Herb/Plant of the Week #5 :: Passionflower

It’s HEEEERE...Christmas week. Whether you celebrate it or not, I think we can all agree it’s a crazy week. Lots of traffic on the road. People last minute shopping. Packed parking lots. Just to name a few. So this herb, comes on a perfect week. This week we are looking at a calming and relaxing herb: Passionflower


Botanical Latin Name: Passiflora incarnata

Botanical Family: Passifloraceae (Passionflower/violet) family

Parts used: flowers and leaves

Method: Tea and Tincture

Actions: Antispasmodic, hypotensive, sedative, anti-inflammatory, nervine, estrogenic

Energetics: cooling and relaxing

Taste: Bland and slightly aromatic scent

Dosage: 1 tbsp dried herb to 8 oz water for tea infusion and/or 10-60 drops 1-4 times daily of tincture, tea or tincture 1-4 times daily

Contraindications: pregnancy, hypotension, anyone on barbiturates

Passionflower is a very nutritive herb and great to add to a daily tea as a multi-vitamin/mineral. It is native to South America and was used there originally to treat epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks. It is a gentle but effective herb and can be great for hyperactive children. It is a nervine, it relaxes the nervous system and helps to reduce pain, relive cramps and tension, and promote healthy sleep. It soothes and nourishes the nerves and muscles, while also strengthening and toning the entire nervous system.

Uses for passionflower:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches (especially nervous headaches)
  • Menstrual pain and cramps
  • Muscle tension and nerve pain
  • Sciatica
  • Hypertension, high blood pressure and tachycardia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleep disturbances due to nervous or mental worry
  • Hyperactive kids
  • Spasmodic asthma
  • Restless agitation due to exhaustion

How to use passionflower:

  • Tea can be used daily, 1-4 cups. Steep 1 tbsp of dried herb to 8 oz of water in hot water, longer for cold, the longer you steep it the more the benefits you’ll get from it. This can be used throughout the day to help alleviate anxiety and depression, or anything else listed above.
  • Tincture use up to 2 droppers full (60 drops) 1-4 times daily for best results. Or 3-9 drops every 30 minutes for hyperactive kids until calm (maximum 3 doses). Or 2-9 drops every 2 hours or 10-309 drops every 10 minutes for spasmodic episodes (for example, muscle spasms, panic attacks or even jitters from too much caffeine). Also, this is a great nighttime tincture, to help with insomnia and encourage a restful sleep.

This is a wonderful blend for headache relief and would also be lovely at the end of the night to enhance sleep. Rosemary Gladstar says “the mere act of drinking a warm cup of tea often eases a headache.”

3 parts chamomile

3 part lemon balm

1 part passionflower

1 part skullcap

1 part feverfew

Combine all herbs and infuse (steep in hot water for at least 30 minutes) using 1 tablespoon of dried mix to 1 8 ounce cup of hot water. Drink ½ cup (4 oz) every half hour until the headache subsides.

*Additionally remember to drink half your body weight in filtered water.