19 September 2011

                                                                                                                        photo © you should be out on a meadow

passiflora - passion flower
good morning beautiful
"it must be a martian or a martian base"
said the boy as we ran around the block to exhaust excess energy prior to school

The plants were given the name Passionflower because the floral parts were adopted in the 15th century by Spanish Christian Missionaries to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story, sometimes referred to as the Passion. The 10 petal-like parts represent Jesus' faithful disciples, excluding Peter and Judas; the 5 stamen the wounds Jesus received; the 3 knob-like stigmas the nails; the fringe the crown of thorns; pointed tips of leaves the Holy Lance; the chalice-shaped ovary the Holy Grail.  

Passionflower's leaves and roots were used traditionally in the Americas and later in Europe as a "calming" herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria.  It is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.  GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells making you more relaxed.  

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