Botanical name: Passiflora incarnata
Other names: passionflower, apricot vine, Corona de Cristo, fleur de la passion, fleur de passiflore, flor de passion, grenadille, madre selva, maracuja, maypop, pasiflora, passiflora, passiflore, passiflorina, passion vine, passionaria, passionblume, passionflower herb, purple passion flower, water lemon, wild passion flower
Uses: Sedative, hypnotic, antispasmodic, anodyne
The primary benefit of passion flower is in its sedative and nervine actions. This makes it of great help in cases of insomnia, stress, and anxiety. It is also used to lower blood pressure. It has a calming effect on the central nervous system, making it effective in easing nerve pain and against diseases such as neuralgia and shingles. Passion flower induces restful sleep without grogginess the following day. Due to its antispasmodic action, it can assist with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy & asthma.
Thanks to its calming effect on the central nervous system, passionflower is often taken for conditions related to nervousness or anxiety, such as gastrointestinal (GI) upset; generalised anxiety disorder (GAD); narcotic withdrawal symptoms; seizures; heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat; hypertension; and hysteria. It also finds use in cases of asthma, menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.
Spanish explorers found passion flower growing wild in Peru in 1569. They believed the flowers embodied the passion of Jesus and his approval of their expedition. 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 root.
Warning: Women who are pregnant or nursing and pre-surgical patients are advised against taking passion flower extract. Reported side effects of excessive intake include dizziness and confusion, irregular muscle action and coordination, altered consciousness, and vasculitis.