The power of passionflower tea

Passionflower has a long ethnobotany tracing back to Aztecs and other indigenous peoples of Mexico and South America. The foliage and stems of the variety Passifiora incarnate is utilized as a sedative and nerve tonic in modern herbalism while Passiflora edulis (of the edible fruit fame) is largely ignored.

Passionflower is considered a superior calming herb – utilized to settle nerves and quell excessive nerve signaling. It has treatment applications with neuralgia, uterine pain, gastrointestinal spasms, insomnia, irritability and depression. It is having a renaissance in contemporary herbalism to treat generalized anxiety, stress syndromes and opiate withdrawal.

The chemical makeup of passionflower tea triggers increased levels/registering of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) within the brain which is helpful to lowering the activity of brain cells associated with tension, stress and anxiety. This is the beginning of the tea helping to make you feel more relaxed. It’s array of flavonoids (including rutin, kaempferol, quercetin and vitexin) are antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, nervine and neuroprotective– while two of its alkaloids (harman and harmoline) exert muscle relaxant and sedative effects – further prompting a deeper relaxed state.

These physical effects upon the body and brain chemistry are both analgesic and anxiolytic and would indicate that beyond insomnia and anxiety issues, there may be a basis for the treatment of chronic pain syndromes including fibromyalgia – and also with conditions such as M.E, M.S and Parkinson’s disease. Passionflower tea has had a history with nervous disorders and their side symptoms of twitches, tremors, headaches, nervous stomach and restlessness etc.

Passionflower tea and extracts have a good reputation in remedying the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweets, confusion and depression. The tea may also benefit erectile dysfunction or low libido in men as it improves blood circulation, while lowering blood pressure and anxiousness. It also contains chrysin which actively helps rise/conserve testosterone levels.

How to make: Standard infusion of 3-7mins with 1 tsp of dried herbage per cup required. While passionflower herb doesn’t drastically increase in bitterness with longer steepage, the extraction of health molecules is pretty much done after 5minutes. The tea is pleasant enough but do not expect the fruit flavour. It is suited to some sweetening or flavour enrichment.

Dosage: For insomnia the recommendation is a strong cup one hour before bedtime, for anxiety and other therapeutics 2-3 cups during the day for treatment duration. For prolonged use, a weekend pause every two weeks is recommended. Caution: Avoid in pregnancy and breastfeeding. May interact with anticonvulsants, anticoagulants benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants and prescription sedatives. Recurrent usage can aggravate conditions caused by excessive testosterone.

To find out more about the power of other herbal teas pick up a copy of a quick cuppa herbal –






About The Holistic Gardener

author of wellness books, columnist, keynote speaker.
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