Passiflora – Anxiety and stress

Stress is an increasingly common factor in modern day lives and impacts both physically and mentally causing muscle tension, sleeping problems, nervous anxiety and irritability.

The need in these situations is for a mild but effective sedative that will not cause drowsiness or addiction even if taken long term. There are a number of herbs that work effectively on the central nervous system but some interact with other medication and others are not suitable for long-term use.

Passiflora has traditionally been used as mild sedative and anti-depressant, has no side effects or contra-indications, and can safely be taken long-term. When mixed with other sedative herbs its effects are strengthened.

Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, Passiflora can also be given to relieve muscle tension and intestinal spasms (gastro-intestinal symptoms are often linked to stress).

passiflora

Passiflora Incarnata – Passion Flower

History

The passion flower was well known to the natives of South American as a herbal remedy. The plant was also often used in Brazilian medicinal folklore. The passion flower was discovered by the Spanish doctor, Monardes in Peru in 1569.

Forty years later, it was introduced to Europe as an ornamental plant, for, long before the passion flower was included in the Europe’s treasury of medicinal plants, botanists were fascinated by this climber’s inflorescence. In his book De florum cultura, published in 1633, the Jesuit Ferrari saw in the various parts of the flower all of the instruments of the Passion of Jesus Christ:

  • the three-lobed leaves represent the spear,
  • the tendrils the scourge,
  • the three styles the nails of the cross,
  • the stigma represent the sponge steeped in vinegar,
  • the corona at the centre of the blossoms resemble the Crown of Thorns,
  • the ovaries on a stalk represent the chalice,
  • the five stamens the five wounds
  • and the stemmed ovary (androgynophore) the cup or – according to other interpretations – the post to which Christ was bound during the flagellation.

The Jesuits also gave the passion flower its Latin name, which is made up of the words passio or ‘suffering’, flos, the ‘flower’ and incarnata which means ‘to make flesh’, re-incarnation respectively.

The passion flower began to be used as a herbal remedy in the second half of the last century and was introduced via American homoeopathy. It is a well known sedative in low doses. The remedy’s cardiotonic properties were only recognised in France and in Switzerland. During the First World War it was used as a nerve sedative to treat shell-shock.

Habitat

The over 400 species of the Passiflora family are to be found in a primarily tropical habitat; for this reason this plant is nowadays a highly endangered species. Most of the species were found originally in the Southern States of the USA as well as in Central and South America.

Botanists and plant lovers were responsible for the worldwide dissemination of the plant early on, so that today, species of the plant can be found in all tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Some species are less sensitive to cold weather and can survive European winters, provided it is growing in a frost-free area.

For this reason the plant can sometimes be found growing wild. Nowadays it is produced from specially grown crops. The main areas of cultivation are in India, Florida, Italy and Spain.

Arnica Montana

The healing properties of Arnica are widely known and it has been used since the 11th century. Arnica Montana grows in the mountainous regions of central Europe, where shepherds reported that sheep and goats would eat Arnica after a fall.

Even the most severely injured animal would soon be back on their feet fully recovered. The shepherds themselves then tried Arnica Montana and, finding it helped to speed recovery from injuries, spread the word of its success.

Generally the herb is now taken internally only as >a homoeopathic remedy, mainly after injury; mental and physical shock; after operations, visits to the dentist, childbirth, etc.; Arnica is best known as an effective treatment for sprains and bruises.

arnica gel

Arnica gel

Arnica gel can be used externally for aches and pains after physical pursuits such as cycling and gardening and for rheumatism and arthritis.

Arnica gel improves the local blood supply and accelerates healing. Arnica gel is made from freshly harvested, organically cultivated Arnica flower tincture.

Arnica’s herbal use as an anti-inflammatory was not widely known. Newest research is proving that Arnica is a very effective anti-inflammatory when applied topically. It helps with painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, stiff or sore joints, fibromalgia and RSI.

Research published in “Rheumatology International” demonstrates that Arnica gel is as effective as ibuprofen for topical treatment of osteoarthritis.

Get set for the Cold Season

Coughs, colds and sniffles only catch you if your immune system is down, and if you do get sick, natural treatments are often the best. It’s important knowing what works best for the relief of symptoms and how to support your immune system so you stay healthy.

If you get sick there isn’t much to do other than rest, right? – Actually, some natural remedies have been shown to speed up recovery and significantly reduce the duration of a cold or flu.

A number of vitamins, minerals and nutrients are important for a strong and healthy immune system. – Ask us which ones have been shown to be most effective and can keep you well this winter.

cold season

Top