Passionflower | 12 Fascinating Benefits Backed by Science
PASSIONFLOWER TEA AND THE POWERFUL BENEFITS
Passionflower (scientific name Passiflora, of which there are many species, the most prominent being Passiflora incarnata) does indeed look bizarre.
But its origins aren’t that strange at all.
We may recognize this plant better by the fruit it produces: passionfruit. Who knew this sweet, sticky fruit could also have incredible powers for wellness, too (and in its flowers, no less)?
Indeed, passionflower does have powerful healing benefits. Traditional healers would often use the flower for nervous complaints, women’s health concerns, and especially as a calming remedy, though it is capable of so much more than that.
Better yet, modern scientific research and studies have confirmed some of passionflower’s benefits for health, too—the very best of which we’ll look at shortly.
HOW TO USE PASSIONFLOWER
The most common way to use passionflower is through infusion as a tea, but the most benefit is through an extract or tincture.
In TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine, single herbs are rarely used – as herbal formulations (combinations) that are correctly balanced have more therapeutic effectiveness and achieve the outcome more predictable.
If you wish to make a pure tea it’s very easy:
- Steep dried passionflower leaves and flower if available in hot water.
- Sweeten with a dash of stevia or honey and enjoy!
Passionflower is very effective and is the reason we include it in our Tranquil Mind formulation.
THE MANY BEAUTIFUL BENEFITS OF PASSIONFLOWER
It’s no coincidence passionflower has been used as a folk remedy (and successfully so) for hundreds of years, including in regions like Latin America, South America, and North America.
As it turns out, scientific studies today support its ancient use for health.
Though there isn’t enough research (yet) to deem passionflower a replacement for the diseases, conditions, and treatments it may support, based on what has been published about its effects thus far are quite promising regarding its use as a holistic wellness supplement.
With that said, in what areas of health could passionflower help the most? The following benefits, according to both historical evidence and studies, are considered the best and most prominent health properties of passionflower discovered thus far.
GREAT FOR ANXIETY
It’s the standout quality and reason that most people know of passionflower. Along with other calming herbs like valerian root and ashwagandha, passionflower is well-known for being a soothing, sedative herbal remedy.
Helping anxiety naturally is one of its most prevalent traditional uses.
Through the lens of modern science, too, there’s lots of value to be seen in passionflower for helping tame anxiety. According to one study, the use of the herb helped calm anxiety in patients who were about to undergo surgery.
In another similar study, passionflower had identical effects on subjects about to experience dental surgery, too. With results like these, the outcomes suggest that anxiety could very much benefit from this herb—and if it helps calm surgery jitters, then it could likely help many other types of anxiety as well!
If passionflower can help with anxiety, it’s no far stretch to think it may also help instill calming, restorative sleep in those who take it, too.
Helping with sleep disorders and insomnia was another of its common uses.
Traditional and folk herbalists would prescribe preparations of the flower for fitful sleep patterns, night terrors, and more. The question is: does science also support this as relevant for sleep problems nowadays?
The answer: very likely so. One study even showed that a formulation containing passionflower was comparable in effect to a prescription sleep aid. What’s more, the trial was high quality (randomized and controlled), indicating that similar results were felt from subjects regardless of whether they took the pill or the herb.
A lot of promise for passionflower thus far for sleep, though more studies are eventually needed.
It may seem like a bold claim reading it on paper, but there really could be a good reason to believe passionflower may naturally support depression.
It’s important to remember: depression can be a complex illness.
But for some forms of depression, it’s possible passionflower may provide a path to long-term, holistic improvement and support of minor symptoms, some studies show. Such as in this study— test subjects with depression were given extracts of the herb, only to find that their likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms decreased.
Since passionflower has long been used traditionally for depression, too, there’s no reason not to try it for depression, though more studies are needed before calling it a replacement to any depression treatment.
GOOD FOR STRESS
What about stress? For an herb that can help counteract struggles with anxiety and depression, yes, there’s something in it for those facing daily stress, too.
Dealing with stress can bring on many issues. It can even cause bouts and run-ins with anxiety and depression in and of itself as well as cause high cortisol levels, which in turn can lead to a whole other range of health problems.
Luckily, passionflower is an excellent choice to have on one’s side for stress.
Studies like this help prove it. When used with another herb, passionflower was shown to be very useful for lowering hormones that contribute to stress.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Passionflower: good for the heart? According to studies, yes!
