I was so very excited this week to discover Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) on our property! (Also known as Passion Vine or May Pop) I literally gasped and ran toward it when I saw it. Ben and I were walking the south field as we were investigating our electric lines and there it was...and another and another! They were all around. What a delightful discovery! It is on my wish list of herbs to grow so imagine my excitement to find that YHVH (God) has already planted them here for me!
Besides being one of the most beautifully complicated and intricate flowers I have ever set my eyes on, Passion Flower is also fragrant and has effective medicinal properties very worth cultivating and harvesting the plant for.
Passion flower has a tranquilizing effect, including mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects. In studies conducted since the 1930's, its mode of action has been found to be different than that of most sedative drugs (sleeping pills), thus making it a non-addictive herb to promote relaxation.
The sedative effect of Passion flower has made it popular for treating a variety of ailments, including nervousness and insomnia. Research had indicated that passion flower has a complex activity on the central nervous system (CNS), which is responsible for its overall tranquilizing effects. Also, it apparently has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles within the body, including the digestive system, promoting digestion.
Other Uses: Even though contemporary uses may be simplified to anxiety or insomnia Passion flower has been traditionally used in treating many other conditions and there is modern research to support reasons why it it would be effective for these other applications. Some of these conditions include: heart palpitations, blood pressure, epilepsy and as pain reliever. It calms muscle tension and twitching without affecting respiratory rate or mental function the way many pharmaceutical sedatives do. I have also read that it has been used successfully for bronchial asthma, burns, menopausal and menstrual symptoms, concentration, circulation and inflammation too! Two studies have shown that Passion Flower has antibacterial and anti fungal properties and the Native Americans used to use it for wound care.
There are no reported side effects for passion flower and the suggested dosages. However, it is not recommended for use in pregnant women or children under the age of two because there is not sufficient data gathered in this area. If someone is already taking a sedative or tranquilizer, consult a health care professional before using passion flower.
Also be aware that passionflower's close relative, blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea), which is ornamental and should not be used. It does not have the same activity and it contains cyanide (poison).
Personal Experience: It is a delicious flower to make teas (infusions) with and very nice to include in other remedies as well. Because of its relaxing calming effects, I find it assists other herbs in the healing process! So it is wonderful in adding to remedies for this and its pleasant flavor.
I have only purchased it dried from others, but am looking forward to growing it this year and cultivating it closer to the house in the future. I am also looking forward to sampling its fruit, Passion Fruit! It is said that it makes a nice jam or cold beverage..so I intend to research that and if I have enough to play with I will surly experiment with it! In my recent research I was tickled to find out it was my State Flower! Being new to Tennessee - I am still learning this nifty local facts too!
When researching how to grow and care for the plants, It seems that there are mixed reviews on how easy it is to start from seed or grow. I am guessing that is based on the conditions. Since it is TN state flower I am hopeful that we might be able to grow it abundantly - hopefully even for sale some day. They seem to like moist soil, warmth, humidity and part sun. They can often be found in these climates. The place where I found mine were in a 50 foot clearing between a long row of trees. I also learned that these vines can grow up to 8 feet tall others said 30 ft long. I would like to trellis the ones that I found - so I am going back to my little Passion Flower patch to determine what would be the best way trellis and care for these little gems. I expect we will have some electric company trucks driving through there soon too - so I am hoping we come to a peaceable agreement regarding my babies! :-) :-( :-)
Harvesting: Passion Flower blooms May- July and leaves are to be harvested during that time and used or saved (dried) for remedies. The fruit can be harvested July-Oct and if they have received enough water they will be sweet and the size of a small hen's egg.
This Post was shared at the Barn Hop
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