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Passion Flower

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Passion Flower

About Passion Flower

  • Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a tropical herb which has been used since the 19th century for nervous conditions. Modern research supports traditional usage and clinical trials have demonstrated the relaxing and anti-anxiety effects of Passiflora. Passiflora is often recommended to treat anxiety and reduce tension and is also very useful in reducing the withdrawal symptoms of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Medical analysis has shown that Passiflora contains flavonoids which are responsible for its calming and anti-anxiety effects.
From the National Library of Medicine

Passionflower is a plant. The above ground parts are used to make medicine.

Passionflower is used for sleep problems (insomnia), gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal.

Passionflower is also used for seizures, hysteria, asthma, symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness and excitability, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and pain relief.

Some people apply passionflower to the skin for hemorrhoids, burns, and pain and swelling (inflammation).

In foods and beverages, passionflower extract is used as a flavoring.

In 1569, Spanish explorers discovered passionflower in Peru. They believed the flowers symbolized Christ’s passion and indicated his approval for their exploration. Passionflower is found in combination herbal products used as a sedative for promoting calmness and relaxation. Other herbs contained in these products include German chamomile, hops, kava, skullcap, and valerian.

Passionflower was formerly approved as an over-the-counter sedative and sleep aid in the U.S., but it was taken off the market in 1978 because safety and effectiveness had not been proven. However, passionflower may still be available alone or in combination with other herbal products.

How effective is it? (Per the NLM)

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for PASSIONFLOWER are as follows:

Possibly effective for...

  • Anxiety. There is some evidence that passionflower can reduce symptoms of anxiety, sometimes as effectively as some prescription medications.
  • Relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, when used in combination with a medication called clonidine. This combination seems to be effective in reducing symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, sleep problems (insomnia), and agitation. However, passionflower plus clonidine is no better than clonidine alone for physical symptoms such as tremor and nausea.
  • Relieving symptoms of a psychiatric disorder known as “adjustment disorder with anxious mood” when used in a multi-ingredient product (Euphytose, EUP). Other herbs in the product are crataegus, ballota, and valerian, which have mild sedative effects, and cola and paullinia, which have stimulant effects. It’s not clear, though, which ingredient or ingredients in the mix are responsible for decreasing anxiety.

Herbal Remedy Products with Passion Flower as part of the ingredients

Mindsoothe veg cap.jpg
  • MindSoothe™ Veg Cap - Herbal remedy to support balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of well-being
    • Relieves feelings of depression
    • Improves low self-esteem
    • Reduces excessive tearfulness
    • Regulates disturbed sleep patterns (insomnia or hypersomnia)
    • Improves loss of libido*
    • Lessens fatigue and boosts motivation
    • Reduces irritability and anger
    • Improves disturbed appetite (loss of appetite or binge eating)

SereniteJr.jpg
  • Serenite Jr™ - Herbal remedy to promote healthy sleep patterns for restful nights & refreshed mornings
    • Promotes healthy sleep patterns in children and babies
    • Helps settle occasional nighttime restlessness and fussiness
    • Promotes healthy, restful sleep
    • Helps manage common teething-related sleep disturbances
    • Non-addictive and easy-to-administer
    • Gentle enough for babies 6 months and older

News About Passion Flower

Every Herb Has a Story: Passionflower Benefits

By Randy Buresh (Reader Contribution)

Passionflower is an herb whose uses have little to do with its name. Rather than inducing feelings of passion, this herb is much more likely to make you calm, relaxed, and even sleepy. Passionflower gets its name from the beautiful flowers' radial filiments, which Christian missionaries likened to the crown of thorns used in Christ's crucifixion.

Known for its fragrance and unique colorful flowers, passionflower was traditionally used as a calming herb. Today, the properties in passionflower still make it useful as a soothing sleep-aid and in supporting relaxation in times of stress. Scientists believe that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA reduces the activity of some brain cells, inducing a greater state of relaxation. Passionflower is often combined with other herbs used for relaxation such asvalerian, lemon balm, skullcap, or kava. Some people apply a poultice of the root of passion flower to the skin for use as a topical remedy for healing of the skin.

Since passionflower is a nervine, meaning that it has an effect on the nervous system, it can intensify the effects of prescription sedatives. The two should not be taken simultaneously.

Nervines like passionflower are considered complementary herbs to use along with adaptogens, like ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is a unique herb in that it can have a very calming effect, but it can also energize a person when needed—the best of both worlds, all in one little herb.

Herbs like passionflower, ashwagandha, skullcap and kava are able to help with stress because they improve the body’s physiological response to stress, which decreases the demand placed on the adrenal glands and helps to lower cortisol levels. Lower cortisol levels help to improve sleep patterns and health in general. The roles that stress and the systems of the body play in your health are interrelated.

It’s an herb with a story—and a long history. An herb to remember when the stress of the season keeps you from enjoying it, or from sleeping as well as you’d like. We can’t eliminate stress from our lives, but we can help our bodies better adapt to stress by using the many herbs available to do just that. So get passionate about your health; add a little passionflower!


Benefits Of Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) For Health

(Tip Disease)
Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata)

Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) is known as other names: Apricot Vine, Passion Vine, Corona de Cristo, Fleischfarbige, Fleur de la Passion, Fleur de Passiflore, Flor de Passion, Passion Flower, Grenadille, Madre Selva, Maracuja, Maypop, Maypop Passion Flower, Pasiflora, Passiflora, Passiflora incarnata, Purple Passionflower, Wild Passionflower, Passiflorae Herba, Passiflo...

Passiflora, known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. Passiflora incarnata has a perennial root, and the herbaceous shoots bear three-lobed, finelyserrated leaves and flesh-coloured or yellowish, sweet-scented flowers, tinged with purple. The ripe, orange-coloured, ovoid, many-seeded berry is about the size of a small apple; when dried, it is shrivelled and greenish-yellow. The yellow pulp is sweet and edible.

The charming passion flower is known by numerous names, some of them being maypop, and apricot vine. The name ‘passion flower' can be extremely misleading; this flower has nothing to do with passion. The name was bestowed on the flower by Spanish explorers and missionaries, who felt that the flower resembled closely the crown of thorns worn by Christ during Christ's passion.

The pharmacological activity of the passion flower has interested researchers through the years, and this is an ongoing process even today. The vine may contain one or more harmala alkaloids, but the number and their real identity are not clear at all, especially because of the fact that such alkaloids generally act more as a stimulant than as a sedative. In Poland, researchers submitted a report that an alkaloid fraction and a flavonoid pigment fraction produced sedative effects in mice, and this caught the attention of Japanese researchers, who subsequently successfully isolated small amounts of the pyrone derivative maltol from an alkaloid-containing extract of the vine, and found that maltol induced depression and produced a sedative impact on the mice. The conclusion was that that the depressant effects of maltol were able to counteract the effects of the stimulant action of the harmala alkaloids, but at the same time, they were not strong enough to state why the plant extract had the sedative effect. Researchers have been able to find certain flavonoids, including vitexin, isovitexin, isoorientin, schaftoside, and isoschaftoside in the passion flower extracts, and they feel that these may in fact contribute to biological activity. However, nothing is clear as yet, and plenty of research may be necessary before the various active principles of the passion flower can be found.

Passion flower was formerly approved as an over-the-counter sedative and sleep aid in the U.S., but it was taken off the market in 1978 because safety and effectiveness had not been proven. However, passionflower may still be available alone or in combination with other herbal products.

Benefits Of Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) For Health

As mentioned earlier, the passion flower has a wonderfully calming and sedative action, and it also acts as a muscle relaxant. When one uses passion flower extract before going to sleep, one can wake up feeling completely refreshed and alert as never before. This is because passion flower has a sedative and antispasmodic action, and this relaxes spasms and tension if any in one's muscles. This in turn calms the nerves and lessens pain, and also lessens anxiety, tensions, and any other type of physical pain that is closely associated with stress, such as colic and asthma, and high blood pressure.

Passion flower is used for sleep problems (insomnia), gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal.

Passion flower can also be used in the treatment of neuralgia, sciatica, shingles, muscle pain, Parkinson's disease, and muscle twitching. The extract has also been proved to be useful in various disorders related to tension, anxiety and stress, and can be added to the regular drug prescription, like for example, for treating hot flashes, headaches, migraine, abdominal pain, at times for convulsions, and for a persistent and tickly cough.

The passion flower works gently, and sedates a person smoothly, and reduced the symptoms of over-activity and panic in a person, thereby making it a mild, non-addictive herbal tranquilizer. Perhaps this is why the flower is often compared to the valerian (Valeriana officinalis). The painkilling properties of the passion flower are utilized when it is prescribed for relief from headaches, period pains, toothaches. Some people apply passion flower to the skin for hemorrhoids, burns, and pain and swelling (inflammation).

Benefits Of Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) Tea For Health

Passion Flower TeaThe use of passion flower tea was instigated by the Native Americans over 200 years ago. Passion flower tea has been deemed as one of the best teas for soothing and relaxing those that are plagued with stress and anxiety. The healing properties of this tea make it far better for use than many medications which can have negative and unwanted side effects. In fact, there are many people find passion flower tea to be a suitable substitution for anti-anxiety medications. Studies have shown that the reasons behind the sedative effects of this tea are due to bioactive compounds such as passiflorine, which is a phytochemical that has narcotic effects. Passion flower tea can also be used for sleep problems such as insomnia. Drinking a cup of this tea half an hour before bed can help relax the body and help the drinker achieve a better night’s rest. Many have used the sedative qualities of this tea as a way to ease other things as well such as: seizures, hysteria, high blood pressure, ADHD, and for symptoms of menopause.


Passion Flower Types: What Are Some Common Passion Flower Varieties

By Teo Spengler

Passion flowers are vigorous vines, native to the Americas, which give your garden a tropical look. Passion vine flowers are vividly colorful and the vines of some varieties produce passion fruit. Different types of passion flower vines are available in commerce, some hardier than the native varieties. For more information about passion flower varieties, read on.

Passion Flower Types

The genus Passiflora has some 400 species, most native to tropical and subtropical regions in the Americas. They are shallow rooted and grow as understory plants in rain forests. The unusual flowers are the stand-out features and many different types of passion flower vines are grown only for their flowers.

Of all the species of Passiflora, only one, Passiflora edulis Sims, has the exclusive designation of passionfruit, without qualification. You’ll find two forms of passion vine flowers within this species, the standard purple and the yellow. The yellow type is botanically called Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa Deg.

Both passion flower varieties in Passiflora edulis grow small, oval fruits. The edible portion consists of small black seeds, each covered with a juicy, fragrant orange pulp.

