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Peggy J Hughes
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Legend has it that in 1620 a Jesuit priest in Peru came across the plant we now know as passion flower. Enthralled with its beauty, that night he had a vision likening its floral parts to the elements of the Crucifixion or Passion of Christ. The five petals and five sepals became the ten apostles (omitting Peter and Judas). The three pistils became the nails of the cross; the purple corona (or filaments) was the crown of thorns, and the stemmed ovary was the Lord's goblet.
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.
This information came from the MDidea website, and you can find even more information there on the many medicinal uses for this plant and it's fruit. (I am unable to post the direct link here.)
February 2nd, 2013
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