What is Gardenia?
Gardenia plant is a flowering shrub that belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
Its scientific name is Gardenia Jasminoides and is native to the tropical regions of Asia and some parts of Africa.
Gardenia is a fragrant tree that grows to a height of about 3 feet.
Its branches grow sideways, and as a result, it has an almost circular appearance.
It produces very beautiful and aromatic flowers whose fragrance is used in making perfumes and cosmetics.
The gardenia plant holds plenty of health benefits and is rich in bioactive compounds that are essential to the human body.
In ancient times, the leaves of gardenia plant were used in cleaning the body and treating fever.
Its flowers were used in scented teas as they were believed to hold essential nutrients.
Today, the flowers are still used in scented tea although the direct consumption of gardenia is not popular.
Gardenia is mostly used to make gardenia essential oil which is used for various purposes.
One fact about gardenia flower is that it is very delicate.
Essential oils are made by distillation or cold pressing of plant materials.
However, gardenia flower is too delicate to undergo such processes. The gardenia oil sold in the market is extracted through a different process which is time-consuming.
For this reason, gardenia oil is very expensive. What is sold on most internet sites as gardenia oil is synthetic gardenia oil.
While it may hold some of the healing capabilities of the gardenia absolute oil, it also comes with side effects due to chemicals used.
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What is Gardenia Flower?
Gardenia plant holds a lot of beneficial components that are used for treating various diseases.
The gardenia essential oils are also beneficial to the skin and hair and are used in cosmetic products.
Gardenia has anti-oxidation compounds which are key in reducing swelling, reducing oxidative damage and improving the overall immune.
Gardenia also holds anti-inflammatory properties, and that’s why it is applied to the skin to help in wound healing, sprains, and muscle soreness.
Gardenia contains a chemical called genipin which can reduce insulin resistance and as a result can be used to manage type 2 diabetes.
Gardenia extracts have been used to lower swelling and reduce blood fats.
Gardenia also has antibacterial and antiviral properties and is used in protecting the body against infections.
Gardenia When To Plant
Gardenia has plenty of benefits to your health. If you want to benefit from it, there is no doubt that you will have to plant your gardenia flowers and extract the oil or brew it in tea.
Furthermore, the plant is a well known beautiful and decorative flower and planting it in your home will only add taste to your home beauty.
Gardenia can be planted both outdoors and indoors.
Gardenia flowers are cold sensitive and planting them in regions that are prone to winter throughout the year may not be possible.
Gardenia flowers are usually grown outdoors in regions where the winter is tolerable, or there is no winter at all.
The flowers should be planted in spring or fall. You can also plant the flowers outdoors during spring in flower pots and move them indoors during winter.
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Gardenia can also be planted in flowers pots as indoor plants as long as you place them in a place with sufficient supply of light.
The plant does well in moist, acidic soil but it should be well drained. You should water gardenia regularly- at least thrice per week for indoor plants.
The watering of outdoor gardenia depends on the rain partners. Prune your gardenia after the flowering has seized.
Once the flower is established, gardenia is well able to sustain the winter. Gardenia flowers also require bright light.
You need to to make sure that the indoor gardenia has sufficient supply natural light.
How To Use Gardenia
Gardenia is used in various ways.
You can either use gardenia flowers to make scented tea or you can use gardenia powder to cook with.
You can buy gardenia food colors that are rich in gardenia extracts from any food store.
Gardenia is also used to make gardenia vegan protein powders in alongside some veggies.
You can buy gardenia vegan protein powders from your local food store.
The most efficient and the most reliable way of using gardenia is through the use of gardenia essential oil.
The gardenia oil is the only source you are sure to find pure gardenia flower extracts and is the easiest to use.
There are also plenty of cosmetic products that are enriched with gardenia oil.
You can buy gels, creams, treatments, and moisturizers that are rich in gardenia oil.
However, the authenticity of gardenia compounds in these products is not assured.
As already stated, gardenia oil is very expensive and hard to find. The only sure way of obtaining gardenia essential oil is making your own.
Making the gardenia oil at home is a lot easier than you may think.
How to Make Gardenia Essential Oil
Here is a step by step process on how to make gardenia oil at home.
- Harvest fresh gardenia flowers and remove any damaged parts. You need to choose the flowers that are at the peak of blossoming. This is one of the reasons why you need to plant your gardenia flowers.
- Using a spatula, make an even 1/4 layer of vegetable fat on a glass plate.
Spread a layer of fresh gardenia petals that you picked in step 1 on the fat.
3.Using a plastic paper, cover the glass plate such that it is airtight. Store them in a cool, dry and dark place for about three days.
- After two to three days, the gardenia petals will turn bright yellow. When this happens, carefully remove the wrap and gently get the petals.
- Scrap off any fat from the gardenia petals and place them in a clean jar.
