Parijat Flower and Leaves – Benefits, Uses, Medicinal Qualities, and Side Effects of Night Jasmine/Harsingar
Different types of medicinal plants have been traditionally used in the treatment of various diseases since ancient times. Plants rich in these medicinal properties are especially used in Ayurvedic treatments. The Parijat plant is a fragrant flowering plant rich in such medicinal properties.
- What is Parijat/ Night jasmine?
What is Parijat/ Night jasmine?
Parijat is a highly ornamental and medicinal flowering plant. This plant is called ‘Night Jasmine’ in English and ‘Parijat’ in Hindi. The scientific name of the algae plant is- ‘Nyctanthes Arbor-thistis’.
This plant is native to South Asia, Southeast Asia and is found in the central region from Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal to Assam, East Bengal and Tripura to South Godavari. Apart from India, the plant is also found in Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.
In Ayurveda, Parijat has an important place because of its healing benefits. Parijat in general has been given a mysterious place in Indian mythology and folklore. The ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and the ‘Harivamsa Purana’ mentions Night jasmine plants and flowers. According to Indian mythology, the Parijat tree is a paradise. The flowers of the Night jasmine tree bloom only at night and all its flowers fall to ground till morning. In fact, the Night jasmine plant is called the “Queen of Night”. The tree has really fragmented flowers.
The whole Parijat tree is used for medicinal purposes due to its health beneficial properties and seeds are used in Piles treatment. Decoction made from flowers and leaves is used to treat Gout. Leaf juice is used in case of dry cough. Poultice of Night jasmine leaf is used externally in dermatological treatment. In these ways, Night jasmine is seen to be beneficial in various physical problems.
Parijat is a terrestrial annual bushy tree that grows to a height of about 10 meters (33 feet). The plant grows in rocky soils with dry mountain shade, dry deciduous forests or up to 1500 m above sea level with different types of rainfall ranging from wind to non-seasonal. The plant grows well in a variety of loamy soils and in soils with moderate gardening conditions. The bark of the Parijat plant is dark gray or brown in color and hard and firm. Leaves are placed opposite, 5–10 elongated and 2.5–6.3 cm wide, ovary, acute or acuminate, petiole bulbous, hairy round or slightly cuneate, having few main nerves underside, petioles are 6 cm long. The lamina is full or cherished ovarian margin with acute or acuminate apex. The upper surface is dark green and the lower surface is pale green and softly pubescent. The flowers are on the head of the group or on the axils of the leaves. Flowers are tiny in size and white colored. It is usually seen in groups of 2-6 clustered together. The tree blossoms from August to December. The fertile flower is followed by a flat, brown and heart-shaped circular capsule. It is about 2 cm in diameter and has two cell openings from the apex, each containing a seed.
Chemical Constituents of Parijat/ Harsingar
- Benzoic acid
- Oleanolic acid
- Nyctanthes acid
- Fried Elin
- Polysaccharide glucomannan
Various Lingual Names of Parijat/Harsingar
- English : Night jasmine, Coral jasmine
- Hindi : Harsingar, Parijat
- Sanskrit : Parijat, Shefali, Shefalika
- Gujarati : Harsh Nagar
- Kannada : Parijatha
- Marathi : Parijatamo
- Tamil : Majipu
- Bengali : Shefalika, Shivuli
- Assamese: Hewali
Scientific Classification of Nyctanthes Arbor-thistis/Night jasmine
- Kingdom : Plantae
- Clade : Tracheophytes
- Clade : Angiosperms
- Clade : Eudicots
- Clade : Asterids
- Order : Lamiales
- Family : Oleaceae
- Tribe : Myxophyceae
- Genus : Nyctanthes
- Species : Nyctanthes Arbor-thistis
- Scientific name : Nyctanthes Arbor-thistis
Benefits of Night jasmine/Parijat
- Treats malaria and other nauseous fevers:
Parijat leaves are often used to treat malaria. This type of plant can be used as a natural remedy for fever, which in turn increases body temperature due to vomiting, diarrhea and cholera. Extract of Night jasmine leaves is effective against two types of malaria and even against the elastic type of Plasmodium falciparum, which is used to get rid of the malaria parasite in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Parijat leaves are also used in the treatment of various types of inflammation and fever.
- Unhealthy Stomach issues:
Symptoms of Irritable Bowels Syndrome (IBS) include stomach upset, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Medicinal benefits of Night Jasmine are also found in other gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers, heartburn and gastritis. A mixture of a little bit of sugar with Parijat leaf juice is a good medicine for the treatment of stomach ailments among children. Night jasmine is very useful in the treatment of constipation in children. It prevents HDT and dyspepsia. Harsingar flowers are bitter and useful for Ophthalmic, Stomachic, Carminative, Gastritis, Hepatitis, Diarrhea, Vertigo and Dysmenorrhoea.
