Passion Flower for Anxiety: Benefits, Dosage and Product Reviews
Passion Flower is often linked with reducing the symptoms of anxiety. But what exactly is passion flower, what is the evidence, and ultimately can passion flower really help with anxiety? We'll explore those questions in this article.
Passionflower is a climbing plant, the flowers of which are claimed to closely resemble a crucifix, hence the name. In fact, it was Spanish explorers who first gave the secrets of passionflower to the wider world, after discovering them from the natives of the Peru.
They also named the plant. There are a number of species of passionflower, and some of them are claimed to have medicinal benefits. Thus, many use passionflower as a supplement for a healthy lifestyle, and to give some specific benefits.
Our Favorite Passion Flower Supplements for Anxiety:
Our top choice
Bulksupplements Passion Flower
Bodymune Stress Relief Passion Flower
Great mix of ingredients
What are the benefits of passionflower
Passion flower has a long history of use . In fact, native Americans used passionflower for ailments such as boils and wounds, and Europeans have used a species of passionflower to treat restlessness and agitation. However, in the main, passionflower is claimed to have benefits such as:
- Fights anxiety and depression – As we have said, this particular benefit is relatively well documented, and possibly the most widely know benefit.
- To combat the symptoms of menopause – This is another well-known traditional use, and this includes the insomnia that can result when women are experiencing menopause.
- Antioxidant benefits – Passionflower contains a host of anti-oxidant compounds.
- Reducing blood pressure – Studies have backed this up. One cup of passionflower tea a day could be enough.
There are of course other benefits to passionflower, including the anti-inflammatory benefits of the plant. However, we are most concerned with the benefits for those who suffer from anxiety.
What does the evidence say about the effects of passion flower?
Though the initial evidence is very promising, there have not been a huge number of studies conducted on passionflower.
As we have previously mentioned, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests that passionflower can help to treat anxiety. However, what does the science say? Research shows that certain compounds in passionflower provoke relaxation, and that one method by which it does this is by increasing GABA.
Studies on those with generalized anxiety disorder found that passionflower was an effective treatment, and that it didn't have the side effects that the more recognized pharmaceutical treatments would have.
As well as in the case of GAD, passionflower also seems to be effective in treating acute anxiety. One controlled study found that passionflower reduced anxiety much more than a placebo in those about to have surgery, despite having no aide-effect, no effects on muscle activity and no psychotropic effects. This suggests that passionflower can have a positive effect on acute anxiety and GAD.
Perhaps even more convincingly, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information  summarized a randomized, double blind pilot study, comparing the effectiveness of passionflower with oxazepam, a sedative.
At the end of the trial, no significant difference was noted between the two treatments, with both being effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder. However, oxazpam had more side-effectiveness, including impaired job performance. Thus, the researchers concluded that passionflower was possibly a more effective treatment, and that a larger study of this plant is needed.
Another review of the data from the same source  sought to identify herbal or alternative therapies to treat anxiety or depression. Passionflower was one of those identified as showing promising results, and the authors believe that further research should be done to confirm this.
Are there any drawbacks to using passionflower?
Despite the pretty convincing evidence that passionflower can have a positive effect on anxiety, both GAD and more acute anxiety, we do advise a note of caution.
There are, as with any other supplement, some side-effects, even if these are much fewer, and less severe, than most pharmacological solutions.
This is particularly true of pregnant or breastfeeding women, who should not take passionflower, and those with liver disease, who should avoid it too.
The main possible side effects of passionflower are:
- It has sedative effects, and so driving and using machinery should be avoided when taking passionflower.
- It can interact with some medications, such as those taken for thinning the blood or to lower blood pressure.
As we have seen then, there is a long tradition of using passionflower to fight against certain ailments, and one of the most well known is anxiety.
The empirical evidence seems to back up the effectiveness of the supplement, both for tackling generalized anxiety disorder and also for more acute anxiety, for example that caused by impending surgery.
What is more, passionflower doesn’t seem to have the negative side effects that can often result from taking pharmaceutical products aimed at treating anxiety.
Passion Flower Supplements for Anxiety: Product Reviews
Bulksupplements Passion Flower Extract Powder
This particular supplement is made by a trusted supplements company who have a track record of producing trusted, quality products.
It comes in the form of a powder, so that you can integrate it easily into your regimen, for example by stirring it into a cup of water or a smoothie.
Users of this product have stated that they find that it gives a more natural, potent relaxation than pharmaceuticals that they have been prescribed in the past, and that it also helps to give a relaxing sleep.
Bodymune Stress Relief Passion Flower
This particular product blends passionflower with other herbs in order, according to the manufacturer, to produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and they promise that they get the proportions just right.
Users of this product have said that within ten minutes they feel more relaxed, so it seems to be fast acting.
Solaray Passion Flower 350mg
This capsule has been very popular. Those who have used it say that it is a potent supplement, and that in their opinion it works more effectively than prescriptions meds.
However, this product doesn’t have the negative effect of making you drowsy. So, if you want to feel less stressed and anxious, and yet don’t want to resort to a prescription from the doctors, this may be just the thing for you.
As a bonus, users have noted that muscle tension has been reduced, in addition to the benefits to anxiety.
Biofinest Passion Flower Extract Powder 900mg - USDA Certified Organic Gluten-Free Non-GMO
This product is relatively new on the market. However, those who have taken it have seen their mood improve, and they have also had other positive effects: they are less irritable, they have more energy, and they generally have more joie de vivre.
Passion Flower Liquid Extract, Organic Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) Tincture, Herbal Supplement, Hawaii Pharm, Made in USA, 2x4 fl.oz
This is a tincture, and thus you take this product either by stirring it into a glass of water, by placing it in another drink, or by simply administer it into your mouth directly.
However, it is recommended that you take it in a drink, as some have noted that tinctures in general are, shall we say, an acquired taste!
Those who have used this product have told how it is an excellent product for anxiety, but they have noted that the taste it best masked in a drink.