There are about 500 known species of passionflower. This family of plants is also known as Passiflora. Some studies suggest that certain species may have medicinal benefits. For example, Passiflora incarnata may help treat anxiety and insomnia.
Native Americans have used passionflower to treat a variety of conditions. These include boils, wounds, earaches, and liver problems.
Spanish explorers learned about passionflower from native Peruvians. They named these plants for their resemblance to a crucifix. In Christian traditions, “the Passion” is a term used to describe the final period of Jesus Christ’s life, including his crucifixion.
In Europe, people have used P. incarnata to treat restlessness and agitation. And some people use it to treat anxiety. The fruit is also used to flavor certain beverages.