How-To: Passionflower Tincture

by Daisy on 07/07/2014

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Besides being appreciated for its fantastical blooms, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is used medicinally to calm anxiety and improve sleep. It’s thought to increase levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). GABA regulates the excitability of neurons in the brain. GABA is also suspected to regulate the production of melatonin, which is related to healthy sleep. And, since GABA is responsible for the regulation of muscle tone, passionflower is believed to reduce muscle tension.

To sum up, passionflower is used to:

  • reduce anxiety
  • improve sleep
  • relax tense muscles

I’m sold.

To make a tincture of passionflower, the leaves, vines, and flower buds are used. Try to harvest at the early flowering stage for greatest potency.

If using fresh, use a ratio of one part plant material to 2 parts menstruum (liquid used to extract the potent compounds from the herb) (1:2). The menstruum is usually alcohol, and that’s what I do, although glycerin and vinegar are sometimes used.

For this particular menstruum, I’m using a ratio of 75% grain alcohol and 25% water.

1. Roughly chop the plant parts and weigh them. For 2 ounces passionflower, for example, use 3 oz. grain alcohol and 1 oz. water, preferably distilled water. Place the passionflower and the menstruum in a blender and combine.

2. Pour into a glass container, add a lid, label with date and name of plant and leave in a dark, cool place.

3. Shake it daily for two weeks.

4. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and squeeze out as much as you can.

5. Leave it to settle overnight, then pour off the clear liquid on the top (decant). Store in a dark glass container such as an amber glass bottle, tightly capped, in a cool, dark place.

Dosage: Adults, 1-2 droppersful, 3-5 times daily. Take in a small amount of water. Seniors use the lesser amounts.

Properly stored, tinctures are considered to last indefinitely, or for quite a long time. I know that’s not very specific, but use your best judgment.

You can be less finicky about all this if you like, and simply cover the chopped plant parts with 80 proof vodka, leave for a few weeks, strain, and store in a dark place.

 



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave July 8, 2014 at 1:31 am

You say to use:
“a ratio of one part plant material to 2 parts menstruum (1:2)”

but then go on to say:
“For 4 ounces passionflower, use 3 oz. grain alcohol and 1 oz. water”
or (4:3+1), which is to say (1:1)

Am I wrong, or did I misunderstand? If you meant 1 part plant to 2 parts solvent (ie: 1:2), then if you have 4oz plant, should the solvent be 8oz total?

Please clarify (pun intended)… 🙂

Daisy July 8, 2014 at 6:05 am

Dave–Yes, you’re right. I got confused with my math, let’s do less plant. I’ll fix it, thanks.

les ransom July 25, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hiya Daisy,
Just getting into this whole DYI world. I’m digging it. Started using ACV and
baking soda. Enjoying that. This recipe sounds great, definitely could use it. I dont know where to find the passionflower parts. Would you give me some recommendations. Have saved this page as a link to website. Many thanks…

Daisy July 26, 2014 at 8:25 am

les ransom–I found some growing wild in my yard–my yard has more than its share of wild spots. You can also buy seeds: https://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=624 And here’s a lively discussion on growing it from seed on the GardenWeb forum: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/vines/msg010940515720.html?16 Good luck!

Michelle October 13, 2015 at 9:27 am

Daisy, I spotted one of these caterpillars in my Germantown yard yesterday and I am ashamed to say I killed it because it was eating my petunia plant. But there were enough blossoms for both the caterpillar and my enjoyment. I won’t do that again. Thanks! LOVE your book and this website. The book is am important member of my “Prepper Library!”

Daisy October 13, 2015 at 10:45 am

Michelle–They do look like they could do some damage, but as you observed they don’t seem to be doing any real harm. You’ll probably be seeing some of the pretty butterflies, too. I’m so glad you are enjoying the book! Thank you :)!

Donna February 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Does it matter how much of the flower and how much of the vine and leaves are used. Is one part stronger? thank you

Daisy February 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Donna–I don’t know, Donna. The only advice I can find in terms of potency is from Richo Cech, author of Making Plant Medicine, who says “the active flavonoids seem to be at their highest concentration and best stability during the early flowering stage.” I let nature determine the proportion, for better or worse, and use as many flowers as I can find during that early flowering period and make the balance of mass of plant materials out of the vines and leaves.

sryah July 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

For the dosage: “Adults, 1-2 droppersful, 3-5 times daily”
do you know how much this is in teaspoons or grams? I’m thinking this amount would depend on the size of your dropper.
Thanks!

Daisy July 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm

syrah–It might be most useful for me to give the dosage in drops; passionflower tincture is recommended at a dosage of 10-45 drops, 3 times per day. I know that’s a lot of variation, but I’d recommend starting at the lower end of the dosage, and adjust as needed. Also take into consideration the size of the person using it. Here’s some more info, including dosages for teas and extracts: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/passionflower

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