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Health Benefits of Passionflower
Today you are going to discover the amazing health benefits of Passionflower. Whose botanical name is “Passiflora incarnate” is also known by other names like “Maypop and Passiflora.”
The plant is an American native species belonging to a genus of beneficial flowering vines found around the world. Passionflower although mostly tropical can grow in regions with colder climates.
The plant has a very long vine that can grow up to a height of 92 meters in length. Its white flowers have a brightly colored, mysterious purple center with its unique blossom developing from a rare bud that is compared to the passion of Christ as the plant parts were initially thought to resemble the messiah’s crucifixion giving rise to the plant’s name.
Passion Flower Benefits
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What are medical effects of Passionflower. The passionflower plant produces an edible fruit and all its leaves, stems and flowers offer certain health benefits. The passionflower’s unique healing powers that provide overflowing goodness to an individual’s mind and body are said to come from its bioflavonoid and alkaloid components.
These unique compounds interact positively with other body mechanisms to maintain both physical and mental wellness as well as in providing the much-needed body equilibrium.
Passionflower which is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help in alleviating most types of pain. The natural herb uses its sedative and antispasmodic qualities as well to relieve physical pain in various ways.
One can use the homeopathic remedy to lessen headache pains and premenstrual cramps. The wonder herb can also alleviate toothaches and muscle discomforts. “The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants” recommends the passionflower herb for relieving pain, particularly that which causes difficulty in sleeping.
Passion flower can also help in relieving chronic pain. Older people are likely to experience mild aches and pains as they age. Although the discomfort might not be severe enough to warrant the use of strong pain relievers it can end up negatively impacting an individual’s quality of life.
For years, most cultures have used passionflower extracts as reliable nutritional supplements for eliminating and reducing such minor aches. Applying a tea bag of the herbal remedy onto a body area with pain, inflammation or minor burn can help in relieving the discomfort greatly.
Lowering Blood Pressure
An animal study that was published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” on February 2013 found out that the passionflower fruit pulp can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure, which is the blood pressure ratio that signifies the total arterial pressure during heart contractions.
The passionflower extracts were also found to decrease significantly the average levels of oxidized lipids. The results from this scientific study clearly showed that the natural passionflower herb can help in lowering blood pressure in diabetic patients.
Passionflower Anxiety Management
Passionflower can also help in stress and anxiety management. The homeopathic remedy has long been considered by a majority of anxiety patients to be the best natural treatment for their condition. The herb can act as a low intensity, emotional stabilizer that can greatly reduce the length and severity of anxiety and stress periods.
Passionflower can generally be used in fighting pressure, anxiety and nervousness. What is even, more amazing is the fact that passionflower doesn’t cause deterioration of work or drowsiness as experienced when using “oxazepam” which is a drug commonly prescribed for the medical conditions.
Research findings indicate that the natural herbal remedy is beneficial for managing general anxiety disorder. The passionflower supplement does not cause either stimulating or sedative effects when consumed.
A study that was published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” revealed that higher doses of the passionflower extract produced a sedative like effect while lower doses of the same extract reduced anxiety.
Another study that was published in the year 2008 involved 60 patients who were randomized either to receive placebo or passionflower extracts approximately 90 minutes prior to surgery. The study’s results indicated that the patients who had consumed passionflower extracts had reduced anxiety levels.
Improved sleep patterns
Sleep improvement, particularly insomnia alleviation is arguably the most popular medicinal usage of passionflower extracts or tea. Insomnia is basically the persistent inability to fall or remain asleep throughout the night.
Recent scientific findings have revealed that low-dose usage of the natural tea extracts yields short term subjectively improved sleep benefits in adults with various sleep issues. A study1 that was published in the “Phytotherapy Research” journal in August 2011 used participants between 15 to 35 years who were suffering from the mild sleep disorder.
The participants were made to drink a cup of the herbal remedy each night for a duration of one week and then told to record their sleep quality in a questionnaire and diary. The final results showed that the herbal tea extract significantly improved the participant’s quality of sleep. Passionflower is thus a unique calming agent that reduces significantly the severity of insomnia symptoms and may end up eliminating insomnia altogether.
Passionflower can also help in fighting withdrawal symptoms, particularly those experienced when abstaining from opiate medications including morphine.
A scientific study that was carried out in the year 2001 on 65 opiate addicts for a period of 14 days in order to test the natural herb’s effectiveness in helping with opiate withdrawal revealed that using both the passionflower extract and clonidine, which is a drug used in treating withdrawal symptoms was more effective in helping with drug withdrawal than using clonidine alone.
The passionflower herb can thus effectively alleviate psychological withdrawal symptoms in individuals wishing to abstain from harmful drugs.
Menopause relief and Antidepressant properties
A scientific study2 that was carried out in the year 2010 and published in the “Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research” revealed that consuming passionflower extracts greatly improved depression among other menopause symptoms including headache, insomnia, and anger.
The research participants were made to consume passionflower supplements daily for a period of six weeks, but significant symptom development occurred during the 3rd week. This study led to the scientists concluding that the natural remedy can provide numerous advantages for menopause in ladies who just cannot decide to utilize any sort of available hormonal supplements.
Passionflower has also been shown to boost the St. John’s Wort herb’s antidepressant effects.
Treating congestive heart failure
According to the United States “National Institute of Health (NIH), the passionflower herbal extract when combined with the Hawthorne herb can help in treating difficulty in exercising and shortness of breath in people with intense congestive heart failure.
However, there is currently no available research on this function but hopefully; the beneficial health benefit will be supported by scientific evidence in the near future.
Passionflower just like other natural herbs may have some side effects attributed to using the natural remedy. However, serious medical issues can be easily avoided by consulting one’s doctor or herbal specialist to find out if the herb is dangerous to you or not as well as to be informed on the most appropriate dosage to use.
Photo Credit: By Kuribo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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