Passiflora � Passion Flower USD 1926.
Compiled and Edited by Ivor Hughes.

PASSIFLORA. N.F. PASSION FLOWER Passiflor. [Passion Vine]

" Passion Flower is the dried flowering and fruiting top of Passiflora incarnata Linne (Fam. Passifloracea). Passion Flower contains not more than 5 per cent, of stems over 8 mm. in diameter or other foreign matter." N.F.

Wild Passion Flower; May-pop.

The Passiflora incarnata is a climbing perennial herb, indigenous to the southern United States, with broadly cordate-ovate, palmately three-lobed leaves and solitary large flowers, the calyx bearing in its throat five white petals and a fringe, called the corona, which is of a purplish or pinkish color. The fruit is a yellowish berry about the size of a hen's egg. The whole of the over ground portions are employed. Commercial supplies of this drug come from North Carolina and Virginia.

Description and Physical Properties. - " Unground Passion Flower.�Stems glabrous or slightly pubescent above, striate, from 6 to 8 mm. in diameter, of variable length, woody, hollow, the cavity about one-half the diameter; bark very thin, greenish or purplish; wood very porous and bordered on the inner side by a thin layer of pith; fracture of the wood uneven, of the stem smooth, of the bark coarsely fibrous. Leaves more or less broken, rather thick, glabrous or often pubescent, when entire nearly orbicular in outline, base cordate, deeply three to five-lobed, lobes ovate, finely serrate, petioles from 1 to 5 cm. in length, with two glands near the apex. Tendrils numerous and closely coiled. Flowers solitary, axillary, peduncles as long as the petioles, usually three bracted; calyx cup-shaped, with four to five lobes; lobes linear, imbricated, cuspidate, corona of the fresh flowers purplish; petals four to five, yellow; ovary oblong, stalked; stamens monadelphous in a tube about the stalk of the ovary, separated above, anthers narrow, versatile. Fruit from 4 to 5 cm. in length, an ovoid, many-seeded berry; externally green or yellow, shriveled and wrinkled; seeds flat, ovate, yellowish to brown arilled. Odor and taste slight.

"Powdered Passion Flower.- Light green; numerous thin-walled non-glandular hairs, 1- to several celled, up to about 0.450 mm. in length; numerous fragments of stem tissue composed of pith and wood parenchyma, trachesa with spiral and reticulate markings or simple pores and fibers; fragments of leaf tissue composed of chlorenchyma and epidermal cells with stomata from 0.020 to 0.035 mm. in length; calcium oxalate rosettes from 0.010 to 0.030 mm. in diameter." N. F.* We have no knowledge of the nature of the active principle of this drug.

Uses. The passion-flower was introduced into medicine about 1840 by Doctor Phares of Mississippi. It is used as a nerve sedative to allay general restlessness, to relieve insomnia, and in the relief of certain types of convulsions and spasmodic disorders. It is also attributed with anodyne properties and is used in the treatment of various neuralgias. While there is considerable evidence that this drug possesses some therapeutic virtue, it has not been carefully studied. I. Ott (Medical Bulletin, Dec., 1898) finds that it is a depressant to the motor side of the spinal cord, but increases the rate of the respiration, and that it has very little effect upon the circulation, only temporarily reducing the arterial pressure.

Dose, three to ten grains (0.2-0.65 Gm.).

Off. Prep. - Tinctura Passiflorae, N. F.