Passion flower is used for anxiety, including anxiety before surgery. Some people take passion flower for insomnia, stress, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pain, and many other conditions. But there is no good scientific research to support these uses.
In foods and beverages, passion flower extract is used as a flavoring.
Passion flower was formerly approved as an over-the-counter sedative and sleep aid in the U.S., but this approval was withdrawn in 1978 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the class and manufacturers did not submit evidence of safety and effectiveness.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Anxiety. Some research shows that taking passion flower by mouth can reduce symptoms of anxiety. In fact, it might work as effectively as some prescription medications.
- Anxiety before surgery. Some research shows that taking passion flower by mouth can reduce anxiety before surgery when taken 30-90 minutes before surgery. In fact, it might work as effectively as some other treatments for pre-operative anxiety such as melatonin or midazolam.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early research shows that passion flower reduces some symptoms of ADHD in children aged 6-13 years when taken by mouth for 8 weeks. It seems to work about as well as a low dose of the prescription drug methylphenidate.
- Insomnia. Early research shows that taking passion flower extract or drinking a passion flower tea before bedtime might increase total sleep time and improve sleep quality in people with insomnia. But passion flower doesn't seem to help people fall asleep faster or decrease nighttime awakenings.
- Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early research shows that taking a passion flower extract in addition to a drug called clonidine for 14 days might reduce anxiety symptoms better than taking clonidine alone in people undergoing an opioid detoxification program.
- Alcohol use disorder.
- Heart failure and fluid build up in the body (congestive heart failure or CHF).
- Inability to cope or adjust to a stressful event (adjustment disorders).
- Indigestion (dyspepsia).
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Muscle cramps.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Seizures not caused by epilepsy.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if passion flower is safe or what the side effects might be when applied to the skin.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy : Passion flower is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There are some reports of early labor and other problems when passion flower has been used in pregnancy. There are some chemicals in the passion flower plant that might cause the uterus to contract. Don't use passion flower if you are pregnant.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if passion flower is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Surgery: Passion flower might cause drowsiness. It might increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications on the brain during and after surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking passion flower within 2 weeks of a scheduled surgery.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with PASSIONFLOWER
Passionflower might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking passionflower along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Be cautious with this combination
- For anxiety: Capsules containing 400 mg of passion flower extract twice daily for 2-8 weeks has been used. Also, 45 drops of a liquid extract of passion flower has been used daily for up to one month.
- For reducing anxiety before surgery: 20 drops of a specific passion flower extract taken the evening before surgery and 90 minutes before the start of surgery has been used. Passion flower 260-1000 mg has been taken 30-90 minutes before dental surgery. Also, a syrup containing 700 mg of passion flower extract (Passiflora syrup by Sandoz) has been taken 30 minutes before surgery.
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