Gardenia – Gardenia jasminoides

Linnaeus named this shrub for Dr Alexander Garden in 1760. Dr Alexander was a medical doctor and amateur scientist who assisted Linnaeus in his research by sending him plants, reptiles, fish and insects.

The juice of the fruit has been used in traditional dying in Japan. It produces a yellow dye, but the color can be modified with the addition of iron. It is used to dye clothes and food. In Korea it is used to dye mung bean jelly ((hwangpomuk).

The scent of the flowers is very sweet and it is often used in perfumery. The scent should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation, and not used around infants and small children. In Aromatherapy its uses are antiseptic and aphrodisiac, often used for menstrual problems. It’s used as a bitter, a febrifuge, and a styptic. Traditional medicinal remedies are made from the fruit.

All parts of the plant cause a laxative effect and can cause dermatitis in some people.

Gardenia flowers

Gardenia flowers

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