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Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit

Passiflora edulis

What is passion fruit?

Passion fruit is a perennial woody creeper which is indigenous to the tropical regions of America. Passion fruit is known for its beautiful white flowers with purple to pink crown blooms. The passion fruit leaves are hairless and lobbed. The two main commercial varieties are purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis L.), and yellow passion fruit (P. edulis f. flavicarpa). The purple passion is mainly cultivated in Africa and India and the yellow passion fruit in Peru, Brazil and Ecuador.

Parts used

Leaves, flowers, peels, stems and passion fruits.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in passion fruit: passaflorine, harmine, harman, harmol, harmalin, carotenoids, vitexin, isovitexin and chrysin, scopoletin, carotenoids, theobromine.

Benefits of passion fruit

The juice but mainly the leaves of passion fruit contain the alkaloids, including Harman, which has blood pressure lowering, sedative and antispasmodic action. The passion fruit leaves are used in many countries as medicines.
The flower of passion fruit has a mild sedative and can help to induce sleep. Passion flower has been used in the treatment of nervous and easily excited children, bronchial asthma, insomnia, nervous gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal problems. Passion flower is sometimes used as a mild hallucinogen.

Anti-cancer effect

Researchers at the University of Florida have found that yellow passion fruit extracts can kill cancer cells in vitro. The phytochemicals which are responsible for this anti-cancer effect are carotenoids and polyphenols.

Asthma symptoms

A study by Watson and his co-workers showed that the consumption of purple passion fruit peel extract can reduce asthma symptoms. They selected 42 patients received an oral administration of purple passion fruit extract. The passion fruit extract supplementation reduced the wheezing by 75 percent and increased forced vital capacity.

Osteoarthritis

One study investigated the effect of purple passion fruit peel extract on symptoms in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and found that the flavanoid rich extract significantly reduced pain and stiffness.

Other facts

When Spanish explored South America they discovered that passion fruit was used in native folk medicine as a sedative. When the Spanish brought the passion fruit to Europe the leaves were used as a sleep-inducing medicine. The name 'Passion' was given by Catholic missionaries in South America. The corona threads of the passion flower were seen as a symbol of the crown of thorns, the five stamens for wounds, the five petals and five sepals as the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter) and the three stigmas for the nails on the cross.

Other names

Passiflora, apricot vine, grenadilla, maracuja, maracuya



 
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