are over 400 species of Passionflower growing throughout the world. This article
is about Passionflower incarnata which is native to the Midwestern and
Southeastern United States, and is the species most commonly used in Alternative
Medicine. Passionflower is the official wildflower of Tennessee.
Properties attributed to Passionflower -
inconclusive - anodyne, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, aphrodisiac, aromatic,
Passionflower herb is used in alternative
medicine for anxiety, insomnia, nervous disorders and seizures. It is more
commonly used in Europe than its native home, the United States, where it can be
found growing profusely in fields and on fencerows. Passionflower has been approved by Germany’s
Commission E for the treatment of “nervous unrest". It is now exported to
and grown in many European countries.
Passionflower is said to be useful for back pain due to action on the
nerves. Passionflower's calming properties may also be
helpful for ADD and ADHD. However, since it has not been extensively studied, it
is not advisable to use on children without approval of their doctor. See
Links to Clinical
Studies on Passionflower to learn more. Passionflower is not considered as
strong in action as Valerian or Kava, but might be a good option for those who
can't stand the taste of the stronger herbs. It also has a reputation as an
aphrodisiac. I've heard stories...... you'll have to find out for yourself. I
can see where the calming effects would be helpful in that department.
Why are medical doctors in Europe and Japan more likely to recommend or
prescribe herbs? External links open in new window.
both an edible and medicinal plant. As a tea, It is often blended with Valerian,
Chamomile, Lemon Balm,
Skullcap St. John's Wort
or other relaxing herbs. On its own in tea, it has a pleasant, very mild but unusual taste, much like its fragrance, that is hard to describe.
The color of the infusion is a very pale green, lighter in color than most
herbal teas. Some
people say the scent as an aphrodisiac fragrance. One of my readers said he
thinks it is like green beans, hmm...... maybe raw sweet peas? I like throwing a
handful in my iced tea blends, as it seems to help with concentration when
writing. The taste is not at all overwhelming so it could blend well with most
any herb or iced tea.
Passionflower Herbal Tea Recipe
To 1 tbsp. dried herb
(include stems) add 1 cup boiling water steep for 10 min. drink at
bedtime for restlessness and insomnia, or during the day to calm anxiety.
The flowers can add a tasty and decorative touch to salads,
or used to make a syrup. The fruit
can be eaten raw or made into jams, jellies, or wine. Our native Passion flower fruit is most commonly called Wild Apricot,
and is not the tropical Passionflower which yields Purple Passion Fruit. It is
smaller than the Purple Passion Fruit but can be used in recipes that call for
the tropical variety. The seeds may contain a minute amount of cyanide
like properties, and one should not eat them in large amounts - just to be on
the safe side.
Passionflower Jam Recipe
Passionflower Fruit Wine Recipe
Old Field Apricot Drink
Try dried fragrant
Passionflower leaves, fruits, buds and flowers in herbal sachets, baths, and
herb pillows, too!
An extract, or tincture, can also be made. The
Simpler's Method for making tinctures is to fill a jar with chopped fresh or
ground dried herb and cover with 100 proof vodka. Shake the jar daily for two
weeks, then strain. I prefer to start it at the new moon and strain it when the
moon is full- just because things seem to work better for me when started in a
new moon. Store in jar in dark cabinet and keep some in a dropper bottle for
convenient use. The usual dose is 30-45 drops up to 3 times a day. For advanced information on tinctures and other preparations, read
Making Plant Medicine
by Richo Cech.
Passionflower is on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” list; however, it
might increase the action of other sedative medications and herbs. If taking
MAO-inhibiting antidepressant medications, it is best to consult with a
physician before using Passion Flower. Safety
in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or
kidney disease has not been established. Passionflower is considered safe for
most people when used at recommended dosage. Overdose may cause dizziness and
other symptoms of over sedation. More information can be found at these pages.
User Reviews & Ratings - PASSIONFLOWER from WebMD
Extensive information on medicinal properties, with
warnings and contra-indications from the University of Maryland Medical Center
Description and Habitat
Passionflower is a perennial vine that grows up to 30
ft. (10m). It grows very quickly and produces edible fruit. It has
deeply three-lobed leaves with finely serrated edges and
aromatic, beautifully intricate purple and white sweet-scented flowers that are from 2 to
3 inches across. All above ground parts of the plant are aromatic, with a strong
sweet fragrance. Passion flowers bloom from June to September, and possibly
later when it has been cut during the season. They have tendrils that attach to
tall grasses or whatever they can hold of to climb. The passion fruit, when ripe is
yellow-green and the size of a small hen's egg.
Passionflower is found from Virginia and Kentucky, south
to Florida and Texas. It grows in sandy thickets and open fields, roadsides, fence
rows and waste places. It has also naturalized out of its native range and can
be found in Southern Illinois and other parts of the Midwest.
USDA Distribution Map
Passionflower is easily cultivated through root
division or by seed, but cuttings rooted in water or sand are probably the
easiest way to propagate it. It is said that it requires a well-drained soil,
sandy slightly acid soil in full sun, but it can be found growing in southern
hayfields in soil with a lot of heavy clay. A trellis should be provided for
maximum growth and display, since it is a
climbing vine with tendrils seeking something to latch on to.
My experience has been that wild grown plants do not transplant well to a
garden setting, most likely because Passionflower has a long tap root that
usually breaks when one attempts to dig it up. Perhaps it is best to just bury
ripened fruit, and cover with a little dirt to ward off foraging animals and
birds, where you wish them to grow. A fertile soil, high in nitrogen, will
produce large plants and leaves, but may not have as many flowers and fruit. In
greenhouse cultivation, various heat treatments are used to increase
germination. Richo Cech explains more about this in his book
The Medicinal Herb Grower, Volume 1