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Passionflower has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and recent clinical studies with mice have verified this use as well. In a 2003 study, a leaf extract was reported to improve overall sexual function, increase sperm count, fertilization potential and litter size. Its traditional use for coughs has also been recently confirmed. In a 2002 study with mice a passionflower leaf extract was shown to be comparable to the cough suppressant action of codeine.

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Tie the stems of the Passion Flower together or train them along the climbing frame.
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Passionflower (as well as its harmane alkaloids) have been the subject of much scientific research. After almost 100 years of study the sedative, antispasmodic and analgesic effects of this tropical vine have been firmly established in science. The analgesic effects of passionflower were first clinically documented in 1897 while the sedative effects were first recorded in 1904. Antispasmodic, anti-anxiety and hypotensive actions of passionflower leaves were clinically validated in the early 1980's. An extract of the fruit demonstrated anti-inflammatory and tranquilizing effects in animal studies. Also, a leaf extract has also shown to have diuretic activity in rats.

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The main plant chemicals in passionflower include: alkaloids, alpha-alanine, apigenin, aribine, chrysin, citric acid, coumarin, cyclopassifloic acids A-D, cyclopassiflosides I-VI, diethyl malonate, edulan I, edulan II, flavonoids, glutamine, gynocardin, harmane, harmaline, harmalol, harmine, harmol, homoorientin, isoorientin, isoschaftoside, isovitexin, kaempferol, loturine, lucenin-2, lutenin-2, luteolin, n-nonacosane, orientin, passicol, passiflorine, passifloric acid, pectin, phenolic acids, phenylalanine, proline, prunasin, quercetin, raffinose, sambunigrin, saponarin, saponaretin, saponarine, schaftoside, scopoletin, serotonin, sitosterol, and stigmasterol.

You can water your Passion Flowers more often in the spring and as the weather gets warmer.
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Passionflower leaves are classified as "Generally Regarded as Safe" by the FDA. They are the subject of various European monographs for medicinal plants and are generally regarded as safe even for children and infants.

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Passionflower was first "discovered" in Peru by a Spanish doctor named Monardes in 1569 who documented the indigenous uses and took it back to the Old World where it quickly became a favorite calming and sedative herb tea. Spanish conquerors of Mexico and South America also learned its use from the Aztec Indians and it eventually became widely cultivated in Europe. Since its introduction into European herbal medicine systems, passionflower has been widely used as a sedative, antispasmodic and nerve tonic. The leaf infusion was introduced in North American medicine in the mid 1800's as a sedative through native and slave use in the South. It was also used for headaches, bruises and general pain; applying the bruised leaves topically to the affected area. In many countries in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, the use of passionflower leaves to tranquilize and settle edgy nerves has been documented for over 200 years. It was also employed for colic, diarrhea, dysentery, menstrual difficulties, insomnia, neuralgia, eye disorders, epilepsy and convulsions, and muscle spasms and pain.

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The study of the meaning of flowers is an actual science known as floriography, and it reveals an extra underlying meaning to sending or receiving flowers - subtle and secret messages can be passed through the different blooms.

During the 18th century sending flower messages based on a Turkish secret language of flowers became popular. This was known as sending a 'Persian Selam' - a coded bouquet to reveal your feelings of love or attraction. The Victorians became very knowledgable in flower language and chose their bouquets carefully. Flowers gave them a secret language that enabled them to communicate feelings that the propriety of the times would not allow, there were strict restraints on courtship and any displays of emotion.

So next Valentine's day, birthday, anniversary, Mother's day or any other occasion you plan to send flowers make sure you don't send the wrong message in your flowers. Even the way you hand over the bouquet sends a message too - flowers held in your right hand mean 'yes', whereas flowers held in the left hand mean 'no'.