The ancient Aztecs reportedly used passionflower as a sedative and pain reliever. Today herbalists also recommend it as a sedative and antispasmodic agent.
Passionflower can be such a potent herbal remedy because it calms muscle tension and twitching without affecting respiratory rate or mental function the way many pharmaceutical sedatives do.
Uses for Passionflower
Passionflower has been used for anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, epilepsy, and other conditions of hyperactivity, as well as high blood pressure. Passionflower also is included in many pain formulas when discomfort is caused by muscle tension and emotional turmoil.
In Europe the flowers are added to numerous pharmaceuticals to treat nerve disorders, heart palpitations, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Unlike most sedative drugs, passionflower has been shown to be nonaddictive
Passionflower Precautions and Warnings
Passionflower is generally considered to be nontoxic when used in moderation. Many herbalists prescribe three or four cups a day without any problems reported. Do not take passionflower if you are already taking prescription medication for anxiety or depression, as excessive sleepiness has been reported.
Passionflower Side Effects
Depression of the nervous system may result in fatigue and mental fogginess if you take too much passionflower for too long. Start with a low dose several times a day and increase as you learn how you respond to passionflower.