Standout Passion Flower Varieties

Another very common type of passion flower vine in the United States is the one native to Texas, Passiflora incarnata. Texas gardeners call this type “May-pop” because the fruits pop loudly when you step on them. This is one of the more hardy passion flower types available in commerce. It grows easily from seed.

If fragrance is your primary concern as you are selecting among the different types of passion flower vines, consider Passiflora alatocaerulea. The plant is a hybrid and is very widely available. It is grown commercially and the 4-inch flowers are used to manufacture perfume. This vine may require frost protection in winter.

Another of the hardy passion flower types, Passiflora vitifolia offers brilliant scarlet flowers with yellow filaments and edible fruit. This variety is hardy to 28° Fahrenheit (-2 C.).

Gardeners each have their own favorite among the different types of passion flower vines. Some of these standouts include:

• Blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea), with 3-inch blue and white blossoms on a fast growing vine. It climbs to 30 feet in mild climates like USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.
• “Blue Bouquet” passionflower (Passiflora ‘Blue Bouquet’) for solid blue flowers in zones 9 through 10.
• ‘Elizabeth’ passionflower (Passiflora ‘Elizabeth’) produces 5-inch lavender flowers.
• ‘White Wedding’ (Passiflora ‘White Wedding’) offers large, pure white blossoms.



Light Required for Passionflower

By Joanne Marie

If you have a mailbox post, fence or other support that gets good light and needs color, the passionflower plant (Passiflora spp.) may be the perfect choice. Named for flower parts seen as reminders of the Christian crucifixion story, passionfowers are vining plants that need appropriate light during each day to put on their best floral display.

Light

Passionflower plants are strong growers that can climb 20 feet or more, although some varieties only reach heights of 6 to 8 feet when mature. The vines produce tendrils that help the plant adhere to its support, but light is also important in helping a passionflower vine reach its full height and bloom to its best advantage. These plants prefer full sun and require at least four hours of bright sun each day for best growth. They also need strong light to support full production of their unusual, frilly petaled flowers.

Shade

Although passionflower vines are sun-loving plants, they can tolerate light shade for part of the day, especially during the hot afternoon hours in summer. If you plant a passionflower in a partially shaded spot at the edge of full sun, however, the plant will climb away from the shade, reaching for the nearby bright light. This habit can interfere with a plan to cover a partly shaded support with the plant and should be considered when choosing a location for your passionflower. Using ties to secure the plant's new growth in place can help overcome the plant's habit of reaching for a sunny spot.

Indoors

The hardiness of passionflowers varies with the species or cultivar. The wild passionflower (P. incarnata) is suitable for growing outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, while the blue passionflower (P. caerulea) does best in USDA zones 8 through 11. Passionflowers also can be grown as houseplants, potted with a trellis or hoop-support. They do best in a sunny, south- or west-facing window, where they receive bright light during most of the day. In late spring through summer, once temperatures remain above 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can move the plant outdoors to a sunny spot, bringing it back indoors once weather cools. During winter, plants should be protected from cold indoor drafts near windows or doors.

Other Cultural Needs

Passionflower vines are tolerant of most soils, but do best in loose, sandy, well-drained soil. These plants prefer plenty of space for root growth and, when potted, should be given an extra large container. They do best when soil is allowed to dry a bit between waterings, since this encourages deep root growth that can sustain the plant during dry spells. You can reduce watering during winter when plants slow their growth and become semi-dormant. Passionflowers also appreciate high humidity and benefit from occasional misting with a sprayer, especially when grown indoors as houseplants.




How Is Passion Flower Used to Treat Anxiety?

By Arlin Cuncic

Passion flower (passiflora incarnata) is an herbal supplement used historically in treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures and hysteria. A perennial climbing vine native to southeastern North America, passion flower is now grown throughout Europe.

The herbal supplement is composed of the flowers, leaves and stems of the plant. When used in complementary medicine, passion flower is available as infusions, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures.

Although the safety and effectiveness of passion flower have not been adequately studied, evidence from limited animal and human research suggests that the supplement may be useful in treating anxiety, insomnia and nervous disorders. However, more rigorous scientific studies are needed to make firm conclusions about the effectiveness of passion flower for the treatment of anxiety problems, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Dosage Guidelines for Passion Flower

There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of passion flower in children. In addition, it is important to stress that these dosages are not prescriptions, but merely suggested guidelines.

Infusions: 2.5g, 3 to 4 times daily
Teas: Tea made from 4 to 8g of dried herb, daily
Liquid Extract: 10 to 30 drops, 3 times daily
Tincture: 10 to 60 drops, 3 times daily

The same advice applies when using passion flower as does for any natural supplement: Read the product label and discuss with a doctor or other medical provider what dosage is suitable for you and your specific medical needs.

Be sure to tell the of any other medications you're taking or remedies you're using, even if only occasionally.

As with most herbal remedies or other medications, it's not a good idea to take passion flower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Medication Interactions with Passion Flower

As with any herbal remedy, there is always the possibility of interaction between passion flower and other treatments or medications.

There's a fairly comprehensive list of medications known to have possible interactions with passion flower. These include antihistamines, benzodiazepines, barbituates and narcotics. In addition, any antidepressant has the potential to interfere with its potency as well.

Take care if you are taking blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications, as these have been shown to have possible passion flower interactions. Other herbal remedies that may cause issues with passion flower are kava kava and valerian root. Finally, substances like alcohol, caffeine and aspirin may not mix well with passion flower usage.

To sum up, the standard caveats apply to passion flower that apply to any other new medication or treatment: If you are already taking or planning to take another medication or supplement, consult with a qualified healthcare provider about potential interactions.

Side Effects of Passion Flower

Side effects have been rarely reported for passion flower but may include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat and mental slowing. When taking passion flower, make sure you don't drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

In general, passion flower is considered safe and nontoxic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, does not regulate the production of herbs and supplements. Most herbs and supplements are not thoroughly tested, and there is no guarantee regarding the ingredients or safety of the products.

If passion flower isn't working the way you need it to, or you want to try other options, there are many other supplements suggested for social anxiety disorder, such as chamomile, which several studies have shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and perhaps even acting as an antidepressant. Chamomile has been used for thousands of years, including by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.

Another option that many with depression have found helpful is St. John's Wort. Research suggests that St. John’s Wort is useful in treating mild to moderate depression, but its value as a treatment for anxiety is still not established.

A Word From Verywell

If you live with social anxiety that is severe and debilitating, and have not yet sought a diagnosis or standard treatment, that should be your first line of defense before trying an alternative treatment such as passion flower.

Evidence-based treatments such as medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) have been proven effective to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety. There is no need to live with daily social anxiety—see your doctor about a referral to a qualified mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.



Tropical Passion Flowers – How To Grow Passion Vine

By Jackie Rhoades

There are over 400 species of tropical passion flowers (Passiflora spp.) with sizes ranging from ½ inch to 6 inches across. They are found naturally from South America through Mexico. Early missionaries to these regions used the distinctly colored patterns of the flowers parts to teach about the passion’of Christ; hence the name. Read on to learn more.

Tips for Passion Flower Care

Their vibrant colors and heady fragrance make the passion flower plant a welcome addition to any garden. Unfortunately, because of its origins, most species of passion flower plant can’t overwinter in many gardens in the United States, although there are a few that will survive up to USDA plant hardiness zone 5. Most varieties will grow in Zones 7-10.

Because they are vines, the best place for growing passion flowers is along a trellis or fence. The tops will be killed off during winter, but if you mulch deeply, your passion flower plant will return with new shoots in the spring. Since growing passion flowers can reach 20 feet in a single season, this die back will help keep the vine under control.

Tropical passion flowers need full sun and well drained soil. Two applications of a well-balanced fertilizer per year, once in early spring and one in midsummer is all the passion flower care you’ll need.

How to Grow Passion Vine Indoors

If you live in an area where winters are too harsh for tender passion flower care, don’t despair. Growing passion flowers indoors is as easy as finding a big pot and a window with bright light. Plant your vine in a rich commercial indoor potting soil and keep it uniformly moist, not wet.

Move your plant outdoors after all danger of frost is past and let your vine run wild. Come fall, cut back the growth to a reasonable height and bring it back indoors. Knowing how to grow passion vine is all it takes to bring a little of the tropics to your patio or porch.


Benefits Of Passion Flower

By Harri Daniel
Benefits of Passion Flower

Passion flower grows in different areas of the world. Studies show that passion flower offer a wide range of health benefits when used as herbal medicine. Passion flower acts as a sedative and mild tranquilizer, according to recent studies. It is widely used to treat anxiety, insomnia, stress, and may help to prevent the onset of stroke and heart attack.

1. Passion flower and anxiety In a recent study, patients were put in groups and given either placebo or passion flower before surgery. The results showed that patients who received passion flower exhibited lower levels of fear and anxiety, thus leading researchers came to a conclusion that passion flower might help to alleviate anxiety when administered orally.

2. Astringent and Anti-Spasmodic effects Passion flower can also help to treat insomnia, premenstrual cramping and irritable bowel syndrome due to its astringent and anti-spasmodic effects. These properties are found in the leaves and the stem. Doctors recommend a daily dosage of about 40 to 50 drops of its tincture to help cure the aforementioned conditions. The best thing is that you never have to worry about side effects of any kind as it is safe for extended use.

3. Sedative effects Researchers suggest that passion flower is high in sedative properties that improve function of the nerves, making it beneficial for treating chronic back pain. Mix passion flower with warm water and leave it overnight. Drinking the infusion is healthy and does not lead to addiction.

4. Good for opiate withdrawal Researchers gave opiate addicts passion flower infusion for a period of two weeks. Results showed that the infusion was effective in alleviating the withdrawal symptoms. However, studies are ongoing to determine whether these theories are factual. Consult a doctor before taking passion flower infusion, particularly if you are on medication to avert potential health complications.


How to Collect the Seeds of the Maypop Passion Flower Vine

(San Francisco Gate)

The Passiflora genus, commonly known as passion flower and maypop, contains more than 400 species of plants. Passion flower is know for its trailing vines, large, colorful flowers and juicy fruit. Passion flower generally grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 6 through 9, though each species and cultivar has its own climate preferences. Given enough time without a frost, passion flower will produce fruit every year before dying back to the ground for the winter. Each fruit contains up to 250 round, black seeds. You can collect these seeds and use them to start new passion flower plants.

1. Watch for fruits to form on the passion flower vine. This usually happens in the fall. Allow the fruits to fall off the vine by themselves to ensure ripeness. Seeds taken from unripe fruit will not germinate.

2. Collect the fallen fruit and place it on a tray to ripen further for 14 days. During this time, the fruit begins to ferment. The fermentation process kills off Fusarium spores, a fungus that may cause seedlings to rot.

