Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was used traditionally in the Americas and later in Europe as a calming herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. It is still used today to treat anxiety and insomnia. Scientists believe passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
Supporting research & information
Traditional Use and Health Benefits
This stunningly beautiful flower 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 to treat stress, anxiety and to help the mind prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
It has also been used traditionally to provide relief to women who are experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, and is especially adept at dealing with insomnia related to this change in a woman’s life.
Passion Flower Benefits
If depression is related to the menopause then Passion Flower could be the most effective herb. As well as alleviating symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats (which are in themselves depressing enough), the alkaloids "chrysin" and "benzoflavone" present in this herb have been found to increase GABA (gamma amino-butyric acid) in the brain. GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters, used by the brain to prevent over-excitement and attain balance. It also helps to decrease the activity of depression inducing brain cells.
Passion Flower is a gentle anti-anxiety and mildly sedative herb that can even be used to induce a good night's sleep in children. One particular study asked volunteers with trouble sleeping to drink a cup of Passion Flower tea at bedtime for a period of time, all reported significant sleep improvement.
The increased GABA in the brain that Passion Flower can induce will also reduce the anxiety so often associated with insomnia. In addition, Passion Flower is known to be a muscle relaxant, easing away tension that can make it more difficult to drift off to sleep.
Passion Flower is powerfully antioxidant due to the presence of the antioxidant compounds; vitexin, isovitexin, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, apigenin and luteolin glycosides. It also contains indole alkaloids, fatty acids, gum, maltol, phytosterols, sugars and traces of volatile oils. One compound in particular – quercetin – has been extensively studied, it has been found to be exceptionally effective in ridding the body of damaging free radical molecules and it inhibits various enzymes that cause inflammation.
These compounds also relax the nervous system, helping to relieve nerve related pain such as back pain.
This ingredient is found in the following Eudeamon products