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Passion Flower

Passion Flower:  "The association of the passionflower with Christ dates back to the seventeenth century.  The five petals and five sepals of the flower represented the ten faithful apostles (absent are Judas, the traitor, and Peter, who denied he knew Christ).  The dramatic corona resembled the crown of thorns that Jesus wore; the five stamens represented Christ's five wounds; the curling tendrils symbolized the cords used to whip him; and the leaves were thought to represent the hands of Christ's persecutors." Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs  

Passionflower extract has a slightly narcotic effect when taken internally.  It has been used as a tranquilizer to treat tension, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle spasms.  In small doses it has no known toxicity.  A cup of medicinal passionflower tea can be made with 1/2 to one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiling water.  Smoking passionflower was supposed to impart a marijuana-like high. 

In an herbal bath it's soothing.

Passionflower is not recognized as safe or effective in the United States but continues to be used in quite a few sedative-hypnotic drug mixtures marketed in Europe. 

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