Passiflora incarnata L. (Passifloraceae)
Granadilla incarnata Medik., Passiflora kerii Spreng.
Apricot vine, flor de la pasión, Fleischfarbene Passionsblume, fiore
della passione, fleur de la passion, grenadille, maracujá, may apple,
may flower, may-pop, pasionaria, passiflora, passiflora roja, passiflore, passion
vine, rose-coloured passion flower, water lemon, white passion flower, wild
A perennial, creeping herb, climbing by means of axillary tendrils. Leaves alternate,
palmately three to five serrate lobes. Flowers large, solitary, with long peduncles,
whitish, with a triple purple and pink crown. Fruits are ovate berries containing
numerous ovoid, flattened seeds covered with a yellowish or brownish aril
Plant material used
dried aerial parts
Contains not less than 1.5% of total flavonoids, expressed as vitexin, determined
by spectrophotometry. A high-performance liquid chromatography method for flavonoids
is also available
Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are flavonoids (up to 2.5%) with the principal compounds
being the C-glycosyl of apigenin (R2 = H) and luteolin (R2 = OH), including
mono-C-glucosyl derivatives isovitexin (up to 0.32%), iso-orientin and their
2''-ß-d-glycosides, and di-C-glycosyl derivatives schaftoside (up to 0.25%),
isoschaftoside (up to 0.15%) and swertisin. Also found are di-C-glucosyl derivatives
vicenin-2 and lucenin-2 and small amounts of mono-C-glucosyl derivatives orientin
and vitexin. Other chemical constituents include maltol (3-hydroxy-2-methyl-γ-pyrone)
(0.05%), chrysin and a cyanogenic glycoside, gynocardin. Traces of the indole
(ß-carboline) alkaloids (e.g. harman, harmol, harmine) have been reported
in the source plants; however, these alkaloids are undetectable in most commercial
Uses supported by clinical data
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established
Internally as a mild sedative for nervous restlessness, insomnia and anxiety.
Treatment of gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin.
Uses described in traditional medicine
As an anodyne, antispasmodic and mild stimulant. Treatment of dysmenorrhoea,
neuralgia and nervous tachycardia
Proven pharmacological activity
Analgesic and antipyretic, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Central nervous
system depressant, Uterine stimulant
No clinical data available for mono-preparations of Herba Passiflorae.
A single case of hypersensitivity with cutaneous vasculitis and urticaria following
ingestion of tablets containing an extract of Herba Passiflorae was reported.
In one case, use of the aerial parts was associated with IgE-mediated occupational
asthma and rhinitis. A single case of severe nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, prolonged
QT segment and episodes of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia was reported
in a female subject after self-administration of a therapeutic dose of the aerial
parts. However, the clinical significance of this reaction has not been evaluated.
Herba Passiflorae has been shown to stimulate uterine contractions in animal
models. Its use is therefore contraindicated during pregnancy.
May cause drowsiness. The ability to drive a car or operate machinery may be
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
A fluidextract of Herba Passiflorae was not genotoxic at concentrations up to
1.3 mg/ml in Aspergillus nidulans, as assessed in a plate incorporation assay
that permitted the detection of somatic segregation as a result of mitotic crossing-over,
chromosome mal-segregation or clastogenic effects. No significant increase in
the frequency of segregant sectors per colony were observed at any tested dose.
Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
Owing to the lack of data concerning its safety and efficacy, Herba Passiflorae
should not be used by nursing mothers without consulting a health-care practitioner.
Owing to the lack of data concerning its safety and efficacy, Herba Passiflora
should not be administered to children without consulting a healthcare practitioner
No information available on general precautions or on precautions concerning
drug interactions; drug and laboratory test interactions; or teratogenic effects
Powdered dried aerial parts, capsules, extracts, fluid extract and tinctures.
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dose, adults: as a sedative: 0.5–2.0 g of aerial parts three to
four times; 2.5 g of aerial parts as an infusion three to four times; 1.0–4.0
ml tincture (1:8) three to four times; other equivalent preparations accordingly