Passion flower is a popular herb and is commonly known as passiflora or maypop.
Passionflower or passiflora is an herb native to the Northern, Central and Southern parts of America. It is commonly found in Virginia and Kentucky and also in Florida and Texas. It is usually observed growing in open fields, waysides, fences and in sandy dense growth of bushes. Passiflora is a beautiful vine well-known for its flowery blossoms that are purple, blue and pink in color.
The dried aerial parts of passion flowers are used in preparing medicinal remedies.
The passionflower tea is a common remedy for insomnia and helps in calming the central nervous system while increasing the levels of neurotransmitters particularly gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
By doing so, it thus helps in decreasing the activity of nerve cells and brings about mental relaxation. Due to its soothing properties it is useful in treating anxiety and insomnia.
In addition to treating mental disorders, passionflower is also important as a sedative and in antispasmodic preparations.
It can also help in controlling diarrhea and dysentery, while being useful in hemorrhoids and soothing painful menstruation.
The fruit of the passionflower plant is thought to be delicious and is often eaten raw or used in preparations such as jellies and jams. The leaves of the passionflower plant is also used as a cooked vegetable or eaten raw in salads.
The tranquillizing effects of passionflower plant is useful in various anti anxiety research, and studies reveal that its action is highly effective than most sedative drugs and also promotes relaxation.
Herbalists use passion flower in various ailments and disorders associated with the digestive system, and as medicinal preparations in promoting digestion.
Passion flower tea also helps in controlling Parkinson’s disease, hysteria, and seizures. It is particularly effective in treating a viral infection of the nerves known as shingles and often used by herbalists as an alternative treatment for asthma.
Passionflower however must not be consumed by pregnant women, as research indicates that high doses of the passion flower plant are likely to be contraindicated in pregnancy.
As an alternative form of treatment, passionflower is also used as a hypnotic, narcotic, vasodilator and astringent. Passion flower infusion helps in depressing the motor nerves of the spinal cord and is thus extremely valuable in treating back pain, reducing high blood pressure and increasing the respiratory rate. Due to the alkaloids and flavonoids precedent in passionflower, it imparts non-addictive sedative results without causing drowsiness.
The extracts of the passionflower plant are commonly administered in the form of capsules, liquid extracts and in the form of dried herbs.