By Nutri People
Passion flower is a traditional medicinal herb, used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as mild anxiety. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata L.) is a beautiful, common wildflower in the US and a popular garden plant in the UK, where it is often found climbing up fences and walls, flowering in July with large, bluish, purple-white flower heads. Its name comes from the supposed resemblance of the blossoms in the centre of Christ’s crown of thorns at the crucifixion. The Council of Europe lists passion flower as a natural source of food flavouring.
As with many herbs, passion flower has been used medicinally for centuries and it seems to have links back to many churches and monasteries that had healing medicinal gardens. It was also widely used by the Aztecs as a sedative and analgesic. Passion flower also contains an active constituent called harmine, which appears to induce a contemplative state. It was apparently used in World War II as a ‘truth serum‘.
The medicinal parts are found in the whole, or cut, dried herb and fresh aerial parts. The yellow pulp from the berry is edible and has also been attributed as having medicinal properties. Its mode of action appears to be with the compounds of maltol and ethyl maltol, which seem to down-regulate the central nervous system, thereby producing a relaxing effect.
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