Latin: Passiflora incarnata
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
Taste/Energetics: Slightly cooling, drying
Properties: Anxiolytic, hypotensive, antispasmodic, analgesic
Actions: Just take a look at this gorgeous flower and you will already feel relaxed and calmer. The Spanish missionaries in the New World thought that the flower looked like Jesus’ crown of thorns and named the plant after the Passion. This is one of the best gentle relaxant herbs available to us. It is calming and at larger doses can bring sedation for those with insomnia. It helps reduce tension, nervous tics and restlessness and is useful for neuralgic pain such as found in Parkinson’s disease, shingles and sciatica. Its pain relieving and antispasmodic properties also make it useful for those with menstrual cramping, headaches and muscle strain. IN general I tend to think of someone who is overly hot and keyed up, tense and twitchy, can’t sleep, stressed out and exhausted. They may chew on things in their mind excessively and not be able to let things go.
Dosage: Best taken in tea or tincture form. 1-3 tsp dried herb infused in hot water for 15 minutes, 1-3 ml tincture- to 3x/day. .5 to 3 grams a day in capsule if one must. This is one that can be offered to both children and elderly.
To determine the child’s dosage by weight, you can assume that the adult dosage is for a 150-pound adult. Divide the child’s weight by 150. Take that number and multiply it by the recommended adult dosage. For example, if your child weighs 50 pounds, she will need one-third the recommended dose for a 150-pound adult. If the adult dosage is three droppers full of a tincture, she will need one third of that dose, which is one dropper full (1/3 of 3 droppers full). A 25-pound child would need one-sixth the adult dose, so he would receive one half of a dropper full (1/6 of 3 droppers full).
Contraindications: Avoid with other heavy sedatives and hypotensive drugs. Avoid if pregnant.
Passionflower monograph by Krystal Thompson (Herb Rally)