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Passiflora Incarnata

Passionflower is a wonderfully relaxing remedy and one of the best tranquilising herbs for chronic insomnia, having no addictive effects and allowing you to awake refreshed and alert in the morning. It can be used for neuralgia, shingles, sciatica, Parkinson's disease, muscle pain, twitching and spasm, anxiety, agitation, stress and any physical problem that is stress related, such as colic and asthma, as well as high blood pressure. Wherever physical symptoms are related to or aggravated by anxiety or tension, passionflower can be added to your chosen prescription; for example for hot flashes, migraine, headaches, abdominal pain or a tickly cough.

Common Name: Passionflower

Some herbs give clues to their virtues in their names. Passionflower does the opposite; rather than raising fire, it helps to calm it down. Passiflora is the first herb of choice for adults who cannot sleep. It helps to ensure a restful night, with no hangover feeling the next day. In any situation where stress is a factor, Passionflower may be worth trying. The it last thing at night for insomnia, or regularly during the day for nervous problems.

Passiflora is antispasmodic and slightly painkilling, and can be used to help mange illnesses like Parkinson's disease or mild epiliepsy, to reduce the pain of neuralgia and shingles and to reduce the physical and emotional tension that comes with asthma. Passionflower exerts its beneficial effects on the nerves by toning the sympathetic nerve centre, and improving circulation and nutrition to the nerves.

Key Uses

  • Antibacterial
  • Anodyne
  • Sedative

The name passionflower gives little indication of its action; it was so called by the Spanish explorers and missionaries who saw a resemblance in the flower to the crown of thorns of Christ's passion.

Culinary Passionflower

The fruits of some varities of Passiflora are both edible and delicious. They are eaten raw, prepared in many ways and can be juiced.


Passiflora can be cultivated outside its native habitat as long as it gets some protection from wind and frost, although the fruit may not ripen. It is a climbing plant, valued in the garden for its beautiful flowers. These give the plants its common name - various features of the flower are said to remind people of the passion, or suffering, of Christ. The leaves are collected for medicinal use just before the flowers bloom, between May and July.