Passion flower benefits first attracted European travelers’ attention to the New World, who saw in the diverse organs of its beautiful flowers the representation of the instruments used in the Crucifixion: whip, nails, and hammer.
The plant was introduced in Europe and grown as an ornamental vine until the late 19th century. Among the many passion flower benefits, it was found to have a strong sedative effort on the nervous system.
Passion Flower Benefits: Preparation and Dosage
- Infusion: The ideal way to take passion flower is with an infusion of flowers and leaves, prepared with 20-30 g per liter of water, left to rest for two or three minutes before drinking. Two or three cups daily are recommended; if desired, they may be honey-sweetened. One more may be taken before bedtime in the case of insomnia.
- In alcohol or drug-withdrawal treatment, the infusion is more concentrated (up to 100 g per liter), sweetened with honey. The dose depends on the patient’s requirements.
- Synonyms: Maypops, passion vine
- French: Passiflore, fleur de la passion
- Spanish: Pasionaria, granadilla, maracuya
- Habitat: Native to the southern United States and Mexico, it is widespread in the tropical regions of Central and South America, mainly in the West Indies and Brazil. It grows in dry, protected areas. Naturalized in southern European Mediterranean countries.
- Description: A woody-stem vine of the Passifloraceae family, with beautiful white or red flowers, divided into three lobes. The
- Parts used: Flowers, leaves, and fruits
Passion Flower Benefits: Medicinal Properties and Indications
The flowers and leaves of maypops (another name for this plant) contain small amounts of indole alkaloids, flavonoids, various steroids, and pectin. It is not well known to which of these substances the plant owes its sedative, antispasmodic and narcotic actions, though it is likely due to the combination of them all. Its main indications are:
The fruits of the passion flower (passion fruit) are rich in provitamin A, vitamin C, and organic acids. They are refreshing and invigorating and are highly recommended because of their passion flower benefits for physical tiredness, infectious diseases, and febrile convalescence.
Passionflower is mainly used to remedy nervous conditions, including hysteria, nervous headaches, insomnia, and restlessness. It is also primarily combined with other herbs as a prolonged treatment. The herb is helpful for stress-related disorders, anxiety, and neuritis. Children also benefit from passionflower when suffering from nervousness, muscle twitching, and irritability. Older people can benefit from the herb when suffering from sciatica and nerve debility. It can reduce blood pressure and has a gentle sedative effect.
The plant can be used to treat back tension, convulsions, eye tension, coughs, spasms, hiccups, headaches, fevers, and reduced pulse during high fevers. In addition, it can stimulate sweating.
NOTE: According to some herbalists, it is best to use professionally prepared herbal medications.
In Germany, the entire plant was approved to treat nervous tension and nervous restlessness and is considered especially helpful in anxiety or sleep disturbances resulting from perturbation. The fruit is delicious and edible.
WARNING: Avoid passionflower during pregnancy because it can cause uterine stimulation.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 167,168. Print.
- Vance Ferrell Harold M. Cherne, M.D. The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia [Book]. – Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books, 2010. – Vol. Seventh Edition: 7: pp. 172, 173.