Herb Library

Back to Herb Menu     Back to Index

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

a.k.a. Maypop
(Passiflora incarnata)

PROPAGATION: By seed but a high germination temperature must be used (90-100ºF) and in a covered flat. Germination takes place in about 1½ weeks. It may also be propagated by taking 6" cuttings from mature plants as well as by layering. After harvesting the fruits, clean out the seeds for planting from the mucilaginous fleshy aril surrounding them; dry in the shade and plant the following spring. Store the seeds in peat moss in the fridge over winter (do not let freeze), then plant about the first of April about ¼ inch deep; germination in about 30 days. Take cuttings in Sept and root in styrofoam cups with a hole in the bottom for drainage and place in a warm north facing window for 2 to 3 weeks; repot and gradually move to a sunny spot.
Layering: Remove leaves from a small section of stem in late summer and cover with soil; water well and in a few weeks the buried stems should produce roots; keep layered until spring and sever from the mother plant.
NEEDS: Full sun and thrives in poor, sandy acidic soils with good drainage.
HARVEST: Fruit ripens from yellowish to light brown. The overripe fruits ferment into a foul paste.

NOTE: The FDA classifies this as a Category II, meaning NOT generally recognized as safe (GRAS). It is felt that this is due to a lack of adequate testing as an OTC (over the counter) drug. It is considered safe and effective in Europe.


Soporific. Considered a good sleeping medicine in Europe.
In Europe products containing passion flower are used as a mild nerve sedative and sleep aid.
Its effectiveness is thought to come through the interaction of alkaloids and flavanoids or from maltol and theyl-maltol found in the extract.
Leaves are used externally.

Extract used to flavor alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and in frozen dairy products.

Juice given to dogs for staggers or epilepsy.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH