Origin – South America, Africa, Madagascar
The Passion flower is a woody liana which can reach up to 10 m and grows in the tropical and subtropical regions of South and North America. Its fruits (known as maracuja) resemble a large lemon. For centuries the locals have been using the fruits as a heart tonic and to relieve cough, and the leaves – for their tranquilizing (sedative) and pain relieving properties.
The chemical analyses of the passion flower reveal three main groups of chemicals: alkaloids, glycosides and flavonoids. The passion flower also contains naturally occuring serotonin which determine its cheering effect, as well as the chemical called maltol which has a proven sedative effect and explains the natural tranquilizing properties of this flower. The passion flower is used as anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anesthetic remedy.
The cosmetic industry uses the oil obtained from the Passion flower seeds and the extract from its fruits. They restore the functions of the dermal barrier. The high content of linoleic fatty acid, approximately 70% Omega-6, one of the basic fatty acids, helps decrease the loss of water, the so called skin TransEpidermal Water Loss (TEWL). It is also used as a softener and a conditioning agent with marked skin protective properties. It leaves the skin feeling pleasant and silky soft for a long time.
Passion flower seed oil is highly recommended in scalp and hair care products to encourage healthy hair growth and increased vitality. High in linoleic acids, it has healing and antibacterial properties which may be useful for stretch mark, dry, itchy skin and scalp.