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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Passiflora incarnata : The rare medicinal plant

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Passiflora incarnata is a vine which grows up to a length of about ten meters. It belongs to the family Passifloracea. It has long been cultivated by Americans for its edible fruits. Spanish conquerors first learned of passionflower from the Aztecs of Mexico who used it as a sedative to treat insomnia and nervousness for centuries. The plant was taken back to Europe where it became widely cultivated and introduced into European medicine. Growing up to a length of ten meters, passionflower bears three-lobed leaves, purple flowers and an egg shaped fruit.

The Passiflora incarnata which is popularly known as Passion flower, has a special relationship with the heart and imparts to it an inner peaceful and harmonious tone. The heart is a sensory organ that communicates with the body and brain neurologically, hormonally, and electromagnetically. It is auto-rhythmic and under psycho emotional stress may lose rhythmic order and its ability to sense and communicate with the body. Passion flower restores rhythm, balance, harmony and communication to the heart. In general, it is the nature of passion flower to impart inner peace and balance.

CONSTITUENTS

Latest researches on P. incarnata reveal that fresh juice of leaves, stems, and flowers of P. incarnata contains a number of chemical constituents. These include alkaloids, alpha-alanine, apigenin, D-fructose, D-glucose, flavonoids, gum, gynocardin, harmaline, harmalol, harmine, harmol, homoorientin, isoorientin, isovitexin, kaempferol, lutenin-2, luteolin, maltol (pyrone methylcarbonic acid), N-nonacosane, orientin, passiflorine, phenylalanine, proline, quercetin, raffinose, rutin, saccharose, saponaretin, saponarine, scopoletin, sitosterol, stigmasterol, tyrosine, umbelliferone, valine, vitexin.It also contains chysin which blocks the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and thereby conerves testosterone.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES

It has been reported variously that promotes sleep because it allows a deeper state of spiritual confidence within the person. This is especially true with people who understand more about themselves from their dreams. It allows a greater ability to process dreams and eases nightmares. It has been approved by the European Commission that the extract of Passiflora incarnata can be used internally in low doses for nervous restlessness, mild disorders of sleeplessness, and gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin. The British Herbal Compendium indicates its use for sleep disorders, restlessness, nervous stress, and anxiety. Other uses include neuralgia and nervous tachycardia. The German Standard License for passionflower tea indicates its use for nervous restlessness, mild disorders of sleeplessness, and gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin. It is frequently used in combination with valerian and other sedative plants. Currently the plant extract is used for the treatment of Psychoemotional and Physiological conditions. Most of these are mentioned below.

1. It supports the harmony of heart, its inner peace and communication

2. It releases nervous tension, and mental irritability.

3. It repairs nervous exhaustion, and removes anxiety.

4. It treats insomnia related to neurasthenia, and nervous Tachycardia.

5. It removes gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin, and releases tension and headaches.

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