Even though it is normal to be occasionally anxious, if you are feeling anxious without any reason and those worries continue to impact your daily life, you might be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms might involve feeling tense or on edge, restlessness, impatience, irritability, or poor concentration. People also might observe changes within their physical health like jaw pain, headaches, difficulty staying or falling asleep (insomnia), muscle tension, fatigue, dry mouth, indigestion, chest tightness, headache, excessive sweating, and bloating.
Does Passionflower Powder help with Anxiety Relief?
The species of passionflower maypop, or Passiflora incarnata, is a plant that has a broad array of medical properties. Considered to be helpful in the treatment of everything from asthma to insomnia to narcotic withdrawal, it originally was mainly used in the treatment of the conditions of “hysteria” and “restlessness,” which in modern day terms translates into anxiety.
This post will cover the passion flower’s history as a treatment for anxiety, its possible medical properties, and results of research that measures its effectiveness in humans and rodents against other anxiety medicines.
History of Passionflower in the Treatment of Anxiety
Folks have long been searching for natural methods of treating anxiety because medicines are thought to have many side effects. However, the fact is that even natural medications may have side effects, and even if they do not, psychologists don’t recommend using only a medical treatment.
Indigenous American people are the original people well-known in history to have discovered a usage for Passiflora incarnata, a flowering vine believed to have originated within the Western hemisphere. The flowers, leaves, and fruit of Passiflora incarnata all were believed to be helpful.
Settlers within the Americas had the job of spreading the usage of passionflower as a sedative around the world when they learned from residents in the area of its variety of medicinal uses. Spanish people renamed it the “passionflower” because of its beautiful appearance, which they assigned symbolic meanings associated with the passion of Christ. The spiky appearing ring around its center paralleled the crown of thorns, and the 10 white petals symbolized the 10 faithful apostles, which excluded St. Peter and Judas.
Marketed as a mild sedative and sleep aid in the United States in 1978, it was taken off of the market because of a lack of evidence of its effectiveness. Since that time, trials were performed which tend to indicate that it is, indeed, a viable alternative to usual anti-anxiety medications, and passionflower is now again available without a prescription within the majority of supplement stores, as well as on the internet.
How Does Passionflower Work?
Inside the medical community, the jury’s still out on precisely how it works, although numerous studies have proven it to be effective in instances of anxiety, which is further discussed in the next section.
The elements of plant-based medications affecting the body are collectively referred to as “flavonoids.” Passionflower has several flavonoids. Some proof implies that the flavonoids “benzoflavone” and “chrysin” might be the main flavonoids in passionflower which are responsible for reducing anxiety.
Benzoflavone chrysin are thought to have the effect of boosting the quantity of gamma-aminobutyric acid inside the brain, much in the exact same way that standard anti-anxiety medicines referred to as “benzodiazepines” do. GABA restricts the “excitability” or the reactivity of the brain’s neurons. It results in the calming effect which gives passionflower its reputation for being a mild sedative yet means that it also can disrupt motor and mental functions in greater quantities.
Research of Passionflower’s Effectiveness
In Universite de Metz in France’s research, it was implied that the flavonoids found in passionflower had the job of reducing anxiety symptoms in mice which had been dosed with addictive substances then subjected to a withdrawal period. In other research using rats, extended sleeping time and reduced activity levels were noted as substantial behavioral changes.
Within a trial that compared passion flower’s effectiveness to that of the scientifically accepted anti-anxiety medicine oxazepam, a dose of 45 drops a day of extract of passion flower was discovered to be as effective as 30 milligrams a day of oxazepam over a timespan of 4 weeks, with fewer short-range side effects. Although long-range studies were suggested as a follow-up to ensure its safety, such research has yet to be done on humans.
Alkaloids that belong to a possibly toxic alkaloid subgroup referred to as “harmala” have been discovered in passionflower in small amounts. It implies that taking too much of it or taking passionflower for too long potentially could be harmful and underscores the importance of conducting long-term research.
Also, though this post has concentrated on the specific species additionally known as the “maypop” flower or Passiflora incarnata, it’s vital not to confuse the species of passionflower with Passiflora alata. Consuming the extract of this kind of passionflower is well-known to have a genotoxic impact on the body’s cells. Genotoxic substances destroy the genetic data inside the cells, leading to mutations and possibly causes cancer.
When Should You Not Take Passionflower?
Because of a few of the active chemicals inside passionflower, it’s suggested that the supplement NOT be consumed for anxiety under these circumstances:
- During Pregnancy: Alkaloids that belong to the harmala subgroup might stimulate uterine contractions, making it an unsafe supplement to use while pregnant.
- Before Surgery: Because it may slow neural activity, passionflower has the possibility of strengthening the effects of anesthesia to a harmful level. It’s better to stop taking it at least 2 weeks before an operation.
- In Combination with Additional Sedatives: Passionflower must be used as a sedative by itself or not at all. Consuming more than a single sedative at once runs the risk of slowing mental and motor functions more than is considered healthy.
For the best effects, as well as to avoid placing yourself in danger, just take it in moderation and when you aren’t expecting to have surgery, become pregnant, or have to take another kind of sedative.
Even though some studies suggest that specific natural remedies might offer benefits, it is critical to consult your physician before you use alternative medicine. Remember that it shouldn’t be used as a substitution for standard care for treating any health condition.
If you're looking for a supplement that'll give you a regular dose of Passionflower Powder, Calm is the supplement you're looking for.
- Akhondzadeh, Shahin, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double‐blind, randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 26.5 (2001): 363-367.
- Miyasaka, L. S., A. N. Atallah, and B. G. Soares. Passiflora for anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1 (2007).