HERBAL GLOSSARY // Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

This most intricate of flowers has an incredible history and was named after the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion due to the resemblance of the corona.

Once introduced in Europe it became a traditional phytotheraputic & homeopathic remedy for the relief of mental stress, anxiety and sleep disorders.

Insomnia is a sleep disturbance that is increasing in the general population and the flow on effects are having a detrimental effect on our overall health. This growing situation has led many researchers to seek alternative therapies, and test sleep inducing substances of diverse chemical nature to cope with this problem, as many pharmaceutical options can have some terrifying and unwanted side effects.

Shortening the time it takes to fall asleep, and increasing in the amount of deep restorative sleep produced by the extracts of Passiflora incarnata, suggest that this plant possesses adequate properties to be considered as sleep inducer. These characteristics could be the answer in the mainstream treatment of insomniac patients complaining about problems related to sleep onset, and it has been used by natural therapists in this way for many years with positive results.

Studies have shown that Passiflora’s anxiolytic and hypnotic mechanism of action are related to the GABA system and affinity to GABA receptors (our cool, calm and collected neurotransmitters), so it is a good one to keep in the cupboard for those restless nights to calm our busy mind when it just won’t let up.  

Passionflower is generally considered safe, but because its hypnotic action causes drowsiness it’s a good idea to avoid taking this with sedative medications, or if pregnant or breastfeeding.

As well as an aid for sleep onset or maintenance, Passionflower may also help in times of anxiety, excitability, irritability, nervous tachycardia, tension headache, palpitations, aid in withdrawal from drug abuse, asthma, epilepsy, dysmenorrhea, and trigeminal neuralgia.

Thinking about a pre-bedtime warm bath with a sleepy tea, and maybe a face mask situation?

Enjoy in blends:

I NEED A MOMENT https://www.littlewildlingco.com/products/i-need-a-moment


Bone, K: The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) 2007, Pg. 52

The Herbal Extract Company: Full Monographs: Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Braun & Cohen: Herbs & Natural Supplements Vol 2, Pg 729-732, 2015