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Hi, everyone! Today, because it’s been so pretty the past month or so, we’re going to talk about our passionflower. This stuff is wonderful. I particularly like this plant because you can use the leaves, flowers, and fruit–and the fruit is ridiculously delicious. It does seem to grow wild in a few areas in Florida. Someone grows it in their yard and then it will magically appear in neighboring lots. It spreads like wildfire. It’s native to Florida, so it naturally does pretty well here.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

Some people have a difficult time getting their passionflower to bloom or fruit. Right now, mine is small and I had three flowers and currently one fruit. If the vine is large it is possible that there isn’t enough sun hitting where it needs to for blooming and fruiting. It really depends on its location. If the vine is huge and shading itself, pruning will help. Good pollination is essential, too. We’re very lucky to have so many bees. Our community, as a whole, does everything possible to attract beneficial pollinators and/or does everything possible to prevent their demise. We have a water source and plenty of attractive plants and trees for bees particularly, so much to the point that we do foresee a hive in our future. Anyway, I feel very fortunate that the passionflower is giving at least one fruit its first year, especially since it is so tiny right now. You should not pick the fruit. It will not ripen off the vine. If possible, it is best to wait until it falls. That way you know it’s ready to eat.

Passionflower is labeled as cool and dry (Ayurveda). It is bitter and is especially fantastic for sleep. There are actually several herbs for promoting a good night of Z’s, but what makes passionflower unique is that it is especially helpful if the reason you’re up when you should be asleep is circular thoughts. I don’t have a chronic case of insomnia, but when I do have a hard time sleeping it is usually because my brain won’t shut up. I already get 4-5 hours of sleep. It doesn’t appear to effect my functioning, but if I’m in any danger of getting less than four hours I act quickly in trying to prevent that. I often concoct a tea infusion with passionflower in the mix.

If you suffer from anxiety due to circular thoughts, this may help. Do keep in mind though that passionflower is technically a sedative. Everyone is different and if you’re taking any for anxiety, you may have to adjust your formula if you don’t want to battle drowsiness. I take it in the late evening when I do take it. I respond very strongly to medications and herbs and I often find myself taking less than recommended for everything in many scenarios. Everybody is different. Start off with less and add as you need to.

Passionflower is also analgesic, so this lessens perception of pain. Passionflower is antispasmodic, but if you’re having trouble sleeping due to muscle pain I would really look into valerian root, another sedative a little more geared for when the stresses of the body, not the mind, are what’s keeping you up at night.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

Again, this herb is bitter so if the tea is too much for you, a tincture may be more bearable.

Passionflower has hypotensive properties. This means it can aid in lowering blood pressure, which helps with its other calming properties.

It is NOT advised to take this on top of other medications one may be taking for insomnia or anxiety.

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My somewhat recent acquired feverfew is finally blooming! It is a small flower and it gives off a very cute appearance, which couldn’t be more contrasting from its fierce properties.

By the way, you use the leaves. Not the flowers. Which kind of makes me sad because it is so cool to harvest a flower for its medicinal properties. Still though.

Photographed by Amanda Harman


As its name suggests, this herb aids in fever reduction. It is a diaphoretic, which can induce sweating. Normally, this isn’t a sought after reaction of our bodies; I don’t meet a lot of people who particularly enjoy sweating, but this does help break a fever as sweating is the body’s natural response to overheating. Sweating will also help eliminate some toxins within the body.


Migraines. Ugh. I don’t get them often, but when I do it is torture. I never had a migraine until after my first pregnancy. And then I didn’t have ANY during my second pregnancy. Then they came back. Jerks. I can see my migraines coming sometimes. The lights shimmer. And if I do miss that warning sign, I can suddenly smell everything in a room when one is about to hit me. If I catch it in time and treat it, I can avert it. If not, I end up suffering through it until vomiting. Yay! So, if you’re as familiar with this hell as I am, I will tell you this can help. Tension in the cardiovascular system is what can cause these headaches. Feverfew relaxes the vessels needed for relief.


Feverfew can help with chronic anxiety. This is a strange one. Normally when we say an herb may be able to assist in something, it is because we have actual facts to support it. The only evidence that is found on this subject is that it just does. Nobody is really sure what components of the herb are responsible for this. We just know that people swear by it and it worked on some rodents in a lab.


Volatile components in feverfew have anti-inflammatory properties. Feverfew may help those with chronic pain caused by inflammation, like joint pain or arthritis.


Always gotta give credit when an herb is analgesic. This aids in the reducing of the sensation of pain. Some herbs are stronger in this area than others, but this is always a nice perk. Especially if you’re fighting headaches at the root cause or breaking fevers–all of which feverfew does.


Sorry, men. This needs to be talked about because it happens and it is never fun. Remember that feverfew is an anti-inflammatory and a stress reducer. Two big things to aid during those monthly cycles. This also means this herb should be avoided when pregnant. It can cause early contractions and that’s not good for obvious reasons. There is not enough information for me to say this is an okay herb to take while breastfeeding either. Generally, though not always, if you can’t take it while you’re pregnant you should avoid it while breastfeeding unless otherwise stated. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

So, that is the mighty feverfew. All compacted into a dainty little flower. That you don’t use. Still irked by that.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

Here’s the leaf that you use.

Wanting to use feverfew, but don’t grow it? I always recommend using Mountain Rose Herbs. If they’re out of stock, this is a pretty good alternative.

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