Passiflora incarnate popularly known as Maypop or purple passionflower is a fast-growing perennial trailing plant belonging to Passifloraceae Juss. ex Roussel (Passion-flower family). The plant is native to northwestern South America, India, the Caribbean, Brazil, southern Florida, Hawaii, Australia, East Africa, Israel and South Africa. It is one of the hardiest species of passion flower that is quite common in the southern United States. The plant is known by several other indigenous names like wild apricot, Apricot vine, May apple, Maypop, May pops, Passion flower, Wild passion flower, maypop passionflower, purple passionflower, red-flowered poka, Granadilla, Herba passiflorae, Jamaican honeysuckle, Madre selva, Maracuja, Maracuva and Passion vine. Genus name Passiflora comes from the Latin words passio which means passion and flos meaning a flower for the flower’s symbolism of the crucifixion of Christ. Specific epithet Incarnata is Latin for flesh-colored.
The name “Passion Flower” was coined in the 15th century by Spanish missionaries in Peru who saw this unusual flower as a symbol of the crucifixion. Each part of the flower holds symbolic meaning in recognition of the crucifixion story – the Passion of the Christ. Five sepals and five petals refer to the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas and Peter). Three stigmas represent the three nails that held Christ to the cross, while five anthers represent his five sacred wounds. The tendrils of the flower are said to resemble the whips used in the flagellation, while the filaments, which can number in excess of a hundred depending on the flower, depict the crown of thorns.
|Scientific Name||Passiflora incarnata|
|Native||Northwestern South America, India, the Caribbean, Brazil, southern Florida, Hawaii, Australia, East Africa, Israel and South Africa|
|Common Names||Apricot vine, May apple, Maypop, May pops, Passion flower, Wild passion flower, maypop passionflower, purple passionflower, red-flowered poka, Granadilla, Herba passiflorae, Jamaican honeysuckle, Madre selva, Maracuja, Maracuva and Passion vine|
|Name in Other Languages||Afrikaans: Maypop
Amharic: Lupopi (ሉፖፕ)
Angami: Bel, Belnyu
Arabic: May bwb (ماي بوب), zahrat alalam alhamra’ (زهرة الآلام الحمراء)
Armenian: Mayor (մայոր)
Assamese: Lata Bel (লতা বেল)
Azerbaijani: Maypop, İnkarnat qonaqotu
Bengali: Maypop, Jhumkalata, Janli jhumakō (জংলি ঝুমকো)
Burmese: Hkaat (ခတ်)
Chinese: Měi bǎo (美宝), Ri ben zhao, Da zhuan xin lian, Da xin fan lian, Měiguó xī fān lián (美國西番蓮)
Czech: Maypop, mučenka pletní
Danish: Maypop, Kaempepassionsblomst
Dutch: Maypop, Djari markoesa, Groote markoesa, Vierhoekige passiebloem
English: Maypop, Apricot-vine, Maypop passionflower, Passionflower, Purple passionflower, rose-coloured passionflower
Estonian: Maypop, Punakas kannatuslill
Finnish: Maypop, Rohtopassio, kärsimyskukka
French: Maypop, Passiflore rouge, Fleur de la passion, Passiflore officinale, Passiflore purpurine, passiflore sauvage, Barbadine, Grenadille géante, Passiflore quadrangulaire
Georgian: Maiori (მაიორი)
German: Maypop, Passionsblume, Winterharte Passionsblume, Fleischfarbige Passionsblume, Melonengranadille, Riesengranadilla
Greek: Koutávi (κουτάβι)
Hebrew: Maypop, שעונית רפואית
Hindi: Maypop, Jhumkalata (झुमका लता)
Hungarian: Maypop, Májusialma
Indonesian: Maypop, Markiza, Markoesa, Markeesa, Manesa
Italian: Maypop, granadiglia incarnate, Passiflora quadrangolare
Japanese: Meipoppu (メイポップ), Chabotokeisou (チャボトケイソウ)
Kannada: Mēpāp (ಮೇಪಾಪ್), Gadiyaarada hoo (ಗಡಿಯಾರದಹೂ), Jumaki hoo (ಜುಮಕಿಹೂ/ಜುಮಿಕಿಹೂ), Kadamba hannu (ಕದಂಬಹಣ್ಣು)
