What are the Potential Health Benefits of Passion Flower?
- Fights insomnia
- PMS treatment
- Treats ulcer
- Lowers blood pressure
For a long time, passion flower has been used as a traditional medicine in different places, including Europe and America. Primarily, it is considered an effective herb for various mental conditions, like restlessness.
Now, this plant is used as an alternative medicine for various health concerns. To get to know passion flower better, let us check out some of its health benefits.
Are you having trouble sleeping? If yes, you should try taking this herb. Passion flower is being used to treat insomnia.
Several animal studies supported this claim even before. Nevertheless, in 2011, it was already used on humans.
One study published in Phytotherapy Research examined the herb’s effect on sleep disturbance. It had 41 respondents who either took passion flower tea or placebo for 7 days. The result showed that those who took the tea had better sleep quality. (1)
Moreover, passion flower is known to be a traditional antidepressant. It is also claimed to enhance the St. John’s Wort’s effect.
In 2011, a study observed the effect of combining passion flower and St. John’s Wort. The result showed that it significantly increased the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort as an antidepressant. (1)
One more study in 2010 examined the effect of combining St. John’s Wort and passion flower supplements on menopausal women. It revealed that the combination relieves depression and other menopausal symptoms in the respondents. (1)
Aside from being antidepressant, passion flower is also anti-anxiety. In fact, it is among the usual ingredients in sedative teas.
Other ingredients include kava, lemon balm, valerian, and chamomile. Passion flower can also be used alone.
The herb’s calming effect is linked to the release of GABA, which can improve mood and decrease anxiety. This is stimulated by a specific brain neurotransmitter, which passion flower promotes.
Several studies supported passion flower’s potential to reduce anxiety.
Since passion flower promotes sleep and eases depression and anxiety, it is helpful to women with PMS. Normally, menopausal symptoms include sleeping problems, headaches, anxiety, and depression.
Research showed that passion flower supplementation may help reduce these symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, one study supported that the combination of St. John’s Wort and passion flower extract could be an alternative to using hormone therapy. It may help relieve PMS symptoms. (1)
Furthermore, passion flower can be a cure for ulcers. One type of this plant, the Passifloraceae, can aid in treating ulcers caused by aspirin and alcohol. (1)
This herb may also be effective in reducing blood pressure.
A study was conducted by the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. It found that passion flower skin extract could reduce blood pressure levels. This is attributed to the ability of the extract to stimulate GABA. (1)
More studies supported the idea that passion flower fruit pulp may lower systolic blood pressure. (1)
Due to its potent capabilities, passion flower is trusted as a traditional herb for different conditions. However, before using it as a treatment or supplement, it is best if you consult your doctor.
What is Passion Flower?
Passion flower is the name used for any of the about 400 species of the Passiflora genus. It is known for its tasty fruit and colourful flowers.
This herb is native in South and North America. Now, many of passion flower species are cultivated in different parts of the world.
For centuries, passion flower has been used for its therapeutic effects. Among its usages are stress reducer, herbal sedative, sleep enhancer, and many more.
How Does Passion Flower Work?
The health benefits of passion flower are associated to its alkaloid content. A lot of Passiflora species contain alkaloid compounds. Among these, harmine is the most researched.
Harmine is a type of beta-carboline alkaloid. It possesses various medicinal effects. It can enhance insulin sensitivity, delay neurotransmitter breakdown, and relax blood vessels. It can also help balance mood and support bone health.
This herb also contains various flavonoids. Among these are chrysin, vitexin, kaempferol, quercetin, swertiamarin, orientin, and apigenin.
Passion flower may also improve GABA levels and stimulate relaxation. These are necessary to induce sleep and make you feel relaxed.
How Do I Take Passion Flower?
There are different ways to use passion flower. You can dry the stem, flowers, and leaves or use them to make extracts, teas, infusions, tinctures, and powders. You can eat its fruit raw or make it into jams, smoothies, juice, or dessert toppings.
You can also find passion flower in nutritional supplements. It can be by itself or together with other herbs. You can purchase them in health stores or online.
Can I Take Passion Flower Along with Vitamins and Medicines?
Taking passion flower supplements must be taken with caution. If you are taking prescribed medicines, better ask your doctor before supplementing.
Passion flower is known to moderately interact with sedative medications. These are medicines that can cause drowsiness. Since passion flower could cause sleepiness too, it is not advised to take them together.
Some examples of sedative medications are clonazepam (Klonopin), pentobarbital (Nembutal), secobarbital (Seconal), lorazepam (Ativan), and zolpidem (Ambien).
Is Passion Flower Safe?
For most people, passion flower can be safe, especially when recommended. Nevertheless, side effects may happen due to excessive consumption.
Make sure you do not use passion flower with alcohol, drugs, or other sedatives. It can result in confusion and dizziness.
Pregnant women are also advised to avoid supplementing with passion flower. It may cause uterine contractions.
To ensure safety, see to it that you consult a healthcare expert before supplementation.
How Will Passion Flower Benefit Me?
Based on research, passion flower can have a good impact on your mental health. It can help you have good sleep and avoid anxiety and depression. In case you are going through the menopausal stage, taking this supplement can be helpful.
Passion flower may help you maintain cardiovascular health by keeping your blood pressure low. You can also benefit from it if you have ulcers.
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