Passion Flower Herb (Passiflora incarnata)


Traditionally, passionflower has been used to treat a variety of conditions like wounds, earaches, and liver problems.

The name is derived from its beautiful flowers thought to represent the crucifixion – five stamens for the five wounds, three styles for the three nails, and white and purple-blue for purity and heaven.

The Aztecs called the plant “snake tongue” and used it in remedies for snakebite, fevers, and other ailments. The herb has long been used by Native Central and North Americans for medicinal purposes.

The fruit was called “granadilla” because of its resemblance to “granadas” or pomegranates.

The Cherokee drank a root infusion to treat liver problems, while the Housma used a tea as a blood tonic. The Cherokee used the plant topically to treat boils, wounds, and earaches. They also used it as a food.

In 1978, the FDA removed the plant from the list of herbs generally considered safe because it was not a proven effective as a sleep aid. However, in Europe, it is considered safe, and extensively used in treating nervous restlessness.

Key Actions

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antispasmodic
  • sedative
  • tranquilizing
  • Key Components

    • flavonoids (including apigenin)
    • maltol
    • cyanogenic glycosides (gynocardin)
    • indole alkaloids (harman)