Passion flower is also known as May-Pop, Holy Trinity Flower, Crown of Thorns, and Passion Vine. It grows wild in the Southern United States. In the North Georgia area, Passion Flower is often found growing in meadows, along fence lines, and beside wooded areas. The distinctive white, purple, lavender, or pink “frilly” blossoms make passion flower easy to identify.
Passion flower -- photo courtesy of Pexels.com
Passion flower is a medicinal herb that calms the nerves and induces sleep. It is especially recommended for insomnia, panic attacks, and anxiety. Passion flower is an excellent remedy for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, abdominal pain, and headache. This herb can also help lower high blood pressure when the condition is stress related.
Passion flower is used for relieving back pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids. The herb is useful in the treatment of asthma, shingles, attention deficit disorder, restless leg syndrome, and some kinds of seizures. Combine with valerian or lemon balm for best results.
Passion flower is sometimes used to treat enlargement of the male breasts caused by excessive estrogen. Passion flower is also used in the treatment of Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, opium, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Studies show that Passion flower may help fight Parkinson's disease, cancer, HIV, leukemia, epilepsy, and more. The herb contains alkaloids and flavonoids that are considered effective non-addictive sedatives.
Widely used among the Cherokee people, Passion Flower is valuable as a medicine and in religious ceremonies. It is believed that use of the herb not only relieves pain and reduces anxiety, but also increases concentration and expands the mind.
Many cultures consider Passion flower to be a spiritual herb. It is believed to be symbolic of the crucifixion of Christ and is said to bring peace and blessings to the home when grown near the front gate.
Passion flower’s delicate, colorful blossoms develop from plain, smooth buds. Blossoms, leaves, stems, and roots are used in herbal remedies. Passion flower grows in partially shaded, dry areas, and has a long vine which grows more than 30 feet in length. The plant has alternate leaves with finely toothed lobes. The flowers bloom from May to July and the resulting fruit is a yellow “berry” containing numerous seeds. Passion flower fruits are sweet and juicy. They may be added to salads, jellies, and other condiments.
Passion Flower is easily cultivated and may be started from seed, root division, or transplanted from the wild. The plants prefer slightly acid soil and the use of a trellis is recommended. Harvest fruit when it reaches the size of a hen’s egg and turns soft. Harvest leaves at the same time and dry for winter use.
* Avoid Passion flower during pregnancy. Do not use Passion Flower if taking MAO inhibiting anti-depressants drugs. Do not use Passion flower when driving, when operating heavy machinery, or when using any dangerous equipment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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