Passion Flowers - a guide to Passionflowers in the UK

Passion Flowers - a guide to Passionflowers in the UK

Medicinal Use and Toxicology

The roots and leaves of a passiflora species, the passiflora incarnata, have been found to have a long history of being used by the native Americans, in North America. In central and south America other species like Passiflora edulis are used.

An infusion, which is a tea used in treating hysteria, epilepsy and insomnia is made out of fresh or dried leaves of these species. They are also known for their painkilling properties. MAOi's (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like beta-carboline, harmala, alkaloids possessing anti-depressant properties are found in the products of these passiflora species. Though the roots and the leaves are used to increase the effect of mind-altering drugs, the flower has only traces of such chemicals. They are also used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal spasms and nervous restlessness. Mainly they have an effect on the nervous system. The foliage and fruit of this passionflower variety are found to have toxic effects and therefore have to be handled carefully.

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