Passion Flower, Know its Benefits and Properties

Nature is so big, that if it decided to create a medicinal flower, with the ability to help many people by solving their problems, then yes, passion flower is the answer; it is a flower with great benefits and medicinal properties that you should know.

This type of flower is basically used in infusions by using its stem but mainly its petals or leaves. Without a doubt it is also considered an exotic flower for its striking shape and colors that captivate the human eye. Find out about the curiosities of this flower!

The Passion Flower origin

Natives of both North and South America used passion flower for food, drink, and therapeutic purposes for hundreds of years before the plant was first introduced to European explorers. By the 18th century, passion flower gained popularity in Europe as a remedy for epilepsy and insomnia. Today, the plant is cultivated worldwide.

With a name like “passion flower,” you might think the plant was traditionally used as some sort of aphrodisiac, like horny goat weed. Nothing could be further from the truth. The “passion” in passion flower actually refers to the passion of Christ. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish missionaries in Peru saw the unusual flower as a symbol of the crucifixion. The blue and white colors of the flower were thought to stand for heaven and purity, the radial filaments symbolized the crown of thorns, and the tendrils represented Roman whips.

What can we say about the Passion Flower?

The Passion Flower (Passiflora), a fast-growing perennial vine, with showy white and purple-blue scented flowers. Passion flower is tropical flower, native to southern Brazil and Argentina. It is also widely found from Virginia to southern Illinois and southeast Kansas, south to Florida and Texas in USA.

Passion flower is also known by other common names viz., Passion Vine, Maracuja, Apricot Vine, Maypop, etc. Passion Flower is 10 cm wide, with the five sepals and petals. The corona in the flower is blue or with violet filaments. Passion flowers have five greenish-yellow stamens and three purple stigmas.

Passion flowers are known to have high medicinal value. Passion flower has a tranquilizing effect, including mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects. The sedative effect of Passion flower has made it popular for treating a variety of ailments, including nervousness and insomnia.

Passionflower can have effects that are similar to benzodiazepines. Consult with your healthcare professional before using herbs or herbal supplements.

What is the use of Passion Flower? Scientific studies

In the United States, Passion Flower is considered as an alternative or complementary medicine, but it is more widely accepted worldwide, especially in Europe.

The plant is listed in the European Pharmacopoeia, a book that provides Europe’s scientific and legal standards for medicine.

In Germany, P. incarnata is approved for nervous restlessness, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems related to anxiety.

Can it calm your mind?

In a trial published in Phytotherapy Research, participants drank a daily dose of herbal tea with purple passionflowerAfter seven days, they reported improvements in the quality of their sleep. The researchers suggest that purple passionflower may help adults manage mild sleep irregularities.

Some trials suggest that purple passionflower may also relieve anxiety. A study published in the journal  Anesthesia & Analgesia  examined its effects on patients scheduled for surgery. Patients who consumed it reported less anxiety than those who received a placebo.

Can it soothe your stomach?

Other members of the Passiflora family might help treat stomach problems. Passiflora foetida is more commonly known as stinking passionflower. In a study reported in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, researchers examined its potential for treating stomach ulcers. They found it helped alleviate ulcers in rats.It also showed antioxidant potential.

In another study published in  BioMed Research International, scientists examined Passiflora serratodigitata. They created an extract from itsleaves and stems. This extract also showed promise for treating ulcers in rats. But more research is needed on humans.

How can I take passionflower?

You can add dried passionflower to boiling water to create an herbal tea. You can find dried passionflower or prepackaged tea at many health food stores. You can also find liquid extracts, capsules, and tablets.

Always talk to your doctor before trying passionflower as an alternative treatment. They can help you assess the potential benefits and risks.

8 impressive benefits of passionflower tea

Passionflower tea has been used in North and South America for centuries, but was eventually introduced to European markets and is now globally sought after.

The flowers, leaves, and stems of this plant are all good for different medicinal applications, but the tea is brewed specifically with the leaves. Most of the health benefits of passionflower tea are the result of significant levels of harmine, flavonoids, and organic acids, such as linolenic, palmitic and myristic acid, as well as various amino acids, coumarins, and other antioxidants.

