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Herbs & Plants

Passiflora mollisima

Btanical Name : Passiflora mollisima
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Subgenus: Tacsonia
Species: P. tarminiana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: Passiflora tripartita mollisima – (Kunth.)Holm-Niels.&P.M.Jørg.,Tacsonia mollissima – Kunth.

Common Name :Banana Passion Fruit (It was given this name in New Zealand, where passionfruit are also prevalent. In Hawaii, it is called banana poka. In its Latin American homeland, it is known as curuba, curuba de Castilla, or curuba sabanera blanca (Colombia); taxo, tacso, tagso, tauso (Ecuador); parcha (Venezuela), tumbo or curuba (Bolivia); tacso, tumbo, tumbo del norte, trompos, tintin or purpur (Peru).)

Habitat :Passiflora mollisima is native and commonly found in the wild in Andean valleys from Venezuela and eastern Colombia to Bolivia and Peru. It is believed to have been domesticated only shortly before the Spanish Conquest. Today it is commonly cultivated and the fruits, which are highly favored, are regularly sold in local markets. In 1920, the United States Department of Agriculture received seeds from Guayaquil, Ecuador (S.P.I. No. 51205), and from Bogotá, Colombia (S.P.I. No. 54399). The vine is grown in California as an ornamental under the name “softleaf passionflower”. It has never succeeded in Florida; is grown to some extent in Hawaii and the State of Madras, India. The climate of New Zealand seems highly suitable for it and it has been grown there, more or less commercially, for several decades.

Description:
Passiflora mollisima is an evergreen vigorous climber growing to 20 or 23 ft (6-7 m), its nearly cylindrical stems densely coated with yellow hairs. Its deeply 3-lobed leaves, 3 to 4 in (7.5-10 cm) long and 2 3/8 to 4 3/4 in (6-12 cm) wide, are finely toothed and downy above, grayish-or yellowish-velvety beneath. The stipules are short, slender and curved. The attractive blossom has a tube 3 to 4 in (7.5-10 cm) long, gray-green, frequently blushed with red, rarely downy; corolla with 5 oblong sepals and deep-pink petals flaring to a width of 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm); and a rippled, tuberculated, purple corona. The fruit is oblong or oblong-ovoid, 2 to 4 3/4 in (5-12 cm) long, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in (3.2-4 cm) wide. The rind is thick, leathery, whitish-yellow or, in one form, dark-green, and minutely downy. Very aromatic pulp (arils), salmon-colored, subacid to acid and rich in flavor, surrounds the small, black, flat, elliptic, reticulated seeds.

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It is hardy to zone 6 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

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There are several species of Passiflora mollisima, for example:
*P. tripartita var. mollissima :
*P. tarminiana :

Mollissima and its close relative Passiflora mixta are vines with cylindrical stems densely coated with yellow hairs, and are vigorous climbers, growing up to seven metres. The leaves are a shiny green with clearly defined veins, the flower is large, pink and green petalled with a yellow and white centre. The fruit is yellow-orange when ripe and contains a sweet edible orange-colored pulp with black seeds.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in the growing season, otherwise it is not fussy. One report says that this plant is hardy to climatic zone 6 (tolerating frosts of -20°c) but this is surely a misprint. The top growth is said to tolerate slight air frosts and plants are said to be hardy on a wall in the mild areas of Britain, being commonly grown around Penzance. In S. America plants can tolerate occasional lows to -5°c. Outdoor grown plants should have their roots restricted in order to reduce vegetative growth and encourage fruiting. Plants do not generally fruit well in Britain[88]. In order to improve the chances of producing fruit it is best to hand pollinate using pollen from a flower that has been open for 12 hours to pollinate a newly opened flower before midday. Cultivated for its edible fruit in S. America. Yields of 300 fruits per vine and 30 tonnes per hectare are recorded in S. America. A climbing plant, attaching itself to other plants by means of tendrils that are produced at the leaf axils. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year. The seed germinates in 1 – 12 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold. Cuttings of young shoots, 15cm with a heel, in spring. Leaf bud cuttings in spring. Cuttings of fully mature wood in early summer. Takes 3 months. High percentage

