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Alchemica

A journey of heart, science and spirit with Passiflora

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Life was throwing me challenges, my best friend Milly (my dog) dying, my life going nowhere. I'd lost passion, projects not working, life going downhill. I turned to passionflower.

Here's the journey and some science. It turned into three days on high dose ad libitum Passiflora incarnata. Chewed through a few hundred grams exploring it. Then got gifted some P. capsularis I'll explore more ceremonially.

 

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Note Passiflora contain cyanogenic glycosides at times. Brew appropriately/cautiously to stay safe.

Passiflora is used for Finding the Spiritual Learning in Difficult Times. Attuning to Christ Consciousness. It helps us understand the deepest possible meaning of our own personal suffering, after which it assists in the ascent to our truest calling of service on the planet. It is useful in strengthening one’s connection to selfless service and unconditional love


Going to brew up a Passionflower dose today, should keep me going. I tried low doses and never got much, going to push it a bit after my social therapy in the city today.
 

The genus Passiflora is popularly used to treat a variety of ailments. predominately anxiety. Passiflora incarnata is an important plant used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various disorders of the CNS and is a rich source of flavonoids (flavonoid content ~2.5%). It contains indole alkaloids (harmalol, harmol, harmane, harmaline and harmine) and flavonoids like orientin, isoorientin, vitexin, and isovitexin in the aerial parts. The recommended daily dosage of dried passion flower is 4-8 grams, some suggest starting at 2g.
 

P. edulis (edulis and flavicarpa) also show anti-depressant and anxiolytic activity, containing O-flavonoids, C-flavonoids, cyanogenic glycosides and fatty acids. Harman type alkaloids found in P. incarnata were not detected in P. edulis. Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa' (yellow fruit) is extremely different from Passiflora edulis 'edulis' (purple fruit). The six major flavonoid compounds isolated from the leaves of Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa', lucenin-2, vicenin-2, isoorientin, isovitexin, luteolin-6-C-chinovoside, and luteolin-6-C-fucoside, had not been detected in Passiflora edulis 'edulis'. It is clear this plant shows considerable qualitative and quantitative variability with respect to its content.
 

With P. incarnata, following oral administration at high dose, the extract exerted an anxiolytic effect that was comparable to diazepam and mediated by the GABAergic system. Findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata, in the form of tea, yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality. It positively modulates circadian rhythms by inducing high-amplitude rhythms in the expression of several circadian clock genes. P. incarnata flowers has significant antiparkinsonian and cognition enhancing activity
 

Analysis of plant material cultivated in Australia revealed two chemically distinct groups of P. incarnata - distinct intraspecific chemotypes exist in this species. The two distinct groups differ with respect to their C-glycosyl flavone profile, with little within-group variation. One chemotype was dominated by isovitexin and schaftoside/isoschaftoside, as is most widely reported in the literature for this species. The other chemotype was characterized by a high level of swertisin, with low levels of schaftoside/isoschaftoside.
 

Passiflora incarnata has long been used in traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety in Europe, and it has been used as a sedative tea in North America. Furthermore, this plant has been used for analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-asthmatic, wormicidal and sedative purposes in Brazil; as a sedative and narcotic in Iraq; and for the treatment of disorders such as dysmenorrhoea, epilepsy, insomnia, neurosis and neuralgia in Turkey. In Poland, this plant has been used to treat hysteria and neurasthenia; in America, it has been used to treat diarrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, neuralgia, burns, haemorrhoids and insomnia. Passiflora incarnata has also been used to cure subjects affected by opiate dependence in India.
 

Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa' displayed anxiolytic activity at lower doses and sedative activity at high doses while Passiflora edulis 'edulis' exhibited sedative effects. P. edulis induces stronger anxiolytic-like effects compared to P. alata.

~~~

I'm two days into high dose passionflower with my other plants, mainly trying to calm and uplift the spirit, get some sleep and attune deeper to heart. I've pushed it quite a bit, started at 20g. While it's not suggested more is always better, I wanted to relate to this plant on a deeper level. Got up to quite a bit more today.
 

I've tried typical medicinal doses and never regarded it as personally useful for such. Actually got a half-decent sleep last night. If I had to describe it at higher doses - it's starts living up to being anxiolytic, slightly hypnotic/sedative, spiritually attuning, anti-neurotic but with the ability to remain functional. I want to use it a bit more. Definitely feels nicely flavonoidy. I've been trying two lots, one's mainly organic leaf from an Australian grown plant, the other is very stem laden. Have to try and note some differences.
 

It can be used for inducing heightened spiritual states, greater awareness, channeling and even peak experiences of a religious nature


The Cherokee used Passiflora incarnata as a 'social drink' and in religious ceremonies. It has been used in 'love medicine', to calm the heart and spirit and in sacred ceremonies for those who had passed on. Accounts of spiritual use have been recorded from Druid texts, to Ayahuasca type ceremonial practices.
 

Amazonian species of Passiflora are used as an additive to ayahuasca to intensify the visions experienced during ceremonial rituals. Maracuja (P. edulis) juice plays a significant role in Brazilian jurema rituals, which are similar to ayahuasca rituals, but which are not particularly well understood at this time
 

Passionflower is used to bring peace to the soul. Passionflower is thought to transfer Christ properties and vibration of Christ consciousness. This term is not associated to religious practice - the plant supports the re-patterning of consciousness to attain wholeness again. It's known to repair the ego - mending it to the superego - supporting a feeling of enlightenment day to day mental constructs.
 

I'm finding it's quite anti-neurotic - "The mandala-like flower demonstrates the powerful signature of its use in circular thinking, passionflower is especially suited for folks who have a hard time letting things go, mulling them over incessantly in a repetitive manner."
 

"The plant was used in purely sacred or sacramental rituals. It was allowed to grow wherever there were ritualistic places where worship, understanding of God and Earth, and working with energy of a more spiritual nature was taking place. The Lemurians, as they saw these energies in their rituals become permeated into the various plants, felt the loving and joyous energies from passion flower and from its vines and roots. This created a resonance, so passion flower was often used to close ceremonies."
 

I'm going more for flavonoid resonances. While it contains harmala alkaloids more recent analyses of commercial passionflower samples indicated that harmane content ranged from 0 to 0.1 ug/g and harmine ranged from 0 to 0.27 ug/g . Another analysis found the average harmine level in Passiflora caerulea was 0.098 mg/g. This is much higher level of harmala alkaloid as compared to the levels found in the Passiflora incarnata samples, P. incarnata had an average value of 0.031 mg/g harmol and an average of 0.00935 mg/g harmine.That said, the levels of the harmala alkaloids varied widely between samples of Passiflora incarnata and every analysis seems to be different, it is suggested that time of harvest, growing conditions and even chemotypes play a role. Some ayahuasca-type brews have been successful with 300g of material to inhibit MAO, to me that level of flavonoid effect would be very different.
 

Abourashad et al report the harmala levels detected in 104 samples of Passiflora, and 50 of the samples had no detectable levels of harmala alkaloids. Cavin & Rodriguez state that harmala alkaloids frequently occur in such small concentrations that they have not been quantified, which may be a reason that their presence in species of Passiflora is at times disputed and not always reproducible.
 

~~~


Find passionflower at very high doses nicely works as a restructuring healing resonance that doesn't cause weird ego phenomena and struggles. It's a real healing resonance if you attune to a high dose. While some of our stonger Allies can be mess with you a bit and can cause issues as far as I'm concerned - deluded struggles restructuring to a better place. Give you more than you need to work with. Cacao is nice in that it's a holistic shadow integrative emotional enhancer etc but this is very simply spiritually and emotionally nurturing on all levels and I can see why they attribute Christ consciousness properties to it.
 

~~~


I'm quite impressed with where the high dose passionflower took me. It was a nice restructure to a better place. Chewed through a lot over 3 days in my 'dose escalation honeymoon get to know the ally' phase.
 

Happy with where it got me to, in an uplift and re-integration on a holistic level. Enough anxiolysis, a spirit of compassionate acceptance towards myself and others and transcendence of suffering, a feeling of moving on, emotionally attuning, to start to reform some healthy social connections which was needed. Felt like a spiritual tune up. Got a few social things happening on the horizon. Feeling easier to talk to people, had a nice chat to a friend on the phone when I haven't really talked to a human closer friend properly for a long time, enjoyed that.
 

Feel like approaching the day with more loving optimism. More gratitude Been enjoying going for walks, tending to the garden when recently it was a dreary sad depressing chore. Got myself in a giving without seeking return place, actually giving a crap about helping people more. Feel invigorated to restart living more with some projects. More embodied care and compassion.
 

Not going to keep pushing it, want to see if I can maintain that without the high doses.


~~~
 

Kindly gifted some Passiflora capsularis material to explore. I'm going to treat this more sacredly and ceremonially and use lower doses. I'll grow this one in my garden, too.
 

Passiflora capsularis (see analysis of various Passiflora here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2016.06.007) contained isoorientin, orientin, vitexin and isovitexin while P. incarnata contained predominately isoorientin, vitexin and isovitexin. P. edulis f. flavicarpa contained isoorientin, isovitexin and P. edulis f. edulis isoorientin, vitexin or vitexin, isovitexin.


P. capsularis samples showed the most pronounced difference in quantity of constituents in different samples with morphoanatomical variation. The concentration of flavonoid glycosides showed a sharp increase in leaves collected from sunny places. Nevertheless, the composition of flavonoids remained unchanged. Analysis results varied depending on whether it was grown in the shadow of trees or an open space with direct exposure to the sun.
 

Such differences in concentration result from plant adaptations to different light intensities by regulating their physiological states and changing their primary and secondary metabolic pathways. In doing so, their anabolic and catabolic processes achieve their maximum functional status
 

Isoorientin, orientin and isovitexin (from Cecropia pachystachya) exhibit antidepressant-like effects with antioxidant properties. Along with other properties, they may inhibit GSK3β. Orientin-intake could be beneficial as a preventive strategy for chronic stress-induced depression, with antidepressant effects mediated by BDNF. Orientin attenuated brain injury through the TLR4/NF-κB/TNF-α pathway. Vitexin is neuroprotective with effects related to inhibiting the activities of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and reducing the calcium influx - Passiflora can potentially act as modulators of the glutamatergic system. Vitexin has anticonvulsant effects in the brain, possibly through interaction at the benzodiazepine site of the γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor complex. The anti-depressant-like effect of vitexin is mediated through an increase in catecholamine levels in the synaptic cleft as well as through interactions with the serotonergic 5-HT1A, noradrenergic α2, and dopaminergic D1, D2, and D3 receptors.

Edited by Alchemica
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Nice write-up mate, I hope it keeps working for you

 

So sorry for your loss of Milly, she looked like such a beautiful and heartwarming dog. Wishing everything on the mend for you <3

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Wanted to revisit Passiflora. Anyone have experiences with more commonly grown Passifloras as medicines?

 

I've brewed up quite a bit of different Passifloras from P. incarnata to capsularis (the latter I noted did seem to be quite cyanogenic). P. edulis flavicarpa is more potent than the variety ‘edulis' as an anxiolytic in studies but maybe a less potent sedative. I haven't played with the common edulis. Both varieties of P. edulis could be used as a remedy for anxiety and depression.

 

Last night I had what I thought was a lowish dose of Passiflora edulis flavicarpa, it seemed quite potently active, more active than I noted with incarnata gram for gram and not notably cyanogenic compared to the capsularis. Don't know if it was just a break from Passifloras but I had a solid sleep last night, even slept in past my normal 3am wake up, it lived up to feeling really decent.

 

The six major flavonoid compounds isolated from the leaves of Passiflora edulis ‘flavicarpa’, lucenin-2, vicenin-2, isoorientin, isovitexin, luteolin-6-C-chinovoside, and luteolin-6-C-fucoside, had not been detected in Passiflora edulis ‘edulis’. It produces a strong anxiolytic-like effect, albeit requiring reasonable doses in studies.

 

Having a bit more tonight, see what I think of tonight's dose. It's a weed at the community garden at the moment and I'm growing at home, seems decent enough medicine.

