Jun 1, 2010

MMH: From the Lab ~ Passionflower

Passionflower, also known as Apricot Vine, Blue & Purple Passionflower, Carkifelek; Maracuja; Maypop; Passiflora incarnata, Passiflora caerulea, Passion Flower; and Wild Passion Flower has been used for centuries to aid the body during times of stress by supporting a calm central nervous system.

Muscle Spasm Relief Passionflower also possesses calming properties for the body's muscles. It has been used for ages to help alleviate muscle cramps and relax smooth muscles. These properties may help support pregnancy as well.

Historical Uses Native Americans used the whole plant to alleviate swollen and irritated eyes and the root was used as a general tonic. It has also been used topically as a compress. The seeds of the passionflower fruit have interestingly been identified with very ancient cultures and have a long history of use as a botanical hypnotic.

Herbalists in Central America as well as Mexico and Texas have used passionflower as a sleeping aid for centuries.

Did You Know? The word "Passion" in Passion Flower refers to the Passion of Jesus Christ? In the 15th and 16th centuries the unique physical structures of this plant were adopted by Spanish Christian Missionaries as symbols of the last days of Jesus and his crucifixion.


Botanical Information
Passionflower is a genus of some 400 species, most of which are native to the tropics, although a few are native to Australia, Asia and Madagascar. Some species are cultivated in Brazil and the southeastern United States.

Each species has characteristics separating it from the others. For example, the petals of each species can vary from pink, white, purple and yellow. There are other traits helpful in determining the species, such as the color of the corona (outside of the flower) and the fruits the plant produces. Passionflower has striking flowers, made up of five petals and a showy corona composed of numerous filaments. The herbaceous vine has tri-lobed leaves and long tendrils.

Passiflora incarnata (Maypop) has white petals with a purplish corona and edible fruit (which you may be familiar with: Passion Fruit). This juicy oval fruit has a fragrant, edible white pulp which is used in salads. The juice of the fruit is used in flavoring drinks, cordials, sherbet and ice cream.

Notes: There are some precautions and contraindications with the use of passionflower. It should not be taken with sedative drugs, as it may potentiate the effects. It should also be used with caution by pregnant or nursing mothers due to its sedative effect on the central nervous system.

*Copyright 2008 Mountain Meadow Herbs, Inc.. This article may be reproduced provided it stays completely in tact, with no information added or removed. The FDA has not given approval of this information. The information provided is to help with product selection only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or other complication.

No comments:

Post a Comment