Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea, P. incarnata) is a beautiful climbing vine native to North, Central and South America. It can grow up to 30′ bearing deep green, lobed leaves, purple / blue & white flowers followed by egg shaped fruit. The name Passionflower comes from the analogy of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The three styles represent the three nails used on the cross, five stamens for the five wounds he suffered and the blue and white colors are for purity.
For over 200 years, passionflower has been effectively used for anxiety, relieving muscle tension, and as a central nervous system depressant effective in treating nerve pain (neuralgia and shingles). Studies in France concluded that Passionflower is beneficial for restless leg syndrome, depression, ADD, insomnia and as antispasmodic useful for those with Parkinson’s disease, seizures, asthma and hysteria.
Passionflower is a source of the antioxidant chrysin, which helps the body conserve testosterone (aiding men and woman with diminished sex drive), reduces blood pressure and stops the growth of certain thyroid cancers. Chysin is also been found to alleviate nausea and vomiting as a result of drug withdrawal from cocaine, opiates and heroine.
The dried leaves are used in teas and tinctures, alone or combination with Hops, Valerian and Jamaican Dogwood. Passionflower can cause sleepiness and increase the effects of both alcohol and psychoactive drugs (sedatives and tranquilizers). You should avoid the use of passionflower if you take an MAO inhibitor and during pregnancy. Adults over the age of sixty five and children between the ages of 2-12 should only use low dose forms and children under the age of 2 should not be given this herb(substitute catnip).
The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult your health practitioner when needed.