3. Cut a fruit in half to reveal the seeds inside. The seeds are coated in an orange or red jellylike substance.

4. Put a sieve in the sink, then wash the seeds under cool running water to remove the gel coating.

5. Fill a glass with lukewarm water and put the seeds in the glass. Discard the seeds that float, as they are not viable. Let the remaining seeds soak overnight to soften their hard coats.

6. Dry the seeds with a paper towel and sow immediately. Fresher seeds germinate much more reliably than old or stored seeds.

Things You Will Need
• Tray or plate
• Knife
• Sieve
• Glass
• Paper towels

◘ Tip

If you must store the passion flower seeds, they may go dormant. To break dormancy, gently rub the seeds with fine sandpaper, then soak them in cool water for 24 hours.


What Months Are Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Ripe?

(San Francisco Gate)

Passiflora incarnata, commonly called maypop, purple passionflower or wild passion flower, is a fast-growing vine that bears oblong, edible fruits. This vine is native to the southeastern and southern plains regions of the U.S., but it can grow in drier Mediterranean climates as well due to its relatively good drought tolerance. Maypop grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. Depending on where the plant is being grown, the fruits can ripen anywhere between late July and October.

Fruiting Months

Maypop flowers start to produce fruit in May, but the fruits take some time to ripen. Warmer areas can see ripe fruit as early as late July, and flowering and fruiting can continue into October. The fruits all start off as green, with most turning yellow or slightly orange as time goes on, though some can remain green even into their ripe stage. The fruit will be somewhat soft when ripe and can fall off the vine. If you cut open a fruit, a ripe one should have a mass of pale, soft arils surrounding dark seeds.

One-Day Flowers

The flowers of the maypop or purple passionflower live up to their name. The petals are white to light purple with a purple-striped fringe extending from the center of the flower. The petals and fringe are sometimes bent back. When viewed from directly overhead, the flowers look like they have alternating rings of purple and white radiating out from the center of the flower. The flowers start appearing in late spring and last for only one day before they begin producing fruit.

Fruit Edibility

Ripe maypop fruit has its fans and detractors -- the arils are usually tart-sweet but not as sweet as those found in passion fruit (Passiflora edulis, USDA zones 9b through 11). You can use maypops to make jam or eat the raw fruit. To eat it raw, either strain out the seeds or suck the arils off the seeds. The crunchy seeds are also edible. For maypop fruit that stays green when ripe, larger fruit may taste better.

Invasive Potential

Maypop is an aggressive plant that can quickly grow out of control. It has escaped cultivation and become a problem weed in fields and pastures. Check on its invasive status in your area before planting it.


Information on Passion Flower Seeds

(San Francisco Gate)

If you have a trellis or mailbox that needs color and are looking for a dramatic, flowering vine to plant nearby, the passion flower plant (Passiflora sp.) can be the perfect choice. Passion flowers are fast growing, vining plants with dramatic, fragrant flowers noted for their fringe-like petals and purple, red or pink colors, depending on the variety. The plants can be grown from seed providing some special techniques are used to help them germinate. They do well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Seed Production and Dispersal

In mid-summer, passion flower vines produce small, egg-shaped edible fruits commonly called maypops. The fruits ripen in the fall, turning a yellowish color at their peak. Maypops contains many seeds surrounded by soft pulp and each seed is about one-quarter inch long, with a hard, rough, dark brown or gray exterior. Passion flower seeds are naturally dispersed by birds and small mammals, which consume the fruits and release the seeds with their droppings. When seeds contact the soil, rain helps move them into the soil, where they can eventually germinate if conditions are favorable.

Choosing Seeds

To start a passion flower vine from seed, the best course is to begin with fresh seeds, since seeds stored for long periods can take up to twelve months to germinate and the rate of success may be quite low. When purchasing seeds, ensure that the package is labeled for use during the current year. If you have access to fresh passion flower fruit, separate the seeds from the flesh, spread them on paper and allow them to dry before preparing them for planting.

Preparing Seeds

Because passion flower seeds have a hard outer coat, they are slow to absorb water and break dormancy, making them exceptionally slow to germinate unless pre-treated with a method called scarification to accelerate the process. Scarification physically alters or breaks the seed coat, making it easier for water to move into the seed. For passion flowers, the easiest method is to lightly rub the seeds on fine sandpaper.You can ensure that all seed surfaces are scarified by placing seeds between two sandpaper sheets and moving the sheets against each other. After scarifying, the seeds should be soaked in tepid water for about 24 hours, allowing them to swell slightly.

Planting

Once seeds have been soaked, they are ready for planting in sterile potting soil or a soilless mixture formulated for seed-starting. They should be planted about one-tenth to one-fifth of an inch deep and covered lightly with soil or mix, then placed in a warm location. Temperature is critical for germinating passion flower seeds and should be about 68 degrees Fahrenheit for sixteen hours each day, followed by an 8-hour period at 86 F, mimicking the plant's natural tropical environment. Using this technique, fresh seeds should germinate in a few weeks, although it might take up to twelve weeks for older seed.


What Are the Benefits of Passion Flower Herbs?

By Tracey Roizman (DC)

Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata, is an American native that belongs to a genus of flowering vines, members of which are found throughout the world. Passion flowers, striking in their appearance, consist of a ring of flat violet-colored petals beneath an inner ring of darker tendril-like petals. Some passion flowers produce an edible fruit, called a maypop. The flowers, leaves and stems of the plant offer certain health benefits.

Anti-Depressant and Menopause Relief

Passion flower improves the anti-depression effects of St. John's Wort, according to a study published in the April 2011 issue of the journal "Fitoterapia." In the animal study, supplementation with a combination of passion flower and St. John's Wort significantly enhanced the benefits of St. John's Wort, leading researchers to conclude that combining the two herbs may make it possible to use lower doses of St. John's Wort. A study published in the Fall 2010 "Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research" found that supplementation with passion flower improved depression and other symptoms of menopause, including anger, insomnia and headache. Participants consumed passion flower supplements daily for 6 weeks. Significant symptom improvement occurred by the third week. Researchers concluded that passion flower may offer benefits for management of menopause in women who either cannot or choose not to use hormone replacement therapy.

Anti-Anxiety

Anti-anxiety benefits of passion flower were demonstrated in an animal study published in the June 2011 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." Animals given doses of 150 milligrams per kilogram body weight spent more time in open, unprotected and elevated areas during a maze test. Additionally, the supplement did not cause either a sedative or stimulating effect. A study published in the March 2010 "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" found that low doses of passion flower extract reduced anxiety, while higher doses produced a sedative effect.

Blood Pressure-Lowering

Passion flower might help manage high blood pressure, according to an animal study published in the January 2013 "Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry." Doses of 50 milligrams per kilogram body weight of passion flower skin extract significantly reduced elevated blood pressure levels. Researchers determined that anthocyanin antioxidant compounds and a compound in passion flower called edulilic acid were responsible for the benefits. An animal study published in the February 2013 issue of the journal "Phytotherapy Research" found that passion flower fruit pulp significantly reduced systolic blood pressure, the upper number of the blood pressure ratio, signifying pressure in arteries during heart contraction. Passion flower extract also increased levels of an antioxidant enzyme and decreased levels of oxidized lipids -- lipids damaged from accumulated toxins and waste products. Researchers administered doses of 8 milligrams per day for 5 days.

Sleep Aid

Passion flower improved quality of sleep in a study published in the August 2011 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." Participants, ages 18 to 35, with mild sleep disorder, consumed a cup of passion flower tea each night for one week and recorded their quality of sleep in a diary and questionnaire. Results showed that passion flower significantly improved six measured components of sleep quality compared to a control group that did not receive passion flower.



The Care of Passionflower Vines

(San Francisco Gate)

Also known as maypop, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a climbing vine valued for its intricate purple and white blooms and sweet fruit. Passionflower vines come in several varieties, including "Lady Margaret" with big, red flowers; "Blue Bouquet," which is distinguished by blue and white blooms; and "Citrina," which displays small, bright yellow flowers. Passionflower is suitable for growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10.

Water

Passionflower vines should be given a deep watering immediately after planting, as a good soaking gets the roots off to a healthy beginning. Thereafter, passionflower thrives with one or two deep waterings per week throughout the growing season, providing about 1 to 1 1/2 inch of water every week without rain. Passionflower generally requires no irrigation during the winter months but benefits from an occasional light watering in dry climates.

Fertilizer

Because passionflower vines are heavy feeders, they benefit from regular application of a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer with similar proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The best type of fertilizer for passionflower is marked with low numbers such as 5-7-5, 4-4-4 or 6-6-6, as higher numbers may damage the plant. To feed passionflower, fertilize the plant before new growth emerges in early spring, and then repeat every four to six weeks until early autumn. Use a light application according to the specifications on the label.

Support

Passionflower is a rambunctious climber with graceful but sturdy tendrils that wrap around anything they touch. The vine serves as an effective camouflage when planted where it can climb up an unsightly fence. Alternatively, provide an arbor, trellis or any sturdy support where the vine can freely climb toward the sunlight. With sturdy wires, the vine can even wander up a bare concrete wall or other flat surface.

Maintenance

While these vines generally require no pruning for at least three years, mature plants often need pruning to keep them from climbing over and possibly smothering shrubs or trees. To prune the vine, remove dead and damaged growth and trim the plant down to vigorous, healthy growth in autumn or early spring. Passionflower also benefits from a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch such as chopped leaves or shredded bark to keep the roots cool and moist.



2 Passion Flower Benefits: Anti-Anxiety and Insomnia Without the Side Effects

(UHN Staff)

Recent clinical trials show passion flower is an effective herbal anxiety remedy in addition to its usefulness in improving sleep and treating insomnia.

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnate) is a climbing shrub native to the tropical parts of the United States which produces a beautiful, delicate flower that develops into a large, fleshy fruit. Traditional herbalists used a passion flower sleep aid, especially when patients complained of restlessness and interrupted sleep due to exhaustion. Recent clinical trials using passion flower show it is one of the most valuable and effective herbal anxiety remedies in addition to its usefulness in improving sleep and treating insomnia.

Research on passion flower for anxiety

Passion flower anxiety benefits have been found in human studies. Single doses of passion flower extract have been found to decrease anxiety in patients about to undergo surgery, indicating passion flower is beneficial in times of acute anxiety. One placebo-controlled trial involved 60 patients heading to surgery. Thirty minutes before receiving spinal anesthesia, baseline anxiety levels were assessed. Patients were then randomly assigned to two groups: passion flower extract or placebo. Anxiety levels were re-tested just before surgery and those who had received passion flower were significantly less anxious. No side effects, sedation, or affects on muscle activity or mental process occurred.

