The Passionflower is a fast-growing perennial vine, native to tropical and semi-tropical regions of the Americas. Not only are the flowers quite beautiful, but they also have a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine. The Aztecs were the first recorded to have used the Passionflower as a medicine. Spanish doctor Nicolas Monardes documented the use of Passionflower in Peru in 1569 and brought the plant back to Europe, where it eventually became widely cultivated. It was added to the treatment regime of North American naturopathic doctors in the mid-19th century, and was one of the top-ten selling herbs the Lloyd Brothers wrote about in 1921. In addition, indigenous North Americans used the root in poultices for boils, cuts, earaches and inflammation.
Passionflower is commonly used as a sleep aid and anxiety reliever. For people with excessive nervous-mind chatter, Passionflower turns the noise off and allows relaxation to come forth. It’s also good for people who are prone to emotional burnout and the associated physical symptoms.
I have found that even just spending time looking at the flowers is calming and soothing. They seem to radiate joy, and their structure is endlessly fascinating. I hope you get a chance to meet the beautiful Passionflower some day!
Photo by Nathan Thompson – all rights reserved