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Home :: Passion Flower :: Herbs

Passion Flower Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Other names :- Apricot vine, granadilla, Jamaican honeysuckle, maypop, passion fruit, and water lemon.

Passion flower is a component in some European sedative drug mixtures. The Council of Europe lists the herb as a natural food flavoring, and in 1978 a passion flower chewing gum was patented in Romania.

Description

The Passion Flowers are so named from the supposed resemblance of the finely-cut corona in the centre of the blossoms to the Crown of Thorns and of the other parts of the flower to the instruments of the Passion of Our Lord. 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.

Common doses of passion flower

Available in several homeopathic remedies, passion flower comes as:

  • liquid extract (1: 1 in 25% alcohol)
  • tincture (1:8 in 45% alcohol, or containing 0.7% flavonoids)
  • crude extract
  • dried herb.

    Some experts recommend the following doses:
  • For Parkinson's disease, 10 to 30 drops of 0.7% flavonoids taken orally three times daily.
  • As dried herb, 0.25 to 1 gram taken orally three times daily.
  • As a liquid extract, 0.5 to 1 milliliter taken orally three times daily.
  • As a tea, 4 to 8 grams (3 to 6 teaspoons) taken orally in equal doses throughout the day.
  • As a tincture, 0.5 to 2 milliliters taken orally three times daily.

Use of passion flower herb

The historical use of passion flower is not dissimilar to its current use as a mild sedative. Medicinal use of the herb did not begin until the late 19th century in the United States. Passion flower was used to treat nervous restlessness and gastrointestinal spasms. In short, the effects of passion flower were believed to be primarily on the nervous system, particularly for anxiety due to mental worry and overwork.

Side effects of passion flower

Call your health care practitioner if you experience unusual symptoms while using passion flower.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking, especially:

  • drugs that depress the central nervous system, such as alcohol, cold and allergy medicines, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotic pain relievers, barbiturates, seizure drugs, and muscle relaxants
  • drugs used to relieve depression called MAO inhibitors, such as Marplan or Nardil.

Important paints to remember

  • Don't use passion flower if you're pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Tell your health care practitioner if you are planning a pregnancy or suspect you're pregnant.
  • Be aware that this herb may make you feel relaxed or sleepy.
  • Don't confuse the passion flower used in herbal therapy with its close relative, the cultivated blue passion flower (P. caerulea), which isn't used as an herb.

What the research shows

Although studies don't show that passion flower is dangerous, they don't show that it's effective in treating any medical condition. Thus, medical experts don't recommend this herb.


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