Before we consider the potential benefits of passion flower extract, let’s first discuss this plant’s beautiful flowers. Seen through North and South America, Mexico and Central America, passion flowers have a “wow factor” that few other blossoms can boast.
There are many passion flowers, but the most famous bloom is that of passiflora incarnata, which looks it was designed in equal portion by an acid-tripping Claude Monet and Salvador Dali. To say this flower is striking is an understatement, which should make it no surprise that passion flower extract has some promising properties.
What is Passion Flower Extract
Passion flowers are generally climbing vines that like to grow in temperate to hot climates. They are one of the best choices for southern gardens that get more sunlight than some flowering plants can handle. Passiflora incarnata is one of the most enduring varieties because of its rapid growth (dozens of feet in a season), winter hardiness (the plant dies back to the roots during winter then springs back to life in March), and edible fruit (passion fruit comes from this plant).
The passion flower plant originated in Peru, or at least that’s where it was first discovered by European explorers. The stunning plants were a hit in Mexico and the New World where they were propagated for ornament and medicine.
Passion Flower Extract As Medicine
Passion fruit has properties and purposes all its own, but the flowers draw the most interest. For medicinal purposes, passion flower can be consumed as a tea, or in capsules, tinctures, or tablets.
Passion flower extract is most commonly used to promote a sense of wellbeing, such as supporting feelings of relaxation and a healthy sleep cycle. For optimal feelings of relaxation, passion flower is commonly taken with valerian, an herb that is said to provide similar effects as passion flower extract, but perhaps by a different mechanism of action.
As for its calming potential, passion flower extract has been studied alongside mild tranquilizers, and has been suggested to be as effective. As is usually the case, people shouldn’t think that passion flower extract has the same tranquilizing effect of a prescription drug, but for people who might want to cultivate this sort of feeling in daily life, passion flower extract may be part of a helpful herbal regimen.
How to Get Passion Flower Extract
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to create passion flower extract at home (or that you’d want to tackle the project even if you could). However, growing passion flowers is one of the easiest gardening projects you could ever set your hand to. As described above, passion flowers of all kinds are fast growing sun-lovers that will produce stunning flowers and fruit, especially when they’re a year or two old.
It’s easy to harvest passion flowers (not that you’ll want to once you see them alive and vivacious on the vine). It’s easier when the plant is mature and producing flowers prolifically. Simply snip a flower away and hang it from a string on a sunny windowsill. Once the petals are the texture of dry tissue paper, they can be picked off and used in tea.
Alternately, you can buy passion flower extract from online retailers such as NHC.com! Passion flower extract is an excellent way to get the potential benefits of the passion flower without having to become a gardener or mess around with harvesting and drying. Make passion flower extract a regular part of your day, and you may experience the potential benefits sooner than you think!