Another clinical trial found that passion flower is as effective as the benzodiazepine oxazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. This 4-week double-blind study of 36 individuals with generalized anxiety disorder compared passion flower to the standard anti-anxiety drug oxazepam. Half the participants received 45 drops a day of a standardized liquid passion flower extract while the other subjects received 30 mg of oxazepam. Although oxazepam worked more quickly, both treatments were equally effective by the end of the trial. Not only that, but passion flower was superior in terms of side-effects: oxazepam caused more job-related problems such as daytime drowsiness.

Research on passion flower for sleep

Studies have also found that one of the benefits of passion flower is improving sleep quality and can be an effective treatment for insomnia. In one study, 41 subjects drank passion flower tea or placebo tea every night for a week before going to sleep. Sleep quality was rated as significantly better in those drinking passion flower tea compared to those drinking placebo tea. Passion flower may be even more effective for insomnia when combined with other herbs. The combination of passion flower, valerian, hops, and lemon balm is a common formula used by naturopathic physicians for inducing sleep.

One double- blind, randomized, controlled trial compared the drug zolpidem (Ambien) to a combination of passion flower, valerian, and hops extracts in patients diagnosed with insomnia. For 2 weeks, 78 subjects were treated with either one tablet of the passion flower combination or a standard dose of zolpidem at bedtime. Insomnia improved equally in both groups, with significant improvements in total sleep time, time taken to initially fall asleep, number of nightly awakenings, and insomnia severity scores in both groups. The study authors concluded that the combination of passion flower, valerian, and hops extracts “…is a safe and effective short-term alternative to zolpidem for primary insomnia.”

Passion flower stress relief for children

Passion flower is a safe herbal remedy for children and teens as well as adults. Accomplished herbalist and naturopathic physician, Dr. Mary Bove, endorses passion flower for stress in children.[5] Dr. Bove is the author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants and is considered an authoritative reference on natural pediatric medicine. “Mayan healers recognized passion flower’s special usefulness in children, and traditionally employed the herb to support restful sleep, calm emotional reactivity and ease muscle twitching in kids. Today, herbalists frequently recommend passion flower as a first defense against nervousness and difficulty sleeping in teenagers,” says Dr. Bove.

How to take passion flower for anxiety or insomnia

If you want to try a passion flower supplement for anxiety, a tincture (liquid alcohol extract) or passion flower tablets are recommended. To use passion flower for sleep, look for it combined with hops and valerian, and possibly with lemon balm as well. Since these preparations are sold in various strengths, take the dose recommended on the bottle as a starting dose. Stress, anxiety, and poor sleep don’t have to rule your life. You can get these problems under control with natural medicine. In many cases, a more comprehensive approach, using other nutrients, dietary changes, and lifestyle changes will enhance the effectiveness of herbal anxiety remedies like passion flower.


What Is a Passion Flower Pod?

By Cathryn Chaney

Useful for landscaping, intricate blooms of passion flower (Passiflora spp. and cultivars) are showy in summer and fall against the green-lobed leaves of the vine. Additionally, of the 400 species of passion flower, about 60 of them have edible pods. The pods are rounded, many-seeded fruits that result if the flowers are pollinated. In the United States, two varieties of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) and the native American maypop (Passiflora incarnata) are most commonly grown for edible fruit.

Purple Passion Fruit

Native to South America, this fast-growing vine has colorful white and purple flowers followed by a purple fruit that has a hard covering. Pollination is by carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.), but some growers hand-pollinate the flowers. Cut open a ripe fruit to reveal a cavity full of membranous sacs filled with fragrant orange pulpy juice and hard, black seeds. The taste somewhat resembles guava, and is sweet and variably tart depending on the cultivar. Fruits are 1 to 3 inches long and ripen 70 to 80 days following pollination. Purple passion fruit grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.

Yellow Passion Fruit

Although it is a form of purple passion fruit, yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) differs from it in several respects. Yellow fruits are larger, sweeter and less acid, have more juice and a richer aroma and flavor. The vine is more vigorous and seeds are brown rather than black. The plant is also more frost-tender, hardy in USDA zones 10 through 12. Flowers have more intense coloration, especially the purple central color. Flowers are self-sterile, meaning that you'll need two different seedlings of yellow passion fruit for flowers to pollinate successfully.

Maypop

This is the most cold-hardy of the passion flowers, growing in USDA zones 5 through 9. Native to the Eastern United States, the vine grows 6 to 8 feet in a season and blooms from July to September with large fragrant 2 1/2 inch white and lavender flowers. Oval fleshy green fruits turn to yellow as they ripen.Vines die back for the winter but re-sprout in the spring. Use the vines as a screen or to cover a trellis. Like other passion flowers, maypop is a larval food host for Gulf fritillary butterflies.

Fruit Uses

Many people wait for pods to fall to the ground before they harvest them. To avoid bruising and possible fungal infection from contact with the soil, pick the fruits from the vines just before they are fully ripe. Keep harvested fruit where air can circulate around them. Fruits are eaten fresh from the vine; just cut the fruit open and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Passion flower juice is expressed by crushing the pulp through a strainer or cheesecloth. Commercially raised fruits are made into juice as well as marketed for fruit. Pulp is used in fruit salads and beverages and to make jams and syrup. Maypop fruits are eaten fresh or made into jelly.



When to Plant Passion Vine?

(San Francisco Gate)

With more than 400 species within the Passiflora genus, the 20- to 30-foot passion or passion flower vine provides foliage coverage for unsightly views and strikingly large and colorful flowers. Many passion vines also produce egg-sized edible fruits. Most passion vines thrive in subtropical or tropical climates, but there are even species that can take colder temperatures. If you buy your vine from a nursery, you only have to worry about when to plant it in its permanent outdoor location. But if you propagate the vine yourself, you'll also want to calculate the most effective planting time for seeds or cuttings.

Planting Outdoors

Plant young passion flower vines in spring, after all danger of frost has passed. In a sunny or lightly shaded garden spot that you've enriched with compost, plant the vine at the depth at which it was growing in the container. Passiflora is somewhat fussy about transplanting conditions, especially if the taproot is not yet robust; if you remove the vine from its pot and notice that the root system is still thin and spindly, replace it in its pot and place it in a sheltered outdoor site until the root system is hardier. Once you plant the vine in the garden, water frequently and give it a balanced fertilizer about four times during the growing season.

Planting Seeds

Of all the propagation methods, seed sowing is the most unpredictable. Dried commercial seeds can take several months to germinate, while fresh ones taken from a currently growing vine may germinate in as little as one week. Because of this uncertainty, starting your seeds in the winter is the wisest course, so that the vines will be certain to germinate and develop a thick taproot before it is time to plant them outdoors.

Planting Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings from passion flower vines are best planted in their growing pots in early summer. Morning is the best time to plant the cuttings in their pots because the vines are full of moisture at this time of day. Look for shoots extending from the main vine and make a cutting 2 to 5 inches in length. Strip the cutting of all but the top two or three leaves. The cutting goes into a container filled with potting soil. Plastic draped over a makeshift frame of sticks or rods set into the pot gives the cuttings the moisture they need to grow. Remove the plastic when the cutting develops new leaves and seems well-rooted. Because the heat-loving vine won't take root for three months, keep it inside until planting time the following spring.

Planting Root Cuttings

If you don't think to take softwood cuttings in early summer, you still have a chance to propagate a passion flower vine. In early winter, once the vine goes dormant, remove soil from around the crown of the plant and cut off a few shoots from the root system. Aim for about 4 inches in length. Place each root in a container filled with potting soil and cover the root with 1/2 inch of potting soil. The containers do not have to be covered in plastic, but do keep them well-watered.

Tips

Unless you plant to let your passion vine sprawl as a ground cover, plan what structure the vine will grow on. Because it is not heavy, Passiflora can cover fences, trellises or even shrubs. Choose the species that best suits your climate and your landscape needs. If you are primarily interested in growing edible fruits, the University of California's Cooperative Extension program recommends purple or yellow P. edulis or the somewhat cold-hardy P. incarnata. Check species information carefully. P. incarnata is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 5, but most others need to grow in regions that are zone 6 or higher. The staggering number of Passiflora species means that they are available in a range of flower colors, including yellow, purple, blue and red. Do not grow the species P. caerulea, or bluecrown passion flower in California or any other state that lists it as potentially invasive.


Interesting Facts on Passionflower Plants

By Amelia Allonsy

Nine out of about 400 passionflower plants (Passiflora spp.) grow in the United States, where they thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 11. The exotic flowers attract a number of butterflies and insects and most species have evergreen foliage, which you can use to provide a living privacy screen in your yard. Passionflowers need filtered full sun or partial shade to produce the best flowers.

Flower Features and Symbolism

Passionflowers measure about 3 inches in diameter and are commonly red, purple, blue, pink, white or variegated. The exotic passionflower features five sepals, five petals, two thin rings above the reproductive organs, five stamens, three stigmas and three leaves. These features have been used since the 1500s as symbols in Christianity to tell the story of Christ's crucifixion, which is commonly referred to as "The Passion." The five sepals and five petals represent 10 of Jesus' 12 apostles, excluding Peter and Judas who denounced Christ just before his crucifixion. The two filament rings above the reproductive ornaments symbolize the crown of thorns. The five stamens represent Jesus' wounds, while the three stigmas symbolize the three nails used to hold Jesus on the cross. The spear used to stab Jesus is symbolized by the three leaves; the climbing tendrils symbolize the leather whips.

Plant Forms

While there are a few shrub form passionflower species, the passionflower plants grown in the U.S. are climbing vines. The vines can grow as much as 20 feet each year and wrap their thin tendrils around structures and surrounding plants to climb upward. Frequent pruning is required if you have a limited garden space because the passionflower vines will scramble over other plants in the garden. In places such as Hawaii, where the plant has escaped cultivation, passionflower vines are considered an invasive pest.

Butterflies and Insects

A passionflower vine grown on a trellis works well as a backdrop for a butterfly garden because the vines provide food for about 70 different types of butterfly. Female butterflies lay eggs on the vines and the young caterpillars happily feast on the foliage. If the plants attract too many butterflies, the caterpillars can easily wreak havoc on the plants. As a form of evolutionary protection, some plants have features that look like butterfly eggs which discourage female butterflies from laying their eggs. Ants feed on the extrafloral nectar available at each leaf base, without causing severe damage to the plant. The ants keep fritillary caterpillars at bay so caterpillars don't destroy the plant.

Edible Fruit

The vines produce yellow or purple egg-shaped fruits, with about 60 species producing edible fruit, including red passionflower (P. racemosa) and blue-crown passionflower (P. caerulea). The most common plant grown for edible fruit is the passionfruit (P. edulis). Within this species are two distinct fruit types: purple passionfruit (P. edulis Sims) and yellow passionfruit (P. edulis f. flavicarpa Deg.). The fruit is much like a pomegranate in that the inside of the fruit is filled with tiny membranous sacs that contain black seeds and juice that tastes similar to guava. A 1/4-inch-thick layer of white pith provides cushion between the juice sacs and the smooth rind.


