This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Passiflora incarnata

   It's been raining in my part of NC for a couple of days now so I haven't been doing much gathering etc.
The one thing I have been collecting is Passion Fruit. Everyday before I let the chickens out I collect the fruits that have fallen off the vine and collect them before the chickens tare them up to get at the seeds.
  Passionflower is not only a beautiful vine with beautiful exotic looking flowers and edible fruit, but it is also a respected medicinal plant.
  Passiflora incarnata is considered a nervine. A nervine is a plant that effects the nervous system in some way. Passionflower has the reputation as a gentle and very effective relaxing and sedative herb. It helps calm a restless nervous system and is considered an excellent herb for anxiety and insomnia. It is especially good for insomnia caused by an over active thought process, your mind just won't turn off because you are worried about something or very anxious about something. It has a very gentle effect and does not cause foggy thinking as some drugs might. Not only is it calming to the nervous system it also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects also, so it is used for muscle spasms and heart palpitations due to nervousness.
  It is considered a very safe and gentle herb and is used on children and the elderly. Because it is gentle in it's action it is used as a long term nourishing herb to the nervous system. 
  If you have been reading this blog you know how much I like the fruits. The seeds are the part that is eaten. The seeds are covered with a gelatinous substance which, if eaten at the right time, have a tangy exotic flowery taste. Always wait till the fruit falls from the vine, these are the best. The plant knows when they are ready. I have tried to pick fruits that looked ready, but they never are, so now I always patiently wait till they fall to the ground. I pick them every day because if they sit on the ground too long they start to get a funny taste that I don't like very much, they will easily last a week in the fridge.
  The vines also have a limited utilitarian use. They can be made into baskets or used to bind things together, though the vines are not that strong and break easily,  they can be used in a craft or survival situation.
  I suggest you do a lot more research on this herb as I am not an herbalist, I am a naturalist, I study the historical and modern use of plants and try to show people there is a lot more to the the plants, that people consider "weeds", than meets the eye.
Fruits on Vine

Opened Fruit


  1. I'm new to the passion flower and noticed the other day that I have a couple of the fruits on the vine and don't know anything about the fruit. My sister said her plant that she's had for a few years has never fruited. Is there a male and female plant?

  2. I don't believe there are Male and Female plants though I am not 100% positive. I have heard this before about not getting fruit, but it could be anything from growing season length to soil conditions or lack of pollinators. Maybe you just need more vines?
    Sorry I couldn't answer your question.