- Treatment of high blood pressure:
High blood pressure is also known as high pressure in the arteries, which is the carrier of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Diastolic pressure (arterial pressure) occurs as soon as the heart relaxes. Normal blood pressure below 120/80, between 120/80 and 139/64 is called pre-hypertension, and if it is 140/90 or higher, it is called hypertension. Parijat can be used to treat high blood pressure if needed.
- Beneficial for skin:
The use of Parijat protects you from bacteria and viruses and regulates your body temperature. Itching of skin, redness, swelling, inflammation, allergies, irritability problems with the immune system can cause dermatitis, hives and other skin conditions. Thus Parijat leaf poultice can be used in various skin related problems. Fresh leaves of Night jasmine plant are boiled in mustard oil and used externally for treatment of ringworm.
- Heals Wounds:
Wound is a skin condition that occurs from injury which worsens quickly and where the skin is torn, cut or ruptured (open wound), closed injury, pathology, especially a sharp injury that damages the dermis of the skin. The use of Parijat helps in healing injuries. Dry leaves of Parijat plant should be used daily in the morning and evening with water to get relief from wounds.
- Treats Anxiety and Restlessness:
Parijat has also been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety, restlessness, headaches and dizziness.
- Good for hair:
The uses and benefits of Parijat are also seen to improve hair health and it is easily available. It is used in the treatment of boldness, scurvy and scalp tenderness. It helps in curing problems like- lice, dandruff and graying of hair. Night jasmine seed paste is applied to the affected area by alopecia.
- Cures piles:
Hemorrhoids, commonly called piles; are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and rectum. In many cases, surgeons complain of toxicity after surgery. Parijat seeds are very useful for people suffering from piles. Parijat can be used as a poultice to treat affected areas.
- Beneficial for cough and cold:
Symptoms of common cold include sneezing, swallowing, nasal congestion, and coughing. This is probably the most common disease. Night jasmine is used as a medicine for the treatment of asthma, dry Cough, bronchitis etc. In case of asthma and cough, 2-3gm of dried leaf powder or bark of the tree is given along with the juice of Parijat Plant.
- Intestinal worm:
Gastrointestinal worms are a condition in which the intestines are infected by parasites. Many different insects are considered intestinal parasites. This infection is usually characterized by intestinal problems, diarrhea, and occasional anemia. Physicians blame infected food, poor hygiene and incontinence as the primary causes of these problems. The most common ayurvedic remedy for intestinal worms is Parijat.
Traditional Uses and Benefits
- Seed, flower and leaf extraction of Parijat plant has immune-stimulating, hepato-protective, anti-leishmania, antiviral, anti-fungal properties.
- Night jasmine leaves are used in Ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic medicine for sciatica, arthritis, fever and laxative.
- The benefits of Parijat are also seen in case of bacterial prevention and treatment of fungal infections, cough and snake bites.
- The juice of Parijat leaf tastes salty and provides effective relief in the treatment of various types of inflammation and fever including malaria, occasional fever and common cough and also for skin.
- Mix a little bit of sugar with Night jasmine leaves. This mixture is a good medicine for treating stomach ailments of children.
- A paste made from Night jasmine leaves is useful in treating fever, diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Parijat flowers prevent gas in the stomach.
- Night jasmine flowers prevent excessive bile excretion from the liver and aid digestion.
- The bark of the Parijat tree is useful in the treatment of rheumatic pain.
- Parijat leaf decoction cures problems like sciatica, arthritis and malaria.
- This plant also cures dental problems like – Scurvy.
Uses of Parijat/Night jasmine
The leaves, flowers, seeds, bark and other parts of Night jasmine plant are used for medicinal purposes. Parijat plant leaves, flower buds, bark buds, leaf sap, flower juice, decoction, paste etc. are available in the market.
Parijat has no proven side effects, but excessive use may show harmful effects on health.
- The leaves and flowers of the Night jasmine plant have a very bitter taste. Thus people with sensitive taste buds should avoid its consumption as it may lead to vomiting if they can’t stand the bitterness of it.
- It should not be taken in large quantities to cure cough as it can be harmful to the neck. It should be taken only after a doctor’s prescription for cough related problems.
Therefore, it should be used in the right amount on a regular basis and with doctor’s advice before using it in the treatment of diseases.
In this article, you must have come to know about the advantages, uses, chemical constituents, different linguistic names, and other benefits of Parijat. We hope that the information contained in this article will help you in various ways. Thank You!