PASSION FLOWER: A FLOWER OF PASSION OR PEACE?

PASSION FLOWER: A FLOWER OF PASSION OR PEACE? />

COMMON NAME: Passion Flower

LATIN NAME: Passiflora Incarnata

HINDI NAME: Jhumkalata

HABITAT: In the wild, this plant is found mainly in the tropics of America, less often in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Passion Flower mostly grows in tropical forests, and often form impenetrable thickets.

ORIGIN: Peru, South America

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Red-white Passion flower, also known as Passiflora (lat.Passiflora incarnate L.) belongs to the largest Passifloraceae family, including about 400 species of herbaceous or woody vines, distributed mainly way in the tropics and subtropics of South America.

Passion Flower, or Passiflora, is a grassy vine that leads the climbing lifestyle with the help of tendrils. In this case, the tendrils, first stretch out, make circular movements in search of support, then tightly wrap around it and pull the entire plant up. The flowers have a strong odor and unusual structure. They are also quite large. Indeed, Passion Flower is rather complicated in structure, unlike any other among angiosperms. Inside the wide-open, brightly colored double perianth, there is an even brighter crown of narrow long petal-shaped lobes.

Various insects and birds pollinate the plant, in particular violet-ear. A great adaptation of a flower is the ability to self-pollination, if for some reason, cross-pollination has not occurred. The fruit is a berry. The seeds are with endosperm and fleshy aryllus, flattened, with sculptured seed skin. Passion Flower blooms from the beginning of summer until autumn.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:

The composition of this plant is quite rich and diverse. The plant has a large group of flavonoids (C - glycosides of apigenin and luteolin), alkaloids (garman, norgarman, garmin), coumarins, quinones. In addition, it contains sugars, polysaccharides, free amino acids, glycoproteins. In the rhizomes, there were found glycosides of the flavono group.

ACTIONS: The plant has a large number of positive actions it can have on human’s body, including anxiolytic, sedative, relaxant, analgesic, antianxiety, antiasthmatic, anticonvulsant, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, astringent, brain enhancer, cardio tonic , circulatory, diaphoretic, diuretic, germicide, hypotensive, and neuroprotective.

HEALTH BENEFITS:

This plant is used to treat thrombosis, hypertensive crisis.

The active substances in the plant lower blood pressure, have an antispasmodic effect for muscle cramps and asthma attacks, and help in case of gastrointestinal tract disorders and inflammatory processes.

Passiflora is also useful for disorders in the intestines, especially if they are associated with severe nervous overloads or shocks. The plant restores the correct intestinal motility, and also treats the cause of the intestinal problems.

The plant is able to suppress the transmission of nerve impulses of the brain and spinal cord. It has calming effect on the central nervous system, and increases the respiratory rate.

This beautiful plant is used in case of headaches, toothaches, insomnia, Parkinson's disease. The soothing effect of this plant is similar to the effect of valerian. Sometimes in combination with other plants, Passiflora Incarnata is recommended for tics and cramps.

This plant is used to reduce menopause symptoms. Passion Flower helps not only to remove the nervous excitement caused by serious processes of restructuring in the body, but also significantly raises the mood, which is usually necessary during this period. Passion flower is effective for pain during menstruation. This herb is very gentle; it doesn’t cause drowsiness and other undesirable consequences.

Passion Flower is used to treat children with neurasthenic disorders. Moreover, the effect is expressed in improving the quality of sleep, in reducing irritability, reducing motor anxiety, and improving concentration.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

It is not recommended to use Passion Flower in case of the following diseases:

  • Myocardial infarction;
  • Heart atherosclerosis and blood vessels of the brain;
  • Chronic gastritis;
  • Hypotension;
  • Angina pectoris;
  • The presence of uric acid salts in the urine.

As there is no proven scientific information about tacking Passiflora during pregnancy and breast-feeding period it is better not to use it to protect yourself from potential risks.

HISTORY:

Since time immemorial, Maya and the Aztecs knew about the healing properties of Passion Flower, in particular the calming and relaxing effect on the nervous system.

The first mention of this plant among Europeans dates back to 1552, when the doctor Martin de la Cruz described the medicinal plants used by the Aztecs. They used the plant for urinary retention, bone fractures, and bruises.

In the North American countries Passiflora was one of the most popular medicinal plants, it was used for sleep disturbances, convulsions, nervousness, and even epilepsy.

Passiflora was of great interest as a beautiful ornamental plant in botanical gardens.

The aesthetic qualities of Passion Flower have also been valued since ancient times, as early as in 1610, drawings of this plant were brought to Europe from the New World by Giacomo Bocci.

The Spanish missionaries saw in some parts of Passion Flower “the instrument of “The Lord’s passions”, identifying the perianth crown with a thorny wreath, and the stamens and pestle with instruments of torture.

The fruits of several dozen types of Passion Flower are appreciated for their taste, aroma and "vitamin" composition.

*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.