Passionflower is used for insomnia, gastrointestinal upset
related to anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder.
Passionflower is also used orally for neuralgia, generalized
seizures, spasmodic asthma, menopausal symptoms, attention
deficit-hyperactivity disorder , nervousness and excitability,
palpitations, heart rhythm abnormalities, high blood
pressure, fibromyalgia, and pain relief.
In foods and beverages, passionflower extract is used as a
No concerns regarding safety when used orally in amounts commonly
found in foods. Passionflower has Generally Recognized As Safe
status (GRAS) for use in foods in the US.46
No concerns regarding safety when used orally and appropriately,
short-term for medicinal purposes. There is evidence that
passionflower liquid extracts can be safely used for up to one
Pregnancy and Lactation: Refer to a Medical
Adjustment disorder with anxious mood. A specific combination
product (Euphytose, EUP) that includes passionflower seems to
decrease some symptoms of adjustment disorder with anxious mood.
However, it's not known which ingredient or ingredients are
responsible for the beneficial effects. Other herbs in the
product are crataegus, ballota, and valerian, which have mild
sedative effects, and cola and paullinia with stimulant
Anxiety. There is some evidence that passionflower can reduce
symptoms of anxiety.51 Some research shows that a
liquid extract 45 drops daily is comparable to oxazepam (Serax)
30 mg for treating symptoms of GAD in some patients.49
Additional research shows that a different passionflower extract
90 mg/day reduces symptoms of non-specific anxiety comparable to
Opiate withdrawal. Passionflower liquid extract 60 drops, in
combination with clonidine 0.8 mg daily, seems to be
significantly better than clonidine alone when used for reducing
symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and agitation.
However, the combination is no better than clonidine alone for
physical symptoms such as tremor and nausea.48
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable parts of passionflower are the above ground parts.
Passionflower contains several active constituents including a
range of flavonoids. The harman (harmala) alkaloids identified in
passionflower include harmine, harmaline, harmalol, harman, and
harmin.53,54,55 Other constituents include maltol and
Passionflower has sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, analgesic, and
Some evidence suggests the passionflower constituent apigenin
binds to central benzodiazepine receptors,56 possibly
causing anxiolytic effects without impairing memory or motor
Other evidence suggests passionflower extracts might reduce
amphetamine-induced hypermotility, aggressiveness, and
restlessness; and raise the pain threshold.57,58,59
Passionflower is generally well tolerated with few side
effects.R2pp.329Uncommonly Passionflower may cause
dizziness, confusion, sedation, and unsteady
gait.49,52,51 There are 2 case reports of possible
severe side effects with Passiflora in the literature.
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
Herbs and Supplements with Sedative Properties: May enhance
Interactions with Drugs:
CNS Depressants: May enhance the effectiveness. Refer to a
Medical Herbalist or other Medical Adviser.
Interactions with Foods:
Interactions with Lab Tests:
Dr Clare’s Blends: Dose 455mgs per day. 1.5mls 1:3 Tincture.
Oral: The average amount of passionflower is 4-8 grams per
References: monograph: PASSIONFLOWER
46. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,
Office of Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A food additive database.
Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/eafus.html.
47. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American
Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca
Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
48 Akhondzadeh S,
Kashani L, Mobaseri M, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of
opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. J
Clin Pharm Ther 2001;25:369-73.
49. 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.
50. Bourin M, Bougerol T, Guitton B, Broutin E. A
combination of plant extracts in the treatment of outpatients
with adjustment disorder with anxious mood: controlled study vs
placebo. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 1997;11:127-32.
51. Miyasaka LS, Atallah AN, Soares BG. Passiflora for
anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;(1):CD004518.
52. Mori A, Hasegawa K, Murasaki M, et al. Clinical
evaluation of Passiflamin (passiflora extract) on neurosis -
multicenter double blind study in comparison with mexazolam.
Rinsho Hyoka Clinical Evaluation) 1993;21:383-440.
53. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anxiolytic activity of
aerial and underground parts of Passiflora incarnata. Fitoterapia
54. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anti-anxiety studies on
extracts of Passiflora incarnata Linneaus. J Ethnopharmacol
55. Aoyagi N, Kimura R, Murata T. Studies on passiflora
incarnata dry extract. I. Isolation of maltol and pharmacological
action of maltol and ethyl maltol. Chem Pharm Bull
56. Salgueiro JB, Ardenghi P, Dias M, et al. Anxiolytic
natural and synthetic flavonoid ligands of the central
benzodiazepine receptor have no effect on memory tasks in rats.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1997;58:887-91.
57. Monographs on the medicinal uses of plant drugs.
Exeter, UK: European Scientific Co-op Phytother, 1997.
58. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A
Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The
Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
59. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural
Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York,
NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.