Passionflower is an excellent herbal supplement known to be used historically for treating several health conditions. This is a perennial climbing vine that is native to Southeastern and North America but now grown throughout Europe. Read below to know more about passionflower and its calming effects and its sie effects.
What Is Passionflower?
Passionflower is scientifically named Passiflora incarnata. There are more than 500 known species of this passionflower. The family to which passionflower belongs is known as Passiflora. There are specific studies that suggest that some species of the family might have excellent medicinal benefits. For example, the passionflower or Passiflora incarnate might be used in treating conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and many more.
Spanish explorers knew about passionflower from native Peruvians. Then they named these plants for their resemblance to a crucifix. “The Passion” in Christian traditions, is a term that is used for describing the final period of the life of Jesus Christ, including his Crucifixion.
In Europe, passionflower is used for treating restlessness as well as agitation. Some people also use the fruit of the plant for adding flavor to certain beverages.
What Are Calming Effects of Passionflower?
Indeed the effectiveness and safety of passionflower are not being studied adequately, and there is limited evidence from animal and human research that suggests that passionflower might be used to treat conditions like anxiety, sleeping disorders like insomnia, and nervous disorders.(1)
However, it is required to have more rigorous scientific studies to make appropriate conclusions about its effectiveness in treating social anxiety disorder and other anxiety issues.
Certain studies suggest that passionflower could help treat several stomach problems. Let us discover more about the calming effects of passionflower in the following sections.
Passionflower Calms Your Mind:
P. incarnata has many names like purple passionflower and maypop. There are early studies, which suggest that passionflower might help in relieving conditions like anxiety and insomnia.
In a trial that was published in Phytotherapy Research, participants who drank a regular dose of herbal tea along with purple passionflower for continuous 7 days, reported fair improvements in their sleep quality.(2) The researchers suggest that purple passionflower might help adults to manage their mild conditions of sleep irregularities.
Some trials suggest that purple passionflower might also relieve you from your anxiety issues. So, overall it can be said that passionflower benefits to calm your mind.
Passionflower For Better Sleep:
Passionflower is also known to help you sleep better. It actually appears to boost the levels of GABA or the Gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain. This is the compound that lowers brain activity and which might help you to relax and have a better sleep.
Specific evidence indicates that passionflower aids people to sleep well. Research from the year 2017 conducted in mice suggests that passionflower can have positive effects on our sleep patterns.(3)
A study conducted in rats has found that passionflower had increased the slow-wave (deep) sleep significantly, reduced rapid eye movement sleep, and also helped these rats fall asleep quite easily and quickly.
One more study has found that passionflower reduced the time that it took to fall asleep and also increased the sleep duration.(3)
However, it is essential to have further research on determining the effectiveness of passionflower and identifying the possible side effects.
Passionflower For Anxiety:
Generally, there is fair evidence that suggests that passionflower helps in relieving symptoms of anxiety.(4)
There are a lot of clinical studies, which show that P. incarnata has anxiety-calming or anxiolytic effects. In a clinical trial, it was found by the researchers that P. incarnata had results that were quite similar to antianxiety medicines in mice. (5) Two more clinical trials in the case of animal models have found that passionflower has got sedative effects.
A clinical trial of 2016 has found that P. incarnata reduced anxiety and also improved memory in rats.(6) These effects could be because of the P. incarnata affecting the GABA levels.
However, there are different conclusions from different studies, regarding the degree to which passionflower works.
A review has found that passionflower has got a significant calming and sedative effect.(7) However, other researchers recommend it as an add-on to various traditional treatments for anxiety.
Passionflower For Epilepsy:
It is also found that passionflower can help you with epilepsy. There are results of a study conducted in the year 2007 that indicate that taking pasipay, which is a mixture including P. incarnate, has increased the time between seizures and also their durations.(8)
However, there are only limited pieces of evidence in this regards and thus it is required to have more research to determine the effectiveness of passionflower for managing seizure.
Passionflower Can Calm Your Menstrual Symptoms:
It is believed that passionflower can help you to calm the symptoms of menstrual issues. In a study, participants after taking P. incarnata for 3-6 weeks continuously experienced a significant reduction in various symptoms such as headache, insomnia, depression and anger, as compared to the control group.
What Are Some Possible Side Effects of Passion Flower?
It is rare to have any side effects of passionflower. However, some of the side effects might be vomiting, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, and mental slowing. Make sure that if you are taking passionflower, you do not drive or operate any heavy machinery until you actually know how the herbal supplement affects you.
In general, passionflower is known to be non-toxic and safe.(9) The U.S. FDA or Food and Drug Administration; however, does not regulate the production of herbs and some supplements. Most of the herbs as well as supplements are not tested thoroughly and there is no guarantee in regards to the ingredients or the safety of the products.
How To Take Passion Flower?
You can try adding dried passionflower to boiling water and prepare an herbal tea or can take passionflower in form of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts available in various health food stores.
However, make sure that you must talk to your doctor before using passionflower as an alternative treatment for treating any of your health conditions as they might have some possible complications and risks.
So we now know that there are specific pieces of evidence that suggest that passionflower or P. incarnata might be beneficial in reducing anxiety and improving sleep. It might even help in reducing symptoms of epilepsy and menopause. So, you can use the herbal supplement for treating various conditions; however, it is always essential for you to consult with your doctor about any possible side effects or complications or any possible drug interactions.