Passion Flower, also known as maypop or wild passion vine, is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. It has large very intricate flowers that normally bloom in July although they normally only last for 1 day. The fleshy fruit – called maypop- is an oval berry the size of a chicken egg. It is green at first and then turns orange as it matures and is food for the larva of many butterfly species along with other wildlife. When the fruit is stepped on it “may pop” – hence the name maypop.
It is native to the southeast/central portions of the United States. The Cherokee Indians used the roots as a poultice to draw out inflammation in thorn wounds and made a tea for earaches and weaning infants. Other herbal folklore indicates it was used to treat various nervous disorders.
Passiflora Incarnata is the homeopathic remedy name and it is considered a Moon (Monday) herb due to its’ calming effects.
Health Benefits of Passion Flower
Calming: Passion flower has strong calming properties. It is great for:
Insomnia and disturbed sleep-great for the aged and even children/babies
Especially good for people who have insomnia as a result of repetitive thinking
Can be used as a mild sedative
Stress induced hypertension /calms high blood pressure
Exhaustion from excitement, over stimulation or over work
Passion Flower is great for those who cannot “let go” of things or for individuals who mull things over in their minds incessantly.
It can also be used for irritability with PMS
For children: Great for teething in babies, colic, insomnia or frequent waking at night as well as fear, panic or stress from traumatic situations.
Pain: Passion Flower can be used for pain as an analgesic and can help to relieve muscle twitching or muscle spasms. Also great for menstrual cramping and muscle sprains, strains and joint inflammation in general. Great for people that are hypersensitive to pain.
Nerve Tonic: Great for those transitioning from an addiction. Neuralgic pains.
Convulsions: It can be used when there is evidence of an approaching convulsion and can be used preceding and during if it can be swallowed.
Antidepressant: Passion flower can also be used as an antidepressant and can even help with post-partum depression.