Night Jasmine (Harsingar, Parijat) and Its Health Benefits and Herbal Remedies
Latin name : Nyctanthes arbor-tristis
In India, it is called Harsingar and Parijat besides other regional names.
It is a sacred ornamental plant with immense health benefits
Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Laos Tree
Night Flowering Jasmine vs Night Blooming Jasmine
Incidentally, another plant which flowers at night is the night blooming jasmine.The night blooming jasmine, whose Latin name is Cestrum nocturnum, is a much smaller tree which bears funnel shaped, greenish white flowers which release an extremely fragrant perfume at night.
In India it is called Raat ki rani/raatrani, literally translated as "Queen of the night".
Night Jasmine Flower, Leaves, BarkClick thumbnail to view full-size
About Night Jasmine
The night jasmine is a small tree, having a flaky look, which grows to about 30 feet in height.
It is native to Southern Asia. In India, it grows in the outer Himalayas and in Jammu & Kashmir, east of Assam, Bengal & Tripura to Godavari in the South.
The night jasmine is also called as the "tree of sorrow" as its flowers start losing their brightness as daylight approaches.
The night jasmine flower is the official flower of the state of West Bengal.
In Hindu mythology, it is believed that the parijat tree was the result of "samudra manthan" or "churning of the ocean" by the devas (divine beings) & asuras (demons) for "Amrit" or "the nectar of immortality"
Leaves, flowers, seeds, bark of this tree, all have medicinal properties and have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
The flowers have a sweet fragrance, are white in color with an orange red center. The flowering season is from July/August to October/November.
Night Jasmine is a very important plant in Ayurveda. It is also considered very sacred and is offered in deity worship in temples. A single flowering tree makes the environment around very fragrant.
Ayurvedic rishis/practitioners of yore have enumerated numerous health benefits of night jasmine.
Interestingly, it is believed that having a harsingar or parijat tree around your house removes vaastu dosh or counters negative elements. It is widely cultivated in parks and gardens .
Medical Use Of Night Jasmine - By Acharya Balkrishana
Health Benefits Of Night Jasmine/Harsingar/Parijat
The night jasmine plant has antihistaminic, anesthetic, analgesic, anti inflammatory, antipyretic, antiulcer, amoebicidal, anti bacterial, anthelmintic, antiviral, carminative, antidepressant, hepatoprotective,antioxidant, antifungal, diuretic, sedative, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, astringent properties among others.
Every part of the tree has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to combat various health conditions from times immemorial. The following are some health issues in which it is/can be used successfully.
It has been found that no matter how severe the sciatica, a condition in which there is severe pain starting from waist to the feet that results in difficulty in walking to total incapacitation, a decoction of night jasmine leaves relieves all discomfort.
About 3-5 leaves of night jasmine to be ground and boiled in 2 glasses of water, the water then strained and taken 2 times a day daily for complete relief.
Pain & Swelling
Besides the above, any sort of pain & swelling also gets relieved by the decoction mentioned above. The affected area can also be fomented with a cloth dipped in this decoction to which some rock salt has been added.
The leaves, flowers & bark of night jasmine also relieve arthritis & its pain. You can use the leaves & flowers if bark is unavailable or even just the leaves by preparing a decoction as mentioned below.
Take about 5 grams of leaves & flowers, at one time & boil in 200 ml of water. Use 2-3 flowers & the rest leaves, tender stalks and bark. Strain & drink for relief.
To relieve pain & swelling you can warm the large leaves and tie them on the affected spot.
Night jasmine leaves provide a healthier alternative to the tannin laden and harmful tea usually consumed by ,most of us are addicted to and even out class green tea in health benefits.
To make this herbal tea, take 1-2 tulsi/holy basil, 2 leaves of night jasmine & 1 flower. Boil them in water for a few minutes to get not only a lovely colored tea but tasty tea. Do not add sugar or milk. This herbal tea provides many health benefits like giving relief from cough, phelgm, arthritic pain, constipation, to mention just a few.
Harsingar removes intestinal worms thus being especially beneficial for children who are at more risk of harboring worms.
To remove worms mix a little mishri/rock candy in 2 tsp juice of harsingar leaves and give on empty stomach. Extract the juice from leaves by adding a little water while grinding the leaves.
Giving this once a year for a couple of days prevents the problem of intestinal worms in children.
Whether it is high fever, repeated fevers or fever that has not been controlled by other medicines, harsingar provides relief in all cases.
Take 3 grams of bark of night jamine tree, 2 grams of leaves & 2-3 tulsi/holy basil leaves. Boil in a glass of water and consume this decoction morning & evening daily. It provides relief from weakness & bodyache as well.
The flowers of night jasmine are strength giving. Those who are weak can benefit from consuming them.
Dry flowers in shade and make a powder. Take 200 to 500 mg of this powder with rock candy or mishri everyday. It provides energy & strength.
Night jasmine kills bacteria and virus thus purifying the air flowing through it. For this reason plant one around your home.
Harsingar/Parijat Information - Rajiv Dixit
Some Other Uses Of Night Jasmine
- The extract from flowers is used in dyeing fabrics
- The leaves are used for polishing wood and ivory and the bark as tannin material
- Essential oil from flowers is used as perfume
- Wood is used for boarding as well as firewood. The young branches are used in making baskets.
- Used as a hedge, fencing or boundary.
Plant night jasmine in your home. Use its leaves, flowers, stalks to get relief from various health issues.
Though it cannot be planted in a pot, if you have even a little bit of planting space in your garden, plant one. It will make your life fragrant & healthy.
Truly, having a night jasmine plant at home is like having an on call doctor 24 hours.
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- Nyctanthes arbor-tristis/Night Jasmine: A sacred ornamental plant with immense medicinal potential
Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. is one of the most useful traditional medicinal plants in India. Each part of the plant has some medicinal value & considered as a valuable source of several unique products for the medicines against various disease
- Harsingar - Health Benefits - Acharya Balkrishna
Health benefits of Night Jasmine explained by the famous Ayurvedacharya - Acharya Balkishan of Patanjali Ayurved