The Passion Flower herb has been recognized for over 200 years by native American Indian tribes as being effective in sedating and calming the nerves. Traditional medicine practitioners also widely acknowledge the painkilling and blood pressure lowering properties of this herb.
This flower is a fast-growing perennial vine that is widely found in the north- and southeastern parts of the United States down to Central America. Known by its scientific name of passiflora incarnata, passion flower typically grows to a length of about 30 feet or 9 meters, and bears three-lobed leaves, purple flowers, and yellow-to-orange egg-shaped fruit.
This plant got its name from the passion of Jesus Christ. Spanish Christian missionaries in the 15th and 16th centuries adopted the unique physical and ornate structures of the passion flower plant to denote symbols in the last days of Jesus Christ, with emphasis on the Crucifixion.
The passion flower was initially introduced into the field of medicine during the early years of the 1840s by Dr L. Phares of Mississippi and in fact, passion flower was listed in the United States National Formulary from 1916 to 1936.
*The use of passion flower by pregnant women is not advised.
The dried leaves and stems of the passion flower contain the active constituents that possess its health benefits. Passion flower tea can be made by infusing 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in 1 cup boiling water. Let the mixture steep for about 10 min. Drink the tea near bedtime to induce restful sleep. The tea is quite aromatic and flavorful.
Underneath are some health benefits attributed to this herb:
- May help in calming and sedating the nerves and combating anxiety. It can thus help in ushering restful sleep.
- May help relax the muscles.
- May help improve blood circulation, as well as lower blood pressure.
- May help lessen headaches, toothaches and pain associated with colic, the menstrual cycle and asthma.
- May be a helpful component in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.
- May be helpful in treating back pain as it is known to depress the motor nerves of the spinal cord.
- May help alleviate nausea and vomiting due to withdrawal from Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, or opiate painkillers.
- May be helpful in men who produce excessive estrogen as the herb can help stimulate production of testosterone.