Passion flower is an herbal remedy traditionally used as a sedative to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other ailments. Here is a look at the natural origins of passion flower, and some potential uses of this lovely herbal remedy.
What is Passion Flower?
Passion flower refers to a supplement made of ingredients derived from the Passiflora incarnata plant, which is native to North America. While there are many species of the Passiflora genus in the wild, incarnata is the most well-known and traditionally used species of passion flower.
Herbal supplements of the plant typically use various parts of the plant, including the leaves, stem, and the flowers themselves. It is made into various forms including tinctures, teas, and oral tablets.
Some Background on Passion Flower
Passion flower has a storied history of use that is at least four hundred years old. It’s known that natives throughout the North and South American continents used passion flower as an herbal remedy prior to the 16th century. It was discovered by Spanish explorers during the 16th century, and was brought to Europe, where it has been cultivated ever since.
There is a part of the history of the passion flower that stands out. After Spanish religious missionaries came upon the plant, they started to associate the aesthetic qualities of the plant with the passion of the Christ. The leaves and petals of the flower, and its crown-like structure, were associated with elements of Christ’s crucifixion, such as the crown of thorns and the wounds Christ received before and during the passion.
The Potential Benefits of Passion Flower
There are a variety of benefits attributed to passion flower. Some of them are more established and verified than others. We recommend speaking to a medical professional before taking passion flower or any other supplements.
Treating anxiety is one of the most touted benefits of passion flower. There are animal and human studies that suggest passion flower could be useful in treating anxiety. However, more scientific study is necessary to advance knowledge of passion flower’s efficacy in treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Improving sleep is another potential benefit attributed to passion flower for its calming, mildly sedating effects. A small number of studies support the use of passion flower for this purpose. The reasons for passion flower’s effect on sleep is most likely due to its anxiety-reducing properties. It is often found in an oral supplement combined with valerian, which is recommended for sleep as well.
Lowering blood pressure is a possible benefit of taking passion flower. Researchers point to a 2013 study showing passion flower’s effectiveness in lowering blood pressure. This benefit is likely due to certain substances contained in the plant, such as anthocyanin antioxidant compounds and edulilic acid.
Reducing menopausal symptoms in women might be possible with passion flower. This is due to passion flower’s effect on increasing the neuroreceptor known as GABA. Menopausal symptoms that can be treated include hot flashes, insomnia, and headaches.
Reducing inflammation that can lead to disease is possible with passion flower. The phenols contained in passion flower contribute to notable antioxidant qualities, which are helpful in reducing inflammation.
Passion flower is a worthwhile herbal remedy with a range of potential benefits, and a storied tradition behind it. If you are looking for an herbal alternative remedy for yourself or a loved one, consider passion flower. Oral passion flower supplements are very affordable and easy to find.