The scraping of the fat may not be very effective.
Add some more alcohol to the jar afterward such that all the petals are covered slightly below it.
- Put a lid on the jar and seal it to make sure it is airtight.
Store the mixture in a cool, dry and dark place for about three months.
- During the waiting period, shake the jar in a 3 to 4-days interval. Once you feel that the gardenia scent has fully saturated the liquid, strain it out using a cheesecloth.
Pour the oil into an airtight container, and it will be ready for use. It can be stored up to year refrigerated or for a few months non-refrigerated.
Health Benefits of Gardenia Essential Oil
In the gardenia essential oil extraction process above, the fats are used to dissolve the essential oils by absorbing their aroma.
The gardenia petals are soaked in the fat first to allow them to absorb any aroma.
This is a process that is used for special delicate flowers and gardenia is one of them.
The oil extracted by this process is known as gardenia absolute oil although it popularly referred to as essential oil.
This oil holds key health benefits and is rich in all the chemical compounds of the gardenia flowers.
Here are some the most common uses of gardenia essential oils.
Gardenia Lightens Up Your Mood
Gardenia oil is usually used in aromatherapy because of its ability to lighten up your mood.
The aroma of gardenia oil induces relaxation and makes you feel energized.
You can diffuse the oil in your house or add it to your bathtub. In fact, gardenia oil baths are very relaxing.
Just by adding a few drops of gardenia oil in your hot bath and relaxing in it for a few minutes can completely help you change how you feel.
Gardenia contains a chemical known as genipin which is known to boost hormone levels and control hormonal imbalances.
If you want to use gardenia oil for mood lifting, it is best to diffuse it into your surrounding using an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser. Just a drop of the oil is enough to get you feeling better.
You can also uncap the bottle and inhale the molecules for a few seconds.
When inhaling directly from the bottle, it is advisable to keep the sessions short.
All essential oils are very strong and inhaling too much may not be good for you.
When the oil is inhaled, the molecules will travel directly to the regions of the brain that trigger your emotions.
This will help you change how you feel immediately.
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Gardenia Relieve Muscular Aches And Pains
Gardenia is rich in anti-inflammation properties that make it an efficient pain relieving agent.
Use 1 to 2 drops of gardenia essential oil diluted in two drops of any carrier oil and rub to the affected area.
You can use lavender oil or sweet marjoram oil as your carrier oils.
Gardenia Opens Sinuses
When added to steam, the oil can help in reducing sinuses and nasal congestion associated with colds and flu.
You can make a steam at home and treat yourself.
Simply boil a half a liter of water to boiling point.
Pour the water into a ceramic or glass bowl and add 2 drops of the gardenia essential oil.
Drape a towel over your head and lean your head over the water such that the steam is trapped in the towel.
Do not get too close to the surface of the water since the steam may be too hot. Keep your eyes closed to avoid irritation.
Breathe deeply while under the towel to inhale the steam.
In the beginning, you may not be able to breathe well due to the nasal blockage.
However, as the oil gets to work by dilating your lungs and clearing mucus, you will find it easier to breathe.
Because the steam may be too hot over your face, you can take breaks from time to time to cool and catch some air.
Gardenia Helps With Menstrual Problems
Gardenia holds uterine strengthening properties. It also holds hormonal boosting agents and that’s why it is perfect for reducing PMS symptoms.
Gardenia oil is used in reducing menstrual problems such as irregular periods, painful periods and thick flow.
Simply use 1 to 2 drops of the gardenia oil well mixed with a carrier oil to massage your abdomen.
Alleviating Pain Gardenia essential oil features anti-inflammatory agents.
This is the reason why it is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and intestinal inflammation.
It can also reduce the symptoms of jaundice, edema fever, and hepatic disorders.
Gardenia also has antispasmodic properties that help in relaxing cramped and spasming muscles.
It can as well be used to bring relief to the digestive tract, uterus, and other muscles.
It can also bring relief to the digestive tract, uterus, and other muscles.
Just dilute a few drops of gardenia essential oil alongside any carrier oil and apply to the painful area.
Gardenia Aids Indigestion
Gardenia oil has shown the signs of relief for stomach congestion. Just by massaging a few drops of the oil into your upper abdomen, you will get relief from stomach congestion and other indigestion disorders.
This may be associated with the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the flower.
Gardenia Promotes Restful Sleep and Reduces stress
Gardenia oil is used to reduce stress, cure insomnia and reduce depression.
As we have seen, the genipin in flower together with its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing pain as well as boost hormonal balance.
The flower helps in triggering nerves. Some analyses have shown that the use of gardenia extracts can help in preventing seizures.
Bradford Lowell of Harvard Medical School and Chen-Yu Zhang of Nanjing University did a study on the healing powers of gardenia and found that genipin in flower can be used for a variety of problems.
Among the main benefits of the compound is to bring a relaxation feeling be relieving nervous tension.
By adding a few drops of the oil to your bathtub or infusing it in the air at home, gardenia can help you reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It can help you calm your nerves and have some good sleep too.
You can also massage a few drops of the oil in your neck and shoulders to get the same effect.
Gardenia Restores For Skin
The anti-inflammatory properties of gardenia are efficient in restoring your skin’s beauty.
Gardenia is also anti-bacterial and as a result, can help fight skin infections.
Gardenia oil is used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis among others.
If you are experiencing dry skin, rashes, acne or any other type of skin infection you should give the gardenia essential oil a try.
Simply mix 2 to 3 drops of gardenia essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or rice bran oil and apply to your skin as treatment.
This means that you can apply it to your face overnight and wash it in the morning.
You can also add several drops of the oil to your normal moisturizer or facial treatment.
Gardenia Eases Coughs
We have already seen the power of gardenia oil in opening up your lungs and clearing congestion.
You can do the same thing to ease coughs.
Simply steam the oil in water and inhale.
If you have a cough or you are at the risk of getting infected by a close friend, it is safe to steam yourself with gardenia oil.
The gardenia oil antibacterial properties may help shield you against such infections too.
Gardenia Relieves Headaches
The sedative properties of gardenia jasmine can also be used to ease some other pains such as headaches.
The oil when inhaled will help you relax and also lead to arterial dilation which will help the flow of blood into the head.
This will help you reduce headaches and other types of pain caused by tension such as fatigue.
You can simply warm two drops of the oil in your palms together with any carrier oil and massage it on your forehead.
You can also have a gardenia oil bath to reduce a headache too.
Gardenia Helps With Laryngitis
When used in a steam therapy, gardenia oil is known to reduce the symptoms of laryngitis.
You can also dilute the oil and massage a few drops in the neck.
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Gardenia Kills Bacteria
Gardenia plant has antibacterial properties. For this reason, gardenia essential oil can be used to treat bacterial infections such as sepsis and tetanus.
If you get a cut by a crude object, you can stop tetanus infection by applying a few drops of dilute gardenia oil.
You can dilute it and spray on your body to help protect yourself from dangerous bacteria such as E-coli and salmonella.
You can add a few drops of the oil to warm water and use it to clean cuts and wounds.
Use the water to clean your face to get rid of skin infections too.
Gardenia Calms Inflammation
Inflammation in the body is caused by many conditions. To reduce inflammation, it is advisable to eat anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric, etc.
However, the use of anti-inflammatory oils will also help reduce the symptoms and conditions associated with inflammation.
Some of the conditions affecting your skin such as spots, swellings, and rashes are all effects of inflammation.
Information may also lead to chronic conditions such as arthritis. Using anti-inflammatory essential oils such as gardenia oil will help you prevent the occurrence of these conditions in advance.
Simply dilute gardenia essential oil with any carrier oil and use it to massage your skin on a daily basis.
This will help rejuvenate the look of your skin by giving you a glowing young look.
Gardenia Eases Stiff Joints
As already mentioned, the anti-inflammatory properties of gardenia are essential in reducing pain.
The oil can be massaged into painful joints and muscles to reduce the pain.
To benefit from the pain relieving benefits of gardenia, simply massage 2 to 3 drops of the oil in the painful area.
always make sure that the oil is mixed with a base oil.
Gardenia Supports Liver Health
Your liver is the action center of defusing harmful substances in the body.
When your liver is functioning properly to remove harmful chemicals and compounds from the body, you experience overall good health.
However, when the liver malfunctions, toxins can weigh you down. Gardenia has chemical compounds that trigger the liver enzymes into action hence helping in phase one of the liver detox process.
By massaging the gardenia essential oil on your stomach or taking it through gardenia scented tea, you can help improve your liver function and, as a result, improve your health at large.
Gardenia Side Effects
Gardenia flower cannot be consumed directly although there are no known side effects.
You can infuse the flower in your tea to make gardenia scented tea which is a good source of gardenia health benefits.
You can also buy gardenia powder which is used as a food additive.
Gardenia oil has no known side effects although it should not be used by pregnant women.
All essential oils are too strong and should not be used by pregnant women without a doctors prescription.
Gardenia plant is a flowery shrub that is native to Asia and some parts of Africa-Madagascar.
It is known for its white scented flowers that are used to add fragrance to perfumes and cosmetics.
The gardenia plant has a lot of uses and plenty of health benefits. The gardenia flower can be grown during spring and autumn or can be grown indoors.
The flower should be harvested when it blossoms to make gardenia essential oil at home.
Gardenia essential oil can be used to relieve muscle pain, to uplift moods, treat depression, alleviate cramping and treat inflammatory conditions among others.