Kazakh: Maypop (майпоп)
Korean: Mei pab (메이 팝)
Lithuanian: Gegužė, Raudonžiedė pasiflora
Macedonian: Majopa (мајопа), mesto chasovni (месесто часовниче)
Malay: Maypop, Buah mankisa, Manesa, Marquesa, Markiza, Markeesa, Markiza, Markoesa, Mentimun , Timun belanda
Malayalam: Meypēāpp (മെയ്പോപ്പ്), kr̥ṣṇakamalaṁ (കൃഷ്ണകമലം)
Manipuri: Radhika Nachom, Nācōma (নাচোম)
Mongolian: Mayak (маяк)
Nepali: Maypop, Jhumke laharo (झुमके लहरो)
Persian: قوطی, پیچ ساعتی
Polish: Maypop, męczennica cielista
Portuguese: Maypop, Flor-da-paixão, Maracujá-roxo, maracujazeiro-rosado, maracujazeiro-vermelho, martírios, passiflora, Maracujá-assú, Maracujá de caiena, Maracujá-grande, Maracujá-mamao, Maracujá-suspiro, Martírio quadrangular
Romanian: Maypop, Floarea patimilor
Russian: maypop, Strastotsvet myaso-krasnyy (Страстоцвет мясо-красный)
Serbian : Maypop (маипоп)
Spanish : Maypop, Flor de pasión, Pasiflora, Pasionaria, Badea, Corvejo, Granadilla de fresco, Granadilla grande, Granadilla para refrescos, Granadilla real, Parcha granadina, Parcha de Guinea, Sandia de pasión, Tambo, Tumbo, Zdravilna pasijonka
Swedish: Maypop, Läkepassionsblomma
Tajik: Maypop (майпоп)
Tangkhul: Sadapor won
Thai: Maypop, Su khon tharot, S̄eāwrs̄ lîn ngū (เสาวรสลิ้นงู)
Ukrainian: Maypop (майпоп)
Vietnamese: Maypop, Dua gan tay, Chanh leo
|Plant Growth Habit||Rapid-growing, stout, smooth, herbaceous, tendril-climbing vine|
|Growing Climates||Sandy thickets, Fields, roadsides, fence rows, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, near unmowed pastures, railroads, sandy fields, fencerows, low alluvial ground, waste areas, pine flat woods, live oak hammock, open pasture, old brick wall, shore of lake, woodland edges and meadows. It thrives in areas with plentiful sunlight|
|Plant Size||About 15 to 20 ft. per year|
|Stem||Smooth or pubescent, four-angled and narrowly winged. They are long and trailing, possessing many tendrils.|
|Leaf||Alternate, deeply 3-lobed when mature and finely toothed. They are entire, ovate to elliptic, 10 to 15 centimeters long, with pointed tip and broadly rounded base. They are deep green and glossy above, paler and dull beneath|
|Flowering season||June to July|
|Flower||Large, solitary and fragrant, 2 to 3 inches wide, born at each node on the new growth. The bloom, clasped by 3 large, green, lifelike bracts, consists of 5 greenish-white sepals. Flowers have five bluish-white petals. They exhibit a white and purple corona, a structure of fine appendages between the petals and stamens|
|Fruit Shape & Size||Pulpy fruit is large, fleshy, edible, ellipsoid berry about the size of a hen egg. (4 to 10 cm long)|
|Fruit Color||Initially green become yellow-green to yellow-orange as it matures|
|Flesh Color||Originally white and becomes a dull yellow when ripe|
|Seed||Obovate or nearly obcordate, 0.4-0.5 cm long and 0.3-0.4 cm wide, truncate at apex, reticulate|
|Plant Parts Used||Dried leaves, flower, stems, shoots, aerial parts|
|Propagation||By seed, semi-hardwood cuttings or by layering in spring or autumn|
|Lifespan||5 to 7 years|
|Season||September to November|
Maypop is a rapid-growing, stout, smooth, vigorous, herbaceous, tendril-climbing vine with climbing or trailing stems. The plant is woody in warm winter climates and herbaceous (dies to the ground) in cold winter climates. The plant normally grows about 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years). Stems are smooth or pubescent, four-angled and narrowly winged. They are long and trailing, possessing many tendrils.
