Passion flower is a genus of about 500 different species of flowering plants. It is also known as passiflora or passion vine. Passion flowers are mostly wines but there are also some shrubs among them. Only a small number of species is herbaceous. These species have leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level.
Passion flower has a fruit known as the passion fruit. The fruit has a round oval dark or purple body filled with juice and numerous seeds. The fruit is edible and often added to fruit juices to make their aroma more exotic. All above-ground parts of the passion fruit can be used for medical purposes. This includes flowers, leaves and stems. It is available in various forms and used for infusions, teas, tinctures and liquid extracts.
Where can you find passion flower
This plant is native to southeastern parts of the America but it is successfully grown throughout the world, including Europe. The plant can grow up to 10 meters in length and it boasts lovely flowers with 5 petals and 5 sepals of different colors. Typically, the colors range from deep pink to blue. The plant owes its name to the lovely corona that resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion.
Uses of passion flower
Passion flower is known to humans for centuries. Even the Native Americans used this herb to treat seizures, insomnia, anxiety, and hysteria. In many parts of the world, this flower is still used as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia, and it is often included in formula of many different commercial drugs.
This herb has a unique property to increase levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Scientists believe this acid can decrease the activity in certain parts of the brain and thus induce relaxed feelings.
Passion flower is also used to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, to aid in treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness and excitability, for irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and for pain relief. It is also efficient for relieving withdrawal symptoms of narcotic drugs, and sometimes effective in treatment of hemorrhoids, burns, pain and inflammation. In general, chemicals from passion flower have a calming and sleep inducing effect that also relieves the muscle spasms.
Herbal remedy warning
It is important to avoid using any kind of herbal remedy along with other medications since many herbal ingredients can trigger side effects of other supplements or drugs.