Not only does the Passion Flower (passiflora incarnata), with its unusual, yet strikingly beautiful flowers beautify gardens everywhere, it also has health benefits!
There has a long history of medicinal use. Traditionally, the flowers, leaves and stems are used in herbal medicine to treat anxiety and insomnia. Passion flower can be found in herbal and specialty stores as a tea, tincture, and tablet.
Like chamomile, passion flower can be used to make a herbal that has relaxing properties. To help induce sleep, try a cup of passion flower tea in the evening. Lavender and chamomile can also be added to boost its strength. A study published in the March 2010 “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that low doses of passion flower extract reduced anxiety, while higher doses produced a sedative effect.
Moreover, it has also been found that passion flower supplements can be used as an anti-depressant. In a 2010 study published in the “Iran Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research,” researchers found that daily supplements of passion flower improved depression and other symptoms of menopause, including anger, insomnia and headache.
Passion flower can also help reduce high blood pressure. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,” passion flower extracts significantly reduced elevated blood pressure levels. Scientists concluded that edulilic acid in the passion flower was responsible for the results.
While taking passion flower supplements is considered generally safe, some may experience side effects such as rapid heart rhythm, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and dizziness. As well, passion flower can cause adverse reactions to some medication. Please speak to a health care professional before taking passion flower supplements.