Passionflower- Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects
Passionflower comes from the family of plants known as passiflora. This family consists of more than 500 species of passionflower plants. Most of them are found in America whereas some of them are cultivated. Also, few species are known for their edible fruits. Many of these passionflower species are grown for their edible fruits too. These plants come in different shapes and sizes, from a long cylindrical trumpet-shaped tube to a shallow saucer shape. Some of them are shrubs perennials, annuals, and even trees. They all look very unusual and remain open for only about a day.
Mainly, these plants are known for their medicinal properties. They are very helpful in treating insomnia and anxiety attacks. Passionflowers look like they belong to tropical areas but in reality, you can grow them almost anywhere, including colder areas. In winters, you can grow passion flowers in pots in your house.
Passionflower has various applications such as it can be taken by mouth for seizures, menstrual cramps, irregular heartbeat, asthma, symptoms of menopause, palpitations, premenstrual symptoms, and symptoms of menopause. You can also take it for sleep-related problems, adjustment disorder, indigestion pain, muscle cramps, nervousness before surgery, and much more.
Some people also use passion flowers on the skin to treat hemorrhoids, inflammation, and burns. In this article, we will read different benefits, dosages, precautions, and side effects of passion flowers.
OTHER NAME(S) OF PASSIONFLOWER: Apricot Vine, Burucuya, Corona de Cristo, Maracuja, Maracuya, Purple Passion Flower, Water Lemon, Wild Passion Flower, Maypop, Maypop Passion Flower, Passiflora, Passiflora incarnata, Fleischfarbige, Fleur de la Passion, Fleur de Passiflore, Passiflorae Herba, Passiflore, Passiflore Aubépine, Passiflore Officinale, Passiflore Purpurine, Passiflore Rouge, Pasiflora, Pasionari, Pasionaria, Passiflorina, Passion Vine, Passionaria, Passionblume, Passionflower, Passionflower Herb, Passionsblomma, Passionsblumenkraut, Flor de Passion, Granadilla, Grandilla, Grenadille, Madre Selva.
Types of passionflower
There are many varieties of passion flowers, they differ in appearance and color. Some of the most common and popular types of passionflower are as follows:
- Blue Passionflower – Passiflora Caerulea
- Purple Passionflower – Passiflora Incarnata
- Red Passion flower – Passiflora coccinea
- Fragrant Granadilla – Passiflora alata ‘ruby glow’
Passionflowers can be propagated in different ways such as stem cutting and tip layering. Let’s discuss these methods in brief.
1) Propagate with stem cuttings
- Cut a node from 6 inches below the stem & remove all the leaves at the bottom of cutting.
- Now dip an inch of the bottom of the cutting into root hormone.
- Put it in a small pot at least 1 inch into the soil with sufficient draining
- Gently water the soil
- Use a plastic bag to cover the flower pot and make some slits so that flower can breathe.
- Keep the flower pot in a shady place. Keep it warm and moist.
- After a few weeks, check if the plant is rooted or not. If it is rooted then transplant it to a permanent place.
2) Propagate with tip layering
- Find a tip of the vine in a familiar area or at a place where you want your passionflower to grow and expand.
- Remove the leaves and bumps as they can cause bacterial growth in the plant.
- Place the part of the vine deep into the soil and then cover it with the soil.
- If the vine pops up then weigh it down with some rocks or secure it with an anchor pin.
- After a few days, check if it has rooted or not. If it is rooted then transplant it to a place of your choice. Make sure that you do it carefully without damaging the newly generated roots.
These two methods are the most basic and popular methods of growing passionflower. It is purely DIY (Do it yourself) that can be done with the help of basic gardening tools that might be present in your house or you can easily purchase them from any local seller.
Passionflower is a relatively less maintenance plant and doesn’t require much attention but it may turn yellow if there is a lack of nutrients in the soil. The soil should be properly amended or you can buy it from flower sellers. It is really important to have the right soil for the plant to grow and bloom. The most important nutrients for passionflower include Nitrogen, Potassium, iron, magnesium, Sulfur, and Zinc.
