Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Font Size

Passionflower

Passionflower is a vine that grows in warm areas of the southern U.S., Mexico, and South America. It's been used for centuries to try to treat sleep issues, boils, earaches, liver problems, and other ailments.

In the U.S. passionflower is available in a variety of forms, including:

Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients. They are in proteins in food. Your muscles "burn" these amino acids for energy. The specific amino acids that make up the branched-chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The term branched-chain simply refers to their chemical structure.

Read the Branched-Chain Amino Acids article > >

  • Capsule
  • Extract
  • Dried
  • Oil

Why do people take passionflower?

Passionflower has been used by some people to try to treat insomnia. But there is only some evidence that it works, mostly by lessening anxiety.

Today, supplements containing passionflower are often marketed as relaxation aids.

Passionflower is also taken by some people to try to relieve anxiety. Some small studies suggest that it may be helpful, though they are not conclusive.

One study suggests that passionflower may help people who are addicted to drugs such as heroin and morphine by lessening the anxiety they feel during withdrawal. But the researchers say their results need to be tested more before any conclusions can be drawn.

Another small study shows that passionflower may lessen anxiety among people about to undergo surgery.

Passionflower oils and extracts are sometimes applied to the body to try to treat hemorrhoids and burns. However, no studies have examined its effectiveness for such uses.

Can you get passionflower naturally from foods?

Passionflower extract is sometimes used to flavor foods. It is, according to the FDA, generally recognized as safe.

What are the risks of taking passionflower?

Several side effects have been reported, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Loss of coordination
  • Allergic reaction
  • Confusion

Passionflower may interact with certain medications. For example, it may increase the effects of pentobarbital and benzodiazepine drugs. Both of these drugs are used to lessen anxiety and insomnia.

Passionflower may also interact with:

  • Other sleep aids
  • Anticoagulant drugs

Passionflower should not be taken by pregnant women. That's because it may stimulate the uterus and potentially induce labor.

People expecting to undergo surgery should stop taking passionflower at least two weeks before the procedure. That's because passionflower may interact with anesthesia and other medication during and after surgery.

The FDA does not regulate supplements. If you take passionflower, be sure to tell your doctor. He or she can give you specifics about safety and drug interactions.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on January 09, 2013

Vitamins and
Supplements
Lifestyle Guide

Which Nutrients
Are You Missing?

Learn More

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.