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This is so interesting. I took a cutting from a local P. Edulis flavicarpa vine so i'm hoping that grows roots soon. I'm definitely looking for P. incarnata for its medicinal qualities though. I'll have to experiment to see which works for me

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Speaking of which, would anyone know of any Australia based websites or shops that would supply incarnata seeds?

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48 minutes ago, TheMooseZeus said:

Speaking of which, would anyone know of any Australia based websites or shops that would supply incarnata seeds?

 

The  SAB store has plants for $10 each?! . I haven't had much luck germinating Passiflora seeds and i would defo go the plant option if I was to persue growing these vines again :) 

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 Great information @Alchemica

What would be the best method of preparation with respect to the cyanogenic glycosides?

Not that keen on cyanide poisoning :P:wacko:

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While slow drying seems useful for some cyanogenic glycoside containing plants, with the Passifloras that are more untested, I follow by oven drying at ~120 deg C. I've found simply boiled for at least half an hour to remove cyanogenic glycosides seems feasible, I think preferably in an acidic environment (I use citric acid). You get some noticeable liberation of odour with capsularis, I don't recommend that one for experimentation particularly

 

Processing operations such as fermentation, boiling/cooking, and drying, applied to process food‐containing cyanogenic glycosides have been reported to reduce cyanide content to acceptably safe levels. [1]

 

Food‐processing methods generally disintegrate cyanogens contents of plants, and this leads to the production of cyanide. Since cyanide is volatile, further processing techniques, such as roasting and drying, will volatilize the remaining cyanide to low level.  Cyanogenic glycosides are generally water soluble. During cooking, significant amount of cyanogens are leached into cooking water. Several studies have reported increased reduction of cyanide in cooked products. Steaming of a cassava product (akyeke) was reported to result in a 74–80% reduction in total cyanide levels. “Garification”, a process whereby fermented and dried cassava mash is simultaneously cooked and dried in a shallow wok, resulted in a 90–93% reduction in total cyanide content. Optimal cooking conditions for the reduction of cyanide levels in bamboo shoots (98–102°C for 148–180 min) resulted in a 97% reduction in cyanide [31]. Generally, traditional African processes typically decrease the cyanide content of cassava by 97–>99%. Also when the cooking method chosen is heating under dry, heat or at low moisture contents, the intake of the cyanogen is limited to only small amounts.


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How would I describe the high dose Passiflora edulis flavicarpa? Once again I went ad libitum. Sipped away on a high dose brew (got through quite a bit of the 40g I brewed up) to titrate a nice state. I'll more accurately measure another time. It's not super sedative for me, my tolerance to anxiolytics/sedatives is crazy, but it's nice.

 

It's similar to other Passifloras but this feels more grounded than when I was exploring the high dose incarnata. It's just easy merging with the moment and your being and some spirit

 

"Coming home to yourself with slight self-transcendent ease" is how I'd put it. It's a simple stillness of presence, connection to yourself and with the melting away of a background of stress and anxiety, some uplifting transcendent qualities but in a subtle way. When you're stressed, anxious etc, you're far from home. This just guides you back to yourself. The plant feels to be a good anxiolytic and 'vitalistic spiritual awakener'.

 

Sitting with a strong dose, you are not "fighting yourself", pushing away from your Self, or your internal processes. There's a simple ease of being. Emotions flow freely, you feel things without blocks. Enough anxiolysis to not build walls to feeling and accepting your being, in it's full expression. It seems like a good therapy tool, attunement to deeper presence of being, with acceptance, liberation from a chattering busy monkey mind, into stillness and peace.

 

Passiflora, a "Christ-consciousness plant" embodies a feeling of deeper still presence and connection.

 

It is noted as a GABAergic plant but I feel it's deeper than that. It doesn't knock you into a devolved consciousness.

 

Research has expanded the understanding that flavonoids act as cognition-enhancing and neuroprotective agents, some combinations are proving to be highly effective in the modulation/extinction of fear memory. I'd say, as it is used as a social brew (incarnata anyway) Passiflora could be a viable social therapy aid. Might brew some for a social gathering another time.

 

Edited by Alchemica
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