False Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Climber
G. nitidum.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
False Jasmine
Gelsemium sempervirens
Loganiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The roots are analgesic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, mydriatic, nervine, sedative and vasodilator[46, 165, 192, 222, 238]. A powerful depressant of the central nervous system, deadening pain and reducing spasms[222]. It is said to suspend and hold in check muscular irritability and nervous excitement with more force and power than any known remedy. Whilst it relaxes the muscles, it also relieves all sense of pain[4]. It is used internally in the treatment of neuralgia, migraine, sciatica, toothache, severe pain (especially in terminal illnesses or accidents) and meningitis[238]. Externally it has been used as a folk remedy for cancer[222]. The root is best harvested in the autumn and dried carefully for later use[4]. Extreme care is advised with the use of this plant, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[238]. Excessive doses cause respiratory depression, giddiness, double vision and death[238]. It should not be prescribed for patients with heart disease, hypotension or myasthenia gravis[238]. See also the notes above on toxicity.

    The fresh root is used to make a homeopathic remedy[232]. It is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including fevers, flu and headaches[232].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant usually contain toxic alkaloids[200]. Eating just one flower has reportedly been lethal to children[207, 222]. The plant can also cause skin allergies in some people and it is possible that the plant toxins can be absorbed through the skin, especially if there are cuts[238].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse until plants are at least two years old. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their next winter. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200].
Succeeds in most soils[182]. Requires a warm sheltered position in full sun or light shade in a well-drained moisture retentive moderately fertile soil[200]. Rich soils discourage flowering by encouraging excessive growth[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors only in the mildest areas of the country and even then usually requiring the protection of a wall[166, 182]. Plants can tolerate temperatures down to about -10¡c if the wood has been thoroughly ripened[200]. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are sweetly fragrant[222] emitting a honey-like aroma[245]. This species is the state flower of South Carolina[238]. A climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around other plants and often ascending to the tops of lofty trees in its native habitat[4].
South-eastern N. America – Florida to Texas and north to Arkansas and S. Virginia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.