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Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnate), also known as Maypop, is a herbal supplement used to cure insomnia and gastric disorders related to anxiety, or to relieve the symptoms of those going through the "Cold Turkey" stage after coming off drugs.
Passion Flower is also used for seizures, hysteria, asthma. menopause symptoms, AGHD, nervousness and excitability, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and pain relief. Some people apply it to the skin for haemorrhoids, burns, pain and inflammation.
In 1569 Spanish explorers discovered Passion Flower in Peru. They believed the flowers symbolized Christ's passion and indicated his approval for their exploration.
Passion Flower is found is found in combination herbal products used as a sedative for promoting calmness and relaxation.
Passion Flower used to be sold over the counter to alleviate insomnia but in 1978 the FDA banned it due to a lack of evidence that it had any proven success. Now professional herbalists use it with other herbs like valerian and lemon balm.
Passion Flower contains some harman alkaloids and in Germany, where it has been approved by Commission E, it cannot contain more than 0.1% harman alkaloids because they reduce the anti-depressant effects.
At normal dose Passion Flower has shown no side effects but patients who are taking sedatives or anti-depressants are advised to consult their herbalist before starting taking it.
The possible side effects are
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
These will stop as soon as you stop taking the herb.
Allergies from Passion Flower
These allergies are rare but occasionally they do develop after taking the herb. If the patient develops any of them they should stop taking it immediately and consult their doctor.
- Swelling of the mouth or throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Memory loss
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Signs of liver damage - yellowing of the skin or eyes, pain in the upper right abdomen.
Passion Flower should never be taken with tranquilizers, sedatives, codein, antihistamines and cough/cold medicines.
It is also not recommended during pregnancy, for diabetics or for those with alcohol dependency, and it should not be given to children under 2-years-old.
If you want to start taking a Passion Flower herbal remedy you should
- Always go to a qualified herbalist or practitioner of alternative medicine
- Tell them about your symptoms and if you are on any conventional medicines prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking those conventional medicines without consulting your doctor.
- Take more than the prescribed dose.
- Stop if you suffer any of the allergies or side effects mentioned above.