Passiflora incarnata

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata

Part Used: Leaves and whole plant.

Constituents:

  • Alkaloids; harmine, harman, harmol, harmaline, harmalol, and passaflorine.
  • Flavonoids; apigenin and various glycosides, homoorientin, isovitexin,kaempferol, luteolin, orientin, quercitin, rutin, saponaretin, saponarin andvitexen.

Actions: Nervine, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic, anodyne, hypotensive.

Indications: Passiflora has a depressant effect on C.N.S.activity and is hypotensive; they are used for their sedative and soothingproperties, to lower blood pressure, prevent tachycardia and for insomnia. Thealkaloids and flavonoids have both been reported to have sedative activity inanimals. Many of the flavonoids, such as apigenin, are well-known forpharmacological activity, particularly anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatoryactivities. It is the herb of choice for treating intransigent insomnia.It aids the transition into a restful sleep without any ‘narcotic’ hangover.It may be used wherever an anti-spasmodic is required, e.g. in Parkinson’sdisease, seizures and hysteria. It can be very effective in nerve pain suchas neuralgia and the viral infection of nerves called shingles.It may be used in asthma where there is much spasmodic activity,especially when there is associated tension.

Ellingwood considered it specific for “wakefulness, disturbed sleep frommental worry, and exhaustion from cerebral fulness and from excitement,especially with feebleness. Anemic patients are relieved by it, also thewakefulness of infants and the aged. It is not usually efficient if thewakefulness is caused by pain, nor when the patient is in full strength.Nervous excitement, and irritation with muscular twitchings, evidences ofapproaching convulsions in childhood, with marked cerebral fulness areindications, and it is given at any time preceding or during convulsiveparoxysms if it can be swallowed. It is indicated in convulsions of anycharacter.” In addition he recommends it for the following conditions:convulsions of childhood, severe spasms, epilepsy, chorea,tetanus, hysteria, persistent hiccough, sleeplessness oftuberculosis.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto lteaspoonful of the dried herb and let infuse for l5 minutes. Drink a cup in theevening for sleeplessness, and a cup twice a day for the easing of otherconditions. Tincture: take l-4 ml of the tincture and use the same way as theinfusion.

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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