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c. Susun Weed
Passiflora incarnata


Type: Nerve tonic

Properties: Slight sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic

Part Used: Flowers alone, leaves alone, or both together with stalk

Preparation and Dose: * Tea or infusion of the dried plant; as much as four cups a day.
          * Tincture of the fresh plant, 10-30 drops, 1-3 times a day.

Cautions: May interact with MAO inhibiting drugs. May increase the effectiveness of sedative and sleep-inducing drugs.

This tropical and subtropical vine produces a flower so stunning that stories abound as to how it came to be. To Christians, it is the “passion flower” and each part of the flower represents part of the passion and crucifixion of Christ.

Passionflower is a common weed in from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas and Arizona. It is also easily cultivated in a pot, though it does not grow as lushly and profusely as it does when in the ground.

Passionflower, as a tea from fresh or dried herb, or a tincture, made from the fresh plant – stalk, leaves, and/or flower – is a reliable ally for the hearts of those who feel “faint at heart,” “scared to move,” “unable to be open-hearted,” or similarly in need of gentle but persuasive support for cardiovascular health. It is rich in heart-healthy flavonoids.

Passionflower tincture, like motherwort tincture, will relieve heart palpitations and a racing heart within minutes. It slows and steadies the heart rate, easing anxiety through numerous pathways. A dropperful under the tongue usually stops a panic attack in seconds; and if it wasn’t a panic attack, but an actual heart attack, passionflower helps bring calm to the system even when it is in distress.

Remember, passionflower and motherwort tinctures must be made from fresh plants to have this effect. Tinctures made from dried plants are for sale, but I do not recommend that you buy them.

Passionflower is recognized by many regulatory agencies worldwide as an agent that lowers blood pressure. If motherwort, or motherwort and hawthorn, don’t bring blood pressure within normal range within 6-8 weeks of daily use (along with stress reduction and increase in physical activity), I move on to passionflower alone, or add passionflower to the mix of motherwort and hawthorn.

Traditionally, passionflower is thought of as a headache remedy and an ally for women who are “hysterical.” It is also indicated when sleep is interrupted or hard to find, as it has some slight soporific and sedative actions.

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