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Passion flower review
Botanical description: a creeping perennial vine native to the southeastern regions of North America, also known as maypop, granadilla, passion vine, and apricot vine.
Active constituents: alkaloids, flavonoids, cyanogenci glycosides, fatty acids, sugars, gum, maltol, ethylmaltol, formic acid, butyric acid, sitosterol and stigmasterol.
Health benefits : relieve anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia, recommended for the relief of nausea caused by nervousness or anxiety.

Dosage: recommended dosages of passion flower generally range from 4-8 g of dried herb per day.

Side effects : nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat. Passion flower may increase the effects of drugs and herbals that promote sleepiness.
 

Passion flower


Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a creeping perennial vine native to the southeastern regions of North America. Other names for passionflower include maypop, granadilla, passion vine, and apricot vine. The plants were named for the passion of Christ, because the flower structure seemed symbolic of Jesus' scourging, crowning with thorns, and crucifixion. Passion flower is a perennial climbing vine with herbaceous shoots and a sturdy woody stem that grows to a length of nearly 10 meters. Passion flowers have large purple and white flowers, yellow fruit, and are usually unpleasant smelling. They are vines that have palmate leaves, and have five sepals and petals on their flowers. Passion flower is a vine ten feet to twenty feet long, with alternate leaves. Each flower has petals varying in color from white to pale red. Inside the petals are wreaths that form rays and surround the axis of the flower. The leaves are from two and one-half to six inches long and wide. Each leaf is palmately three-lobed with finely serrated edges. The fruit is an edible leathery berry. The ripe fruit is an orange-colored, multi-seeded, egg-shaped berry containing an edible, sweetish yellow pulp. When stomped, it makes a loud pop.
 

Active constituents of passion flower


Passion flower contains harmala alkaloids, flavonoids, cyanogenci glycosides, fatty acids, sugars, gum, maltol, ethylmaltol, formic acid, butyric acid, sitosterol and stigmasterol. The harmala alkaloids include harman, harmine, harmaline, and harmalol. Passion flower also contains some diuretics such as apigenin, kaempferol, and luteolin. The plant also has some antihypertensive chemicals, which include quercetin and rutin. The harman alkaloids and flavonoids have a tranquilizing effect. Flavonoids, such as apigenin, are well-known for pharmacological activity, particularly anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory activities.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of passion flower


Passion flower has a long history of use among Native Americans. Today, passion flower is mainly used in the United States and Europe to relieve anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. It is also recommended for the relief of nausea caused by nervousness or anxiety. It works by slowing the pulse, decreasing arterial tension, and quieting respiration and pulmonary blood pressure. Passion flower is anxiolytic and analgesic. It decreases motor activity that can contribute to stress-related myospasms. Passionflower has been used traditionally for menstrual pain, diarrhoea and dysentery. An extract containing passionflower and hawthorn has been studied in people with congestive heart failure for the treatment of shortness of breath and difficulty exercising. When combined with hawthorn berries, passionflower is effective in reducing stress-related digestive spasms such as gastritis and colitis. Fruit juice as an eyewash for sore eyes. A tincture or infusion from dried leaves is an insomnia remedy. Homeopathic practitioners prescribe it for asthma and whooping cough. Applied externally, it has been used for hemorrhoids. Passionflower may also relieve anxiety in people who are recovering from heroin addiction.
 

Dosage and administration of passion flower


Passion flower preparations are made from fresh or dried flowers and other above-ground parts of the plant. Recommended dosages of passion flower generally range from 4-8 g of dried herb per day. To make tea, pour 150 ml (about two-thirds of a cup) of hot water over 1 teaspoonful of passion flower, steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Two or three cups of tea a day. Alternatively, 5-10 ml (1:8) of passion flower tincture can be taken three to four times per day.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


In general, passionflower is considered to be safe and nontoxic. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat. Pregnant women should not take passion flower, because passionflower contains substances that can stimulate contractions of the uterus. Passion flower may increase the effects of drugs and herbals that promote sleepiness. It may also enhance the blood-thinning effects of anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents.