Herba Passiflorae consists of the dried aerial parts of Passiflora incarnata L. (Passifloraceae).
Granadilla incarnata Medik., Passiflora kerii Spreng.
Selected vernacular name
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 passion flower.
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.
Stems lignifi ed, green, greyish-green or brownish, usually less than 5 mm in diameter; rounded, longitudinally striated and often hollow.
Leaves alternate with furrowed, often twisted petioles, possessing two extrafloral nectaries at the apex; lamina 6–15 cm long, broad, green to brownish green, palmate with three to five lanceolate lobes covered with fine hairs on the lower surface; margin serrate.
Tendrils borne in leaf axils, smooth, round and terminating in cylindrical spirals. Flowers 5–9 cm in diameter with peduncles up to 8 cm long, arising in leaf axils; five, white, elongated petals; calyx of fi ve thick sepals, upper surface green and with a horn-like extension; involucre of three pointed bracts with papillose margins; five large stamens, joined at the base and fused to the androgynophor; ovary greyish-green, superior; style hairy with three elongated stigmatic branches.
Fruits 4–5 cm long, oval, flattened and greenish-brown containing numerous seeds 4–6 mm long, 3–4 mm wide and 2 mm thick, with a brownish- yellow, pitted surface.
Transverse section of older stem shows epidermis of isodiametric cells with strongly thickened, convex external walls; some cells containing crystals of calcium oxalate, others developing uniseriate trichomes two to four cells long, terminating in a rounded point and frequently hooked; hypodermis consisting of a layer of tangentially elongated cells, outer cortex with groups of collenchyma, containing cells with brown, tanniferous contents; pericycle with isolated yellow fibres and partially lignified walls; inner cortex of parenchymatous cells containing cluster crystals of calcium oxalate; xylem consisting of groups of vessels up to 300 μm in diameter with pitted, lignifi ed tracheids; pith of lignifi ed parenchyma containing numerous starch grains 3–8 μm in diameter, simple or as aggregates.
Powdered plant material
Light green and characterized by fragments of leaf epidermis with sinuous cell walls and anomocytic stomata; numerous cluster crystals of calcium oxalate isolated or aligned along the veins; many isolated or grouped fibres from the stems associated with pitted vessels and tracheids; uniseriate trichomes with one to three thin-walled cells, straight or slightly curved, ending in a point or sometimes a hook.
If flowers are present, papillose epidermis of the petals and appendages and pollen grains with a reticulate exine.
If mature fruits are present, scattered brown tannin cells and brownish-yellow, pitted fragments of the testa.
Uses supported by clinical data
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
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.
Analgesic and antipyretic activities
Intragastric administration of 5.0 g/kg body weight (bw) of a 60% ethanol extract of Herba Passiflorae per day for 3 weeks to rats did not reduce the pain response as measured in the tail-flick test using radiant heat, and no reductions in body temperature were observed.
Intragastric administration of a 30% ethanol extract of the aerial parts reduced phenylbenzoquinone- induced writhing in mice, median effective dose 1.9 ml/kg bw.
Intragastric administration of 75.0–500.0 mg/kg bw of an ethanol extract of the aerial parts to rats reduced carrageenan-induced infl ammation in the hind-paw model 60 minutes after administration.
Intragastric administration of 500.0 mg/kg bw of the same extract to rats signifi cantly reduced (16–20%; P < 0.05–0.001) the weight of granulomas induced by
the implantation of cotton pellets.
Total leukocyte migration into the rat pleural cavity was reduced by approx 40% in rats with induced pleurisy following intragastric administration of 500.0 mg/kg bw of an ethanol extract of the aerial parts.
This effect was due to the suppression of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear
leukocyte migration, and the effect was similar to that of 250.0 mg/ kg bw of acetylsalicylic acid.
A 50% ethanol extract of up to 500.0 mg/ml of the aerial parts did not inhibit the growth of the following fungi: Aspergillus fumigatus, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium oxysporum, Penicillium digitatum, Rhizopus nigricans and Candida albicans.
A methanol extract of the aerial parts inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori, minimum inhibitory concentration 50.0 μg/ml.
In vitro perfusion of guinea-pig heart with a 30% ethanol extract of the aerial parts, 0.001%, increased the force of contraction of the heart muscle.
Intravenous administration of 0.05 ml/kg bw of the extract had no effect on blood pressure in guinea-pigs or rats.
Central nervous system depressant activity
Intraperitoneal injection of 25.0 mg/kg bw of an aqueous extract of the aerial parts to mice reduced spontaneous locomotor activity and coordination.
However, intraperitoneal administration of the same dose of a fluidextract to mice did not reduce motor activity.
Intraperitoneal or intragastric administration of 60.0–250.0 mg/kg bw of a 30% ethanol or 40% ethanol extract to mice reduced spontaneous locomotor activity.
Intragastric administration of 60.0 mg/kg bw of the 40% ethanol extract also potentiated pentobarbital-induced sleeping time, and intraperitoneal administration of 50 mg/kg bw signifi cantly (P < 0.05) delayed the onset of pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures.