If you’ve never heard of passionflower, you are about to discover what could be your new favorite herbal supplement. Let’s go over the history, uses, and advice on using passionflower to support overall health and wellness tips.
Passionflower is a vine indigenous to Central and South America and regions of the southeastern U.S. in humid areas. Passionflower vines are long, smooth, and woody, featuring coiled tendrils and 2-6 inch leaves with either 3 or 5 lumpy lobes. In early summer, passionflower vines produce beautiful feathery purple and white flowers with bright yellow bursts in the center of each frilly bud. Later in the season, the vines have egg-sized fruits with lime-green, then yellow exteriors, and juicy interiors that burst under pressure and taste delightfully sweet.
Passionflower is resurfacing today as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Yet, passionflower has roots in traditional folk medicine from around the world.
The first recorded documentation of the use of passionflower was in South America. Groups of indigenous people used the herb as a natural sedative and sleep aid. Spanish settlers then took it upon themselves to learn all of the wildflower’s medicinal uses from the Native American tribes. After collecting all information, the Spanish carried their knowledge and samples of the plant on the voyage to Europe. Passionflower quickly became a popular addition to plant medicine and herb gardens, gaining extensive cultivation throughout the continent.
Passionflower was first introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the 1880s, quickly gaining popularity by home gardeners thanks to being perfectly suited to Hawaii’s climate. A few decades later, passionflower can be found growing wild throughout the islands. Locals use passionflower both for the sweet fruit called liliko’i and for the medicinal benefits of the leaves and vines. In some cases, the locals use vines and tendrils of the passionflower as a natural twine.
For centuries, indigenous communities in the Americas and populations in Europe have been using passionflower as part of their medicinal rituals. Accordingly, individuals today are seeking the many reported benefits of passionflower. From gastrointestinal support to acting as a natural remedy for attention deficit disorders, proponents of passionflower have used the herb to treat themselves inside and out from top to bottom. Some of the most commonly reported benefits of taking passionflower supplements include:
When consumed as a tea, passionflower may reduce anxiety in individuals experiencing mild or acute symptoms. Some individuals use passionflower to treat everyday anxiety. In contrast, others utilize the herb before specific events like surgery, flights, or other anxiety-inducing experiences. Passionflower helps to reduce stress by increasing the brain’s levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid. Gamma-aminobutyric acid reduces particular cell activity, making you feel more relaxed and helping to slow rapid or panicked thinking.
Thanks to passionflower’s calming effects, this herb has frequently been used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Scientists and researchers have proven passionflower can be effective at improving the sleep of healthy adults. By consuming a mug of passionflower tea before bedtime, many individuals find they fall asleep more easily, stay asleep longer, and even feel more rested and relaxed upon waking.
Thanks to passionflower’s GABA enhancing properties, this traditional medicinal herb may help address neuropathic pain by reducing the body’s natural pain response. Helpful for individuals suffering from nerve or chronic pain, passionflower also aids in relieving menstrual cramps.
Passionflower can be taken in a few different ways, mainly depending on your preferred method of delivery. Here are the most common ways to take passionflower supplements:
Passionflower tea is one of the most popular and most traditional methods of taking passionflower. Today, passionflower teas are readily available in health shops and online. Dried, crushed leaves of the passionflower plant are the primary herbal ingredient of the tea. Typically, individuals steep the herbs in warm water like other herbal teas. It is also popular to combine other herbs like chamomile or mint to increase its beneficial effects.
Passionflower extract may be added to foods as a flavoring or taken on its own as a supplement to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and treat nerve pain. Passionflower extract comes in either liquid form or a gel capsule.
Passionflower tinctures are extracts delivered via an alcohol/spirit base. Passionflower tinctures can be taken on their own or added to drinks like teas, water, juice, or other medicinal beverages. Because of the alcohol base, tinctures are readily bioavailable.
Passionflower powder is most often encapsulated or pressed into capsules or tablets for oral delivery as a supplement. This is a common choice for those that prefer to avoid flavors of any kind. You’ll often find passionflower blended with other herbs in this form.
Interested in trying passionflower to treat anxiety, sleep troubles, gastrointestinal discomfort, or some other ailment? Here’s what you should know about when and how to take passionflower:
Up to 800 mg of dried passionflower extract is considered safe for daily use for eight weeks, though individual effects may vary. There are no known contraindications or drug or supplement interactions with passionflower. If you are treating a specific issue with passionflower, you can likely take it daily without complications. For extended use, speak with a medical professional.
Yes! Some individuals prefer to take passionflower on an empty stomach, claiming that this makes the herb more readily available and the benefits more immediate.
Yes! A mug of passionflower tea before bed may help to improve sleep and overall well-being.
Exactly how much passionflower an individual will need to enjoy its effects will depend on the individual and how they respond to the herb. Still, in general, medical practitioners recommend taking 400mg of passionflower extract 1-2 times daily to treat anxiety or pain. An 8-12oz mug of passionflower tea before bed generally enhances sleep.
Passionflower teas, tinctures, and capsules are available for purchase at most health stores and natural wellness stores. They may also be available at drug-store chains. When purchasing tinctures and extracts, be sure to buy from a reputable producer whose ingredients are guaranteed high quality. Our Passionflower & Lehua Hemp Tincture, for example, features premium Hawaii-grown ingredients that are certified organic.
When taken in moderate doses as directed, passionflower should produce few or only mild side effects. Most commonly, users of passionflower supplements may experience drowsiness, confusion, or nausea.
Few studies have been done on the long-term effects of taking passionflower exclusively, but some studies have shown that the supplement is safe to take for at least eight weeks. If you begin to experience unpleasant side effects, discontinue use immediately.
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