A flower bursting with passion / No one can resist assigning meaning to a Passiflora vine

By Katherine Grace Endicott

Mel Gibson, step aside.

For crucifixion symbolism, the passion flower has served admirably for over 500 years. Not just for American gardeners but Europeans worldwide.

South American Jesuit missionaries in the early 1500s stumbled across a vine of such astonishing design that they took it to have religious significance and called it the Passion of Christ. They believed the complex structure of the 3-inch diameter blossom of the passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) symbolically depicted the crucifixion of Christ. The petals and sepals represented the apostles, the stamen represented the wounds, and the fringed corona represented the crown of thorns. Recalling the torments were the tendrils. Being from Jesuits, the interpretation went on at length. The worst part of it from the native Indian perspective was that the discovery of the flower was taken as divine assurance of the rightness of heathen conversions, which often proved fatal for the converted.

The priests carried the passionflower home to Spain and from there it migrated around the world. In the Southeastern United States, P. incarnata is a roadside weed, growing in ditches and open fields. It is commonly referred to as the Maypop because it appears to just "pop" up in May.

In Japan, where Catholic interpretations make less sense, the flower is called the "the clock face flower." In certain periods of Japanese history, the passionflower became identified with homosexual youths.

For those who get riled up over the associations we mortals have piled onto this hapless flower, the plant itself will come to the rescue. Passionflower herbal remedies are used both as a sedative and as a tranquilizer.

A nursery will offer better behaved passionflowers such as P. alatocaerulea, a hybrid vine with fragrant, intensely colored blooms but no fruit. P. caerulea, blue crown passionflower, is a hardy, fast-growing variety with faintly fragrant blue bloom and a pretty orange-red fruit. Most people find the fruit tasteless but it is sold in the marketplace in South America. The secret is to let it get really ripe. Other varieties of passionflower vines are known to produce an edible fruit about the size of an egg. But the fragrant fruit is full of seeds and it is used more easily by butterflies and their larvae than by humans.

Passionflowers bloom in warm weather. They can grow 15 feet a season and are typically planted on a trellis or allowed to scramble through a shrub or tree.

Passionflower vines are easy to grow to a flowering state in full to partial sun. They don't need cool night temperatures, short days or a visit from the pope. They should be fertilized lightly in spring and mid-summer with a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer. Water during our dry seasons. Mulch the roots in winter.


5 Passion Flower Beauty Recipes That Will Calm Your Skin & Hair

By Kristin Collins Jackson

My first introduction to the passion flower was through Capri Sun — specifically the mango passion fruit flavor that made a regular appearance in my lunchbox. While I've been off the Capri Sun for decades, I still have an obsession with passion flower's skin benefits that bring glowing, fully hydrated skin into my life. I'm not the only one obsessing: OTC brands are also incorporating passion fruit, passion flower, and oil extracted from the seeds of the plant into their products.

The passion flower plant is actually as well known in medicinal world as it is in the sugary beverages of our youth. One study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website states that passion flower has been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression, apparently due to it's ability to affect the GABA receptors in our brains. Coincidentally, passion flower's anecdotally reported ability to soothe the skin is one of this flower's trade secrets often overlooked by its calming effects on the mind.

Passion flower contains antioxidants that are ideal all skin types. According to sources at Organic Facts, the fruit is known to boost circulation and provide anti-inflammatory properties which act as nourishing treats for aging or acne-prone skin. It's rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids and is able to simultaneously protect the skin from dryness while keeping sebum production under control — both factors that can lead to unsightly breakouts.

You can spend time and money trying the perfect passion flower skin product. But if you're more of a DIY type, you can give my five favorite ways you can use passion flower at home to get all those beneficial beauty benefits a try.

1. Passion Flower Salt Scrub

The simplest way to experience the aroma and pleasure of passion flower is in a scrub. Scrubs are super easy and affordable to make, plus they have a long lengthy shelf life compared to other natural recipes. Personally, I prefer salt over sugar, but you can use the base exfoliant of your skin's desire.

Build your scrub in a glass bowl by adding six ounces of your exfoliate of choice. Add a half tablespoon of dried, organic passion flower and stir in two and a half ounces of your preferred oil. For this circulation boosting scrub, I used calendula oil and a half teaspoon of Indian sandalwood oil. Gently stir everything together, adding a up to a teaspoon of distilled water for consistency, and transfer to a sealable container.

2. Passion Flower Body Wash

You don't need to use a body scrub every day, so you'll need a passionate cleanser for the rest of the week. Fortunately, dried passion flower can make a delicious tea for your taste buds and body.

Start this recipe by bringing two or three cups of water to a boil. Place a tablespoon each of passion flower and organic rose petals or buds in a disposable tea bag and then transfer to a heatproof glass or mug. Once your water has come to a boil, allow it to cool for about four minutes.

Add a heaping tablespoon of raw honey into the cup with tea and pour six ounces of the recently boiled water into the cup. Stir in the honey until it's completely liquefied and let cool. Once the body wash has cooled, transfer to a sealable container, ideally one with a convenient pump top. Add two or three drops of geranium essential oil into the container and seal tightly. In my bathroom, this body wash will last at least seven days, but it keeps for at least two weeks when refrigerated.

3. Passionflower Face Cream

According to sources at Stylecraze, the oil from passion flower is loaded with vitamins A and C which are excellent additions to your daily moisturizer. Combine passion flower oil with your favorite homemade lotion recipe and apply daily on makeup free, clean skin.

4. Passion Flower Face Steam

I have a new resolution to steam my skin weekly, and I couldn't resist adding my new natural friend, passion flower. For this steam, I added equal portions of matcha green tea leaves and dried passion flower leaves to a large bowl. After I poured steaming (not boiling) water in the bowl, I hovered over it with a towel for about 15 minutes before cleansing my face and followed up with my new passion flower face cream. My face felt well hydrated and I definitely felt chill AF after 15 minutes of breathing in these aromas.

5. Passion Flower Hair Serum

Hair serums are great for restoring damaged hair and promoting growth on any problems areas — for me, that usually means my hairline. After all, it's seen its fair share of stresses during detangling and my hat fetish phase. For this serum, I mixed equal parts prickly pear seed oil and passion fruit oil and put in a tinted sealable container. Then, I added a few drops of lavender for scent and calming my scalp. So far, my hair is loving the feel of passion.


Herbs for Health: Passionflower for Food, Health and Beauty

By Steven Foster

Passionflower has been enjoyed for both its sweet taste and its health benefits for over 5,000 years.

A supplement to The Herb Companion from the American Botanical Council and the Herb Research Foundation.

The beautiful blossom of the passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata) is one of nature’s most intricate and delicate works. Also known as maypop or apricot vine, this fast-growing perennial herb has complex religious symbolism, a long history as a food source, and strong following as a medicinal plant.

The genus Passiflora, a member of the family Passifloraceae, explodes in diversity in the American Tropics with more than 400 species representing 95 percent of all passionflowers. The handful of temperate-­climate species includes P. incarnata, which occurs from Virginia to southern Illinois and southeast Kansas and south to Florida and Texas.

What’s in a name?

The common and generic names, passionflower and Passiflora, refer to the Passion of Christ (his suffering following the Last Supper until his death). Early Spanish missionaries saw the structure of the flower as symbolizing elements of the Crucifixion: the three spreading styles with their knobby stigmas atop the ovary representing the three nails pinning Christ to the cross; the five stamens, the hammers used to drive the nails or Christ’s five wounds; the corona of colored filaments, a halo or perhaps the crown of thorns; and the five petals and five petallike sepals, ten apostles at the Crucifixion, all but Peter and Judas. The lobed leaves and tendrils were thought to represent, respectively, the hands and whips of Christ’s persecutors. The specific name incarnata is Latin for “flesh-colored”.

Food and medicine

In A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, the naturalist John Muir (1838–1914) speaks of the passionflower vine as having a superb flower “and the most delicious fruit I have ever eaten”. Passionflower seeds found at prehistoric Native American sites in the eastern United States indicate that the fruits were enjoyed more than 5,000 years ago. Records attest that in the seventeenth century, the vines were at least being managed for fruit production by Algonquian peoples in Virginia.

Native Americans also drank passionflower tea to soothe nerves and poulticed crushed leaves on cuts and bruises. The earliest reference on American medicinal plants, Schoepf’s Materia Medica Americana published in Germany in 1787, mentioned the use of passionflower to treat epilepsy in the aged. About 1840, Dr. L. Phares of Mississippi introduced passionflower into medicine as a treatment for nervous anxiety, but the herb received little further attention until an Atlanta professor reintroduced it into the practice of Eclectic physicians some fifty years later.

Current uses

The fresh or dried whole plant, as well as teas, tinctures, fluid and solid extracts and chewing gums are accepted in Germany, France and other European countries as a treatment for nervous anxiety and sleep disturbances. Doses of 0.5 to 2.5 grams of the herb are taken three to four times a day. Passionflower is also combined with valerian and hawthorn to treat spasms and inflammation of the digestive tract.

Chemical components including flavonoids, small amounts of maltol and an essential oil, coumarin derivatives, and trace amounts of ­potentially toxic harman alkaloids have been identified from the leaves. Plant material used in European passionflower preparations contains at least 0.8 percent total flavonoids and less than 0.01 percent harman alkaloids. Standardized passionflower products contain from 0.8 to 2.6 percent flavonoids, generally considered to be the most active components of the plant, but no chemical compound or group of compounds has been identified as responsible for the herb’s sedative action.

Oral doses and abdominal cavity injections of water- or alcohol-based extracts of passionflower under various experimental conditions reduced brain stimulus and movement of laboratory rats. The injections also made them sleep significantly longer and protected them from chemically induced convulsions. However, these results could not be attributed to alkaloids or flavonoids in the extracts. A study testing passionflower both alone and in various combinations with other sedative herbs on laboratory animals found that at high doses, the combined herbs acted synergistically to increase sedation.

Other studies have shown that passionflower preparations reduce spasms, anxiety, and blood pressure, and that one constituent, passicol, inhibits the growth of fungi and other microorganisms.

Laboratory animals have experienced no toxicity or other adverse effects from passionflower extracts administered intravenously. The German monograph on passionflower lists no known contraindications, side effects, or drug interactions for human consumption.

Unfortunately, the only well-designed studies on the effects of passionflower on humans have been a handful involving passionflower in combination with other medicinal herbs. Further research on the herb alone is needed to establish how it works and how best to use it.

