Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims) also (Passiflora incatata L), belonging to the Passifloraceae family is a perennial, clinging vine that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. It is native to Brazil, Australasia, Mexico and parts of Africa. It has been commonly called: passion fruit or passionfruit (English), maracuya or parcha (Spanish), grenadille or fruit de la passion (French), maracuja (Portuguese) and Iiliko’I (Hawaiian).

Missionaries have been credited with the origin of the common name, Passion Flower (or Passion Fruit). They used the shape and elements of the pretty white and purple flowers to teach the Passion of Christ. The fringed crown of the flower was used to represent the crown of thorns, while the three stigmas represented the nails that penetrated his hands and feet. The five stamens represented his wounds, while the ten petals were taken to represent the apostles with the exclusion of Peter and Judas.  When used as a talisman, it is said to bring peace.  In the Language of Flowers, it is used to represent bitter love. The edible fruit is eaten as a fruit and used to flavor everything from ice cream to jam.  Growing up in South Africa, there was a Passion Fruit vine in my mother’s garden. When it was in bloom it was lovely to look at, and we used the pulp from the fruit for many yummy desserts.

Historically, the Aztecs and Incas of South America valued the passion flower for its pain relieving and soothing properties, while the Mayans are said to use the plant as an eye salve. Passion Flower has been reported as having analgesic and sedative properties.

The fresh, or dried herb and extracts are used as ingredients in some sedative preparations for nervous anxiety.  In traditional medicine, it has been used as a sedative for treating neuralgia, insomnia, restlessness, headache, hysteria, epilepsy and other nervous conditions.  Also used in bath mixtures for its allegedly calming and soothing effects. (Leung & Foster)

The carrier oil is obtained from the seed by expression.  The seed hulls and kernels release the crude oil, which in turn is filtered to remove sediment and impurities.   The orange oil is rich with vitamin A and potassium, which helps keep the skin healthy.  It has antibacterial properties and is considered good for acne prone skin.  Passion Fruit Oil has anti-inflammatory and natural anti-itch properties that help to reduce any swelling and irritation of the skin.  It also contains ascorbic acid, β-carotene, calcium, flavonoids, phosphorus, and potassium. Shown to reduce sebum secretion and promote a drier skin feel makes it an excellent addition to anti-acne and sensitive skin care applications.  Shelf life is about 2 years, or longer if refrigerated.  Keep cool in unopened containers, away from light and moisture. It can be used as a 100% base or combined with other oils.

A macerated oil can also be obtained from the flowers.  The flowers can be macerated in organic sunflower oil, fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, and have a yield of about 0.1% essential oil.  It is considered to be an excellent sedative.