 
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked. An agreeable flavour. An aromatic taste, it can be eaten out of hand or used as a flavouring in ice creams, fruit salads, puddings etc. A juice made from the fruit is highly prized in S. America. Individual fruits are up to 15cm long and weigh 50 – 150g.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried aerial parts of passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) have historically been used as a sedative and hypnotic (for insomnia) and for “nervous” gastrointestinal complaints. However, clinical evidence supporting any therapeutic use in humans is lacking. Early evidence suggests that passion flower may have a benzodiazepine-like calming action.

Evidence for significant side effects is also unclear, and is complicated by the variety of poorly classified, potentially active constituents in different Passiflora species.

Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims), a related species, is used to flavor food.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Passiflora+mollisima
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/banana_passion_fruit.html
http://naturalmedicine.about.com/od/herbs/passionflower.htm
http://www.fruitfinds.com/pmollisima.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Passiflora+mollisima

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Passionfruit

Botanical Name:Passiflora edulis
Family:Passifloraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Passiflora
Species: P. edulis

Other Names: Passiflora edulis, passion fruit.It is locally called Sohbrab in Meghalaya in India
Habitat: It is native to South America and widely grown in India, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Brazil, Ecuador, California, southern Florida, Hawaii, Australia, East Africa, Israel and South Africa. It’s cultivation has been extended to some areas of North-eastern region like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim.

Description:
The purple passion fruit (P. edulis) is a woody perennial vine with robust climber. The stems, tendrils and leaves are clear green without any trace of reddish or pinkish colour. The fruit is round or oval, 3 to 5 cm in diameter and deep purple when ripe. The yellow passion fruit (P. edulis f. flavicarpa) vine is much like that of the purple variety but is a more vigorous grower. It is distinguished by the suffusion of reddish, pinkish or purplish colour in stems, leaves and tendrils.The flowers have the scent of heliotropes.

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The passion fruit is round to oval, yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.

The two types of passion fruit have greatly different exterior appearances. The bright yellow variety of passion fruit, which is also known as the Golden Passionfruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind, and has been used as a rootstock for the purple passion fruit in Australia. The dark purple passion fruit (for example, in Kenya) is smaller than a lemon, with a dry, wrinkled rind at maturity.

The purple varieties of the fruit reportedly have traces of cyanogenic glycosides in the skin, and hence are mildly poisonous. However, the thick, hard skin is hardly edible, and if boiled (to make jam), the cyanide molecules are destroyed at high temperatures.

Cultivation details:
Requires a well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in the growing season, otherwise it is not fussy.

Plants are not very frost tolerant and are best grown in a greenhouse. However, the roots are somewhat hardier and can survive the winter outdoors in many areas of Britain if the soil is prevented from freezing. If plants are cut down to the ground by frost they can regenerate from the base. There is also the possibility of growing plants on rootstocks of P. caerulea which might make them hardier.

This species is often cultivated in warmer climes than Britain for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties. The fruit can be freely produced in Britain in hot summers.

Roots of outdoor grown plants should be restricted to encourage fruiting.

Any pruning is best carried out in the spring.

If fruit is required it is best to hand pollinate, using pollen from a flower that has been open for 12 hours to pollinate a newly opened flower before midday. The flowers open in sunny weather and do not open on dull cloudy days. The flowers have the scent of heliotropes.

A climbing plant, attaching itself to other plants by means of tendrils that are produced at the leaf axils.

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year[88]. The seed germinates in 1 – 12 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold.

Cuttings of young shoots, 15cm with a heel, in spring.

Leaf bud cuttings in spring.

Cuttings of fully mature wood in early summer. Takes 3 months. High percentage.

Uses
*A glass of passion fruit juiceIn Australia, it is available commercially fresh and canned. In addition to being added to fruit salads, passion fruit is commonly used in desserts, such as the topping for the pavlova (a meringue cake), cheesecake, and vanilla slice. It is also used to flavour soft drinks such as Passiona and cordials.

