Passionflower

(passiflora incarnata)

Passion flower is a climbing vine renowned for its beautiful white flowers with purple, blue, or pink calyx crown blooms. The plant is native to North, Central, and South America. While primarily tropical, some of its 400 species can grow in colder climates. The mystery of such a beautiful blossom emerging from an unassuming bud has been compared to the Passion of Christ. This inspired the plant’s name, which dates back to the 17th century. The leaves, stems, and flowers are used for medicinal purposes.

Passion flower was used to treat nervous restlessness and gastro-intestinal spasms. In short, the effects of passion flower were believed to be primarily on the nervous system, particularly for anxiety due to mental worry and overwork.

What it does

Passiflora contains flavonoids and glycosides which give it mild analgesic, anti-spasmodic, relaxing and anti-anxiety properties.

Potential Uses

Anxiety Insomnia Irritability
Nervous tension Muscles spasms

IBS

Panic attacks High blood pressure Asthma from bronchial spasm

Other information

The effect of passion flower on the nervous system includes a spasm-reducing influence on smooth muscle tissue which may help dilate blood vessels.

Passion flower treats insomnia without dependency and without side effects such as stupor, depression and confusion, which often occur with sedative drugs.

Cautions

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

If you take MAOI, or try-cyclic anti-depressants, anti-psychotic medication, anti-convulsants or tranquillisers, check with your doctor before taking passion flower.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using passionflower.

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