Since it is a very herbaceous plant and will die back to ground level without being frosted. Once established, its thick fleshy roots will sustain it through most cold winters, and the vine will regrow from a depth in excess of one meter (3 feet) below the ground. Given a free root run it will produce sucker growths often some considerable distance from the parent plant. The plant is found growing in sandy thickets, Fields, roadsides, fence rows, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, near unmowed pastures, railroads, sandy fields, fencerows, low alluvial ground, waste areas, pine flat woods, live oak hammock, open pasture, old brick wall, shore of lake, woodland edges and meadows. It thrives in areas with plentiful sunlight.
The evergreen leaves of passion fruit are alternate, deeply 3-lobed when mature and finely toothed. They are entire, ovate to elliptic, 10 to 15 centimeters long, with pointed tip and broadly rounded base. They are deep green and glossy above, paler and dull beneath and, like the young stems and tendrils, tinged with red or purple, especially in the yellow form. The petiole is 3.2 in. (80 mm) long; the two petiole glands are located at the apex and are sessile.
|Leaf type||Odd-pinnately compound|
|Leaf venation||Parallel; pinnate|
|Leaf type and persistence||Evergreen|
|Leaf blade length||4 to 8 inches|
|Fall color||No fall color change|
|Fall characteristic||Not showy|
The lovely sweet-scented mauve, lilac or white flowers may be extraordinarily variable even within a single plant. The first flower of a seedling may be different in shape and color from subsequent flowers the following year. This variation or deterioration of the flower seems to continue as the plant ages, but this may be caused by a virus.
The flowers, which are produced singly in the axils of the leaves, are one and a half to two inches across. The open blossoms exude a delicious lemon musk aroma. Each flower lasts for one day only, opening in late morning then closing by nightfall.
Flower is large, solitary and fragrant, 2 to 3 inches wide, born at each node on the new growth. The bloom, clasped by 3 large, green, lifelike bracts, consists of 5 greenish-white sepals. Flowers have five bluish-white petals. They exhibit a white and purple corona, a structure of fine appendages between the petals and stamens. The large flower is typically arranged in a ring above the petals and sepals. They are pollinated by insects such as bumblebees and carpenter bees, and are self-sterile. The flower normally begins to bloom between June to July.
|Flower color||Pink; purple|
|Flower characteristic||Summer flowering; fall flowering|
Sweet-smelling, yellowish fruits develop in two to three months after flowering and may be harvested from July to October. The pulpy fruit is large, fleshy, edible, ellipsoid berry about the size of a hen egg. (4 to 10 cm long). Fruits are initially green become yellow-green to yellow-orange as it matures. Like other passifloras, the pulp is gelatinous and encases the seeds. The color of the pulp is originally white and becomes a dull yellow when ripe. The fruit consists of many flattened, dark-colored seeds about 4 to 6 mm long that are covered with the edible pulp of the fruit.
