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Capsule Passiflora

Latin name: Passiflora Foetida
(syn: Passiflora incarnata)
Family: Passifloraceae
Common name: mukkopeera
English name: passionflower, love-in-a-mist, and wild passion fruit


Habitat: South America

Macroscopic identification:  "Perennial vine, the stems hispid, with tendrils; leaves 3-lobed, the lobing shallow to halfway to the midvein; lobe-apices acute; leaf base subcordate; both sides hispid-hirsute; blades 5-10 cm long, equally wide; petiole 2-5 cm long; flowers solitary in axils, 4-5 cm wide, purple and white on pedicels 3-7 cm long; fruit yellow to orange; subglobose, thin leathery-skinned, nearly 2 cm think, with many seeds; pulp scanty, sweetly tart.

Parts used: whole plant
Pharmacological action: Passion flower is stated to posses sedative, hypnotic, antispasmodic and anodyne properties

Indications: Irritation of brain and nervous system with atony; sleeplessness from overwork, worry, or from febrile excitement, and in the young and aged; neuralgic pains with debility; exhaustion from cerebral fullness, or from excitement; convulsive movements; infantile nervous irritation; nervous headache; tetanus; hysteria; oppressed breathing; cardiac palpitation from excitement or shock neuralgia, generalized seizures, hysteria, nervous Tachycardia, spasmodic asthma and specifically for insomnia.

Photochemical: Passiflora contains alkaloids of the indole-type and include mainly harman as the chief constituent together with harmaline and harmine. Flavone glycosides, passiflorine and sterols are also present. Harman is known to exhibit central stimulant activity via monoamine oxidase inhibition

Preparations: powder and incture

Therapeutic classification index:

  • Central nervous system: fruit contains HCN, therefore is used in giddiness and headache. Passion flower is the herb of choice for treating insomnia aiding transition into restful sleep; it has a beneficial effect on the nervous system thus reducing stress.
  • Digestive system: fruit is emetic
  • Musculoskeletal system: Moderate doses act as an antispasmodic and are somewhat narcotic

Passiflora as a sedative
The clinical application of passiflora has been with most observers satisfactory. Its force is exerted chiefly upon the nervous system, the remedy finding a wide application in spasmodic disorders and as a rest-producing agent. It is best adapted to debility and does not act so well in sthenic conditions, although not contraindicated in such. It is specially useful to allay restlessness and overcome wakefulness, when these are the result of exhaustion, or the nervous excitement of debility. It proves specially useful in the insomnia of infants and old people. It gives sleep to those who are laboring under the effects of mental worry or from mental overwork. It relieves the nervous symptoms due to reflex sexual or menstrual disturbances, and the nervous irritability resulting from prolonged illness. We have employed it with good results to allay the restlessness of typhoid fever, although its action appears to be slow, but sure. The sleep induced by passiflora is a peaceful, restful slumber, and the patient awakens quiet and refreshed. A further study of the drug will undoubtedly give us a better guide to its adaptation as a nerve sedative and hypnotic. An atonic condition appears to be the keynote to its selection

Use of Passiflora in convulsions
Passiflora is a remedy for convulsive movements. One of its first successful applications in medicine was for the relief of tetanus, both in man and the horse. If given in full doses in epilepsy when the aura gives warning of an approaching attack, the remedy is said to be of considerable value, but after the convulsions have begun it has little or no effectSome, however, have reported success in all stages of the disease. Passiflora is praised for its control over the spasms of childhood, whether from dentition, worms, or undigested aliment; it has also been successfully employed in trismus nascentium. Spasms, dependent upon meningeal inflammation, have been controlled with it. It appears not to be contraindicated in any form of spasm. Dr. Holmes (Ec. Med. Jour., 1896, p. 55) reports a case of post-partum puerperal eclampsia relieved after but two convulsions by the hypodermatic use of 2 drachms of Passiflora. When whooping-cough is associated with convulsions, passiflora has given relief, and in hysteria with spasmodic movements it is reputed equally successful

Passiflora as an anti-spasmodic herb
Passiflora is a remedy for pain, particularly of the neuralgic type. Thus it has relieved neuralgic and spasmodic dysmenorrhoea, rectal pain, cardiac pain, facial and other forms of neuralgia, many reflex painful conditions incident to pregnancy and the menopause, and other forms of pain accompanied or not with spasmodic action. Sick or nervous headache, the headache of debility, or from cerebral fullness are often relieved by passiflora. All such cases show marked atony of some part or function

Dose: powder-3-6g
Fresh juice 10-20 ml
Capsule Passiflora contains 200mg of powdered Passiflora.
Dosage: one capsule once a day
Package size: 30 capsules.

References:

  1. Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica, Vol.I, pg 924
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