Scientific Name/Common Name: Passiflora incarnate / Passionflower
Part(s) Used: aerial portions
Constituents/Active Ingredients: 0.8-2.5% apigenin and luteolin glycosides and other flavonoids including vitexin, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, saponarin, orientin, orientin, schaftoside, isoschaftoside, etc.); maltol (3-hydroxy-2methyl-y-pyrone); traces of volatile oil; and alkaloids (harmine, harman, harmol, harmaline, passaflorine); phytosterols including stigmasterol; and sugars.
Overview: Passionflower is a magnificently flowered perennial creeping vine that is native to Mexico and tropical or semi-tropical areas of North, South, and Central America, was first used medicinally as a sedative and treatment for insomnia and nervousness by the Aztecs of Mexico. Passionflower was traditionally used as an antispasmodic and sedative for neuralgia, epilepsy, painful menses, insomnia, and tension headaches. Europeans learned of passionflower’s beauty and therapeutic properties from Spanish explorers and immediately began cultivating the plant and incorporated it into European medicine. The German Commission E monograph indicates passionflower for nervous restlessness and notes the sedative effects of the herb and its extracts. In Germany, passionflower is often combined with lemon balm and valerian in prepared sedatives, including mild sedatives for children.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: As a nervine and antispasmodic; for insomnia, for headaches, nervousness, and restlessness.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington (DC): American Pharmaceutical Association; 2002.
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Publ. by Integrative Medicine Communications. Pp. 293-296.
Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res 2011;25:1153-9.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.