The passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) herb is incredibly beautiful and has been used to naturally treat ailments from gastrointestinal problem to cuts and bruises. But herbal tinctures made from the gorgeous flower are highly useful for those who often carry a little extra stress and anxiety.
The passion flower gets its name from Spanish missionaries in Peru who saw this unusual flower as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ, or “The Passion.” Each part of the flower holds symbolic meaning in Christianity with recognition of the crucifixion story, or “the Passion of the Christ.” The five sepals and five petals are said to refer to the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas the betrayer, and Peter). Three stigmas represent the three nails that held Christ to the cross, while the flower’s five anthers represent his five sacred wounds (both feet, both hands and the spear wound to the side). The tendrils of the flower are said to resemble the whips used in the flagellation, while the filaments, which can number in excess of a hundred depending on the flower, depict the crown of thorns.
While the name is rooted in Christianity, the herb has become well known for its medical properties too. However, medicinal use of the herb did not begin until the late nineteenth century in the United States, when Passion Flower was used to treat nervous restlessness and gastrointestinal spasms.
Passion Flower herbal tinctures can help relieve nervousness, nervous tension, occasional anxiety, restless or racing thoughts, hypervigilance, and trouble relaxing during the day. The alkaloids “chrysin” and “benzoflavone” present in this herb have been found to increase GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters used by the brain to prevent over-excitement and attain balance. It also helps to decrease the activity of depression-inducing brain cells. Ready Nutrition’s Passion Flower Organic Herbal Tincture is also a neurotransmitter modulator that acts on GABA-B receptor sites to slow down central nervous system activity, producing sedative effects.
Passion Flower herbal tinctures naturally and safely help anyone who may need some calming or soothing benefits, says the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. The herb is a gentle anti-anxiety and mildly sedative one which can be used to induce a good night’s sleep. One particular study asked volunteers with trouble sleeping to drink a cup of Passion Flower tea at bedtime for a period of time, all reported significant sleep improvement.
The Chestnut School declares that their primary use of a passionflower tincture is for insomnia because of “circular thinking” or worrying. Passion Flower, primarily in tincture form, for insomnia, especially with circular thinking. For example, it would be used and beneficial to the person who is lying in their bed mulling over an unpleasant situation in their life or something they said that day – basically, something that is stressing them out and they just can’t let it go.
Passion Flower is also considered safe for children, it is beneficial internally to take the edge off teething, and to help children relax when they are climbing up the walls. It also helps with those little ones who may have some trouble calming down so they can sleep at night.
The tincture is pretty easy to use too! Simply take one or two dropperfuls every morning and night, as needed. Drop desired amount into water, tea, or your favorite beverage.
Some of the side effects could be altered consciousness, loss of coordination, drowsiness, liver toxicity, nausea/vomiting, and a quickened heart rate. This may not be a complete list of the possible side effects, however, for safety reasons, and in the essence of full disclosure and for your benefit, we chose to include them.
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or ailment. Please seek professional medical attention if you have any concerns.