Growing Passionflower

While passionflower is commonly regarded as a southern plant, it will grow as far north as Boston, and I suspect that with protection and a good mulch it would survive outdoors even in central Maine. Here in the Arkansas Ozarks, the native passionflower withstands temperatures of –25°F without any protection. (If you live near the northern edge of its range, passionflower seeds or plants originating in colder regions are likely to prove hardier than seeds or plants from the deep South. Check with your supplier before you buy.)

During the next several decades, passionflower became widely known as an effective nervine and sedative. The dried flowering and fruiting tops were listed in National Formulary from 1916 to 1936 as a sedative and sleep aid, but in 1978, the Food and Drug Administration banned it from sleep aids after no evidence for its effectiveness was presented during hearings.


What Are the Benefits of Passion Flower Herbs?

By Tracey Roizman (DC)

Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata, is an American native that belongs to a genus of flowering vines, members of which are found throughout the world. Passion flowers, striking in their appearance, consist of a ring of flat violet-colored petals beneath an inner ring of darker tendril-like petals. Some passion flowers produce an edible fruit, called a maypop. The flowers, leaves and stems of the plant offer certain health benefits.

Anti-Depressant and Menopause Relief

Passion flower improves the anti-depression effects of St. John's Wort, according to a study published in the April 2011 issue of the journal "Fitoterapia." In the animal study, supplementation with a combination of passion flower and St. John's Wort significantly enhanced the benefits of St. John's Wort, leading researchers to conclude that combining the two herbs may make it possible to use lower doses of St. John's Wort. A study published in the Fall 2010 "Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research" found that supplementation with passion flower improved depression and other symptoms of menopause, including anger, insomnia and headache. Participants consumed passion flower supplements daily for 6 weeks. Significant symptom improvement occurred by the third week. Researchers concluded that passion flower may offer benefits for management of menopause in women who either cannot or choose not to use hormone replacement therapy.

Anti-Anxiety

Anti-anxiety benefits of passion flower were demonstrated in an animal study published in the June 2011 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." Animals given doses of 150 milligrams per kilogram body weight spent more time in open, unprotected and elevated areas during a maze test. Additionally, the supplement did not cause either a sedative or stimulating effect. A study published in the March 2010 "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" found that low doses of passion flower extract reduced anxiety, while higher doses produced a sedative effect.

Blood Pressure-Lowering

Passion flower might help manage high blood pressure, according to an animal study published in the January 2013 "Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry." Doses of 50 milligrams per kilogram body weight of passion flower skin extract significantly reduced elevated blood pressure levels. Researchers determined that anthocyanin antioxidant compounds and a compound in passion flower called edulilic acid were responsible for the benefits. An animal study published in the February 2013 issue of the journal "Phytotherapy Research" found that passion flower fruit pulp significantly reduced systolic blood pressure, the upper number of the blood pressure ratio, signifying pressure in arteries during heart contraction. Passion flower extract also increased levels of an antioxidant enzyme and decreased levels of oxidized lipids -- lipids damaged from accumulated toxins and waste products. Researchers administered doses of 8 milligrams per day for 5 days.

Sleep Aid

Passion flower improved quality of sleep in a study published in the August 2011 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." Participants, ages 18 to 35, with mild sleep disorder, consumed a cup of passion flower tea each night for one week and recorded their quality of sleep in a diary and questionnaire. Results showed that passion flower significantly improved six measured components of sleep quality compared to a control group that did not receive passion flower.



The Calming Effects of Passionflower

By Zohra Ashpari (Medically Reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE)

Passionflower, also known as Passiflora incarnata, seems to live up to its name today: a plant that provides overflowing goodness for your mind and body. However, before talking about its potential health benefits, it’s important to learn about its long history.

Passionflower was first discovered by Spanish Jesuits in Peru in the 17th century, and was named for its resemblance to the crucifixion of Christ. The Peruvians used the flower as a sedative. Once it spread to Europe, it was used to treat restlessness and agitation, along with other ailments like indigestion and seizures. Today, it’s commonly used to treat anxiety.

Other than benefitting mental health, passionflower — or rather, its fruit, the maypop — is also used to flavor certain soft drinks, as well as Hawaiian Punch.

Passionflower Health Use Today

The Passiflora flower family may be helpful in treating ailments we face today, such as anxiety, insomnia, and even stomach upsets.

Gastrointestinal Help

When it comes to stomach problems, another member of the Passiflora family, passifloraceae, is more effective than Passiflora incarnata. One study in rats showed passifloraceae to be helpful against ulcers caused by alcohol or aspirin. An ulcer is a rip in the stomach lining. Along with a decrease in ulcers, the plant was also found to have great antioxidant potential. Hopefully future studies will look at the affect this herb has on human subjects.

Another study involving a different family member, Passiflora serratodigitata, also relieved ulcers with an extract made from the leaves and stems.

Soothes the Mind

Passiflora incarnta may provide relief from problems like nervousness and insomnia. It helps you mellow out by boosting the brain’s levels of a chemical called GABA, which lowers your brain activity. As such, it shows potential as a good sleep aid.

In one trial, people who drank an herbal tea containing passionflower over seven days saw improvements in the quality of their sleep. However, the benefits seemed to be short-term, and it may be most helpful to those with mild sleep irregularities.

In addition to sleep, one trial showed potential for passionflower as an anti-anxiety drug. Though the plant took longer to affect patients, it impaired their performance of work-related tasks less than oxazepam.

A more recent study of surgical patients showed decreases in stress and anxiety after taking passionflower.

How to Take Passionflower

We’ve seen that passionflower may be of benefit to stress, insomnia, and even stomach problems like ulcers. The best way to take passionflower is through tea. The NYU Langone Medical Center suggests making one cup three times a day by soaking one teaspoon of dried leaves for 10 to 15 minutes. For tinctures and extracts, follow the directions on the labels.

Passionflower is generally considered to be safe, although its use hasn’t yet been approved for children or pregnant or lactating women.


Your health: Plant medicine for stress support

By Sandra Clair (Sandra Clair 's Opinion, NZ Herald)

I'm a psychology student and I recently had a class where we talked about suicide and depression in men, and how it is a lot more common than people think because men so rarely want to talk about it. This made me think of my friends, as university is such a stressful time. I'd like to put together a 'self-care' pack for them - do you have any tips on what to include?

Thank you for your question - what a kind thing to do. Unfortunately, often talking about our feelings can be frowned upon or ridiculed (especially for men), so it is a lovely thing to offer your friends and let them know you're there to listen.

Plant medicine offers a variety of options to help support people through stress, low mood and also the associated fatigue.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) can help by reducing stress, anxiety and insomnia for those that are suffering from stress. This is important as these three things can lead to low mood or depression.

A 2010 study using lemon balm extract on those suffering from moderate anxiety and sleep related disorders found that there was a reduction in anxiety symptoms by 15%, insomnia by 42%, with 95% of subjects responding positively to the treatment.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) has been used traditionally to help with anxiety, mild depression and sleep disturbances. A double blind randomised cross over study showed that a combination of Passionflower, St John's Wort and Valerian helped with sleep, mood and also supported the central nervous system.

The main use of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has often been to help with depression; its properties also make it a great option to assist with mood and anxiety. A 2010 study found that St John's Wort was actually enhanced by the inclusion of Passionflower. Low doses of St John's Wort provided an anti-depressive effect alongside Passionflower which made this a great combination to try for mild low mood.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has a powerful effect on human steroid hormone function and it can help the body to adapt to physical and mental stress as it modulates cortisol. Licorice helps people who have low cortisol, which often causes exhaustion. Exhaustion occurs because the adrenal glands in the body have been overworked in response to chronic and unrelenting stress, which university students often experience, particularly when they have a high workload or during an examination period. It is beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome too, which affects mood and stress levels.

I'm a psychology student and I recently had a class where we talked about suicide and depression in men, and how it is a lot more common than people think because men so rarely want to talk about it. This made me think of my friends, as university is such a stressful time. I'd like to put together a 'self-care' pack for them - do you have any tips on what to include?

Thank you for your question - what a kind thing to do. Unfortunately, often talking about our feelings can be frowned upon or ridiculed (especially for men), so it is a lovely thing to offer your friends and let them know you're there to listen.

Plant medicine offers a variety of options to help support people through stress, low mood and also the associated fatigue.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) can help by reducing stress, anxiety and insomnia for those that are suffering from stress. This is important as these three things can lead to low mood or depression.

A 2010 study using lemon balm extract on those suffering from moderate anxiety and sleep related disorders found that there was a reduction in anxiety symptoms by 15%, insomnia by 42%, with 95% of subjects responding positively to the treatment.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) has been used traditionally to help with anxiety, mild depression and sleep disturbances. A double blind randomised cross over study showed that a combination of Passionflower, St John's Wort and Valerian helped with sleep, mood and also supported the central nervous system.

The main use of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has often been to help with depression; its properties also make it a great option to assist with mood and anxiety. A 2010 study found that St John's Wort was actually enhanced by the inclusion of Passionflower. Low doses of St John's Wort provided an anti-depressive effect alongside Passionflower which made this a great combination to try for mild low mood.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has a powerful effect on human steroid hormone function and it can help the body to adapt to physical and mental stress as it modulates cortisol. Licorice helps people who have low cortisol, which often causes exhaustion. Exhaustion occurs because the adrenal glands in the body have been overworked in response to chronic and unrelenting stress, which university students often experience, particularly when they have a high workload or during an examination period. It is beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome too, which affects mood and stress levels.

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What I would suggest you do for a 'stress pack' would be to include a medicinal tea that incorporates all of the above herbs, and ask your friends to have at least 2 cups a day. They could make up a thermos and take that to University to drink throughout the day. Another option could be to talk to them about the benefits of deep breathing; there are great apps out there that they can download and use daily on their way to University or before they go to sleep. Deep breathing can help to calm anxious people and can also calm an overactive mind that may be contributing to low mood.

Eating well by including a wide range of fruits and vegetables will ensure that your friends get optimum nutrition and antioxidants through their diet to support their mood and immunity. Also making sure that they are doing some form of exercise, which can be as easy as walking to University with friends or going to the park to kick a ball around, is important as getting the circulation moving helps to support a stable mood.

Lastly, encouraging your friends to talk about stress and low mood can be difficult but it is important to make sure that people know that they have someone to talk to and that they know that they are cared for.

As with all medical conditions, it is important that if any of your friends feel that they are not coping and need assistance that they seek medical attention and support. Mental health can be complex and it is essential the right professionals are informed.

Where to get help:

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.


