Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Parts used: Leaves and flowers
Benefits: Contrary to what its name implies, passionflower is a calming, relaxing herb. It has a long history of use in its native range in South America, where it is used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks. An effective but gentle herb, passionflower can be used for hyperactive children as well as adults. It has some analgesic effects and is effective as a pain reliever for toothaches, headaches and menstrual pain. It has strong anti-spasmodic actions, which make it useful for cramps and spastic/convulsive muscles. The plant is well known for its sleep-inducing properties and is often combined with valerian for this purpose. It is one of the best herbs for stress, anxiety and depression and can be effective combined with St. John’s Wort.
Suggested uses: Brew the leaves and flowers as an infusion and drink throughout the day. Use a tincture at bedtime to promote deep, restful sleep.