Polianthes tuberosa

Tuberose (botanical name Polianthes tuberosa) is a perennial plant, which has a close relation to agaves, whose extracts are used in perfumery. The plant's common name has been derived from the Latin word "tuberosa", which denotes tuberous or swollen in accordance with the plant's root system.

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Native to Mexico, the tuberose blooms at night like any other species of Polianthes. The plant grows up to a height of 45 cm (18 inches) in elongated spikes, which produce bunches of aromatic, waxy white blooms that flower from the bottom of the spike towards its top. The long and vivid green leaves of plant are clustered at its base, while smaller and clasping leaves emerge the length of the stem.

Tuberose is basically grown in gardens and is considered to be a common garden plant in many regions of the world. In fact, this plant has never been seen growing in the wild. The flowers of tuberose have a funnel shape and their color is waxy white. The blossoms of this plant are well-known for their highly sweet scent. The leaves of tuberose are elongated and slim. This plant has been named tuberose as it develops a chunky underground stem akin to a bulb, which is known as a tuber. New plants emerge from this underground tuberous stem. Tuberose is generally planted in spring when the threat of the expected last date of frost has passed.

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The new tuberose plants bear flowers in the latter part of summer. The tuberous stems of the plants are excavated in the fall and stored in a cool and dry place. There are a number of tuberose varieties and the most popular ones include the Mexican Single, Pearl Excelsior and Dwarf. As mentioned earlier, the plant has derived its name from its rootstock, which resembles a tube and gives rise to new slender stems. The flowers of this plant have an intense, sweet aroma. In fact, the odour of these flowers is so heavy that it is just about sickening. The flowers are widely used in the perfumery industry. In addition, in central Europe, New Jersey, North Carolina, and southern Africa, the tuberose plant is cultivated for its flowers that are also used in toilet preparations. Moreover, tuberose is also cultivated in Hawaii for making wreaths for ornamental purposes.

The essential oil of tuberose is among the most precious essential oils available and it is obtained from the plants' aromatic blossoms. This essential oil is procured from various regions in North America, where the people cultivate this perennial plant for their blossoms. The process of extracting the essential oil from tuberose flowers involves infusing their petals in palm oil. Subsequently, the palm oil is separated from the essence of tuberose petals employing the evaporation method. Tuberose essential oil is primarily extracted from petals of the blossoms with a view to impart a natural aroma to the oil.

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Tuberose is an extremely fragrant flower and the essential oil extracted from it is widely used in making perfumes, air fresheners and lotions. Only a single drop of this essential oil fills the air in your room with an intense, sweet smell.

Tuberose essential oil is also known by other names like the "Mistress of the Night" and "Night Queen", which justified the romantic and sensual essence of this oil. Tuberose essential oil also possesses aphrodisiac properties and is generally used in the form of an aphrodisiac in aromatherapy and also in herbal remedies. The floral aroma of the essential oil of tuberose is so intense, potent and intoxicating that it fills the air with a sense of romance and creates an atmosphere of love. In fact, it has been found that this essential oil is highly useful in treating conditions like absence of libido and frigidity. This oil contains certain elements or chemicals that help to invigorate the parts of our brain which are responsible for sexual feelings, arousal, and libido when it is used in aromatherapy or taken internally. However, since the fragrance of this essential oil is very potent and intense, it is seldom administered orally.

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The essential oil extracted from tuberose blooms helps to unwind the mind, which is necessary for successful sexual activities. This is primarily because when one is under stress and enduring tension, he/ she is unable to participate in sexual activities successfully. In addition, tuberose essential oil has a warming effect on all the organs, as it helps to promote blood circulation. Good blood circulation helps to cure erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as impotency.

Tuberose essential oil is famous worldwide for its extensive use in perfumes. Therefore, not much elucidation is required to justify the deodorant property of this oil. Precisely speaking, tuberose essential oil has a rich, concentrated and enduring floral fragrance, which makes it the perfect choice for use as a deodorant. This is the main reason why this essential oil is so popular across the globe, especially in countries having hot and humid climatic conditions, because people living here have to deal with perspiration and the ensuing foul body odour frequently.

The pleasing aroma as well as the assortment of chemical components of this essential oil have a relaxing action on the nerves, brain and the muscles. In addition, use of this essential oil soothes people and alleviates anxiety, anger, tension, stress, depression, cramps, convulsions, nervous afflictions, diarrhea and spasmodic coughs.

The essential oil of tuberose is also an excellent remedy for sedating inflammations, especially among people suffering from nervous problems as well as disorders of the respiratory system. However, it is necessary to use this oil in an extremely diluted form to get the benefits of its sedative effects.

The essential oil extracted from tuberose blossoms also invigorates as well as improves blood circulation all over the body, thereby bringing in a warming effect. When used during the winter months, such warming effect of the oil neutralizes cold. At the same time, tuberose essential oil helps to ensure that the respiratory system is warm, thereby preventing the deposition of catarrh and phlegm. In addition, this essential oil also helps to make one more active, while curing his/ her sexual problems.

General properties

  • aphrodisiac
  • deodorant
  • relaxing
  • sedative
  • warming

Blends well with

General uses

  • anger
  • anxiety
  • body odour
  • circulatory problems
  • convulsions
  • cramps
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • frigidity and a lack of libido
  • nervous afflictions
  • impotency
  • spasmodic coughs
  • stress
  • tension


The essential oil of tuberose is absolutely safe for use by most people, because it is non-irritant, non-toxic and non-sensitizing. Nevertheless, this oil possesses an extremely potent and concentrated aroma; its use may result in headaches. At the same time, when used in intense concentrations, tuberose essential oil may also irritate the nerves. Therefore, it is advisable that you should always use this oil in gentle doses with a view to obtain the best results.

It is important to note that tuberose essential oil should never be used internally, since it is only meant for inhalation or external application. In addition, you need to be careful not to apply this oil to or around sensitive body areas like the eyes and others. Since the effect of this oil on pregnant women and breast-feeding women is yet to be ascertained, such people should essentially check with their physician or therapist prior to using tuberose essential oil.


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