Health Library

Passionflower

Introduction

Passionflower is a plant with bright purple flowers. The flowers and leaves have been used to ease feelings of anxiety and problems sleeping. Passionflower is most often made into a tea. It can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.

Dosages

One cup of tea 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Anxiety—likely to ease symptoms A1-A4

May Be Effective

  • Depression—may ease symptoms C1
  • Insomnia—may improve sleep time E1, E2

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder B1
  • Diabetes D1
  • Knee osteoarthritis F1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take passionflower in small doses for a short time, but lightheadedness, drowsiness, and confusion may happen. Passionflower should not be taken during pregnancy. G1, G3 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period or when breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking medicine for anxiety or sleeping problems should talk to their doctors before taking passionflower. It may cause problems with the body’s nervous system. G2

References

REFA
Anxiety

REFA1
Lakhan S, Vieira K. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutr J. 2010;9:42.

REFA2
Aslanargun P, Cuvas O, et al. Passiflora incarnata Linneaus as an anxiolytic before spinal anesthesia. J Anesth. 2012;26(1):39-44.

REFA3
Dantas LP, de Oliveira-Ribeiro A, de Almeida-Souza LM, Groppo FC. Effects of passiflora incarnata and midazolam for control of anxiety in patients undergoing dental extraction. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2017 Jan 1;22(1):e95-e101.

REFA4
Yeung KS, Hernandez M, et al. Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevance. Phytother Res. 2018 May;32(5):865-891.

REFB
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

REFB1
Anheyer D, Lauche R, et al. Herbal medicines in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): A systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2017 Feb;30:14-23.

REFC
Depression

REFC1
Yeung KS, Hernandez M, et al. Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevance. Phytother Res. 2018 May;32(5):865-891.

REFD
Diabetes

REFD1
de Queiroz Mdo S, Janebro DI, et al. Effect of the yellow passion fruit peel flour (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa deg.) in insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutr J. 2012 Oct 22;11:89.

REFE
Insomnia

REFE1
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 Aug;25(8):1153-1159.

REFE2
Maroo N, Hazra A, et al. Efficacy and safety of a polyherbal sedative-hypnotic formulation NSF-3 in primary insomnia in comparison to zolpidem: a randomized controlled trial. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013 Jan-Feb;45(1):34-39.

REFF
Knee Osteoarthritis

REFF1
Farid R, Rezaieyazdi Z, et al. Oral intake of purple passion fruit peel extract reduces pain and stiffness and improves physical function in adult patients with knee osteoarthritis. Nutr Res. 2010 Sep;30(9):601-606.

REFG
Safety

REFG1
Fisher AA, Purcell P, et al. Toxicity of Passiflora incarnata L. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2000;38(1):63-66.

REFG2
Carrasco MC, Vallejo JR, et al. Interactions of Valeriana officinalis L. and Passiflora incarnata L. in a patient treated with lorazepam. Phytother Res. 2009 Dec;23(12):1795-1796.

REFG3
Miroddi M, Calapai G, et al. Passiflora incarnata L.: ethnopharmacology, clinical application, safety and evaluation of clinical trials. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12;150(3):791-804.

  • EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • 201907
  • 20200508