Passion flower

Passion Flower Story, Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Pictures

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Passion flower, scientifically known as  Passiflora, is a genus of a numerous species of flowering plants. It is also referred to as  passion vines. Most species of the passion flower are mostly vines, others shrubs while very few are herbs. The passion flower comes from a bud that is bell-shaped and opens to live for a day or so and then collapse in the same bell-shaped form. The colors of the Passion flower range from deep purple to slightly red. In this post we are going learn tell a brief and interesting passion flower story, highlight on passion flower uses and passion flower side effects. We have also collected a gallery of a few passion pictures.

Story of the passion flower

passion-flower-picture-storyThe passion flower was first discovered by the Jesuit missionary priests by the 17th century. It is said that the passion it refers to is the passion of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It has a unique structure that is not found in any other flower.

The structures symbolically represent the events Jesus Christ went through in his last day’s journey on earth. The flower has seventy two corona filaments, ten petals (five petals and five sepals all identical in both color and shape), five anthers, three stigmas and one column.

If the numerical figures above are interpreted according to the Biblical story of Passions. It is said that seventy two corona filaments represent the crown of thorns set upon Christ’s head; the ten petals represent the ten faithful apostles Jesus had during his last time (this ten apostles exclude Judas who betrayed Jesus and also Peter who denied Jesus in His very last times). The five anthers resemble the five wounds inflicted on Jesus during the time of his crucifixion; three is the total number of nails used to crucify Jesus while one is a column of flagellation. It is also said that the vines leaves are shaped like a spear that was used to pierce Christ’s side. Some scholars have also arrived at the conclusion that the dark round spots found on the lower side of certain species represents the thirty pieces of silver that was given to Judas after he sold out Jesus. They have also established that the tendrils of the passionflower represent the whips that were used to beat Jesus.

General passion flower uses

Passion flower being a plant, its above ground parts are used for medicinal purposes.  Some of the ways it is used are listed below;

  • A popular passion flower use is  solving difficulties involved in sleeping, formally referred to as insomnia. It was officially accepted as an over-the-counter sleep and sedative aid in the United States of America, although it was recalled off the market in 1978 since its effectiveness and safety had not been confirmed.
  • Passion flower is also known for relieving a condition known as Gastrointestinal (GI) which is an upset connected to nervousness or anxiety and a similar condition called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
  • Another passion flower use is relieving symptoms that are linked to withdrawals of narcotic drugs.
  • Passion flower is used for seizures, palpitation, hysteria, asthma, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), symptoms of menopause, nervousness and excitability, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and pain reliever.
  • An extract of passion flower is used in adding flavor to foods and beverages.
  • A least known passion flower use is that it can also be applied to the skin in cases of burns, hemorrhoids, and pain and swelling or inflammation.

Passion flower benefits

Passion flower benefits are numerous. The benefits are said to improve your health in a number of ways. Passion flower benefits include;

According to studies, passion flower can be used as an anti-depressant and menopause relief.It has been established that passion flower enhances depression and some other symptoms of menopause, such as anger, headache and insomnia. In an experiment where participants were made to consume passion flower compliments each day for six weeks, it found that improvement in substantial symptoms happened by week three. It was concluded that passion flower can offer benefits for management of menopause by women who cannot use the therapy of hormone replacement.

Studies have also proved that passion flower has  anti-anxiety advantages. It has been discovered that little dosages of extracts of passion flower lowered the effect of anxiety, while excess doses brought about sedative effect.

Passion flower has been proven to lower blood pressure. A 2013 animal study published in the  “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry established that passion flower can help reduce high blood pressure.  The study established that compounds of anthocyanin antioxidant and a certain compound found in passion flower that is called edulilic acid were accountable for the said benefits. It has also been established that  the fruit pulp of passion flower considerably decreased systolic blood pressure.[ February 2013 issue of the journal “Phytotherapy Research”]

Another passion flower benefit is that it can be used as a Sleep Aid. Studies have established that  Passion flower improves the quality of sleep. In one study where the contestants with minor sleeping disorders were each made to consume a cup full of passion flower tea every night for a whole week. The contestants’ quality of sleep  recorded in a questionnaire and diary. The results indicated that passion flower drastically enhanced the quality of sleep as equated to a control group that were not given the passion flower.

Other passion flower benefits include; food additive, it can for skin, narcotic drag withdrawal etc.

Passion flower side effects

When passion flower is used reasonably, it has not been discovered to bring any dangerous side effects. According to webmed.com, Passion flower is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in amounts normally found in food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken short-term (less than two months) as medicine or tea. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts.

Some of the known passion flower side effects include, dizziness, confusion, and coordination, altered consciousness, and inflamed blood vessels, a rapid heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythm.  In cases of an overdose. Some of the passion flower effects are:-

  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vomiting.
  • Drowsiness.

Passion flower side effects  can act together with different herbs and medications which can lead to excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.

For pregnant and breastfeeding women the side effects of passion flower and its extract have not been certainly known. In a nutshell, passion flower side effects are much expected to be felt, once it is excessively used, or when it is applied along with other medications or herbs. Thus, it is recommended to seek advice from a health care expert before using this herb, specifically when undertaking medicines for an essential health condition since this would keep away the side effects.

In terms of surgery: Passionflower can affect the central nervous system. It might increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications on the brain during and after surgery.It is therefore recommended that seize taking passionflower at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.[webmed]

Passion flower pictures

Have you come across passion flower pictures? Other than the benefits we have already seen above, passion flower has bizarre but beautiful appearance. Here are a few passion flower pictures.

Suggested further reading

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