A few days ago, my husband went out to see if we had any cucumbers on the vines yet. We attempted a small garden earlier this year, but it hadn't produced anything but a few small radishes, and we were both hoping that the cucumbers had survived. Sadly, he didn't find cucumbers. Instead, it looks like we're growing a garden full of Passion Flowers. Passion Flower, much like its cousin the Honeysuckle, is a very invasive vine that likes to take over an area and claim it for itself. The Passion Flower vine was discovered in Peru around 1569. It was presented to Pope Paul V in 1608 and formally named the "La Flor de Las Cinco Llagas," which means "the flower with the five wounds," a few years later. It has a deep symbolism within the religious community, and I'll leave a link or two at the end if you'd like to know more about that. For now, though, I want to talk benefits. Passion Flower acts as a nervine agent and is said to boost the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels of the brain. GABA plays an important role in behavior, cognition, and the body’s response to stress. A GABA deficiency can lead to unrest and tension. This means that Passion Flower helps with:
Passion Flower is an ancient remedy that has been around for ages, and these are just a few of the many benefits of this hardy plant. Now, there are some stipulations. There are over 400 different varieties of Passion Flower in the world, and most of them can be used medicinally. However, the Blue Passion Flower is a houseplant and is not meant for medicinal use. Also, you should not use Passion Flower in any form when pregnant because it may cause contractions. My advice is to get your Passion Flower from a Health Food Store or Herbalist. And remember to check with your doctor before using any new herbs, but especially one that acts on the nerves like Passion Flower and Honeysuckle. To learn more, visit Mother Earth Living, Healthy Hildegard, Garden Guides, Passion Flower Power, Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Natural Alternative Remedy. The photos are my own.