Ingredient Lab: Jasmine (Women's Health)

Find out how sniffing, sipping, and slathering on this botanical can help you look and feel better

Get a whiff of this: Breathing in the scent of jasmine has the power to release feel-good brain chemicals that boost energy as well as reduce anxiety, according to a study done by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. It also increases focus—baseball players in the study who wore jasmine-scented armbands hit the ball better than those wearing non-scented bands.

This flower’s power doesn’t end there. When slathered on, sniffed, or sipped, jasmine also offers these all-over benefits:

Promotes weight loss

With a naturally sweet and heady, floral taste, jasmine tea is the most common way to ingest this botanical (scented tea is made by mating jasmine with green tea, oolong, or black tea to absorb its flavor and fragrance). Thanks to high levels of catechins, drinking jasmine tea is said to accelerate the metabolism and trigger the body to burn more calories. Try Mighty Leaf Organic Spring Jasmine Green Tea ($9.95 for 15 tea bags), a fine blend of green tea with the intoxicating scent of Arabian jasmine buds.

Soothes your mind and body

Research suggests that the aroma of jasmine, taken as tea or smoothed on the skin, has a relaxing effect. In fact, just the scent of jasmine chills out autonomic nerve activity and decreases your heart rate. Rich in flavonoid antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, jasmine tea has a mild sedative effect which relaxes the body and mind–even calms coughs, and may help regulate insulin levels and lower blood pressure. Some say jasmine is also an effective antidepressant.

Alleviates aches and pains

Jasmine’s antispasmodic properties make it an effective aid for muscle pain, stiffness, and sprains. Traditionally, essences of this potent flower have been used during birth for its pain-relieving and antispasmodic properties, and recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness. Intelligent Nutrients Jasmine Total Body Elixir ($80, 1.7 oz.), a luscious hydrating body oil made with certified-organic ingredients, including the purest Jasminum Sambac essential oil harvested from wild-crafted flowers and a proprietary blend of potent antioxidant seed oils.

Clarifies and protects

The essential oils of this delicate flower contain potent antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties thanks to a portfolio of compounds like benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, and benzyl benzoate. When slathered on, jasmine-infused lotions and oils can help bolster skin’s immunity and protect skin from invading offenders especially as the seasons change. Try this DIY Jasmine Green Tea Facial Tonic: Steep one jasmine green tea bag or 1 teaspoon loose jasmine green tea in 8 ounces of hot water (ideally 185ËšF for proper steeping and to preserve the integrity of the tea). Let cool to room temperature or chill in the fridge for additional cooling, anti-inflammatory action. Use to splash on your face or saturate a cotton ball and swipe over skin. For best results, let dry on skin before moisturizing. Or, try 100% Pure Jasmine Green Tea Facial Cleanser ($19, 6 oz.), which gently cleanses the skin with soothing jasmine and aloe, and antioxidant-rich organic green tea, or Red Flower Indian Jasmine Body Wash ($20, 8 oz.), which soothes, cleanses, and scents the skin with biodynamic honey, wild-crafted botanicals and essential oils enriched with olive oil for penetrating moisture.

Hydrates for softer skin

Traditionally used to restore skin, the essential oils and botanical extracts of jasmine increase skin’s elasticity and help balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness. Plus, its natural antibacterial properties protect skin from assault and aid skin’s immunity. Try Organic Fiji Night Blooming Jasmine Nourishing Lotion ($25, 12 oz.) laden with certified-organic virgin coconut oil with the intoxicating scent of night-blooming jasmine. Or, try Jurlique Jasmine Hand Cream ($25, 1.35 oz.) for long-lasting hydration.

Heals blemishes and scars

Jasmine oil is a cicatrizer, meaning it helps fade scars left in the wake of acne, skin wounds, eruptions, and stretch marks. (Say ta-ta to any kind of blemish with these complexion-perfecting remedies.) Try this DIY Scar-Healing Treatment: Use jasmine body oil or mix a drop of jasmine oil with a small amount of your favorite lotion to spot-treat and massage scar tissue. Or, try Chantecaille Jasmine & Lily Healing Mask ($79, 1.7 oz.), which doubles as a calming night cream.