*In the Dominican Republic, it is used to make juice, jams, the chinola flavoured syrup is used on shaved ice and it is also eaten raw sprinkled with sugar.

*In Puerto Rico, where its called Parcha, it is widely believed to lower blood pressure. This is probably because it contains harmala alkaloids and is a mild RIMA.

*In Brazil, passion fruit mousse is a common dessert, and passion fruit seeds are routinely used to decorate the tops of certain cakes. Passion fruit juice is also very common.

*In Indonesia it is eaten straight as a fruit. Nevertheless, it is common to strain the passionfruit for its juice and cook it with sugar to make some sort of thick syrup. It is then mixed with water and ice to be drunk.

*In Hawaii, where it is called lilikoi, it is normally eaten raw. Hawaiians usually crack the rind of the lilikoi either with their hands or teeth and suck out the flavorful pulp and seeds. Lilikoi can also be cut in half and the pulp can easily be scooped out with a spoon. Lilikoi flavoured syrup is a popular topping for shave ice. Ice cream and mochi are also flavoured with lilikoi, as well as many other desserts such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream. Lilikoi is also favored as a jam, jelly, as well as a butter. Lilikoi fruits are not widely available in stores, so most of the fruit eaten comes from backyard gardens or wild groves. They however can be found in farmers markets sprinkled throughout the islands.

*Passion fruit juice or syrup is an essential ingredient of some cocktails, particularly the hurricane and the Peruvian maracuya sour.

*In South Africa passion fruit is used to flavor yogurt. It is also used to flavour soft drinks such as Schweppes Sparkling Granadilla and numerous cordial drinks.

Passion fruit juice can be boiled down to a syrup, which is used in making sauce, gelatin desserts, candy, ice cream, sharbat, cake icing, cake filling, etc. There is a preference for the purple variety as fresh fruit and the yellow one for juice-making.

Nutrition
Fresh Passion Fruit is known to be high in vitamin A, Potassium and dietary fibre. The Yellow variety is used for juice processing, while the Purple variety is sold in fresh fruit markets. Passion fruit juice is a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
Medicinal Uses: There is currently a revival of interest in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in Europe, in the use of the glycoside, passiflorine, especially from P. incarnata L., as a sedative or tranquilizer. Italian chemists have extracted passiflorine from the air-dried leaves of P. edulis.

The pulp of the fruit is stimulant and tonic.
In Madeira, the juice of passionfruits is given as a digestive stimulant and treatment for gastric cancer.

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Passion Fruit

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passion_fruit
http://gbpihed.gov.in/envis/HTML/vol13_1/nrai.htm
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Passiflora+edulis
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/passionfruit.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Passionflower

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Botanical Name :Passiflora caerulea
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales

Other Names: Apricot Vine, Corona de Cristo, Granadilla, Maypop, Passiflora, Passiflora incarnata, Passion Vine, Water Lemon

Bengali Name :Jhumko Lata
Parts Used: The above-ground parts (flowers, leaves, and stems) of the passionflower are used for medicinal purposes. (Plant – dried, collected after some of the berries have natured
Flower – dried)

Habitat:
The plant is indigenous to an area from the southeast U.S. to Argentina and Brazil.Southeast Asia…India, Bangladesh & Burma.

Description:Passion flower (Passiflora; syn. Disemma Labill.) is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. For information about the fruit of the passiflora plant, see passionfruit.

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It has a long vine which grows for 30 feet in length and bears alternate, serrate leaves with finely toothed lobes. The flowers are white with purple centers developing in the leaf axils, blooming from May to July. The fruit is a smooth, yellow, ovate berry containing numerous seeds.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION
Alkaloids……..Apigenin………Carbohydrates
Coumarins……..Flavonoids……………Fructose
Glucose……….Gum……………………..Harmaline
Harmalol……..Harman………………….Harmine
Maltol……….Plant alcohols…………..Orientin
Raffinose……Saponaretin………………Saponarin
Scopoletin…..Stigmasterol……………Sitosterol
Sterols……..Sucrose……………………..Umbelliferone
Vitexin

Medical and entheogenic uses
Passiflora incarnata leaves and roots have a long history of use among Native Americans in North America. Passiflora edulis and a few other species are used in Central and South America. The fresh or dried leaves are used to make an infusion, a tea that is used to treat insomnia, hysteria, and epilepsy, and is also valued for its painkilling properties. It has been found to contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids which are MAOIs with anti-depressant properties. The flower has only traces of these chemicals, but the leaves and the roots of some species contain more and have been used to enhance the effects of mind-altering drugs. Once dried, the leaves can also be smoked.

