencing.

Modesty

Because some species of jasmine only bloom at night, the flower is also a symbol of modesty. (Though “night-blooming jasmine” is actually part of a different family of plants called Solanaceae, which are night shades4.)

Jasmine Symbolism: Hospitality

Jasmine Garland
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bowing to receive a jasmine garland as he arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2, 2015. Photo: U.S. Department one State.

Jasmine meaning also includes hospitality. In Hawaii, along with hibiscus flowers, jasmine blossoms are commonly placed in leis to welcome visitors. In addition, in Asia it’s customary to welcome guests into your home by serving jasmine tea.

Community

Jasmine Walkway

Jasmine plants are known for their multitude of blossoms, connecting via winding vines or branches in shrubs. In addition, the strong fragrance of jasmine flowers transcend fences and other artificial barriers in neighborhoods. Thus, jasmine is also a symbol of community. The flower remind us of our connection to others and how together we can accomplish far more than we can individually.

Inspiration

For some, the powerful scent of jasmine induces feelings of euphoria. It’s also known for having antidepressant qualities. Because of its uplifting nature, jasmine meaning also includes inspiration. Jasmine plants are prolific in the way they bloom. Thus, they remind us that starting with a simple idea or just one step can lead us to creating or experiencing something that is profoundly meaningful.

Jasmine Meaning: Spiritual Ascension

Jasmine Vine

As a meandering vine, like the clematis plant, jasmine encourages us to explore different spiritual philosophies. After all, there is more than one way to connect with the divine. In addition, jasmine is a climbing plant. It shows us that every obstacle we face is an opportunity to learn and ascend towards spiritual enlightenment.

Jasmine Flower Color Meanings

While the first color that comes to mind when you think of jasmine might be white, these lovely flowers actually come in a range of hues. While flower color meanings can be a matter of personal taste, traditionally, they can symbolize different intentions, feelings, and occasions. Here are some common meanings applied to different colors of jasmine:

White Jasmine Flower Meaning

White Jasmine

White jasmine flower meaning includes purity, beauty, innocence, new beginnings, and angels. Thus, white jasmine is often used in wreaths and bouquets for weddings. It is also used to welcome a new baby or as a housewarming gift for a new home. White jasmine is also appropriate for memorial services as it honors the transition of a loved one into the spiritual realm.

Pink Jasmine Meaning

Pink Jasmine

Light pink jasmine flowers are symbolic of new love, platonic affection, femininity, and modesty. Pink jasmine makes a lovely gift for girls, female relatives and friends, or men who love the color pink.

Red Jasmine

Some jasmine plants come in shades of scarlet, fuchsia, hot pink, or fire red. The color red symbolizes passion, romantic love, and primal energy. It can also symbolize good luck and wealth. As a windy vine, red jasmine symbolizes the ability of romantic love to withstand the test of time, despite the twists and turns that life can take. Red jasmine can also symbolize the euphoria of being head over heels in love.

Orange Jasmine

Orange jasmine varieties that come in shades of yellow with red spots, fiery-red-orange, and striped orange and red hues. There is also a species of jasmine flower called orange jasmine simply because it smells like fresh oranges.

The color orange symbolizes health, wellness, and vitality. It’s also the color of your second, or sacral chakra, which rules your zest of life and creativity. So, orange jasmine is the perfect plant for when you want to liven things up or need some creative inspiration. Like smelling fresh citrus fruit, orange jasmine is stimulating!

Yellow Jasmine Meaning

Yellow Jasmine

Yellow jasmine symbolizes affection, joy, friendship, and prosperity. In Victorian England, it also symbolized victory, as its hardiness could withstand cold temperatures.

Yellow jasmine is a feel-good flower. Thus it makes a lovely gift for anyone whose spirits you want to lift or as a joyful addition to your garden or table setting.

Blue Jasmine Meaning

Blue Jasmine Meaning

Blue jasmine flowers symbolize trust, integrity, and loyalty. In addition, blue jasmine is indicative of spiritual ascension. As a climbing vine, blue jasmine makes a lovely gift for someone who is on a spiritual path. It’s also the perfect flower or shrub to plant in a meditation or prayer garden.

Purple Jasmine Meaning

The color purple jasmine symbolizes peace, harmony, royalty, wealth, and spiritual enlightenment. Purple blends the cool tones of blue with the warm tones of red, thus is signifies a coming together of opposites to make something beautiful. Purple is also the color of the seventh chakra, which governs our super-conscious and spiritual enlightenment. Thus, purple jasmine meaning includes exaltation and aiming for something better than ourselves.

Spiritual Meaning of Jasmine Flowers

Jasmine flowers have spiritual meanings in a number of religions and spiritual faiths. Because it’s viewed as a purifying plant, spiritual healers use jasmine flowers, including jasmine essential oil, to clear a space of negative energy. The fragrance of jasmine is also said to help cleanse and clear the chakras, particularly the 7th or crown chakra, which rules spiritual enlightenment.

Jasmine Meaning in Hinduism

Jasmine Meaning in HInduism
Jasmine garlands, Hindu festival in Kerala India.

In Hinduism, jasmine symbolizes love and spiritual ascension. In fact, jasmine is one of the five arrows of Manmatha, the Hindu god of love. According to Hindu mythology, Manmatha had a bow made of sugarcane. And like Cupid shooting his arrows of love, Manmatha shot arrows made of jasmine, the lotus flower and others
5.

Jasmine is so precious in Indian culture that Hindus honor their gods and goddesses with the flower by adorning their statues with jasmine flower garlands and planting it in temple gardens.

