Spanish explorers learned about passion flower from native Peruvians. They named these plants for their resemblance to a crucifix. In Christian traditions, “the Passion” is a term used to describe the final period of Jesus Christ’s life, including his crucifixion.
There are about 500 known species of passion flower. This family of plants is also known as Passiflora. may increase the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical the brain makes to regulate mood. The chemicals in passion flower help to calm, promote sleep-inducement, muscle spasm relieving effects. It can also aid in an Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal program.
Native Americans have used passion flower to treat a variety of conditions. These include boils, wounds, earaches, and liver problems.
In Europe, people have used P. incarnata to treat restlessness and agitation. And some people use it to treat anxiety. The fruit is also used to flavor certain beverages.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Passion flower is POSSIBLY SAFE for most children when taken by mouth for short periods of time. A specific passion flower product (Pasipay by Iran Darouk Pharmaceutical Company) has been used safely in children aged 6-13 years at a dose of 0.04 mg per kg body weight daily for up to 8 weeks.
Pregnancy: Passion flower is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There are some reports of early labor and other problems when passion flower has been used in pregnancy. There are some chemicals in the passion flower plant that might cause the uterus to contract. Don’t use passion flower if you are pregnant.
Breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if passion flower is safe to use when breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Surgery: Passion flower might cause drowsiness. It might increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications on the brain during and after surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking passion flower within 2 weeks of scheduled surgery.
Recipe for Passion flower Tea
Just in time for National Hot Tea Month (January), The Tea Council of the USA is promoting how everyone can take comfort in knowing that soothing true teas – which include black, green, white, dark and oolong – have been linked to numerous de-stressing health benefits. While tea drives comfort and relaxation year-round, the council says January is the perfect time to toast to its goodness.
As tea, passion flower boasts a clean and amber like color with a rich, savory, earthy flavor that is reminiscent of a broth. Though this herbal tea does not need sweetening, it does pair well with milk, honey, or sugar for added flavor.
1 tbsp. dried passion flower (about 2 grams) or a tea bag
1 cup hot water
Honey, milk, or sweetener (optional)
Steep dried passion flower in hot water for 6-8 minutes. Steep for 10-15 minutes for a stronger tea and more potential benefits.
Strain or take tea bag out of water. Optional: Sweeten with a touch of honey.
Dosage: Drink one cup of tea made with 1 tablespoon of dried passion flower per night for at least seven days to feel the effects.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF PASSION FLOWER : Passion flower has very few side effects, but it can cause sleepiness or dizziness which may affect functioning. Passion flower shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women and may interact with certain medications, so it’s always best to consult with a professional before consumption.
As always, check with your doctor before adding anything to your everyday routine to determine what’s best for you and your individual health.