Our main focus will be on meat-red passionflower, or incarnate(Passiflora incarnata), which is used in medicine in many countries of the world, but let's not forget the rest of this wonderful genus.
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From budding to fruiting
In medicine, the aerial part (grass) of passionflower is used, harvested during the growing season in three terms: in the phase of budding, flowering and the beginning of fruiting.
Harvesting of raw materials (grass) is carried out manually, cutting off shoots 50-60 cm long at a height of 15-20 cm from the soil surface.
Raw materials are dried in dryers (at a temperature of + 40 + 50 ° С), or in ventilated rooms and in attics.
The raw material of passionflower is a mixture of pieces of leaves, stems, tendrils, buds, flowers and unripe fruits ranging in size from 1 to 7 mm. The content of extractives must be at least 18%. The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years.
In the herb of passionflower incarnate, up to 2.5% of flavonoids were found (mainly C-glycosylflavones isovitexin-2-glycoside, isoorientin-2-glycoside, vicenin). Benzoflavones are present in the methanol extract. In addition, there are sugars and polysaccharides, free amino acids, glycoproteins, coumarins, a small amount of essential oil, cyanogenic glycoside ginocardine, indole alkaloids of the carboline group (harman, harmine and harmol), flavonoids. Edible fruits contain a large amount of ascorbic acid. The seeds contain alkaloids, glycosides, trace elements, fatty oil. The presence of glycosides of the flavone group was noted in the rhizomes.
In 1968, an attempt was made to standardize the raw material of passionflower in terms of active ingredients, as is done in many plants. When harman alkaloids were taken as the main active ingredients, it turned out that their content in dry raw materials was very low and amounted to only 30-100 ng per 100 g of dry raw materials. And to obtain a sedative effect, the daily dose should reach 10-39 mg.
When the attempt to standardize on these substances failed, the researchers moved on. In an animal experiment, maltol (g-pyrone) strongly suppressed spontaneous activity in mice. An hour after the administration of 75 mg / kg of malnol, this indicator decreased by 50%. However, due to the instability of this substance during drying and heat treatment, this compound was not recognized as the main active principle.
German researchers hypothesized that the main compound responsible for sedation is passionflower (triterpene glycoside).
Passionflower tetrahedral, or giant granadilla (Passifloraquadrangularis) - curly type with characteristic flowers 8-10 cm in diameter, with catchy waxed purple filaments. This species also has a sedative effect. According to some reports, it contains serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Therefore, it can be used in depressive conditions.
The Maya and Aztecs knew about the calming and relaxing effect of passionflower on the nervous system. They have used it since time immemorial as a medicinal plant. During the excavations of their cities, passionflower seeds were found several thousand years old. The first mentions among Europeans date back to 1552, when the physician Martin de la Cruz described the medicinal plants used by the Aztecs in a herbalist.
The Aztecs used it for urinary retention, bone fractures and bruises. At the beginning of the 16th century, it appeared in Europe, where it was used to treat insomnia and pain. But it aroused even greater interest as an ornamental plant in botanical gardens, but as a medicinal plant it was gradually forgotten.But in the North American countries in the XIX-XX centuries, it was one of the most popular medicinal plants. The indications for use were sleep disturbances, convulsions, nervousness, and even epilepsy. In Europe, serious attention was paid to it only after in 1938 Gerhard Madaus published detailed information on pharmacological action and application in his "Handbook of Natural Remedies".
All described indications for the use of passionflower are based on pharmacological experiments on animals and clinical trials, which began to be carried out since 1898. Much work has been done in our country to study the medicinal properties of this plant. Passionflower extract liquid lowers reflex excitability, reduces motor activity and has a weak anticonvulsant effect in convulsions caused by cardiamine or camphor. Has a slight antispasmodic effect.
Currently, passionflower preparations are used for neuro-vegetative dystonia, states of fear, anxiety and nervousness. In case of cardiovascular diseases, the use of passionflower together with hawthorn is effective.
