Herb: False Jasmine

Latin name: Gelsemium sempervirens

Family: Loganiaceae (Logania Family)

Medicinal use of False Jasmine:

The roots are analgesic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, mydriatic, nervine, sedative and vasodilator. A powerful depressant of the central nervous system, deadening pain and reducing spasms. 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. It is used internally in the treatment of neuralgia, migraine, sciatica, toothache, severe pain (especially in terminal illnesses or accidents) and meningitis. Externally it has been used as a folk remedy for cancer. The root is best harvested in the autumn and dried carefully for later use. Extreme care is advised with the use of this plant, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Excessive doses cause respiratory depression, giddiness, double vision and death. It should not be prescribed for patients with heart disease, hypotension or myasthenia gravis. See also the notes above on toxicity. The fresh root is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including fevers, flu and headaches.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Along sea coasts in dry to wet woods, thickets and sands.

Propagation of False Jasmine:

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Along sea coasts in dry to wet woods, thickets and sands.

Known hazards of Gelsemium sempervirens:

All parts of the plant usually contain toxic alkaloids. Eating just one flower has reportedly been lethal to children. 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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.