These are a few of my favourite thingsPassionflower
I don’t think people understand just how awesome Passionflower is for calming us down. Maybe it’s because the name sounds so benign? Or, maybe it’s because Passionflower is often buried in a list of herbs found in a standard ‘sleepy-time’ tea or herbal supplement?
This herb is usually used as part of a blend, but used alone or with one other herb (and therefore more potent), it has hugely beneficial effects1.
Note: Unlike the name might suggest, Passion Flower is not an Aphrodisiac.
What’s the meaning of it all?
Among other active constituents, Passionflower contains a substance called Harmine, originally known as Telepathine (from the word Telepathy). When used correctly, this herb produces a mild euphoria, and a contemplative state.
The Aztecs used this herb as a sedative & painkiller… while the Germans later used this herb as a ‘Truth Serum’ in WW2
(‘we have ways of making you talk!’)
Today, Passionflower has a range of useful applications to help us discover our own truth! It helps to calm us and lift our spirits. It also helps us to sleep and it takes away our pain.
Note: Passionflower is one common name for Passiflora incarnata (the other is simply, Passiflora).
This herb is fabulous for Nervous System Disorders
What's so great about this herb?
Passionflower possesses the following substances:
Note: these substances are believed to function as Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Passionflower also contains:
Note: I’ve only outlined the key constituents here.
Indications for the use of this herb
This herb is an anxiolytic, a mild sedative, a hypnotic (sleep inducing), and a spasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscle). It is especially useful in conditions that have occurred, or been exacerbated, by exhaustion or prolonged illness2,3. (Passionflower is also superb for breaking the cycle of pain leading to anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.)
Therefore it is used for the following:
Nervous – irritability; stomach; headache; restlessness; tension, and tachycardia (a fast heart-beat)
Passionflower is as effective as Oxazepam (a benzodiazepine drug) for the management of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Results show a single dose can demonstrate a sedative effect.
Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Chamomile for Panic Attacks.
03—Mild — moderate depression
This herb inhibits the breakdown of serotonin. Therefore it can be used on its own, or in conjunction with 5HTP for an additive effect.
Because of its anti-anxiety effect, this herb can help you to get to sleep (it helps to reduce mental worry). And because of its ability to inhibit the breakdown of serotonin — it can help to keep you asleep, once you get there!
Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Valerian for moderate – severe insomnia.(Depending upon the particular case, it can take some weeks to regulate the sleeping pattern.)
Neuralgia, cardiac, rectal, and facial pain.
Note: It also relieves the anxiety associated with pain.
06—PMS and painful periods
This herb eases pre-menstrual anxiety, and relieves menstrual cramping.
This herb lowers blood-pressure, and regulates the heart rate4.
Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Hawthorn for cardiovascular issues.
Passionflower can also be used for the following:
Burns + Scalds
Passionflower is a beautiful flower that creates a beautiful mind.
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. She divides her time between running her own practice OOMPH–Realistic Holistic Health, in Mission Bay (Auckland, New Zealand), and being the lead Naturopath at Huckleberry Farms in Glen Innes (Auckland, New Zealand).
Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 10 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.