Passiflora extract was studied in patients with cerebrovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, thrombosis, post-crisis conditions, etc.), as well as with post-traumatic encephalopathy, post-contusion syndrome, post-influenza arachnoiditis, encephalitis, extract of vegetative disorders in menopause, etc. -40 drops per appointment, 3 times a day. The course of treatment was 10-30 days.
Under the influence of the drug, 30 out of 41 patients showed a therapeutic effect: the patients became less irritable, their sleep improved. The best therapeutic effect was observed in post-contusion syndrome with symptoms of neurasthenia, post-influenza asthenia, etc.
In children with neurasthenic conditions and symptoms of irritable weakness, passionflower extract, administered 10 drops 3 times a day for 3-8 weeks, reduced motor restlessness, increased the ability to concentrate and relieved headache (data from the children's department of the Solovyov Hospital).
In women in the premenopausal and climacteric period with increased nervousness, impaired performance and sleep, "hot flashes", transient arterial hypertension, passionflower extract, which was prescribed 35 drops 3 times a day for 2-6 months, had a beneficial effect, weakening or removing the listed phenomena.
In recent years, it has been found that the use of passionflower preparations, due to the presence of 6,7-benzaflavone, reduces withdrawal symptoms in dependence on psychotropic substances - nicotine, alcohol, opioids and diazepines. In chronic alcoholism, passionflower extract weakened the craving for alcohol, reduced anxiety and exaltation, the patients' behavior leveled off (the drug was prescribed 30-40 drops 3 times a day for 4-12 months). But, unfortunately, after discontinuation of treatment, the craving for alcohol reappeared.
Thus, passionflower extract is used as a sedative in neurasthenia, insomnia, vegetative disorders in the climacteric period, in post-contusional and post-influenza asthenia, in the treatment of alcoholism.
Passionflower got into herbal medicine from homeopathy. Currently, in German homeopathy, the plant is used in high dilutions (potencies) for conditions of anxiety, convulsions and sleep disturbances. Other types of passionflower (passionflower blue, n. Smelly and n. Edible) are considered as unacceptable impurities and falsifications.
Its drugs are used for insomnia, increased excitability, nervousness. The calming effect of this plant is comparable in strength to that of valerian. Sometimes in fees it is prescribed for convulsions and tics.
But in case of an overdose, unpleasant sensations such as headaches and visual disturbances can be observed.
Contraindications for use passionflower are angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis of the vessels of the brain and heart.
Tincture it is recommended to cook with 60% alcohol. For 1 liter of alcohol, take 200 g of dry passionflower herb. Insist in a glass container, shaking occasionally, for 2 weeks. Take 30-40 drops 3 times a day.
It's very good to use her in fees... For example, 20 g of passionflower herb, 10 g of lemon balm leaf or herb, 10 g of mint leaf, 15 g of anise fruit, 25 g of valerian root. 1 tbsp. spoon in a glass of boiling water, taking 1/3 cup 3 times a day.
Application in medicine
The preparation "Passionflower extract liquid" has sedative properties, has a pronounced therapeutic effect in the treatment of many diseases. It is used for neurasthenic states with symptoms of increased excitability, irritability, weakness, insomnia, as well as during pre-menopause and menopause. Assign inside 20-40 drops 3 times a day. The course of treatment is 20-30 days. Contraindications: angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis of the vessels of the brain and heart.
But to talk only about the medicinal properties of passionflower means not to say everything. The aromatic sweet-sour spherical or ovoid fruits of these plants with very juicy pulp are also of great value. In total, there are about 60 species of passion flowers with edible fruits. And the first among them - passionflower edible(Passiflora edulis)... Edible passionflower is better known to us as passionfruit - an overseas fruit that is added to yoghurts along with a peach. It contains organic acids (mainly citric), vitamin C (20-50 mg%), carotenoids.
In Brazil, passionflower fruits are used to make drinks, sherbets, ice cream and various jellies.