I’ve mentioned before the amazing relaxing tea blend I stumbled across that contained:
- Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
- Flor de Azahar (citrus Aurantium)
- Flor de Tila (Ternstroemia lineata)
- Flor de Manita (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon)
- Hojas de Naranjo (Citrus aurantium)
- Melisa (Cedronella Mexicana)
- Manzanilla (Matricaria chamomilla)
- Pasiflora (Passiflora Ciliata)
- Hojas de Limón (citrus medica)
- Yoloxochitl (Talauma Mexicana)
- Rosa de Castilla (Rosa centifolia)
- Alhucema (Lavandula angustifolia)
I’ve done some research on many of the ingredients and today I’d like to add to your knowledge about Pasiflora.
Pasiflora (Passionflower) was called coanenepilli (snake tongue) in Nahuatl because of the curvy membranous outgrowths’ resemblance. In Maya, this plant is known as Pochil or Kansel-ak. It was a traditional remedy for snakebites and fevers. When the Spanish missionaries arrived, they named this unique flower passionaria after the passion of Christ. In their eyes, the circle of membranes was representative of Christ’s crown of thorns. Dr. Nicholas Monardes called the plant granadilla in his book Joyfull Newes Out of the Newe Founde Worlde because the small fruit resembled granadas (pomegranates) in his view. He recorded a remedy that used the juice from these fruits to relieve stomach pains.
There are more than 600 species of passiflora, most of which are found in Mexico, Central and South America. Believe it or not, there is even a stinking passion flower (Passiflora foetida) that catches insects in the hairs on its bracts to eat, making it a protocarnivorous plant. This plant has been shown to be useful in treating inflammatory disease.
The fringed passion flower (Passiflora ciliata) is the variety most often used in teas as a sedative. The purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is often grown for its fruit called maracuyá which has proven health benefits including the prevention of diabetic related complications.
In herbal remedies still used in Mexico, pasiflora is often included in treatments of insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness including opiate withdrawal. Studies have shown that Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) extracts are effective sleep inducers as well useful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. And researchers have confired that at least one variety, the giant granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis), contains serotonin.
There have been reports of negative reactions to pasiflora such as nausea, tachycardia, and drowsiness, therefore care should be taken when using this plant, especially since so few varieties have been studied.
Interested in natural remedies? Uncover herbal remedies from traditional Mexican sources for healing and wellness in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.