Passionflower: Beauty and Calm
Passionflower is beautiful to look at it. Its complex structure comes in vibrant shades of blue and purple, and is hard to look away from. Over at Flower Folk Herbs, Steph writes that not only is this plant commonly used as decoration due to its aesthetic, it also possessing a "calming magic" that's great for tension and anxiety.
Passionflower has a long history of traditional use. It is perhaps most well known for its calming influence on the nervous system. Herbalists use the plant for anxiety, tension and nervousness. It is a wonderful remedy for people who get over-stimulated and are tightly wound. (I like to think of its tightly coiled tendrils as a metaphor of this feeling.) How it works its calming magic is not exactly known, but it is believed to increase levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain which creates a relaxing feeling in humans.
The upper parts of passionflower — the leaves, stems and flowers — are also a common remedy for insomnia and sleep issues, acting as a mild sedative. Many herbalists like to recommend it for people who cannot let go of their endless thoughts at night, preventing them from getting sound sleep. Passionflower helps the body and mind to wind down a notch, letting go of nervous energy in order to more fully relax. Likewise, because of its calming and anti-spasmodic properties it is often used for tension and pain. It can be particularly useful for menstrual cramping and PMS crankiness. (Again, think of a grasping tendril relaxing its coil just a bit.)
Read the full blog at Flower Folk Herbs.