Anti-anxiety:
Passion flower has a tranquilizing effect, including mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects. In studies conducted since the 1930’s, its mode of action has been found to be different than that of most sedative drugs (sleeping pills), thus making it a non-addictive herb to promote relaxation.

Insomnia:
The sedative effect of Passion flower has made it popular for treating a variety of ailments, including nervousness and insomnia. Research had indicated that passion flower has a complex activity on the central nervous system (CNS), which is responsible for its overall tranquilizing effects. Also, it apparently has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles within the body, including the digestive system, promoting digestion.

Oral passion flower products are most frequently used for their effects on the central nervous system (CNS). While not all of their effects are understood, certain chemicals in passion flower may act like a class of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines. Drugs such as benzodiazepines and herbals such as passion flower increase levels of a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages from nerve cells to other cells. In general, GABA decreases the activity of nerve cells in the brain, causing relaxation, possibly relieving anxiety, and potentially treating insomnia.

In addition, passion flower contains chemicals known as harmala alkaloids, which are thought to block an enzyme involved in depression. This enzyme, monoamine oxidase, breaks down other neurotransmitters–especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin–which affect mood stability. Blocking monoamine oxidase may increase the amounts of other neurotransmitters, which may improve mood. No large human studies have been performed to prove the effectiveness of passion flower for any CNS uses, however.

Although applying passion flower to the skin is not as common as taking it by mouth, topical forms may help to relieve minor skin conditions such as burns, cold sores, insect bites, razor burn, scrapes, and sunburn. Passion flower products also have been used to alleviate the itching and burning pain of hemorrhoids. Laboratory studies have shown that it possesses some possible mild anti-infective activity, so it may also help to prevent skin surface infections. Again, however, these uses have yet to be proven in human studies.

FOLKLORE
Passion flower has a mild sedative effect that encourages sleep. This property has been well-substantiated in numerous studies on animals and humans. Nervous symptoms and cramps that inhibit sleep are alleviated by ingestion of the herb, and leading quickly to restful uninterrupted and deep sleep. When Spanish explorers first encountered the Indians of Peru and Brazil, they found this plant used in native folk medicine as a sedative. They took it back to Spain, from whence it gradually spread throughout Europe. It was in Europe that the leaves of the plant first found use as a sedative and sleep-inducing substance. Interestingly, its sedative effect was not noted by American until lately.

Today, more than 400 species of passion flower are found throughout the world. The active constituents of passion flower can be broadly classified as alkaloids and flavonoids, supported in their actions by a variety of other constituents, including amino acids, sugars, coumarins, and alcohols (actually sterols).

A decoction of passion flower has been successfully used in bronchial asthma. It has been used in Europe and America as a topical treatment for burns; compresses of the herb have a marked effect on inflammations.

The leaves of Passiflora edulis are used in South America as a diuretic and for hemorrhoidal inflammations. In Brazil, Passiflora incarnata is used as an antispasmodic and sedative. In North America, passion flower is often used as an analgesic and anticonvulsant, with some success noticed in cases of tetanus. In Italy, a combination of passion flower, belladonna, and lobelia is used to treat asthma. In Poland, a proprietary drug for treating excitability, contains an extract of passion flower.

Numerous homeopathic drugs contain passion flower; it is possible that the main sedative activity of the plant is truly homeopathic in nature, being in that respect a function of the harman alkaloid constituents otherwise stimulant in nature.

