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Anxiety Remedy: Passionflower

Welcome to the second instalment of our new series: Anxiety Remedy – where we discuss the origins and use of well-known remedies ranging from herbal to medicinal. Last week we explored the use of lavender in anxiety treatment. Today we’re discussing passionflower which is a lesser known remedy for anxiety.

The Origins

There are about 500 known species of passionflower, most of them native to South America. Passion flower is a vine flower with curly purple petals. Named by Spanish settlers for their resemblance to a crucifix, passionflower has been used to treat a variety of illnesses from stomach ulcers, insomnia and anxiety. The type of passionflower most commonly used in the treatment of anxiety is Passiflora Incarnata.

How Does Passionflower Help With Anxiety?

Passionflower contains the compound Chrysin which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. This results in a general feeling of calm throughout the body.

One study by Akhondzadeh et al showed that passionflower was equally as effective in treating anxiety as oxazepam, a type of benzodiazepine medication. The study consisted of 36 patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Half were given passionflower as a form of treatment and half were given oxazepam. The study showed no significant different in results. The patients that were prescribed oxazepam did however report an impairment to their job performance. Another study comparing passionflower with the SSRI sertraline showed similar results.

Passionflower has also been proven to raise the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. This lowers your brain activity and helps you to feel calm.

Another study reported that patients who were awaiting surgery were less anxious after having consumed passionflower.

Finally, an additional study showed that drinking passionflower tea for seven days resulted in better sleep patterns amongst adults.

passionflower anxiety

When To Use Passionflower For Anxiety?

Passionflower has a proven track-record when it comes to treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Passionflower can be purchased in capsules, teas or in powdered or droplet form.

Ingesting 45 droplets of passionflower a day for a prolonged period of time will yield the best results.

When Not To Use Passionflower For Anxiety?

Do not consume passionflower if pregnant as it may induce contractions. Passionflower should also not be consumed with sedatives. An over consumption of passionflower can cause sleepiness, dizziness and confusion.

It is important to remember that passionflower will only treat the symptoms of your anxiety and not the cause of it.

Passionflower can be beneficial in the immediate-to-short term but for chronic anxiety, visit your local therapist or book a session online with us.

Remedy Rater!

I rate lavender as a 7/ 10

I scored passionflower higher than lavender due to its lasting effect on people suffering from GAD. Particularly the consumption of passionflower droplets seem to yield good results in just a week-or-two.

Feel free to use passionflower when you sense the symptoms of your anxiety coming along. However, do remember that your anxiety will continue to return as long as you do not explore and treat the underlying issue that is causing it.

Do You Agree?

Do you agree with our take on the use of passion flower as a treatment for anxiety? Have you used passion flower in any other ways to reduce your anxiety? If so, please let us know by commenting on the article post on our Facebook page.

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Philip Andersson

Depression Counsellor



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