Passion flower is also known as Passiflora incarnate or Maypop, and is a very common plant with a wide range of medicinal properties. The passion flower plant is a wild flower that lives true to its name with a striking beauty and one that produces a fleshy, juicy fruit. The flower and other parts of the plant above the soil are known to be used as food flavoring and as a natural treatment of various ailments.
This plant is found in a combination of various herbal extracts where it is used as a sedative. It helps promote relaxation and calmness. The various supplements that used passion flower extracts have been approved for over the counter use where the supplements are extensively used in the United States to aid with sleep. The passion flower extracts can be used alone or in a combination with other supplements.
The plant has a woody vine and produces blooms with yellow flowers surrounded by deep purple petals. The plant was named by Christian missionaries who discovered it in Peru after the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The double row of the flower filaments looks similar to the halo around Jesus’ head or the thorns Jesus wore. The plant was then taken to Spain where hybrids were made, and since then it has spread to almost all parts of the world.
Passion Flower Extract Benefits
Reduce The Effects Of Depression, Menopause, And Hot Flashes
The supplements with extracts from this plant help with the feeling of depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety, on the other hand, is associated with menopause. The two cause low levels of the amma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) chemical to the brain. Regular use of the supplement helps increase the levels of the GABA. High levels of GABA help reduce the effects of the depression inducing cells in the brain. Further, the alkaloids in the passion flower extract help prevent the production of monoamine oxidase. This is the same thing anti-depressant drugs do in reducing depression in people.
These extracts can greatly help depression in women, especially those that are associated with menopause. Further studies have proven that the passion extracts can help treat symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes. The extracts do all these without the side effects that come with modern medicine. Those annoying hot flashes can easily be stopped by taking the passion flower extract.
Help Lower Blood Pressure
The passion flower extract in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition BioChemistry showed a great reduction in blood pressure. Further research has found that a compound in the extract known as edulilic is responsible for the lowering of the blood pressure. Research has shown that administering 8mg of the passion flower extract for five days will help reduce systolic blood pressure.
The extract was seen to increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes while decreasing the levels of the oxidized lipids. A high level of oxidized lipids will lead to accumulation of waste products and toxins. This extract can also be found in most common drugs used to treat high blood pressure. A good example is the clonidine drug which is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and high blood pressure. The passion extract is usually combined with the clonidine to make it more effective in fighting high blood pressure.
Helps Calm People And Reduce Anxiety
These extracts have been used for a long period to help reduce anxiety in people. It has been discovered that certain compounds in the passion flower extracts interact with the brain, leading to a relaxed person. The extracts further help increase GABA which reduces the activity of the brain that might be causing anxiety. These extracts have further been shown to have mild anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory effects in patients.
A study performed on 36 patients has shown how the extracts can effectively help manage anxiety in patients. This passion flower has been used in patients undergoing surgery to help reduce anxiety. By releasing the GABA compound, the flower has been known to have a calming effect on people, leading to relaxation. In several cases, the flower extract is combined with other herbs like the lemon balm and valerian. This extract is the same as the oxazepam drug known for treating general anxiety disorders.
Help Improve Sleep
With sleep playing a crucial role in the health of people, it makes sense to have a good night sleep. However, this is not the case most of the time with people suffering from sleep disorders of all types. A study done on patients with bipolar disorders showed a great improvement on the sleeping patterns after using the passion extract supplements. Sleep improvement can be attributed to reduced anxiety cases in people.
Further studies have shown that drinking passion tea over a long period significantly improves sleep. Do you have trouble turning off your brain at night and getting a good night’s sleep? Passion tea might have some calming effects on you, helping you sleep well.
Helps Reduce Inflammation
The passion flower extract is known to reduce various disease causing inflammation in people. The extracts contain various antioxidants and phytonutrients that help reduce inflammations. This helps prevent fluid buildup in the body.
Passion Flower Extract Possible Side Effects
Passion flower extracts are usually safe, especially when taken in amounts in food. It is also safe when taken within a short period like a month or two as tea or medicine. However, large amounts over a long period are usually considered unsafe. There are various side effects that arise from huge consumption of the extracts. Some of the side effects include:
- Irregular muscle coordination or action
- Inflamed blood vessels
- Rapid heart rates
- Abnormal heart rhythms
These are some of the common side effects when the extract is taken in huge amounts in medicine form. There is little research on the side effects when the extracts have been applied to the skin.
Warnings And Precautions
Passion flower extracts are considered unsafe for infants and should not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The flower extracts have chemical compounds that might cause the uterus to contract, leading to premature birth.
There is also very little information regarding the use of passion flower extracts during the breastfeeding period. To be on the safe side, avoid its use during this period altogether.
The flower extracts should be avoided two weeks before any surgical procedures. The extracts are known to strengthen the effects of the anesthesia, and this might take it to dangerous levels.
When taken orally, there are so many ways one can take the passion flower extracts. Taking passion flower tea is one of the safest ways to get most of the benefits without having any harmful side effects. A typical dosage of 0.25 grams to 2 grams in 150 ml of boiling water is recommended.
Fluid extracts of 0.5ml to 1ml can also be taken three times a day.
For individuals looking to treat a general anxiety disorder, 45 drops of passion flower liquid extract can be taken daily. Passion flower extract for children should only be administered after consultation with a pediatrician.
Passion Flower Extract Top Products
There are a number of passion flower extracts in the market currently either being used alone or in combination with other herbs. Some of the top products of passion flower supplement in the market currently are:
- Solaray Passion Flower
- Gaia Herbs Passionflower
- Paradise Herbs European Passion Flower
- Oregon’s Wild Harvest Passion Flower
- Now Foods Passion Flower Extract
- Nature’s Answer Passionflower
- Puritan’s Pride Passion Flower Extract
Passion Flower Extract Final Verdict
Passionflower extracts are beneficial in so many ways and having them as supplements or part of your food is highly recommended. The only caution is to avoid taking them in large quantities or having pregnant and breastfeeding mothers using the extracts.