Herbal Allies – Passionflower

Passionflower climbs on curling, delicate vines: its intricate purple, yellow, pink, and white blossoms draw the eye magnetically with bright stamen and spaceship-like tendrils that invoke the celestial. While this flower takes its name from the crucifixion of Christ, it finds spiritual symbolism in many cultures, and its medicinal traditions date back thousands of years.

Native American tribes such as the Algonquin and the Cherokee used passionflower to treat a variety of ailments, including anxiety. Today natural medicine practitioners and herbalists recommend passionflower for the same purpose: to treat conditions such as stress, insomnia, and an overactive body and mind.

Passionflower is a plant with gentle effects, and sometimes used as a nighttime sedative along with other calming herbs like chamomile and valerian root. It lacks the heaviness of some sedative herbs, but works well for daytime relief and alongside many other medicinal plants. The plant is revered by many for its ability to take the edge off without leaving one groggy.

Due to the its calming effects, passionflower is known to work well alongside cannabis, and has recently found a home in stress-relieving cannabis products — particularly those geared more towards relaxation rather than the energetic and cerebral.

HerbaBuena, a cannabis apothecary and maker of elixirs that combined cannabis and “synergistic herbs,” offers a “Lullaby” Calming Tincture that integrates passionflower, hops, and cannabis. The THC-strong blend relieves daily anxiety and is a sleep aid.

However, there are also passionflower products infused with CBD, too. Taken with an elevating, high-THC strain, passionflower has the potential to prevent the high from being too intense. When CBD is added to a passionflower potion, it could drift the drinker even more effortlessly into dreamland.


By Regan Crisp

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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