  1. Chronic stress and depression: The phytochemicals and alkaloids found in passionflower tea, such as quercertin and kaempferol, are known to improve mood and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body. This can keep you feeling energized and positive, relieving feelings of stress and anxiety.
  2. Skin conditions: Traditional use of passionflower tea includes its application for rashes, burns, irritation or inflammation of the skin. This can come in many forms, from eczema and psoriasis to acne, burns, and allergic reactions. The topical application of this tea is not common, but a powerful brew can have notable effects in treating these conditions. 
  3. Menopause Symptoms: Menopause can be a difficult and stressful time in life, resulting in mood swings, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and sleeplessness. The sedative and soothing effects of passionflower tea can help balance your neurotransmitters, and also stimulate the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is known to improve mood and regulate hormones.
  4. Inflammation: Reducing inflammation throughout the body is what many organic acids and antioxidants are best at, and the compounds found in passionflower tea are no exception. This tea has long been recommended for joint disorders and arthritis, as well as gout, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the gut. These soothing active ingredients can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping, as well as chronic inflammation caused by free radical activity.
  5. Heart Health: The blood pressure-lowering qualities of passionflower tea are well known and are the result of a specific antioxidant compound known as edulilic acid. By treating hypertension, this tea can help prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart disease, and generally, reduce the strain on the cardiovascular system. This effect can also help relieve headaches and migraines, by reducing the pressure and inflammation in capillaries near the temples.
  6. Sex Drive: If you want to increase your libido, this tea might be the secret, as it can increase the production of testosterone in the body, giving men a reproductive boost, not only increase sex drive but also virility and fertility.
  7. Sleep Disorders: This herbal tea has long been used to treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia or restlessness at night. By impacting the neurotransmitter levels in the brain with flavonoids and other phytochemicals, you can enjoy a full night of undisturbed sleep and a refreshed feeling in the morning.
  8. Curb addiction: Some people have turned to passionflower tea to curb drug addiction, by soothing the symptoms of withdrawal, improving mood and reducing anxiety. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence points to passionflower tea’s ability to reduce nicotine cravings, making it important for those trying to quit smoking.

How to prepare Passionflower tea?

If you want to brew passionflower tea at home, all you need is dried or fresh passionflower leaves and hot water, in addition to any sweeteners you may desire.

Dried leaves can either be crushed into a powder to infuse in the tea, or the leaves can be placed in an infuser or tea strainer. Fresh leaves can also be used to brew this tea, in which case about a 1/4 cup of the leaves is required for a strong brew.

Ingredients

  • 5 grams passionflower leaves (ground into powder) or 1/4 cup fresh passionflower leaves
  • 2 cups of water (filtered)
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar or honey, if desired

Preparation

  1. Step: Add the powdered passionflower leaves to a stainless steel pot.
  2. Step: Add water and bring the water up to a boil.
  3. Step: Allow the mixture to boil for about 15 minutes.
  4. Step: Remove from heat and cool, then strain tea into a teapot or cup.
  5. Step: Add honey or sugar, if you like, and enjoy!

Note: You may notice that some sediment from the powder will be at the bottom of the cup, which is normal. 

Passionflower tea side effects

For all the benefits of this herbal tea, there are also quite a few side effects, including vomiting, nausea, stomach upset, cognitive distress, drowsiness, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, hypotension, and muscle spasms.

However, these side effects are rare, and mainly affect people allergic to members of the Passiflora genus, or people who consume an excessive amount of this tea.

While most of these side effects are the result of drinking an excessive amount of this tea, you should still monitor your use and reaction to this tea carefully.

Pregnancy:   One of the stimulant properties of this powerful tea affects uterine contractions, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women, and can even result in miscarriages or premature labor.

Breastfeeding women are also advised not to consume this beverage, as it can pass along potent chemicals to their child.

Cognitive Confusion:   Common side effects of drinking large quantities of passionflower tea include dizziness, lack of coordination, mental confusion, and anxiety.

If you experience any of these side effects, discontinue use and avoid operating motor vehicles or taking any physical risks.

Gastrointestinal distress:   Nausea, vomiting, bloating and cramping have been reported when high levels of this tea are consumed, as the active components can cause inflammation in the gut.

Blood pressure:   Being able to lower blood pressure is a benefit to heart health, but in combination with other blood pressure-lowering medications, it can be dangerous, resulting in fainting, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.

Sedation:   The sedative properties of this tea are highly praised, but they can also cause negative reactions with certain medications, such as anti-depressant, antispasmodic, and anti-anxiety medications, resulting in highly intensified sedative effects. 

If you are prescribed any of these medications, speak with your doctor before adding passionflower tea to your daily or weekly health regimen

Other properties of Passionflower

SOOTHING PAIN caused by nervous system problems, making it suitable for frequent headaches (migraines) or any other type of pain, including neuralgia.

  • Arrhythmias and Palpitations
  • Various muscle contractions
  • Period pains
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Seasonal depression

Passionflower flower images