Though it isn’t in line so much with the flower’s traditional uses, this blossoming vine of the tropical Americas has nevertheless been shown to have a noticeable effect on blood pressure. In essence, it helps lower and maintains blood pressure at healthy levels naturally, an indirect benefit that it demonstrated in this study.
This is huge news for those wanting to boost heart health naturally.
After all, maintaining healthy blood pressure is imperative to good heart health—and apparently, passionflower may help play a supportive role in this.
FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH
Though blood pressure and heart disease haven’t classically called for passionflower through the ages as an alternative herbal remedy, women’s health issues sure have.
In some herbal traditions, passionflower is a standard woman’s remedy.
Herbalists prescribed it for stress, mood, and cramps in women over the ages. Research these days, too, is finding numerous good reasons for women to turn to passionflower even in these modern times.
This study, for example, revealed that passionflower might even be useful for certain women going through menopause. It could do this by helping smooth over symptoms of irritability, hot flashes, depression, headaches, and more.
PASSIONFLOWER MAY POSSIBLY BE GOOD FOR EPILEPSY
A botanical with a reputation for calming the nerves may have even more powerful things in store for the nervous system.
What about benefits for seizures and epilepsy, for example?
These conditions, after all, are rooted in the nervous system. For those wondering if passionflower may have some healing effects on these, research suggests it very well could be possible.
This study has shown the most convincing evidence thus far that passionflower could help with epilepsy. In it, use of passionflower extracts reduced the severity and incidence of seizures, though it’s far from proving yet if passionflower can replace any epilepsy medications.
PASSIONFLOWER COULD BE A GOOD NEUROPROTECTOR
In the same vein, if passionflower is good for the nerves, can it protect neurons? The answer is yes here, too.
This study, for example, shows the true extent of how neuroprotective this healing blossom can get. All in all, an extract helped improve memory and neurotransmission in addition to its stress and anxiety-relieving effects, a sure sign of excellent neuroprotective capabilities.
Though more research is needed, passionflower is likely an excellent brain herb.
If it can help with memory, it’s entirely possible that it also boosts learning, cognitive function, and reduces fatigue and brain fog at the same time.
REDUCE THE RISK OF NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE
Though passionflower begs for further exploration into its neuroprotective capabilities, one thing is for sure: there’s already a lot of evidence that it may reduce the risk of neurological disease.
Both pieces of proof are supportive of passionflower as a true neuroprotector.
And not just any neuroprotector: a neuroprotector powerful enough to reduce the likes of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses that stem from dysfunction of the neurological and nervous systems.
Hard to believe? This study shows that a standardized passionflower extract can help combat symptoms of dementia. An excellent aid for neurological diseases, though more studies are needed.
MAY REDUCE CANCER RISK
It may be easy to believe it’s possible in botanical remedies like reishi, chaga, and others, owing to the research. But it may be time to think it’s possible in a humble little healer like passionflower, too.
We’re talking about herbs helping to reduce cancer risk.
Though it’s a possibility much more deeply explored in other herbs, passionflower’s ability to cut down on cancer risk is already appearing in some research studies; such as this one, in which compounds were isolated from passionflower and did indeed show anticancer activity.
Though far from being considered a cancer treatment quite yet, this still makes passionflower’s potential quite intriguing and makes for an excellent holistic supplement to lower risk.
PASSIONFLOWER COULD WORK LIKE AN ANTIOXIDANT
What could contribute to some of passionflower’s healing benefits—including its possible cancer-fighting potential?
It may very well be due to passionflower’s antioxidant activity.
Scavenging free radicals, fighting chronic inflammation, and even battling foreign invaders and infections are all claims to fame that the exotic flower may have, according to this study. With evidence like this, passionflower could be an excellent herb to protect all aspects of health as an antioxidant if taken on the daily as a supplement.
PASSIONFLOWER MAY HELP MANAGE A HEALTHIER WEIGHT
Last but not least: athletes, fitness lovers, and those with healthy weight goals may have cause to rejoice over passionflower.
According to studies, this tropical vine may help with weight.
More specifically, taking the herb over a long time (and very regularly) may have subtle and natural ways of helping manage a healthier metabolism, and thus a healthier weight, studies show, though more studies are needed to elucidate why or how this happens.
Either way, a little dose of passionflower may go a long way for those aiming for a healthier weight—no matter who they are, and no matter what that might be.
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