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Passion Fruit (Krishnabija): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects by Dr. Smita Barode 

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

The past few decades have witnessed an increased interest in using passion fruit for human consumption because of its juiciness, nutritional value and health benefits. The scientific name of passion fruit is Passiflora edulis, which belongs to the family Passifloraceae. There are nearly 500 species in this family, and more than 50 are edible. However, only two varieties P. edulis (purple passion fruit) and P.flavicarpa (yellow passion fruit) are commercially grown. P.edulis is juicy, has a rich flavour and is less acidic than P.flavicarpa. Passion fruit is also known as “love fruit”, “the king of fruits”, “fruit lover” and “maracuja”. Passion fruit makes cakes, jams, jellies, tea, vine and other beverages. Used as a traditional medicine to help treat constipation, dysentery, dysmenorrhea, cough and insomnia, there are a variety of passion fruit benefits. Let us know more about the benefits that one can reap from the purple variety of passion fruit (P.edulis).1 

Nutritional Value of passion fruit: 

Passion fruit contains various nutritional components that are given as follows. They are rich in a variety of compounds including vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and antioxidants. 

passion fruit benefits

Nutritional components Value per 100 g 
Total fat 0.7 g 
Total sugars 11 g 
Total protein 2.2 g 
Dietary fibre 10 g 
Calories 97 kcal 
Iron 1.6 mg 
Calcium 12 mg 
Potassium 348 mg 

Table 1 shows nutritional value of passion fruit2 

Properties of Passion fruit: 

Scientific literature has found that passion fruit shows numerous properties as those mentioned below:3  

  • It may have antioxidant properties.  
  • It may have anti-cancer action.  
  • It can show antidiabetic properties. 
  • It might be cardio-protective.  
  • It may act as an immunity booster.  
  • It can be a mucolytic agent.  

Potential Uses of Passion fruit for Overall Health: 

Some of the potential benefits of passion fruit are described as follows: 

Potential uses of Passion fruit for cancer  

Passion fruit is rich in piceatannol, a molecule with promising anticarcinogenic properties. Yamamoto et al. conducted a study in 2019 to assess the effect of piceatannol-rich passion fruit seed extract on cancer cell growth. The study was conducted on human cell lines, where results showed passion fruit seed extract had a positive impact on cancer treatment. This may indicate that the consumption of passion fruit may help against cancers. However, more human studies to support these claims are needed.4 

Potential uses of Passion fruit on blood pressure 

Passion fruit (Krishnabija) is a folk medicine for managing high blood pressure. Sherma et al. conducted a study in 2007 to assess the effects of purple passion fruit on high blood pressure. The study was conducted on female hypertensive rats, who were supplemented with passion fruit peel extract at 50 mg/kg. In addition, this study was extended to humans who received passion fruit peel extract at 400 mg/d. This study’s results suggested that the consumption of passion fruit peel extract showed a reduction in blood pressure which was attributed due to a decrease in serum nitric oxide. This may indicate that consuming passion fruit may help manage blood pressure. However, more human studies are required to ascertain these claims.5 

Potential uses of Passion fruit for improving vision  

Vitamin A produces rhodopsin, which helps the eyes adjust to dark light and improves dim light vision. Passion fruit, rich in Vitamin A, may help improve vision. However, no human studies have been conducted yet to support these claims.6 

Potential uses of Passion fruit for fungal infections 

Fungal infections include skin diseases like ringworm, candidiasis, athlete’s foot, etc. caused by various fungi. Passion fruit contains passiflin (Pe-AFP1), a dimeric protein with antifungal properties. This protein shows antifungal action against many filamentous fungi. Therefore, there is a possibility that the consumption of passion fruit can help manage fungal infections. Even so, we need more human studies to support these claims.6 

Potential uses of Passion fruit for constipation 

A diet rich in fibre can help aid the digestion process and can relieve constipation. Passion fruit is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble dietary fibre is known to improve bowel motility and prevent constipation. Thus, it may indicate that consuming passion fruit may help manage constipation. However, there is a lack of studies that support these claims.6 

Potential uses of Passion fruit for asthma 

Asthma is characterised by the inflammation and narrowing of airways which can impair the normal breathing process. Passion fruit may help provide symptomatic relief for cough, shortness of breath and wheezing in asthma. Watson et al. conducted a study in 2008 to assess the effect of oral administration of 150mg/d of purple passion fruit peel extract in asthma patients for four weeks.  The results of this study showed that the patients’ consumption of passion fruit improved the forced vital capacity and reduced cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. This indicates that the consumption of passion fruit may help in managing asthma. However, more studies are needed to support these claims and assess the safety and efficacy of passion fruit.7 

Other potential uses of passion fruit  

  • Being a good source of potassium, it may help improve cardiac health. 
  • May help reduce iron deficiency anemia. 
  • May help manage insomnia. 
  • It may help in exerting a healing and nourishing effect on skin and hair, as it is a good source of Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and essential fatty acids.6 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of passion fruit in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of Passion fruit on human health.  

Based on some studies, I found something pretty cool. Piceatannol from passion fruit may have some cool health benefits for overweight men. It might improve their insulin levels, sensitivity, blood pressure, and even heart rate. However, more research is needed to find its effects on others.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

How to Use Passion fruit? 