Passion flower has been commonly used in the treatment of nervous, high-strung, easily excited children; cardiovascular neuroses; bronchial asthma; coronary illness; circulation weakness; insomnia; problems experienced during menopause; concentration problems in school children; and in geriatrics. There is some experimental support for these applications.

Passion flower appears completely nontoxic, and has been approved for food use by the FDA.

Properties and Uses
Passion flower has related analgesic, sedative, sleep-inducing, and spasmolytic effects.
The major pharmacological effect of passion flower, first observed nearly a hundred years ago and consistently reported ever since, is a sedative property. The analgesic property of this herb was also observed, and doctors had success treating the sleeplessness experienced by neurasthenic and hysteric patients, as well as that caused by nervous exhaustion. Early investigators noticed that the herb worked best when sleeplessness could be traced to an inflammation of the brain; passion flower appeared to act as an analgesic and was free from side effects. Later in this century, investigators discovered that the flavonoid fraction was more effective. However, other tests showed that the most effective sedative activity was obtained from a combination of both the flavonoids and the alkaloids.

Early research indicated that an extract of passion flower was effective against the disturbance of menopause, and as agent against the sleeplessness that occurred during convalescence from the flu. The herb had no side effects, and appeared to induce a normal peaceful sleep. Observations on the day following administration revealed no depression of body or mind, in contrast to the morning-after effects usually experienced with narcotic drugs.

Passion flower is one of the main constituents of a German sleeping pill called Vita-Dor. This product, also containing aprobarbital, valerian root, hops, mellissa, and thiamine, is highly effective in inducing and maintaining sleep throughout the night. A recent Romanian patent was issued for a sedative chewing gum that contains passion flower extract in a base of several vitamins. Many other examples of the widespread application of passion flower in Europe could be cited; however, American recognition of the sedative effects of passion flower has lagged seriously behind.

Some of passion flower’s main constituents are the harmine and harman alkaloids (passiflorine, aribine, loturine, yageine, etc.). In man small doses (about 3-6 mg) stimulate the central nervous system, much like coffee and tea (black). In larger doses (15-35 mg), these alkaloids produce a strong motoric restlessness followed by drowsiness. Still larger doses intensify the motoric activity and cause hallucinations, convulsions, and vomiting. Oral doses of 300-400 mg will produce marked psychotic symptoms, replete with hallucinations, followed by pronounced central nervous system depression. Hence, passion flower is sometimes used as a mild hallucinogen. Since large doses of pure harman alkaloids are needed to produce psychoactive symptoms of any merit, use of the whole plant probably has no such observable effect.

Pharmacological investigations in animals indicate that relatively large doses of harman derivatives excite the central nervous system, producing hallucinations and convulsions that appear to be of extrapyramidal origin. These effects do not agree with the properties of the whole plant. Harman alkaloids arrest spasms in smooth muscle, lower the blood pressure, and expand the coronary vessels, effects which have also been observed in whole herb extracts and appear occasionally in the folk literature. A centrally-depressive chemical, a gamma-pyrone derivative called maltol, has been isolated from passion flower and shown to have mild sedative properties in mice; maltol could offset the stimulant properties of harman alkaloids, but it is unlikely that it account for all sedative effects observed in humans.

Presently, the active principle in passion flower remains unknown. It has been verified that the herb’s alkaloid fraction is sedative, the flavonoid fraction (also containing some harman) is active, and a combination of the two is most active.

DRUG INTERACTIONS
Possible Interactions
Passion flower should be used with caution in conjunction with CNS-depressants or stimulants.
Specifically, this herb should not be used at all in conjunction with the potent CNS-depressant analgesic, methotrimeprazine.

Toxicity Levels
No toxicity of passion flower has been noted, although harman alkaloids have demonstrated toxic effects (as discussed in the Method of Action section).

Safety:
There are no reported side effects for passion flower and the suggested dosages. However, it is not recommended for use in pregnant women or children under the age of two. If already taking a sedative or tranquilizer, consult a health care professional before using passion flower.

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.passionflower.org/
http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,4101%7CPassion%2BFlower,00.html
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/passionflower-000267.htm
http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/herbs_passion_flower.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora

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