A Hindu prayer6 to the goddess of knowledge, music, art, and healing mentions jasmine:

“Goddess Saraswathi, who is fair as a jasmine flower, the moon, or a snowflake, who is dressed in white and whose hands are adorned by Veena, who is seated in a white lotus, to whom Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara pray, please protect us.”

Buddhism

Ajanta Caves
A stupa and meditation room surrounded by pillars in the Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra, India. Artwork in the caves depicted princesses wearing jasmine in their hair. Photo: Vyacheslav Argenberg.

In Buddhism, jasmine symbolizes purity and devotion. The flower has had important symbolic and spiritual meaning in India, the birthplace of Buddhism, for thousands of years.

In 1819, when the soldier and explorer Captain John Smith and his men were tracking a tiger in the area that is now North-central Maharashtra, they stumbled upon what would come to known as the Ajanta Caves. Dated to the 6th century BC, the caves had exquisite murals that were devoted to Buddha and the nobility of the time7. In the ancient artwork, the princesses wore tiaras made with jasmine.

Jasmine Symbolism in Christianity

Because it’s a symbol of purity and spiritual ascension as well as modesty and feminine power, Christians associate jasmine with the Virgin Mary.

Jasmine in Islam

Jasmine symbolizes health and healing in Islam. In the Quran, a messenger of Allah says, “There is no oil more beneficial for the body than oil of jasmine. In it are numerous benefits and healing for seventy illnesses.”8

Associated Spirit Animals

Swallowtail Butterfly on Jasmine

Jasmine flowers share symbolism and spiritual synergies with certain spirit animals. One is the deer, as both symbolize spiritual ascension and devotion. The other is the dove. Both jasmine and doves symbolize purity, innocence, new beginnings, and angels. In addition to the dove, jasmine, butterflies, cardinals, and hummingbirds are all associated with angels.

Jasmine Cultural Meanings

Jasmine Meaning in Indonesia

Jasmine Meaning in Indonesia
A Javanese groom and bride, in a book by A. Cabaton, published by T. Fisher Unwin, 1911.

As the national flower of Indonesia, jasmine has important cultural meanings throughout the Southeast Asian country. In Javanese weddings, brides wear jasmine buds woven into their hair and grooms wear jasmine garlands9 to bring good fortune to the new union. And in Bali, jasmine is included in floral offerings given to honor deities and the spirits of loved ones who have passed.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, where it is the national flower, they call jasmine Sampaguita. Just as the native Hawaiians do, Filipinos weave jasmine into garlands to show hospitality to visitors10.

Jasmine in Thailand

Jasmine Garland

In Thailand, jasmine symbolizes motherhood and unconditional love. Hence it is often given to moms on Mother’s Day as well as to expectant mothers11.

China

As it is a native plant in their country, the Chinese serve jasmine tea when welcoming guests into their home and to celebrate new beginnings.

Jasmine Meaning in India

Because jasmine is associated with Hindu deities and ceremonies, it’s an important flower in other cultural aspects of Indian life. Indians affectionately refer to jasmine blossoms as “moonbeams.” They weave them into garlands and head pieces to be worn in important ceremonies, such as weddings, to symbolize lasting love and devotion12. They also drape jasmine garlands over cars, horses, and cows during holy festivals13.

Pakistan

Jasmine is also the national flower of Pakistan, where it symbolizes modesty, friendliness, and attachment14.

Jasmine in Syria

Locals in Syria’s capital, Damascus, call it the “City of Jasmine.” In a country that has been ravaged by war, Syrians plant jasmine in front of government buildings, parks, and their homes to show hope and optimism for new beginnings and a better future15.

Jasmine in Ancient Egypt

Some of the original perfumers, the ancient Egyptians fell in love with jasmine when it came to the shores of the Nile around 1000 BC. Legend has it that Cleopatra had the sails of her ships soaked in jasmine oil when she sailed down the Nile with her lover Mark Anthony16.

Jasmine Flower Meaning in Greece

The ancient Greeks associated jasmine with their goddess of love, Aphrodite. As they did orchids, they viewed jasmine as an aphrodisiac that could also induce prophetic dreams.

Jasmine Symbolism in Hawaii

In Hawaii, as mentioned earlier, jasmine symbolizes friendship and hospitality. Along with the hibiscus, Hawaiians weave jasmine into leis to welcome visitors to the islands.

Jasmine Flower Uses

In addition to its aesthetic properties, jasmine has therapeutic and medicinal uses, notably in the form of jasmine essential oil or used in jasmine tea.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine Essential Oil

Practitioners of Ayurvedic and holistic medicine use jasmine essential oil to relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. It’s also used to soothe the complexion and relieve itching17.

Jasmine essential oil has a host of other benefits, including:

  • Lessening depression and anxiety
  • Helping with insomnia
  • Antiseptic and antibacterial properties
  • Boosting energy levels and libido
  • Reducing menstrual and menopausal symptoms
  • Promoting lactation in breastfeeding mothers18

Simply dropping 10-30 drops of jasmine essential oil into a hot bath or using it in an aromatherapy diffuser are easy ways to get the benefits from this fragrant and therapeutic essential oil.

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea

Tea makers use jasmine in jasmine tea as an additive to green tea, white tea, oolong, or other type of base tea. Benefits of jasmine tea include:

  • Antioxidants
  • Improved oral health and digestion
  • Cancer-fighting properties
  • Polyphenols, which may protect against heart disease
  • EGCG, a compound that may help to balance insulin and blood sugar levels

With its delicate yet highly aromatic blossoms, jasmine is clearly a power flower that we can fairly describe as a gift from God.

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