Daily Dose of Passionflower: 45 drops
Passionflower is a plant of the scientific name, Passiflora Incarnata. When it was discovered by Spanish explorers in Peru, they believed it was symbolizing Christ’s passion and indicating his approval for their exploration. It is native to southeastern parts of the Americas and has been used traditionally as a calming herb for insomnia, anxiety, seizures and hysteria. The flower, leaves and stem are all used medicinally and are available in the form of infusions, tea, tinctures, and liquid extracts.
One of the main benefits of passionflower is its calming effects, and because of this it has often been used to treat anxiety. The University of Maryland Medical Center explained that it works by increasing a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This chemical causes the body to feel more relaxed because it lowers the activity of brain cells. Studies have found that passionflower is just as effective as the prescription medication oxazepam for treating anxiety. Other studies have also found it to be effective in treating opiate withdrawal. In combination with clonidine, passionflower was used in a 14 day placebo controlled study with opiate addicts. The group that took passionflower and clonidine had significantly better results compared to the group that took clonidine with a placebo.
The recommended dosage of passionflower extract for anxiety treatment is 45 drops per day. 3 to 4 cups of passionflower tea can also be taken to treat anxiety. For insomnia, a cup of tea is recommended an hour before going to bed. Since passionflower has sedative properties, it may heighten the effects of certain medication including anti-seizure medication, antidepressants, and barbiturates. It may also increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinning medications.
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- Sarris J1, McIntyre E, Camfield DA. Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence. CNS Drugs. 2013 Apr;27(4):301-19. PMID: 23653088.
- Akhondzadeh S1, Kashani L, Mobaseri M, Hosseini SH, Nikzad S, Khani M. Passionflower in the treatment of opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Oct;26(5):369-73. PMID: 11679027.