Ripened maypops can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly. The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma or used to flavor processed products. The unique flavor is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart.
|Fruit length||1 to 3 inches|
|Fruit characteristic||Suited for human consumption|
Health benefits of Maypop
Health benefits of Maypop is recognized traditionally in countries like Brazil, US, Poland, Middle East, Turkey and India where it has been used for its analgesic, anti-spasmodic, sedative and anti-asthmatic properties. It is used in natural remedy for irregular menstrual periods, epilepsy, neural disorders, hysteria, hemorrhoids and insomnia. Maypop benefits are mentioned in detail below:
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
2. Research has indicated that using the extract that belongs to maypops may also contribute to the decline of hypertension or high blood pressure treatments.
In fact, a daily cup of maypop flower tea is effective in lowering down blood pressure for those who have mild hypertension! However, one must also note that maypops can also lower down blood pressure to the extreme minimum.
2. Cuts, Bruise or Wound Treatment
Crushed leaves of the fruit are applied into the affected area for treatment of cuts, bruise or wound using maypops.
3. Pacify anxiety
Research is active in identifying various chemical components which are effective in treating anxiety without impairing memory or motor functions. This can be attributed to presence of flavonoids chrysin and apigenin. Maypop has been traditionally used in reducing anxiety symptoms. Research showed that oral dose of Maypop extracts was helpful in reducing anxiety before surgery without inducing sedation.
4. Treats sleep problems
Maypop can help you aid sleep, relive nerve pain and anxiety and treat insomnia. It is believed to contain sleep inducing serotonin and maltol. It is well suited for treating sleeplessness in children, infants and old people. In Europe, teaspoon of dried Maypop powder is often consumed with tea for good sleep. Sedative chewing gum is experimented with passiflora extracts. Drinking Maypop tea made from passiflora leaves before going to bed can help induce sleep and enhance sleep quality. It has sedative and hypnotic effect without any side effects on other body functions. This mild sedative action is also helpful in treating other nervous system disorders like hysteria, delirium, nervousness and anxiety.
5. Good for psychiatric disorders
Together with other herbs, it is effective in relieving symptoms of psychiatric disorders. This often requires adjustments with anxiety levels and calming nerves. It is found effective in treating Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Extract of Maypop flowers are used as folk medicine for anxiety and ADHD.
6. Calm your nerves
Maypop has power of strengthening our nerves and reliving any inflammation and pain on nerves. Alkaloids and flavonoids in this herb can be attributed for such property. It is effective in treating Neuralgia or nerve pains, headaches. It works with other mild sedative herbs in calming your nerves.
7. Heart problems
Cardiovascular neurosis is condition results from stress and anxiety. It causes increase in blood pressure, great rhythmic changes in the heart, sweating and palpitation. This is often treated by anti-anxiety drug. Phytochemicals in passiflora helps relive this condition and helps keep heart healthy. Other nutrients which help in treating this condition include amino acid – GABA present in the brain that regulates brain activity. Maypop regulates GABA system in brain.
As a strong anticonvulsant and antispasmodic, it helps in treating disorders like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy and seizures. Animal studies show that it delays onset of drug induced seizures. It has ability to work on GABA activity in brain and thus relax muscles and nerves in seizures. It is also believed to block activity of glutamate which can trigger nerve cells and produce convulsions and spasms.
9. Respiratory troubles
Maypop has been traditionally used in Brazil for treatment of asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. It works as expectorant for irritating dry cough. It also suppresses cough. It contains alkaloids which displays anti-asthmatic properties and relieves asthma symptoms.
10. Increase your libido
Traditionally Maypop is supposed to have aphrodisiac properties which help increasing libido and virility. Animals studies shows that menthol based passiflora extract prevented drug induced decline in sexuality of male rats. Another animal study showed increased sexual behavior in male mice treated with passionflower extract. Benzoflavone derivative in passiflora prevents degradation of testosterone and increases its level in blood. However no human studies have been done so far to establish this claim. Passiflora can also help relieve sex related anxiety also termed as performance anxiety.
11. May Reduce Inflammation
Reducing inflammation throughout the body is what many organic acids and antioxidants are best at, and the compounds found in passionflower tea are no exception. This tea has long been recommended for joint disorders and arthritis, as well as gout, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the gut. These soothing active ingredients can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping, as well as chronic inflammation caused by free radical activity.
