FAVORITE USE(S): To induce relaxation and sleep, to reduce stress, and to potentiate other dreaming herbs
FAVORITE TIME(S): Any time you need to relieve stress, particularly in the evening and before bed
Passion flower is an amazing plant which has been used in South America since Pre-Columbian times as a source of food and as a medicine and sedative. It apparently received its name from Spanish Missionaries, who saw the plant as a symbol of the mystery and passion of Jesus Christ. They dubbed the flower “Flos Passionis”, or Passion Flower, and felt that it was the living embodiment of the passion of Christ.
Interestingly enough, it seems that many species of passion flower have MAO-inhibiting properties. This is apparently due to the fact that they contain the alkaloid harmane. 100 grams of dried passion flower is said to contain about 10 micrograms of harmane, which is a fairly high amount. The flowers have been used as sedatives and narcotics by many different indigenous peoples in South America up until the present day. The leaves and flowers are generally consumed as tea in order to induce sleep and euphoria. I even discovered that the Amazonian species Passiflora involucrata is used as an ayahuasca additive, and is said to intensify the visions experienced when consuming the brew!
I first came across passion flower in its homeopathic form for purposes of calming and promoting sleep. I must say that this treatment was very effective for treating occasional insomnia. I also noticed that my dreams were much more vivid on nights when I took passion flower, and that my sleep was also deeper than usual. Therefore, I decided to research passion flower’s possible effects on dreaming. I discovered that not only does it have the effect of increasing vivid and lucid dreaming but, since passion flower contains harmane, an MAO inhibitor, it will effectively potentiate any other dream herbs with which it is combined. Therefore, if I am interested in working with a particular dream herb but am not experiencing the effects I desire, I will often add passion flower herbage to the tea or smoking blend I am working with. I find that this will often increase the effects of the other plants I am using immensely, making this plant an incredible tool for dream herb work.
HOW TO PREPARE/RECIPE: The easiest way to prepare dried passion flower herbage is to make a tea. 2.5 grams of leaves steeped in one cup of boiling water for five minutes will be a sufficient dose. I have found that passion flower works extremely well with other herbal supplements to induce more restful sleep and more intense dreaming. My favorite plants to combine with passion flower are valerian root, hop flowers, and St. John’s Wort. Another passion flower tea recipe combines passion flower, valerian root, lemon balm, anise and mint. This second blend produces an extremely pleasant and flavorful tea that is extremely calming. The recommended daily dosage of dried passion flower is 4-8 grams. If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress, three or four cups of Passiflora incarnata tea containing 2.5 grams of herbage each consumed throughout the day will be incredibly helpful.
Dried passion flower herbage can be smoked, and is especially potentiating along with other dream inducing herbs. Passion flower can also be purchased in capsule and tincture forms for ease of consumption.