Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some years ago when I first discovered I had high blood pressure by trying out Dad's BP machine, I googled what neighborhood Caribbean people had previously told me about passion fruit leaf tea for high BP, saw it is empirical fact, so I drank a few glasses daily until the REAL corrective measures (cut WAY back on salt, some on caffeine, take in more potassium, and more cardio) kicked in....it worked QUICKLY to get the numbers down. Back then I had a vine on my south fence. This last week or so I've binged on both pizza and a brand of frozen burritos plus smoked salted herrings as a rare splurge on processed foods....when I woke up this morning I could feel in my face and eardrums that high BP was back, put a new battery in the cuff.....159/114!! So when the wonderful rains let up I harvested maybe 10 leaves from my west fence vine, chopped them with my kitchen scissors into rainwater in a saucepan (2 quarts?) and simmered them on low, covered, maybe 15 minutes until I had that lovely familiar tea....totally clear, a tannish green, very mild flavor. I drank a coffee mug of it. About an hour later I checked my BP.....105/86! I'll go back to my usual low sodium/high potassium cooking, put a smaller scoop of Cuban coffee in my mini-expresso machine, and drink two glasses of the tea daily to get my numbers back to their usual ideal. If anybody local wants leaves to try my Passion Fruit vine has EXPLODED into growth, easily spanning 15 feet on the west fence and even blooming despite being less than a year old....I can give you oodles of fresh leaves right off the vine. It is planted in a buried 7 gallon Water Wise Container Garden. I have loved the stunning blooms for years and should have ripe fruits by Thanksgiving....the scent of the blooms in the morning is amazing. Health food stores sell tea bags and gel caps of the dried leaves for high blood pressure for ridiculous prices when I think of the productivity of this vine. Holler if you want to stop by for a bag of leaves. I learned my lesson....frozen burritos and pizza as an OCCASIONAL treat, not a week long decadent binge!

Passiflora edulis

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