Passion Flower: Best natural sleep treatment
Is it true if you kiss with your eyes open, that your relationship is doomed?
When a bout of insomnia had me turning on the bed side light and gazing at the clock at 2 or 3 in the morning. I was gutted that my boyfriend’s snores were loud enough to be heard 3 streets away. He didn’t care. Simple.
I read. I paced the house. I drank cocoa. I drenched my pillow in lavender oil. That was the last straw. I was banned to the narrow bed in the spare room.
This was catastrophic, we had been together for less than six months. I had been hopeful of tapping into marriage and talk of baby’s until insomnia kicked in.
It wasn’t helpful to know that more than half of all adults in the UK struggle with sleep issues. Women are three times more likely to suffer.
I needed a cunning plan to get back into the comforts of the pre-marital bed and the radiance worthy of sleeping beauty.
I am one of those folks who would rather impale themselves on a garden fork than take sleeping pills. I tried an over-the-counter, herbal sleep remedy. I was still as sleepless as night worker on intravenous caffeine.
I bought a ton of self-help books; I had my sacral cranial massaged. Aromatherapy pre-bed baths had me smelling like my great aunt’s knicker draw and did nothing for my sex life. Melatonin tablets had a moderate effect, but made me sleepy all day. Valerian drops knocked me out for an hour. The land of nod continued to exclude me from its borders.
One morning at breakfast, I was reading aloud from a new self-help book. Passion Flower Tea. The words passion, awoke something more expectant in my partner. Trying to ignore the gleam in his eye I read on. “Its nature’s cure for insomnia.” I said.
He stopped mid-spread of ginger marmalade on his toast and looked up.
“It promotes natural relaxation…” I read “… and it’s non-addictive” He nodded approvingly.
“Not to be taken if you are pregnant or on medication.”
“You’re not are you?” He looked at me sharply
“What, on medication?” I said, keeping my gaze steady
“You know what I mean.”
He grabbed the book and read on “… there is documented evidence that passionflower leaves sedate and sooth edgy nerves…” he turned to me and kissed me and said “ I might try it myself.” I put my arms around his neck and kissed him back, sat on his lap and took over reading.
“… contains natural levels of serotonin and has been used as a sedative since 1569...”
“Why hasn’t anyone mentioned this stuff before.” He queried his beautiful brows knotted in anxiety.
“Because tranquillisers and sleeping pills earn the big pharma’s about £35 million a year.”
“Listen to this bit …” he said “… It is used to treat insomnia, muscle cramps, epilepsy, neuralgia and as a general pain relief …”
“The world should know more about this flower.”
Before I could stop him, he fed Passion Flower into his search engine and found a company who will deliver small amounts. iHerb have distribution centres in the United States and Asia.
With the flourish he normally reserves for birthday presents, he took out his credit card and ordered. I was falling in love with him all over again.
We snuggled up on the sofa and read together a little bit more research. It revealed that there are 460 species of passionflower. It is only Passiflora Incanarta that has the mild sedative effect. It can be bought in tablet form or as loose crushed leaves that require infusing for up to 10 minutes.
Within 4 days my herbs arrived. I made a pot of passionflower tea after dinner. “Ug tastes like cabbage water” he grimaced.
After sipping a small pot of tea an hour before bedtime, I have started to sleep like a baby marmoset. Plus, all my old energy has returned.
“Here’s a secret” I whispered into the ear of the man who welcomed me back into the cosy confines of the king size bed. “In ancient Peru, passionflower was used as an aphrodisiac”.
As we collapsed into a fit of giggles under the duvet, I failed to mention that a clinical trial I had read about was done on mice. Passion flower, it reported, had increased sperm count as well as increasing litter size.
H’m, I thought that might keep him awake at night.