Passionflower And Brain Health Benefits

In addition to its use as pain relief, sleep and digestion aid, passionflower is known to deal with neurological conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia.

Key Takeaways

Passionflower Brain Benefits

1. Improving Sleep and Reducing Anxiety

Passionflower improves sleep and reduces anxiety by acting on the central nervous system and GABA receptors.

2. Decreasing Pain

Passionflower can relieve pain due to its analgesic properties, activating opioid receptors in the brain and reducing inflammation.

3. Promoting Digestion

Passionflower helps digestion by relaxing digestive muscles, reducing inflammation, and calming stress-related digestive issues.

What is Passionflower?

This beautiful passionflower is known as an ornamental flower, but it has been well-acclaimed as an effective herbal medicine in cultures around the world for centuries.

The Aztecs of Mexico and South America used passionflower as a sedative and nerve tonic. And then the Spanish explorers took it back to Europe.

In addition to its use as pain relief, sleep, and digestion aid, passionflower is known to deal with neurological conditions, such as anxiety, and insomnia.

Passionflower Benefits

Passionflower For Sleep And Anxiety

Sleep is a complex interplay of hormones, neurotransmitters, and circadian rhythms.

Insomnia is an equally complex process with many potential causes and associated medical conditions. It is common among people suffering from anxiety and depression.

Passionflower improves sleep quality through its sedative properties. This plant contains compounds, such as flavonoids and alkaloids, that calm the central nervous system. They bind to GABA receptors in the brain, which regulate sleep and relaxation. Passionflower's sedative properties can help individuals fall asleep faster and sleep longer. [1]

Anxiety can be a major contributor to sleep disturbances, and passionflower has anxiolytic effects and can reduce anxiety levels in individuals. Several studies have shown that it is as effective as prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines, in reducing anxiety symptoms. [2]

Passionflower has also proven effective in treating patients undergoing anxiety-provoking surgical procedures.

Patients undergoing surgery had decreased anxiety scores 10 minutes and 30 minutes after receiving Passionflower. Also, they did not experience any side effects, which is a significant consideration in the presurgical situation. [3]

Passionflower For Pain Relief

Passionflower has analgesic properties, meaning it can reduce pain levels in individuals. The flavonoids and alkaloids in passionflower have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce pain and swelling. 

In addition to its analgesic properties, passionflower can also have a calming effect on the central nervous system, which can help reduce the perception of pain. [4] It activates the opioid receptors in the brain, which regulate pain perception. [5]

Pain is a complex experience influenced by psychological factors such as anxiety, stress, and depression. Passionflower's anxiolytic and sedative properties can help individuals relax and reduce the impact of these psychological factors on their experience of pain.

Passionflower For Digestion

The antispasmodic properties of passionflower help relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and reduce spasms and cramps that can cause discomfort. These properties are due to the flavonoids and alkaloids in the plant, which have muscle-relaxing effects. 

In addition to its antispasmodic properties, passionflower has anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive tract. [6] Inflammation can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Passionflower's anti-inflammatory effects can help alleviate symptoms of IBD, including diarrhea and abdominal pain. [7]

Furthermore, passionflower has calming effects on the central nervous system, which can help reduce the impact of psychological factors on the digestive system. Stress and anxiety exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms, and passionflower's anxiolytic properties can help alleviate these symptoms.

Safety and Side Effects

Passionflower is classified as “generally regarded as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration. It does not interact with most medications. 

However, pregnant women should avoid passionflower by all means. It may stimulate contractions and inflict severe damage on newborns. [8]


Passionflower is more than an ornamental flower; it is a botanical medicine with a long history and a promising future.

it is a better solution than many psychoactive drugs and is effective as well as safe in treating anxiety and insomnia.

Additional Readings

You May Also Like

Lavender: A Soothing Herb For The Mind And The Body

Valerian: A Natural Sleep And Relaxation Aid

Chamomile, The Gift Of Nature


[1]A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality - PubMed (

[2]Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam - PubMed (

[3]Preoperative Oral Passiflora Incarnata Reduces Anxiety in Am... : Anesthesia & Analgesia (

[4]Passiflora incarnata attenuation of neuropathic allodynia and vulvodynia apropos GABA-ergic and opioidergic antinociceptive and behavioural mechanisms - PMC (

[5]Passiflora incarnata L. (Passionflower) extracts elicit GABA currents in hippocampal neurons in vitro, and show anxiogenic and anticonvulsant effects in vivo, varying with extraction method - PMC (

[6]Extracts and Flavonoids of Passiflora Species as Promising Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Substances - PubMed (

[7]Encapsulation of bioactive compounds from byproducts of two species of passionflowers: evaluation of the physicochemical properties and controlled release in a gastrointestinal model - PMC (

[8]Pregnancy outcomes in psychiatric patients treated with passiflora incarnata - PubMed (

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