Can't sleep? Try the medicine cabinet in your GARDEN, says TV horticulturalist Chris Beardshaw

  • Source:
By Jenny Hope (Medical Correspondent for the Daily Mail)

• Mr Beardshaw was speaking ahead of next week's Chelsea Flower Show

• Says he uses a herbal remedy himself for insomnia caused by jet lag

• Contains purple passionflower, which may have more effect than lavender

The garden is a ‘medicine cabinet’, with herbs providing safe, effective alternatives to drugs for problems such as insomnia, a leading gardener has claimed.

TV and radio presenter Chris Beardshaw says scientific research supporting herbal remedies that have been used for hundreds of years.

‘Plants provided our very first medicines and they still have a lot to offer,' he explained, while preparing for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show which starts on Monday.

‘We look for the aesthetic delight in our gardens but our gardens are our medicine cabinets.

‘There is no doubt that herbal products provide safe and effective treatments for many health problems which is why we, as a family, use them as a first port of call when we are feeling under the weather’ he said.

Indeed, scientific trial from Australia found the purple passionflower has benefits for people suffering sleep problems.

Passiflora incarnata, as it is known, was tested in 41 people aged 18-35 years who drank a cup of herbal tea daily for a week.

They also filled in sleep diaries and had their brain waves recorded.

The volunteers then swapped to a drink made from a placebo (dummy) teabag, without knowing which was the cuppa containing real herbs.

Even at low-doses, sleep quality was ‘significantly better’ using teabags made from dried Passionflower leaves, stems, seeds and flowers, compared with placebo teabags.

The study, from researchers at Monash University, Victoria, was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Experts say these benefits can be enhanced by adding hops, valerian and Jamaican dogwood – all known for their sedative qualities.

Yet a recent survey shows only one in four people know that passionflower aids sleep, compared with two thirds who turn to lavender – for which the evidence is much more patchy.

Beardshaw uses Potter’s Herbal supplements Nodoff tablets or liquid - which contain the ingredient - to cope with jet lag from international gardening assignments.

He believes people are looking for alternatives to conventional drugs, after concerns over side effects and dependency problems.

He said: ‘Clever combinations of herbs mean that the total remedy is greater than the sum of its parts, so less can be used of each individual ingredient.

‘Could you imagine a garden with only one flower?

'It could never have the same visual power and appeal as a garden planted with a carefully chosen range of plants, with different strengths and attributes.

‘Our grandparents knew these remedies worked, we still have the writings of the great English herbalist Culpeper, but we now have scientific evidence suggesting there is huge potential.

‘In addition, I think we are much more broad-minded about exploring different options’ he added.

Medical herbalist Dr Chris Etheridge, from London, uses tailor-made herbal remedies for sleep problems, but says ready-made will work for many people taking them short-term or for even longer.

He said ‘I have a patient who has been taking this combination of herbs for sleep disturbances and after a year it’s still working brilliantly.’

‘We have used medicinal herbs for centuries and many modern-day medicines, including aspirin and digitalis are derived from plants.

‘Many plants contain phytochemicals with proven and often potent medical activity’ he added.


Travis Lemon: Remedy stress, anxiety naturally with passion flower

By Travis Lemon

The strange but beautiful passion flower, also known as the maypop, is showing its amazing flowers now. If you are lucky enough to have one in your garden, now is the time to check it often to see this very interesting blooming vine.

The flower tends to only bloom for a few days before closing up, and hopefully, the vine will concentrate its energy into another flower in a day or two. Not only is it a great ornamental plant loved by bees and butterflies, it is also a well-known herbal remedy for stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, many of us experience stress or anxiety in one form or another. The fast-paced world we live in almost makes it a given that we are under more stress than we probably even notice. So, a nice cup of passion flower tea in the evening lets many have a well-deserved stress break. The tea has a very subtle taste, making it an easy tea for even the pickiest palate. After brewing and cooling, it can even be enjoyed iced or added to your favorite juice.

Many people that may not be getting the most restful night's sleep use passion flower in capsules or tincture made out of the flower and vine before bed for its mildly sedative properties.

Passion flower can also be taken though the day, if daytime anxiousness is a problem. You may want to test it out on a day without too much on the agenda, because for some, it can make you want to relax a little too much for a busy day.

For most of us, passion flower can be a great way to end an otherwise hectic or stressful day, with something as simple as a warm cup of tea.


Health Benefits of Passionflower

By David Roulston

Today you are going to discover the amazing health benefits of Passionflower. Whose botanical name is “Passiflora incarnate” is also known by other names like “Maypop and Passiflora.”

The plant is an American native species belonging to a genus of beneficial flowering vines found around the world. Passionflower although mostly tropical can grow in regions with colder climates.

The plant has a very long vine that can grow up to a height of 92 meters in length. Its white flowers have a brightly colored, mysterious purple center with its unique blossom developing from a rare bud that is compared to the passion of Christ as the plant parts were initially thought to resemble the messiah’s crucifixion giving rise to the plant’s name.

Passion Flower Benefits

What are medical effects of Passionflower. The passionflower plant produces an edible fruit and all its leaves, stems and flowers offer certain health benefits. The passionflower’s unique healing powers that provide overflowing goodness to an individual’s mind and body are said to come from its bioflavonoid and alkaloid components.

These unique compounds interact positively with other body mechanisms to maintain both physical and mental wellness as well as in providing the much-needed body equilibrium.

Alleviating pain

Passionflower which is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help in alleviating most types of pain. The natural herb uses its sedative and antispasmodic qualities as well to relieve physical pain in various ways.

One can use the homeopathic remedy to lessen headache pains and premenstrual cramps. The wonder herb can also alleviate toothaches and muscle discomforts. “The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants” recommends the passionflower herb for relieving pain, particularly that which causes difficulty in sleeping.

Passion flower can also help in relieving chronic pain. Older people are likely to experience mild aches and pains as they age. Although the discomfort might not be severe enough to warrant the use of strong pain relievers it can end up negatively impacting an individual’s quality of life.

For years, most cultures have used passionflower extracts as reliable nutritional supplements for eliminating and reducing such minor aches. Applying a tea bag of the herbal remedy onto a body area with pain, inflammation or minor burn can help in relieving the discomfort greatly.

Lowering Blood Pressure

An animal study that was published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” on February 2013 found out that the passionflower fruit pulp can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure, which is the blood pressure ratio that signifies the total arterial pressure during heart contractions.

The passionflower extracts were also found to decrease significantly the average levels of oxidized lipids. The results from this scientific study clearly showed that the natural passionflower herb can help in lowering blood pressure in diabetic patients.

Passionflower Anxiety Management

Passionflower can also help in stress and anxiety management. The homeopathic remedy has long been considered by a majority of anxiety patients to be the best natural treatment for their condition. The herb can act as a low intensity, emotional stabilizer that can greatly reduce the length and severity of anxiety and stress periods.

Passionflower can generally be used in fighting pressure, anxiety and nervousness. What is even, more amazing is the fact that passionflower doesn’t cause deterioration of work or drowsiness as experienced when using “oxazepam” which is a drug commonly prescribed for the medical conditions.

"Research findings indicate that the natural herbal remedy is beneficial for managing general anxiety disorder. The passionflower supplement does not cause either stimulating or sedative effects when consumed.

A study that was published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” revealed that higher doses of the passionflower extract produced a sedative like effect while lower doses of the same extract reduced anxiety.

Another study that was published in the year 2008 involved 60 patients who were randomized either to receive placebo or passionflower extracts approximately 90 minutes prior to surgery. The study’s results indicated that the patients who had consumed passionflower extracts had reduced anxiety levels.

Improved sleep patterns

Sleep improvement, particularly insomnia alleviation is arguably the most popular medicinal usage of passionflower extracts or tea. Insomnia is basically the persistent inability to fall or remain asleep throughout the night.

Recent scientific findings have revealed that low-dose usage of the natural tea extracts yields short term subjectively improved sleep benefits in adults with various sleep issues. A study1 that was published in the “Phytotherapy Research” journal in August 2011 used participants between 15 to 35 years who were suffering from the mild sleep disorder.

The participants were made to drink a cup of the herbal remedy each night for a duration of one week and then told to record their sleep quality in a questionnaire and diary. The final results showed that the herbal tea extract significantly improved the participant’s quality of sleep. Passionflower is thus a unique calming agent that reduces significantly the severity of insomnia symptoms and may end up eliminating insomnia altogether.

Drug withdrawal

Passionflower can also help in fighting withdrawal symptoms, particularly those experienced when abstaining from opiate medications including morphine.

A scientific study that was carried out in the year 2001 on 65 opiate addicts for a period of 14 days in order to test the natural herb’s effectiveness in helping with opiate withdrawal revealed that using both the passionflower extract and clonidine, which is a drug used in treating withdrawal symptoms was more effective in helping with drug withdrawal than using clonidine alone.

The passionflower herb can thus effectively alleviate psychological withdrawal symptoms in individuals wishing to abstain from harmful drugs.

Menopause relief and Antidepressant properties

A scientific study2 that was carried out in the year 2010 and published in the “Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research” revealed that consuming passionflower extracts greatly improved depression among other menopause symptoms including headache, insomnia, and anger.

The research participants were made to consume passionflower supplements daily for a period of six weeks, but significant symptom development occurred during the 3rd week. This study led to the scientists concluding that the natural remedy can provide numerous advantages for menopause in ladies who just cannot decide to utilize any sort of available hormonal supplements.

Passionflower has also been shown to boost the St. John’s Wort herb’s antidepressant effects.

Treating congestive heart failure

According to the United States “National Institute of Health (NIH), the passionflower herbal extract when combined with the Hawthorne herb can help in treating difficulty in exercising and shortness of breath in people with intense congestive heart failure.

However, there is currently no available research on this function but hopefully; the beneficial health benefit will be supported by scientific evidence in the near future.

CONCLUSION

Passionflower just like other natural herbs may have some side effects attributed to using the natural remedy. However, serious medical issues can be easily avoided by consulting one’s doctor or herbal specialist to find out if the herb is dangerous to you or not as well as to be informed on the most appropriate dosage to use.



Health Benefits and Uses of Passion Flower (Passiflora)

(Sasha)

Passiflora, also known more commonly as passionflower, is a flowering plant made up of vines and sometimes shrubs. This plant is typically found in South America, eastern and southern Asia, and New Guinea; some species of passionflower are found in the United States and Australia, as well. A large bee, and sometimes bats and hummingbirds, are usually required to pollinate the passionflower.

Passionflower has been cultivated for thousands of years by the Aztecs and other South American Native Indians. It is considered a beautiful plant and is frequently used as ornaments and decorations. But besides being an elaborate decoration piece, passionflower holds remedies to numerous illnesses and is used widely for its medicinal properties.

