Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata L.)
Passionflower, commonly known as maypop, is a perennial climbing vine native to North America but widely cultivated elsewhere. It can grow up to 10m in height and has three to five-lobed serrate leaves. The white flowers have a purple, blue or pink calyx and bloom from May to June. The name Passionflower arose because the corona was thought to resemble Christ’s crown of thorns.
The aerial parts of Passionflower have a long tradition of use in herbal medicine. They are rich in flavonoids, sterols, alkaloids and sugars. The herb is primarily utilised for its sedative, antispasmodic, analgesic and hypotensive actions.
It is a gentle herb, commonly used in the treatment of nervous conditions such as anxiety, irritability, palpitations, restlessness and insomnia. The flavonoids and alkaloids help to ease the transition into a restful sleep without inducing an unpleasant ‘hangover’ or groggy effect on waking. Bio-Health’s Passiflora capsules should be considered by anyone suffering from those sorts of conditions.
It may also be of benefit where an antispasmodic effect is required, for example in Parkinson’s disease and asthma, and is effective in the relief of nerve pain encountered in conditions such as neuralgia and shingles.
Passionflower is often used as a generally supportive herb and as such is an ingredient of many herbal tea mixtures and proprietary herbal medicines. For those who suffer primarily from disturbed sleep and restlessness Bio-Health’s Good-nite capsules, a traditional herbal medicinal product containing valerian root in addition to passionflower, are likely to be of benefit.
NB: The above information is for guidance only, and is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified practitioner. Some herbs may interact adversely with other medication, so make sure that your health professional is aware of everything you are taking. The European Medicines Agency has stated that passionflower should only be taken by adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years. High doses should be avoided in pregnancy. Always follow the dosage recommendations on the pack.