Passion Flower – Materia Medica


Passion flower is a beautiful plant specimen that has amazing benefits for those suffering from insomnia and anxiety. Its calming properties allow us to slow down the chatter of our minds and begin to relax. An excellent infusion (tea) for insomnia would include a blend of passion flower, chamomile flowers, hops and some valerian root. Historically, “(t)he floral structure was seen as symbolizing the implements of the crucifixion, a symbolic reflection of the Passion of the Christ. The white and purple in the flower were said to symbolize heavenly purity, five stamens for the five wounds Jesus suffered, and three style for the three nails used to bind him to the cross. The species name incarnata means “made of flesh or flesh-colored.” (1)

  • Common Name: Passion Flower (Maypop, maypops, purple passionflower, true passionflower, wild apricot, wild passion vine, passion vine, grandilla, maracoc, espina de Cristo, clock flower, clock plant)

  • Latin Name: Passiflora incarnata

  • Family: Passifloraceae

  • Areas of Origin: Asian, New Zealand, Australia, tropical regions of the US

  • Botanical Description: A perennial flowering vine which can spread upwards of 6’ and grow from 6-8’ in height. The flowers bloom from July to September and can have white, lavender or purple leaves and are crowed with delicate, wavy fringe. The center of the flower contains bean-like pollen sacs suspended above the wavy fringe.

  • Parts Used: Vine, leaves, stems, flowers

  • Uses: Insomnia, anxiety, lowers blood pressure, headaches, overstimulation, menstrual cramps

  • Actions: Analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anxiolytic, hypnotic, hypotensive, nervine

  • Preparations: Infusion, extract, capsules, tablets

  • Taste: Green, grass-like, mild

  • Safety: Avoid during pregnancy. Not recommended for those who have depression due to sedating effects. May cause sleepiness, dizziness or confusion.

  • Contraindications (Plant-Medication Combinations): Potentiates pentobarbital sleeping time. Contains coumarins may have anticoagulant potential. May interact with warfarin.

Until next time, discover the power of welcoming nature’s healing plants into your life.


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