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10–11–2014

My favourite things

#29

These are a few of my favourite thingsPassionflower

Good calmer

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:

Alkaloids
Harmol
Harmine
Harman, and
Passiflorine

Note:  these substances are believed to function as Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Passionflower also contains:

Flavonoids
Vitexin
Iso-orientin
Luteolin, and
Apigenin

Note: I’ve only outlined the key constituents here.

You could say that I'm passionate about Passionflower...

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:

01—Nervous predispositions

Nervous – irritability; stomach; headache; restlessness; tension, and tachycardia (a fast heart-beat)

02—Anxiety 

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.

04—Insomnia

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.)

05—Neuralgic pain

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.

07—Cardiovascular complaints

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:

Topical complaints:
Burns + Scalds
Hemorrhoids
Ring worm
Sore eyes
Swellings
Toothache

Internal complaints:
Epilepsy +Seizures
Diarrhoea
Opiate withdrawal
Spasmodic asthma
Whooping cough

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.

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