Passion flower is a climbing vine native to the United States and Central and South America. It has been used for many years, as the chemicals within the vine have been shown to have calming, sleep-inducing, and muscle relaxation effects. Valerian root has been shown to have some similar effects.
A double-blind randomized controlled trial in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics compared passion flower to oxazepam, a benzodiazepine requiring prescription, and found that passion flower was an effective treatment for generalized anxiety. It was also found to have less sedating effects when compared to oxazepam, making it potentially safer for daytime use.
Another double-blind study found that passion flower combined with the prescription drug clonidine, had significantly more efficacy in treating opioid withdrawal than clonidine alone.
Another double-blind study found that passion flower effectively decreased anxiety in surgical patients.
Passion flower’s suggested benefit in after surgery recovery is in its ability to help reduce anxiety and offer a calming sensation, while also helping with muscle relaxation.*
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Nassiri-Asl M, Shariati-Rad S, Zamansoltani F. Anticonvulsant effects of aerial parts of Passiflora incarnata extract in mice: involvement of benzodiazepine and opioid receptors. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007;7:26. Published 2007 Aug 8. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-26
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Wolfman C, Viola H, Paladini A, Dajas F, Medina JH. Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora coerulea. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994;47(1):1-4. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(94)90103-1
Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Shayeganpour A, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther 2001;26:363-7.
Akhondzadeh S, 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;26(5):369-373.
Movafegh A, Alizadeh R, Hajimohamadi F, Esfehani F, Nejatfar M. Preoperative oral Passiflora incarnata reduces anxiety in ambulatory surgery patients: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Anesth Analg. 2008;106(6):1728-1732. doi:10.1213/ane.0b013e318172c3f9
*Disclaimer: If you suffer from any medical illness or have medical concerns or questions, please speak with your healthcare provider. The information on wound healing found on this site is derived from peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies, links to which are available under “Sources.” However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.