The Medicinal and Spiritual Properties of Passion Fruit

by Francisco G. Gómez

Passiflora edulis L.

Passiflora edulis L.

Passiflora edulis, better known as Passion Fruit, is one of the most beautiful plants I have ever had the pleasure of caring for and using medicinally.  People who grew/grow up in the Caribbean use this plant to make a refreshing drink, also to treat a number of diseases naturally and spiritually. There are two types of this fruit; one is dark purple (Passiflora edulis L.). It’s about the size of a lemon and it grows in cool weather. The other is bright yellow      (Passiflora.edulis f. flavicarpa) and it is much bigger in size. It can grow to the size of a grapefruit and fairs best in warm climates.

Passiflora. edulis f. flavicarpa

Passiflora. edulis f. flavicarpa

From a scientific perspective, Passion fruit contains phytochemicals such as, harmine, passaflorine, harman, harmalin, harmol, vitexin, carotenoids, chrysin, isovitexin, scopoletin and theobromine. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicalsthat have protective or disease preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life; however, it is well-known that plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves.

The leaves, flowers, peels and stems are all used as medicine in different ways. The leaves mainly contain the alkaloids. Harman, mentioned above, lowers blood pressure naturally. The flower can be made into a sedative and antispasmodic. Passion flower is also used to treat nervous disorders, bronchial conditions, arthritis, asthma, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal symptoms. Carotenoids and polyphenols in the yellow fruit extract can also kill cancer cells in vitro.



So you may be asking, what’s the whole religious thing about Passion Fruit? I first heard the following story from my grandmother when I was a child. Grandma would always make me a drink of some natural herb or fruit and tell me how they were connected to nature from a religious point of view; it was just her way. According to her, catholic missionaries who accompanied the Spanish Conquistadores in their conquest of the “New World” believed that there was a religious connection between the flower and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, hence the name “Passion.”  They associated the three stigmas of the fruit to the three nails used to pierce the hands and feet of Christ. They also saw the threads of the flower as representing the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head; the tendrils found on the vines as the whips that were used to lash him and the five anthers represented the five wounds, including the one made by the Spear of Destiny.

Now that I retell the stories that I learned as a young boy, I can say that I’ve left the religious part all behind! It’s a good thing that Granny is not around to see my spiritual evolution! The lessons my Grand Mother taught me about nature stuck with me throughout my long life, and they continue to reinforce me when I lose track of the spirit. In the on going age of the quick fix pill and the forgotten spiritual aspects of life, it is a relief to know that Passion is much more than a fruit that heals the body, but rather a fruit that is healing for the spirit and soul as well…


The Medicinal and Spiritual Properties of Passion Fruit — 14 Comments

  1. Fuyo,
    When I worked in the lab at Herbalist and Alchemist, Passion Flower was an herb we would make into medicine. Just imagine getting a large box filled with passion flowers! They are dazzling to behold, I too am fascinated by their beauty.
    Thank you for sharing your connection to this plant. Its stories like this that connect us to special people in our lives and create a deeper connection to the plant world.

  2. Hi Frank, how does one use the passion vine for treating high blood pressure? Is it the leaves or the fruit? Mine is blooming now and I’m hoping for some fruit by October. Really am enjoying your blog. Thsnks, dick

  3. Hi Dick,
    The way I prepare Passion Fruit medicinally is to make a juice out of it. The fruit is tart and potent, hence you may want to reduce it with some other liquid or juice of your liking. If you must sweeten it, use organic sugar. To make the juice, just cut out the inside of the fruit and strain, then doctor it up as I have indicated above. Drink one or two glasses a day, it works rather fast and is very refreshing!

    Some people make tea from the leaves, but I don’t get the same results as I do with the juice.

    I’m happy that you’re enjoying our blog and good luck with your plant.
    You are very welcome, Francisco

  4. hello people i loved your posts:).. my name is sanjith from India, doing my mba in healthcare and i am very much impressed with this fruit and its unbelievable nutrients.. does anyone have any personal experiences by making use of this fruit.. i would love to hear from you all.. thank you

  5. Please allow me to join you with your herb workshop with your eco- culture meeting and also I want to learn how to produce this juice available in the market since I had experience its great effect on my body, Thank you and more power.

  6. I really admire passion fruits. I can’t make jucices without it. Where ever I go and see them I buy. Sometimes when I have too much I washed them boil seeds and skin strain and drink. I find out after I drank it my bowel open much better wind passing out and I ate less. God spoke about these alkoline in revelations 22. The leave healed you from curses. I’m trying to get the leaf to buy aswell. I’m tired of man made fake medicine. I stick to real natural nature. 54 and never sick. Strictly herbs. God bless you all

    • Great comment. I am feeding my kids fresh passion fruits once a day for each kid. It is just awesome thing. I stopped buying the food grade vit C after that

  7. Dear Francisco Gomez,
    I was searching for whether purple or yellow passion fruit vines were best for asthma and insomnia, which I also have. Also I presently live in central Texas, so winter hardiness is also of importance to me. The last 2 winters have been often very cold here, freezing our grapefruit and kumquat citrus trees to the dirt 2 years in a row despite blankets and heat lamps under the blankets.
    This year we must move further south for winter or build a heated greenhouse. The trees have come back each year so far but have not bloomed or made fruit since the first year they froze back to the dirt.

    • Hi Katherine.
      There is a belief that taking purple passion fruit peel extract reduces asthma, but I believe that just eating the fruit is a better way to deal with the malady. The amount of passion fruit you need to eat is a question of trail and error, only you can determine that! Passion fruit does work effectively for some people that suffer from insomnia, this is something you will have to determine as well. The caveat here is that fruit contains sugars, however, Passion fruit has a low glycemic index and high fibre content, especially pectin. Continue to research and if you have the inclination then see a Naturopathic doctor.
      Be well,

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