By Larissa Cox
This herb was named by the Spanish explorers because the beautiful white and pink/purple flowers reminded them of The Passion of Christ. This flower was widely used in native North and Central American herbal traditions as it has a sedative and tranquilizing property.
It is best known, however, in bringing relief to insomnia. Widely acknowledged as a good remedy for anxiety, tension and irritability, Passion Flower can be of benefit to horses who are generally nervous and apprehensive as well as those who are distressed and restless due to a current illness.
In addition to its directly calming effects it also has analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-spasmodic properties and can be useful, often in conjunction with other herbs, for the moody mare and the horse who has tight, sore muscles due to constant tension.
One of passionflower’s phytochemicals – passicol – fights a number of bacteria, moulds and yeasts. High doses of this flower during pregnancy must be avoided. Before switching to any herb, please consult with your veterinarian or equine herbalist.