Passion fruit can be used in the following ways: 

  • Passion fruit is cut into slices and consumed. 
  • It is also used to make cakes, jams, jellies, tea, wine and other beverages.1 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

I believe that passion fruit is not only delicious but takes care of your beauty concerns too. It has polyphenols that may be great for your skin. Based on research, it was seen that the seed extract has the highest concentration of polyphenols and antioxidant activity. It might help reduce melanin production and increase collagen, making your skin healthier.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Side Effects of Passion fruit: 

A few passion fruit side effects related to its consumption include: 

  • An excess consumption of passion fruit can result in short-term gastrointestinal distress due to the high content of dietary fibres. 
  • May cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.8 
  • May cause latex-food syndrome i.e. people who have a latex allergy can get an allergic reaction after eating passion fruit because the proteins present in latex which are known to cause latex allergy are also present in passion fruit.9 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to passion fruit, immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you. They will be able to guide you appropriately for your symptoms. 

I’ve got a recommendation if you’re looking for a tasty way to boost your immune system and possibly fight inflammation. Yes, Passion fruit. This amazing fruit is packed with vitamin C, which might do wonders for your immune health. Plus, it’s delicious!

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Longan: Research on Its Health Benefits and Nutritional Value

Precautions to take with Passion fruit: 

Eating passion fruit is okay if taken in moderate amounts. However, general precautions must be followed in the following conditions: 

  • Do not consume passion fruit if you have any stomach disorders. 
  • Consuming passion fruit may cause an allergic reaction if you are prone to allergies. 
  • It is always advised to wash passion fruit before consumption as with all other fruits and vegetables.8 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

No significant interaction has been reported with passion fruit, but you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of passion fruit with other drugs, and follow the prescription thoroughly, as they will know your health condition and other medications you are taking. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the scientific name of passion fruit? 

The scientific name of Passion fruit is Passiflora edulis, which belongs to the family Passifloraceae.1 

Can passion fruit help prevent cancers? 

Human cell line studies support the use of the seed extract of passion fruit for preventing cancers. However, more studies are needed to claim these effects. Thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper treatment.4 

Which fruit is known as the love fruit?  

Passion fruit is also known as the “love fruit”.1 

Can passion fruit (Krishnabija) help in constipation? 

Yes. As passion fruit is rich in dietary fibres which aid in digestion, and therefore can improve bowel defecation. However, it is advised to consult a doctor for proper treatment and not consider the consumption of passion fruit as an alternative to modern medicine. 

What are the side effects of passion fruit consumption? 

Consumption of passion fruit in excess can cause short-term gastrointestinal disorders and allergies in sensitive individuals.8 

References: 

  1. Xirui et al. “Passiflora edulis: An Insight Into Current Researches on Phytochemistry and Pharmacology.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 11 617. 20 May. 2020, doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.00617. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251050/ 
  1. Passion-fruit, raw, purple, (granadilla) (no date) Passion-fruit, raw, purple, (granadilla) nutrition facts and analysis. Available at: https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Passion-fruit%2C_raw%2C_purple%2C_%28granadilla%29_nutritional_value.html?size=100%2Bg (Accessed: November 19, 2022).  
  1. Parmar, R. (2021) 8 incredible health benefits of Passion Fruit, PharmEasy Blog. Available at: https://pharmeasy.in/blog/8-incredible-health-benefits-of-passion-fruit/ (Accessed: November 19, 2022).  
  1. Yamamoto T, Sato A, Takai Y, Yoshimori A, Umehara M, Ogino Y, Inada M, Shimada N, Nishida A, Ichida R, Takasawa R, Maruki-Uchida H, Mori S, Sai M, Morita M, Tanuma SI. Effect of piceatannol-rich passion fruit seed extract on human glyoxalase I-mediated cancer cell growth. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2019 Aug 30;20:100684. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2019.100684. PMID: 31517069; PMCID: PMC6728800. Available at: 
  1. Sherma et al.Oral administration of purple passion fruit peel extract attenuates blood pressure in female spontaneously hypertensive rats and humans, Nutrition Research, Volume 27, Issue 7,2007,Pages 408-416,ISSN 0271-5317. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027153170700111X 
  1. Julia Samuel. “Health Benefits of Passion Fruit”. Medindia. Nov 19, 2022. Available at: https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-passion-fruit.htm 
  1. Watson RR, Zibadi S, Rafatpanah H, Jabbari F, Ghasemi R, Ghafari J, Afrasiabi H, Foo LY, Faridhosseini R. Oral administration of the purple passion fruit peel extract reduces wheeze and cough and improves shortness of breath in adults with asthma. Nutr Res. 2008 Mar;28(3):166-71. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.01.003. PMID: 19083404. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19083404/ 
  1. Holly Klamer, R.D. (2022) What are the benefits and side effects of passion fruit?, Calorie Secrets. Available at: https://www.caloriesecrets.net/what-are-the-benefits-and-side-effects-of-passion-fruit/ (Accessed: November 19, 2022).  
  1. Department of Health & Human Services (2002) Latex allergy, Better Health Channel. Department of Health & Human Services. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/latex-allergy (Accessed: November 22, 2022).  

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