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El_Cadejo's avatar

How effective is boiling something to break down the cyanogenic glycosides within?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34477points) June 27th, 2011

So I have two passion flower plants now. Ive been reading for a while about how they make for a really good sleep aid as well as help with muscle spasms. Considering I can never sleep at night because of muscle spasms this is something id like to try.

The problem is I’ve been reading that most species and the one I have in particular contains cyanogenic glycosides. Now I know these can be found in most foods and isnt really a problem but I couldnt quite find any data saying exactly how much could be found in passion flowers.

From what Ive read when the plant is heated it breaks the cyanogenic glycosides down into free hydrogen cyanide that will evaporate off. (yay well ventilated rooms :P)

The question is, how efficient is this process? Will it remove most of the cyanide from the plant if I do boil it for a long time? Is there another method that would work better?

Ideally i’d like to make passion flower tea. I just dont want a tea thats to die for.
sorry couldnt resist that one :P

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3 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

I don’t know the exact mechanics of that (I would expect grinding to a paste, mixing with water, brief boiling and then simmering for an hour with a stirrer should do it… I’d still be extra thorough and wouldn’t test it on myself), but I do know that the species common here, and those contained in smoking mixtures &c. (obviously) do not contain the cyanogenic glycosides.

Are yours P. caerulea?

If you only have P. caerulea, I would try using the flowers (they’ve no cyanide trap vacuoles, and I’ve heard of this usage), to either smoke or brew, but steer clear of the leaves, unless you can test your preparation…
are you a chemist?

If you have P. incarnata (by far the most prevalent in my locale), you’re all good, no cyanide.

Sorry for the indirect answer, but I thought I’d share some relevant knowledge.
My recommendation is to simply get some P. incarnata.
They’re just as cool-looking as P. caerulea. Well, almost.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@The_Idler I have P. caerula (far as I can tell, here’s a pic ) . Honestly I think P. incarnata looks far better and have better fruit too. I just cant seem to find them anywhere around me. I happened to come across the caerula by chance.

I am no chemist so no way of testing but from what im reading its no more than whats in HBW or morning glory so it should be ok especially after the cooking just wanted some extra advice. I will try and just use the flowers and see how that goes.(I just got the first bloom so ill have to wait a bit for that) I did make some tea with 3 baby leaves and boiled it for 2 hours. No effect as far as pain relief goes but no side effect either just delicious fuckin tea lol

Ive also read on a couple sites that even p incarnata contain cyanogenic glycocides just in lower concentrations. Its honestly been pretty hard finding relevant info on this so if ya know any sites to look at (barring the obvious erowid) im down for some research

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah that’s P. caerulea.
I don’t know, I got nothing info-wise.

Tea tastes good huh?

Get some incarnata seeds. Once it’s established, its practically indestructible. A childhood friend of mine had it growing over the entire front of her house!

Oh and if you’re after natural pain relief, Papaver somniferum.
Legal to grow in the UK, and you kinda get away with it in the US, just don’t let them catch you scratching them to extract the opium. In the UK nobody will mind. They, also, are very hardy, they grow all over my town, back every year since I blitzed a couple of pounds of seeds all over the place one day after school in spring of ‘06…

I just had the first taste of this year’s season…. gotta love that nod {︶๑︶}

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