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Herbs: Passiflora (Passionflower)


Passiflora = Passion Flower, looks passionate to me
grows on a vine
species: incarnata, edulis (pictured), coerulea
family: Passifloraceae

USAGE
used by ancient Aztecs as sedative and pain reliever: present in northern 2/3 of S America
incarnata species native to southeastern US
passiflora edulis in Hawaii
modern uses: nervous sedative, anxiolytic, antispasmodic, nervine, hypotensive, analgesic
for insomnia, restlessness, high blood pressure
for excessive motor activity: tension, tremors, twitching, tics, convulsions incl epilepsy
(doesn't affect resp rate and mental fx)
anxiolytic and sedative effects verified in animal studies
tranquilizing effect dt alkaloid and flavonoid constituents
often included in pain formulas when discomfort is due to muscle tension and emotional turmoil
energetically cooling, moves energy lower in body, grounding, affects heart and liver meridians
sold as medicine in Germany, Switzerland and France

PART USED
whole climbing vine: leaf, stem and root
dried for teas
tincture best from fresh

DOSING
general central nervous system depressant
small doses-->calming, relaxing and anti-anxiety effect
large doses-->stimulate some individuals, others mb overly sedated/depressed
very large amounts/overdose-->restlessness, rare hallucinations
2-4 cups of infusion per day for a week or so, then reduce or take less regularly
30-120 drops (1 or 2 mls) of tincture from twice a day up to every 2-3 hours for muscle tension and anxiety
several grams of the dried plant may be ingested in capsules several times a day

CONSTITUENTS
both alkaloids and flavonoids must present to be sedative
in isolation neither constituent works
edulis species has the most indole harmala alkaloids
FLAVONOIDS
vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin, quercitin, luteolin, orientin, isoorientin
thought to be tranquilizing, and depressing to motor activity without affecting respiratory rate
monoflavonoid: chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone)
binds central benzodiazapine receptors, has anxiolytic actions in mice
INDOLE ALKALOIDS
depress motor activity and blood pressure transiently
rapidly cleared
inhibit degradation of serotonin in brain
may be hallucinogenic in large doses
indole or harmala alkaloids: harmane, harman, harmine, harmalin, harmaline, harmalol, harmol
harmine one of the 1st alkaloids isolated, this indole also called "telepathine"
harmine used by Germans as natural truth serum during WWII
these alkaloids may inhibit MAO
(monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of antidepressants, formerly used only after SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants have failed, but now sometimes used as first med chosen, selegiline and moclobemide are current drug names, particularly effective for "atypical" depression and smoking cessation)
OTHER CONSTITUENTS
sterols: maltol
coumarins: umbelliferone, scopolotin
sugar, gum
tryptophan (an amino acid)
minerals: calcium ~14 mg/100gm, phosphorus ~43 mg/100 gm, iron ~1.6 mg/100 gm
fatty acids: linolenic, linoleic, palmitic, myristic acids

CHRYSIN is a flavone used as aromatase inhibitor
Miller talked about this
prevent testosterone conversion to estradiol
used by athletes and body builders
also used in conjunction with saw palmetto (5 alpha reductase inhibitor) to prevent T-->DHT
in prevention of prostatic hypertrophy and/or cancer
present in Passiflora caerulea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysin

SE's
with extreme and repetitive dosing, fatigue and mental fogginess
a few reports of convulsions from overdose, unconfirmed

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