Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) medicinal herb or passion flower is a
perennial woody vine from North, South and Central America and also,
species are found originating in Asia, Australasia and the West Indies. It is from the Passifloraceae family and there are more than 400 species.
This unique plant acquired its name from the Spanish missionaries who discovered and observed this particular bloom in 1569 in Peru. They saw it as representational pertaining to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ considering that the flower is purple and possesses a cross in the middle accompanied by a crown of fluffy rays. Some of the flowers also come in white, blue, or pink.
It is called by many common names which are probably too numerous to name in this text. However, some of the common names are Maypops, Maypop passion flower, Wild passion flower, Pasiflora, Passiflore officinale, Flor de passion, Passion vine, Purple passion flower and Apricot vine. The Romans harvested it and also exported it to the other parts of Europe.
Passion flower contains alkaloids as well as passiflorine. The medicinal properties are sedative, tonic, analgesic, anxiolytic, antimicrobial, vermifuge, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, vulnerary, disinfectant, antibacterial and neuroleptic.
It has been traditionally used as an anxiety herb. Passion flower is a natural remedy to treat insomnia and to promote calmness. This is good news for those who are having sleepless nights so very often. Insomnia affects millions of people all over the world, so the more natural herbs that are able to treat this problem, the better.
Passion flower is an excellent aid in maintaining testosterone levels and is one of the best herbal nerve tonic. It will soothe and calm the nerves without bringing on depression or stress. Some individuals smoke it as a sedative and the flowers can be made into a syrup and used for this purpose as well.
Passionflower also relieves stress and tension and cures headaches and gastrointestinal conditions that are related to stress and anxiety. It improves the circulation of the blood and will lower high blood pressure. It is also used by the French for menopause treatment. It is also good to treat seizures, pains that are associated with swellings, hysteria, asthma, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms as well as hemorrhoids.
The ripe passion fruits may be eaten raw and the fruits also can be made into jams, jellies, wines and fruit drinks. The passion fruit juice is delicious and nutritious and possesses a lot of health benefits just like the passion flower.
In Jamaica, the juice of passion fruit, which is also called granadilla is loved by everyone, especially the children. It is a very refreshing drink and it is even more delicious when it is mixed with other fruits as well as ginger. It is packed potent amounts of minerals, vitamins and also antioxidants. Just writing about this fruit makes me want to drink some of its juice right away.
For convenience and easy access, it is available in stores as an infusion, liquid extract, tea, as well as tincture. The dosage for adults who will be taking an infusion is three grams of dried herb three times per day.
Do not consume passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Updated January 22, 2016
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