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Passionflower’s Benefits

Good calmer

I don’t think people understand just how awesome Passionflower is for calming us down. Maybe it’s because the name sounds so benign? Or, maybe it’s because Passionflower is often buried in a list of herbs found in a standard ‘sleepy-time’ tea or herbal supplement?

This herb is usually used as part of a blend, but used alone or with one other herb (and therefore more potent), Passionflower has hugely beneficial effects1.

Note: Unlike the name might suggest, Passion Flower is not an Aphrodisiac.

What’s the meaning of it all?

Among other active constituents, Passionflower contains a substance called Harmine, originally known as Telepathine (from the word Telepathy). When used correctly, this herb produces a mild euphoria, and a contemplative state.

(Please talk to your Medical Herbalist about finding a Passionflower dosage to suit you.)

The Aztecs used this herb as a sedative & painkiller… while the Germans later used this herb as a ‘Truth Serum’ in WW2
(‘we have ways of making you talk!’)

Today, Passionflower has a range of useful applications to help us discover our own truth! It helps to calm us and lift our spirits. It also helps us to sleep and it takes away our pain.

Note: Passionflower is one common name for Passiflora incarnata (the other is simply, Passiflora).

What's so great about this herb? Passionflower's benefits –

Passionflower possesses the following substances:

Harman, and

Note:  these substances are believed to function as Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Passionflower also contains:

Luteolin, and

Note: I’ve only outlined the key constituents here.

Passionflower's benefits
You could say that I'm passionate about Passionflower's benefits...

Indications for the use of this herb –Passionflower's benefits for us

This herb is an anxiolytic, a mild sedative, a hypnotic (sleep inducing), and a spasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscle).  It is especially useful in conditions that have occurred, or been exacerbated, by exhaustion or prolonged illness2,3. (Passionflower is also superb for breaking the cycle of pain leading to anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.)

Passionflower’s benefits are as  follows:

  1. Nervous predispositions

    Nervous – irritability; stomach; headache; restlessness; tension, and tachycardia (a fast heart-beat)

  2. Anxiety 

    Passionflower is as effective as Oxazepam (a benzodiazepine drug) for the management of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

    Results show a single dose can demonstrate a sedative effect.

    Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Chamomile for Panic Attacks.


  3. Mild — moderate depression

    This herb inhibits the breakdown of serotonin. Therefore it can be used on its own, or in conjunction with 5HTP for an additive effect.

  4. Insomnia

    Because of its anti-anxiety effect, this herb can help you to get to sleep (it helps to reduce mental worry).  And because of its ability to inhibit the breakdown of serotonin — it can help to keep you asleep, once you get there!

    Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Valerian for moderate – severe insomnia.(Depending upon the particular case, it can take some weeks to regulate the sleeping pattern.)

  5. Neuralgic pain

    Neuralgia, cardiac, rectal, and facial pain.

    Note:  It also relieves the anxiety associated with pain.

  6. PMS and painful periods

    This herb eases pre-menstrual anxiety, and relieves menstrual cramping.

  7. Cardiovascular complaints

    This herb lowers blood-pressure, and regulates the heart rate4.

    Note: Passionflower is usually used in conjunction with the herb, Hawthorn for cardiovascular issues.

This herb can also be used for the following, Passionflower benefits:

Topical complaints:
Burns + Scalds
Ring worm
Sore eyes

Internal complaints:
Epilepsy +Seizures
Opiate withdrawal
Spasmodic asthma
Whooping cough

Would you like to read more from me about medicinal herbs?

I’ve written about a number of different medicinal herbs that I believe are incredibly beneficial for your health.

To select from these, please click this link.

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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