12. Good for diabetics
Recent studies have shown that the extract of Maypop show potential for reducing blood sugar and lipids. Animal studies confirm such effect in drug induced diabetes in mice. More research is essential to establish potential benefits of Maypop.
13. Treatment of cancer
Various phytochemicals in passiflora including Lycopene, chrysin, Luteolin, quercetin and kaempferol have exhibited strong anti-cancer properties and are being researched in treatment of cancer. Chrysin and apigenin present in passionflower helps inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, as found in studies.
14. Beneficial for women
Maypop has been used in Europe for treatment of menstrual disorders. Menstrual cycle, puberty, menopause, childbirth and breastfeeding are often associated with hormonal changes. Often these periods are related with psychological changes including mood swings and anxiety. It helps in regulating these female hormones. It helps relieve pain and anxiety in case of PMS disturbance, dysmenorrheal and menopause.
15. May aid in Skin Conditions
Traditional use of passionflower tea includes its application for rashes, burns, irritation or inflammation of the skin. This can come in many forms, from eczema and psoriasis to acne, burns, and allergic reactions. The topical application of this tea is not common, but a powerful brew can have notable effects in treating these conditions.
16. May Chronic Stress and Depression
The phytochemicals and alkaloids found in Maypop tea, such as quercetin and kaempferol, are known to improve mood and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body. This can keep you feeling energized and positive, relieving feelings of stress and anxiety.
17. Curb Addiction
Some people have turned to Maypop tea to curb drug addiction, by soothing the symptoms of withdrawal, improving mood and reducing anxiety. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence points to passionflower tea’s potential ability to reduce nicotine cravings, making it important for those trying to quit smoking.
18. Calms ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
Maypop tea is an effective drink to reduce the severity of signs and symptoms brought by Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder in children ages 6 to 13 years old. The tea is usually administered for at least 8 weeks, and it works even better when administered together with a drug known as methylphenidate given in low doses.
19. Treats Seizure
Seizures occur because the neurons in the brain make, give, and get electrical impulses that give the brain’s nerve cells the chance to communicate with each other. But sometimes, there are disturbances in their communication pathways, and it eventually leads to a seizure.
Because of passionflower tea’s calming effect on the mind, the central nervous system starts to calm down, therefore stopping the seizure right on time.
Traditional uses and benefits of Maypop
- Maypop is often used in the treatment of insomnia, epilepsy, hysteria etc.
- Leaves and stems are antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, and vasodilator and are also used in the treatment of women’s complaints.
- It is used in the treatment of insomnia, nervous tension, irritability, neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, pre-menstrual tension and vaginal discharges.
- An extract of the plant depresses the motor nerves of the spinal cord, it is also slightly sedative, slightly reduces blood pressure and increases respiratory rate.
- Plant consists of alkaloids and flavonoids that are an effective non-addictive sedative that does not cause drowsiness.
- Poultice of the roots is applied to boils, cuts, earaches, inflammation etc.
- The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Maypop for nervousness & insomnia.
- Maypop flower is a natural pain killer.
- It provides calmness and sound sleep that may get disturbed by inflammation or pain in the body.
- It has anti-stress properties that help to get rid of anxiety. It is also used to treat ADHD and other anxiety disorders.
- It reduces the nervous tension and gives relief from mood swings.
- It is helpful in combating the symptoms of drug withdrawal. If you feel restlessness and Insomnia, Maypop is the key.
- Maypop also reduces high blood pressure.
- Skin of the fruit, bark of root is used for intestinal tapeworms and parasites.
- It is used by traditional healers for snakebites.
- It is used for bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough.
- Leaf poultices used for liver complaints.
- In Columbia, leaf and branch decoction used in external baths for snake bites.
- It is used in the treatment of insomnia, epilepsy, tetanus and muscle spasms.
