Recipe: Calming Passionflower Tea 

The first thing I think of when considering passionflower is as a nervine, a plant that has a calming and sedating effect on the body. It can help with reducing anxiety and depression, reducing inflammation, as well has having a tranquilizing effect. It has also been known to be a bit of an aphrodisiac, I’m thinking it’s because it helps one to relax if they have had a rough day. It is a weak diuretic, and helps with expelling worms. In Europe, it is used for nervous disorders such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat and hyperactivity in children. I have read several places that it is also used for alcoholism, here I assume it is because it is so calming to the nervous system. It has also been used for menstrual cramps and PMS. Just about every country that uses it uses it for hypertension. It can be used for the pain of shingles. Because of it’s antispasmodic activity it has been used for IBS.  

To make a therapeutic tea that is good for insomnia or anxiety, add 2 tablespoons of the dried passionflower leaf into an 8-ounce canning jar. Pour boiling water over the herb. Put the lid on the jar, and let steep for 10- 15 minutes. Strain the herb from the liquid and drink. You can keep the extra liquid in the fridge for 2 days, heat and drink as needed.  
Recipe: Zingy Ginger-Passionfruit Vinaigrette  

  • 4 medium sized passionfruit, juiced 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 
  • Juice of one lime 
  • 2 teaspoons honey 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped fine 
  • 1 cup olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Put all ingredients into a jar. Shake well to emulsify. Will store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of The Nutritional Therapist.