Jasmine grows wild throughout many parts of the Himalayas, India and China. From very early times, the people living in these areas have always considered the flower to be sacred and associated it with love and devotion. In fact, in India, jasmine flowers are considered the sacred flower of the god of love, Kama. (You may have heard of the Kama-Sutra? There's a reason the ancients considered the flower an aphrodisiac!) Now, unfortunately, love always has its downside and jasmine is no different.
For example, have you ever wondered why jasmine only blooms at night? There is an Indian myth that attempts to explain the phenomenon. Many years ago an Indian Princess fell in love with Surya-Deva, the god of the sun. Every day, she would go out to the royal garden and tend to all the flowers and plants so Surya-Deva would have somewhere beautiful to send his rays. One day, he descended from heaven to visit the girl. She was ecstatic. But rather than offer her his heart, the god rejected the girl's love and ascended back into the sky. The princess was heartbroken. Her family, try as they might, couldn't console the poor girl - even her garden gave her no more pleasure. Finally she took her own life. Her family was distraught. As is Indian custom, the girl's body was cremated shortly afterward. Her parents, wishing their daughter's spirit be nearby scattered the ashes throughout the garden. Over the next few weeks, they witnessed a miracle. From the ashes, a beautiful new flowering plant began to grow. But because the sun god was responsible for the girl's death, the tree would only blossom at night. As a consolation for their daughter's demise, the king and queen woke up each morning to the hauntingly sweet smell of the delicate blooms. Over the ensuing centuries, the pretty white flowers spread throughout the Eastern world.
The story is a tragic one, but waking up to the scent of freshly bloomed jasmine wafting in through a window is like waking up to fresh cinnamon buns - in a more exotic sort of way. The scent is truly incredible and the sweet fragrance makes breathing a delight. It's also the reason Jasmine has been used to scent and flavor teas for hundreds of years. Now you can create your own delectable jasmine creations. Try adding these wonderful jasmine buds to green, black, even oolong or white teas or on their own as a caffeine free herbal delight. (Just mind your customers don't fall in love with you.)
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