The passionflower vine is a native of the Western hemisphere, named for symbolic connections drawn between its appearance and the crucifixion of Jesus. Native North Americans used passionflower primarily as a mild sedative. It quickly caught on as a folk remedy in Europe and was thereafter adopted by professional herbalists as a sedative and digestive aid.
What Is Passionflower Used for Today?
In 1985, Germany's Commission E officially approved passionflower as a treatment for "nervous unrest." The herb is considered to be a mildly effective treatment for anxiety
However, there is only weak supporting scientific evidence that passionflower works for these purposes. Preliminary
suggest that passionflower might be helpful for
The active ingredients in passionflower are not known.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Passionflower?
A 4-week double-blind study of 36 individuals with
(specifically, generalized anxiety disorder) compared passionflower to the standard drug oxazepam.
A 14-day, double-blind trial enrolled 65 men addicted to opiate drugs and compared the effectiveness of passionflower and the drug clonidine together against clonidine alone.
The proper dosage of passionflower is 1 cup 3 times daily of a tea made by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried leaves for 10 to 15 minutes. Passionflower tinctures and powdered extracts should be taken according to the label instructions.
Passionflower is on the FDA's GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list.
The alkaloids harman and harmaline found in passionflower have been found to act somewhat like the drugs known as MAO inhibitors and also to stimulate the uterus,
but whether whole passionflower has these effects remains unknown. Passionflower might increase the action of sedative medications.
Safety has not been established for pregnant or nursing mothers, very young children, or those with severe liver or kidney disease.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
9. Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther . 2001;26:363-367.
14. Movafegh A, Alizadeh R, Hajimohamadi F, et al. Preoperative oral Passiflora incarnata reduces anxiety in ambulatory surgery patients: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Anesth Analg. 2008;106:1728-1732
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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