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Passionflower (Passiflora)

Passiflora incarnata

Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypop, purple passionflower, true passionflower is a fast-growing perennial Passiflora, maypop have large, intricate flowers with prominent styles and stamens.

Anxiety and Sleep:

There is good evidence to suggest that Passiflora helps relieve anxiety symptoms. Several clinical studies show that passionflower has anti-anxiety, calming effects. It features in many supplements centered around anxiety and sleep promotion [i].

It is native to the Americas where it has been used for centuries to heal bruises and cuts. Modern day herbalists recommend it as a powerful nervine tonic for an overly activated sympathetic nervous system, the driver of the ‘fight or flight’ chronic stress response.

It appears to work by boosting the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This action lowers brain activity, which promotes relaxation and sleep. After seven days of a clinical trial, participants reported improvements in the quality of their sleep. The researchers concluded that purple passionflower may be useful in helping adults manage mild sleep irregularities [ii].

Some trials suggest that purple passionflower may also relieve anxiety [iii]
[iv]. A review of nine clinical trials analysed the effects of passionflower preparations on anxiety levels experienced by patients during medical interventions. Sleep quality and cognitive functions were also assessed. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) appeared to be improved from passionflower application. Various commercial products containing passionflower preparations were administered in the trials, including drops, tablets, and syrup.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory:

The presence of compounds such as kaempferol, quercetin and rutin make the passionflower a powerful antioxidant.

Lowers Blood Pressure:

Passionflower has been found to regulate blood pressure levels in people with mild hypertension (high blood pressure). It also reduces the negative effects of oxidative stress on the body which, over time can lead to diseases such as heart disease. However, it is important to note that those on blood pressure medication should not consume this herb concomitantly as it could lower blood pressure to dangerous levels [v].

Typical Use:

Passion Flower Tea: 1 teaspoon of dried cut herb per 1 cup of boiling water. Drink up to 3 times per day.

Passion Flower Tincture: Can be added to water or fruit juice.

Traditionally Taken: 1 - 4ml 3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.

Passionflower Seed Oil: can be used as a light, non-greasy carrier oil for an aromatherapy bath or massage. Just choose your favourite essential oils, dilute and use for a regenerating and replenishing massage or relaxing bath. Passionflower Seed Oil blends well with other carrier oils if you want a thicker more luxurious consistency.


Do not take passionflower if pregnant, breastfeeding or suffering from liver damage or liver disease. Passionflower can interfere with blood thinning and blood pressure medications. If you are taking any medication, please wit consult your prescribing practitioner. Due to its sedative effects, driving or operating machinery is not recommended after consuming passionflower.

Recommended For

Sleep , Stress , Anxiety , Premenstrual Tension , Inflammation

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