Health Benefits of Passionflower
The calming effect of passionflower
Many studies suggest that purple passionflower or P.incarnata can help in relieving anxiety and insomnia. It boosts the level of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) that lowers the brain activity that makes you feel relaxed and better. It reduced the time took to fall asleep and increased the duration of sleep.
In a trial conducted by some researchers, candidates drank herbal tea with passionflower for seven days. They found that the candidates experienced quality in their sleep. The research concluded that adults can consume passionflower to manage their sleep.
Similarly, some trials were also conducted on the people on scheduled surgeries. The trial concluded that the patients who took passionflower were less anxious as compared to those who didn’t take any medicine or passionflower. However, the effectiveness varies from person to person and the respective doses given to them.
That apart, some other species may also help you to calm down stomachache or other stomach problems. Passiflora foetida also known as stinking passionflower is the most common species that is used in treating stomach-related problems. A study conducted on rats showed that passionflower can treat ulcers in the stomach. It showed some anti-oxidant potential as well. In another study, the extract was created from the leaves and stems of Passiflora Serratodigitata that showed some promising results in treating ulcers in rats. However, research on human beings is still insufficient but we can have an idea that it may work well in humans too.
Other health benefits of passionflower
Passionflower has several other benefits too. Following are some of its many health benefits:
1) Reduces menopause symptoms
According to research conducted on some candidates, passionflower was found to effectively reduce the common symptoms of menopause. It significantly reduced depression, headache, anger, and insomnia.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties
The extract of the stem and leaves of the passionflower has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Its effectiveness varies from species to species and more research is being conducted on it.
Studies have shown that passionflower mixed with papaya can increase the time duration of seizures. Researchers are still studying the different species and their respective effectiveness for seizure management.
Following are some other benefits but the evidence to support the effectiveness is less:
- Some research showed that taking a combination of passionflower and hawthorn and consuming it by mouth for at least 6 weeks increases the six-minute walking distance in people with mild heart failure.
- Passionflower can reduce the symptoms of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children aged 6-12 years.
- When passionflower is used with multi-ingredient product or EUP may help in reducing adjustment disorder or anxious mood.
What are its potential risks or side effects?
Till yet, there is not enough scientific evidence to document any side effect of consuming passion flowers. In some cases, consuming passion flowers may cause:
- Rapid heartbeat etc.
Apart from these, there isn’t any side effect or potential risks have been recorded. But as always, we will recommend you to consume only after the consultation of a physician. As we don’t know what can be the underlying consequences of consuming any supplement.
How to consume passionflower?
Before consuming anything you should first consult your physician. Following are some suggested guidelines to consume passionflower. Kindly note, these dosages are just guidelines, not any prescription.
- Drinking tea made from 4 to 8 grams of dried herb
- Take 10 to 30 drops of liquid extract of passionflower, three times a day.
- Tincture: 10 drops, three times a day
- Infusions: 2.5 grams, three times a day
There are different types of passion flowers but the advice remains the same every time. Whenever you take any supplement that includes passionflower as the main ingredient then discuss the dosages with any doctor or medical expert. Kindly ensure to tell him about any other medications that you are taking or you took recently. Just like any other herbal remedy or medication, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t take passionflower.
Similarly, one shouldn’t take passionflower parallel to any other prescription or medicine course. There is a possibility of side effects if there is any crossover of passionflower and any other medicine.
Several medicines have the potential to interfere with potency as well. The list includes Barbiturates, narcotics, antihistamines and benzodiazepine. Antidepressants can interfere with its potency as well. Either the medicine or the supplement would work well along with a high probability of some side effects.
Furthermore, some research has shown that passionflower significantly interferes with the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory medicines or blood thinners. In case, if you are taking blood thinners then avoid taking passion flower without consultation with your doctor. Also, passionflower does not go well with alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine.
In a nutshell, you shouldn’t consume any supplement without a prescription especially when you are already on medication. You should always consult a doctor or medical expert before taking any supplement. As there may be many underlying consequences of such interference of different types of supplements or drugs.
Read More, How to Grow Your Own Wellness Garden at Home
This is all about the passionflower. If you think that this passionflower can help you in healing then do include it in your regular routine but only after consulting with your doctor.
In Optimisticgirls, we always share the healthy and natural ways of healing your soul and body.
Stay Healthy and Stay Optimistic.