Benefits of Passion Flower

The leaves and roots of passion flower are used to make medicine. Passionflower is most commonly used to induce sleep and treat insomnia. It eases gastrointestinal pain associated with anxiety, stress and nervousness. For those suffering from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), it has soothing and relaxing effects. It reduces muscle spasms. For this reason, it reduces symptoms of drug withdrawal.

Passionflower is used to treat and reduce symptoms associated with menopause. It is also used for ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), hysteria, to decrease nervousness and agitation, and to relieve pain. Passionflower helps lower blood pressure and regulates heartbeats.

Applied to the skin, passionflower treats skin hemorrhoids, burns and reduces pain and inflammation. Passionflower may also help with:

• Seizures

• Asthma

• Gastrointestinal discomfort

• Muscle spasms

• Fibromyalgia

• Menopausal and Postpartum depression symptoms

How to Use Passion Flower

Passionflower extract can be applied directly to the skin to heal burns and inflammation. The extract can also be consumed to alleviate anxiety; approximately 45 drops of passionflower extract can be taken daily.

To make passionflower tea, take 1 teaspoon of dried passionflower leaves and boil it into 8 oz of water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and strain out the leaves. Drink one cup of this tea an hour before bed for better sleep.

Passionflower can be bought at local health food stores or online in the forms of tea bags, liquid extracts or capsules.

Caution

The passionflower is safe for most people when it is taken by mouth in amounts that are normally found in food. It is possibly safe when taken for less than two months as a medicinal treatment or in tea. However, there is a possibility that it is unsafe when it is ingested by mouth in large amounts.

Passionflower should not be used in those who are pregnant, as there are some chemicals present in passionflower that could cause the uterus to contract. There is not a lot of information about the risk of taking this herb when breastfeeding, so please don’t use it—just to be on the safe side.

The central nervous system can be affected by the use of passionflower. It can increase the effects of anesthesia or other medications during and after surgery. Passionflower ingestion should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery.


Passion Flower Benefits

By Maia Appleby (Demand Media)

The passion vine, which produces sweet, tropical, antioxidant-rich passion fruit, also boasts flowers with their own specific medicinal qualities. Prized for centuries as a natural sedative that can treat anxiety disorders and insomnia, the passion flower, or passiflora, contains compounds that may benefit your heart and liver. Passion flower may also help reduce unpleasant nicotine withdrawal symptoms for people who are quitting smoking.

Anxiety Treatment

Passion flower is an effective treatment for anxiety, according to authors of a review paper published in "Nutrition Journal" in 2010. They cited one study in which researchers found passion flower to be just as effective as the prescription drug, oxazepam, for treating chronic anxiety symptoms. Although the oxazepam users reported earlier relief, they experienced more severe cognitive side effects than the passion flower group. In all three of the studies the authors reviewed -- two using only passion flower and one using a combination of herbs -- passion flower effectively treated anxiety symptoms.

Smoking Cessation

If you're trying to quit smoking, passion flower may offer a natural way to curb your cravings for nicotine, according to researchers who published a study in "Pharmaceutical Biology" in 2012. They tested passion flower extract's ability to reduce signs of nicotine sensitization, or withdrawal symptoms, on rats and found that the extract significantly reduced these symptoms. The researchers called for further studies to determine how passion flower extract may be used in smoking-cessation treatment programs.

Heart and Liver Health

The leaves of the passion flower contain antioxidant compounds that offer heart and liver benefits, according to a group of Brazilian researchers who published a study in "Food and Chemical Toxicology" in 2006. They gave rats a daily dose of passion flower leaf extract, mixed in vegetable oil, for 30 days. At the end of the study, they found significant improvements in the rats' liver and heart function, compared to rats that didn't take passion flower leaf extract.

Warnings

If you're on any medications, talk to your health care provider before taking passion flower. Because this herb acts as a sedative, it can impair your cognitive function and make driving or operating heavy machinery more dangerous. It may also interact with some medications. Don't use it with sleep aids or other sedatives, as it can intensify their effectiveness. Passion flower is a blood thinner, so taking it with other blood-thinning medications could cause abnormal bleeding. Passion flower can also increase the effects of some antidepressants.


The Vibrant Red Passion Flower

By Norby Bautista

The red passion flower, botanically known as Passiflora racemosa, is a beautiful evergreen climber with hanging clusters of showy and vibrant red flowers. It belongs to the Passifloraceae plant family. Because of its attractive flowers, it is often used as an ornamental plant used to climb trellises near or above walkways. The common name, passion flower, refers to the supposed similarity between the strange shape of the flower and aspects of the crucifixion of Christ.

There are over 400 species of Passiflora, mostly from tropical and warm parts of America. For temperate countries, there are only three species. This includes the well-known Passiflora caerulea, that are suitable for growing outside a glasshouse as all other passion flowers thrive in warm temperature .

In 1818, the scientific name Passiflora racemosa was christened by the Portuguese botanist Félix da Silva Avellar Brotero, in the first part of volume 12 of the Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. The plant is native to the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has long been a favorite plant for growing in warm conservatories in temperate climates.

This vine has slender stems that can climb up to 10 meters or more; but they can only reach about 5 m when grown under glasshouses. The evergreen leaves are ovate, glossy, with a wavy edge and measure about 9 cm long and wide. The bright red flowers usually bloom from March to November and are usually borne in pairs in pendulous clusters at the end of leafless stems. Individual flowers have bright red sepals (about 4 cm long and 1 cm wide), and the petals are similar but smaller. The corona filaments are in three ranks; the outer one purple with white tips, the inner ones shorter and green. Pollinated flowers usually produce 7 cm long 3 cm wide green, narrowly ovoid edible fruits.

Passiflora racemosa is cultivated throughout the tropics as an ornamental and landscape plant. It is also grown under glass in temperate climates and outdoors occasionally on patios or against a sunny wall in sheltered gardens. Because of its striking beauty, this plant has received an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Many hybrids and cultivars have been produced, with many different floral color.

The plant is actually easy to grow. It thrives in full sun or in partial shade. It is propagated by stem cuttings from April to May. Cuttings should include a node or small section of older wood. Passion flowers can also be grown from seed, although this method is more difficult, as the seeds should be soaked prior to planting and germination will be slow.

The plant should be watered regularly; but care should be taken not to overwater or else it can cause rotting of the roots. Watering once a day is sufficient. The plant also should be protected from drying winds and the hottest noon sun.

Red passion flower grows best in a well drained soil made from equal parts of sand, decomposed leaf compost and loamy garden soil. It can be grown on a large pot or directly into the soil. In order to be floriferous or ever blooming, it needs regular fertilization of fertilizers high in potash.

Pests and diseases associated with growing Passiflora racemosa include spider mites, whiteflies, scale insects, leafspots, virus diseases and iron deficiency. One can control these insect pests by spraying a dilute soap solution into the plants. However, for severe infestations, they can be controlled by using a systemic insecticide like Lannate or Sevin; and for leaf spots, fungicide of Dithane or Captan. Eliminating pests is one way of eliminating viral diseases. But if you are to use the plants as a host for caterpillars, there is no need to spray.

The real purpose of the Passion Flower, especially in botanical gardens is that it is often used as a host plant for butterflies. Most of the species are the exclusive larval food plants for more than 70 species of tropical and subtropical butterflies.

The red passion flower is certainly one of the strikingly beautiful flowers for places where people usually gather. It regularly produces beautiful bright colored flowers and is easy to maintain.


Passionflower Benefits

By Erica Kannall (Demand Media)

The intricate shape and vibrant colors of passionflowers are pleasing to the eye, and consuming this plant may provide relaxation and promote sleep. Symptoms of menopause, such as depression and anger, may even be relieved by taking passionflower. You can grow the flowers in your garden for medicinal purposes or buy passionflower as a tea, tincture or capsule in most health-food and supplement stores. Anxiety Relief

Taking passionflower may calm your nerves and relieve anxiety. The scientific journal "Anesthesia and Analgesia" published a study in 2008 that observed the effects of giving passionflower to patients pre-surgery. Those who received passionflower had less anxiety before a surgery, and the passionflower did not interfere with anesthesia or recovery time. Another study, published in the "Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics" in 2001, concluded that passionflower is an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder and produces fewer side effects than pharmaceutical anxiety medications. Relaxation and Sleep

The University of Maryland Medical Center says taking passionflower causes a compound called gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, to increase in your brain. GABA relaxes your brain function by slowing down the firing of nerve transmissions, producing a calming effect. If you regularly suffer with insomnia, taking passionflower may ease you to sleep due to its anti-anxiety and relaxation-promoting abilities. A lack of GABA in the brain may cause anxiety, panic attacks, headaches and seizure disorders. Menopause

The "Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research" published a study in 2010 that looked at the effectiveness of passionflower to treat symptoms of menopause. After the third week of treatment with passionflower, women had a decrease in depression, insomnia, anger and headaches associated with menopause. The researchers suggest supplementing with passionflower as an alternative for women who are unable to tolerate hormone therapy. Precautions

The National Institutes of Health says that taking passionflower in normal doses is safe for most people, but possible side effects include dizziness, confusion and lack of coordination. You shouldn't take passionflower if you are breast-feeding. Also, avoid passionflower if you are taking any type of sedative medication or sleep aid because the effects may compound, resulting in excessive drowsiness.


The Benefits of Passion Flower

By Cathy Wong, ND (Reviewed by a board-certified physician)

Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More

Uses for Passion Flower

In alternative medicine, passion flower proponents claim the herb can help with the following:

• anxiety
• insomnia
• drug withdrawal symptoms
• neuralgia
• epilepsy
Benefits of Passion Flower

To date, there is a lack of clinical evidence supporting any therapeutic use of passion flower.

However, preliminary research suggests that passion flower shows promise in treating these health problems:

1) Anxiety

In a study published in 2008, 60 patients were randomized to receive either passion flower or placebo 90 minutes prior to surgery. Study results showed that those receiving passion flower had lower levels of anxiety, leading researchers to conclude that oral administration of passion flower may reduce anxiety without inducing sedation.

In a systematic review published in 2007, however, the authors concluded that randomized controlled trials examining the effectiveness of passion flower for anxiety were too few in number to permit any conclusions to be drawn.

2) Opiate Withdrawal

For a 2001 study, researchers assigned 65 opiates addicts to 14 days of treatment with passion flower extract plus clonidine (a medication used to treat withdrawal symptoms) or clonidine plus placebo.

Study results showed that both options were equally effective in treating the physical symptoms of withdrawal syndromes. However, the passion flower plus clonidine showed a significant superiority over clonidine alone in managing mental symptoms.

Caveats

Although passion flower is generally considered safe, incidences of the following adverse effects have been reported:

• rapid heart rhythm
• nausea
• vomiting
• drowsiness
• dizziness
• impaired cognitive function

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of using passion flower supplements.

Passion flower may produce harmful effects when combined with certain