Herbs A-Z: Palmaria & Passiflora


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A seaweed and a vine-flower, how are they alike? We started out this episode feeling like these two herbs were completely different from one another. By the time we got to the end, though, we found a unifying quality or two.

Dulse, whose Latin name is Palmaria palmata, is our favorite choice for those who are new to seaweeds. It has a mild flavor, isn’t too ‘fishy’ or too ‘slimy’. It may not exactly be “bacon of the sea”, but it sure does add a nice salty & umami flavor to dishes! Dulse is also a great provider of minerals (but not too much iodine, so don’t worry). Its nourishing qualities support us in a very grounded way, at the mineral levels of bone, muscle, and nerve health. In archetypal terms, it is an “earth of water” herb.

Passiflora incarnata is the botanical name for passionflower. This is an astonishingly beautiful flower – make a web search to check out some photos, you’ll see what we mean. (Oh, and don’t neglect ‘passionflower UV light’ as a search term: see what it looks like to bees!) It’s an excellent plant to sit with for meditation – and it can help you move into a more meditative state of mind, too. Famously helpful in sleep formulae, passionflower helps rein in the spinning, anxous mind, and brings it inward and downward. If you’re comfortable with elemental language, it might make sense to look at this herb as embodying the “earth of air.”
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