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Passionflower - Passiflora incarnata
Despite its name, Passion Flower cools passions rather than excites them. In fact, herbalists praise it as one of nature's best botanical aids for promoting tranquility and exerting a quieting, soothing effect on the nervous system. Soothe your stress-filled, hectic days and promote restful nights with Passion Flower.
Used in teas, tinctures and encapsulations. Sometimes found in relaxing bath blends and Sleep pillow mixes. Passionflower powder must be stored at temperatures below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), and should be used within six months of purchase.
Herbalists in Mexico, Central America, and Texas have used passionflower as a calmative and sleeping aid for over 200 years. Relieving muscle tension, the herb lowers blood pressure and calms anxiety. Used for nervous irritability; relaxes tense muscles; muscular cramps; menstrual cramps; occasional sleeplessness.
Since its introduction into European herbal medicine systems, passionflower has been widely used as a sedative, antispasmodic and nerve tonic. The leaf infusion was introduced in North American medicine in the mid 1800's as a sedative through native and slave use in the South. It was also used for headaches, bruises and general pain; applying the bruised leaves topically to the affected area. In many countries in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, the use of passionflower leaves to tranquilize and settle edgy nerves has been documented for over 200 years. It was also employed for colic, diarrhea, dysentery, menstrual difficulties, insomnia, neuralgia, eye disorders, epilepsy and convulsions, and muscle spasms and pain.
There appears to be no detailed analysis of this species, but its active principle, which has been called Passiflorine, would appear to be somewhat similar to morphine.
Passiflora incarnata has a perennial root, and the herbaceous shoots bear three-lobed, finelyserrated leaves and flesh-coloured or yellowish, sweet-scented flowers, tinged with purple. The ripe, orange-coloured, ovoid, many-seeded berry is about the size of a small apple; when dried, it is shrivelled and greenish-yellow. The yellow pulp is sweet and edible. Passionflower is a climbing vine native to South Texas, Mexico, and Central America. Growing to a length of 30 feet (9 meters) under ideal conditions, the vine bears three-lobed leaves, purple flowers, and yellow-to-orange egg-shaped fruit. The name of the plant comes an analogy between the plant's ornate flower to the elements of the crucifixion of Jesus, white and purple to symbolize heaven and purity, five stamens for the five wounds he suffered, three style for the three nails used to affix him to the cross.
Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as Maypop, Purple passionflower, True passionflower, Wild apricot, and Wild passion vine, is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. A member of the passionflower genus Passiflora, the Maypop has large, intricate flowers with prominent styles and stamens. One of the hardiest species of passionflower, it is a common wildflower in the southern United States. The Cherokee in the Tennessee area called it ocoee; the Ocoee River and valley are named after this plant, which is the Tennessee State Wildflower.
The stems can be smooth or pubescent; they are long and trailing, possessing many tendrils. Leaves are alternate and palmately 3-lobed, measuring from 6-15 cm. They have two characteristic glands at the base of the blade on the petiole. Flowers have five bluish-white petals. They exhibit a white and purple corona, a structure of fine appendages between the petals and corolla. The large flower is typically arranged in a ring above the petals and sepals. They are pollinated by insects such as bumblebees, and are self-sterile. The flower normally blooms in July.
|Don't take passionflower if you are taking an MAO inhibitor such as Elavil (amitryptyline) for depression or diabetic neuropathy. The combination of the herb and the prescription drug can cause excessive sleepiness. Pregnant women should avoid passionflow|