- In traditional medicine, Maypop is used in diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, neuralgia, burns, hemorrhoids and insomnia as used historically in Europe.
- In North America and South America, tea made from the roots is used as a tonic.
- Native Americans used the plant in poultices for treating bruises, injuries, burns, skin eruptions, and hemorrhoids.
- Juice could be used for sore eyes, and the root was thought to be an aphrodisiac.
Ayurvedic Health benefits of Maypop
- Anxiety: In one cup of boiling water steep one tablespoon of fresh leaves of Passionflower for 7-10 minutes. Drink it two times a day.
- Alcoholism: Prepare Passion Flower Tea. Drink twice a day. It restores the liver and de-stresses the mind and body.
- Insomnia: Prepare tea from Passion Flower. Drink one cup twice a day. One in the morning and another just before going to bed. (Attention: It may also be given to children in the form of infusion. One teaspoon twice a day. Don’t worry it has no side effects.)
- Bone Pains: Prepare an infusion from dried leaves, Flower and stems. Drink twice a day. OR: Eat Passion Flower extract capsules.
- ADHD: Prepare a cup of tea of Passion flower. Take once a day.
- Brain Stroke: Prepare a cup of tea made from the leaves of Passion flower. Have a cup once a day.
- Epilepsy: Prepare a tea from fresh leaves of Passionflower. Drink twice a day to get relieve from Epileptic symptoms.
- Burn: Soak tea bag of an organic Passionflower in a very small amount of warm water. Let the tea bag absorb that water. Apply that tea bag onto the affected area for 5-10 minutes three times daily.
- Indigestion: Drink 2 cups of Passionflower tea when you feel gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Aerophobia: Steep 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves of Passion Flower in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain it and drink two times a day.
- Acrophobia: Steep 5-6 crushed Passion Flower leaves in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain it and drink twice daily.
- Agoraphobia: Steep 5-6 crushed Passion Flower leaves in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain it and drink twice daily.
- Claustrophobia: Prepare a Passion Flower tea, made of crushed Passion Flower leaves and one cup of hot water. Have it two times a day.
- Menopause: Have a cup of Passion Flower tea every day. It treats Menopausal symptoms like Hot Flashes and Anxiety
Different Typical use
Maypop Tea: 1 teaspoon of dried cut herb per 1 cup of boiling water. Drink up to 3 times per day.
Maypop Tincture: Can be added to water or fruit juice. It can be taken 1 – 4ml about 3 times per day, or as directed by an Herbal Practitioner.
Maypop Seed Oil: Maypop Seed Oil can be used as light, non-greasy carrier oil for an aromatherapy bath or massage. Just choose your favorite essential oils, dilute and use for a regenerating and replenishing massage or relaxing bath. Maypop Seed Oil blends well with other carrier oils if you want a thicker more luxurious consistency. Maypop Seed Oil can also be used in homemade, natural skin and hair preparations or applied directly to the skin.
- Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked in jellies, jams etc.
- Leaves can be consumed raw or cooked.
- It is said to be delicious as a cooked vegetable or when eaten in salads.
- Flowers can be cooked as a vegetable or made into syrup.
- It can be eaten green as boiled vegetable; ripe, iced and sugared.
- Fruit wall is often candied.
- It can be used as ingredient in fruit salads, together with papaya, pineapple, and bananas.
- It is used for making fruit juice.
- In Europe a teaspoon of dried, ground plant is used in a tea.
- Hypersensitivity reactions are noted.
- Passion flower is generally considered to be safe, but its use during Pregnancy and lactation should be avoided.
- Some reports suggested effects like increased heart beats, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness and impaired cognitive function.
- It can interfere with other central nervous system depressant drugs and medications.
- It has small amount of cyanogenic glycosides which have reported to have liver and pancreas toxicity.
- Known side effects of Maypop include nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, irregular muscle action and coordination, altered consciousness, and inflamed blood vessels.