Passion flower for Anxiety

If you have thought about using passion flower for anxiety, you have come to the right place.  We discuss whether passion flower for anxiety is effective treatment or hype.

Since we often hear from people asking about natural things possibly beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, this article discusses using passion flower anxiety treatment.

When I began working on this article we visited the website of Discovery: fit & health. It reports that passionflower was used as far back as the ancient Azteks as a sedative and pain reliever.  It has been reportedly helpful for stress reduction, anxiety, calming without sedation, and insomnia.

Herbalists also use it as a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic agent (to control spasms), to treat heart palpitations, and to lower blood pressure.

But again is using passionflower for anxiety and passion flower for panic attacks a credible application?

I dug a little deeper and visited the websites of the University of Maryland Medical System and National Institutes of Health’ Medline Plus:

Medline Plus indicates that Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The Database rates passion flower as possibly effective for anxiety and “relieving symptoms of a psychiatric disorder known as ‘adjustment disorder with anxious mood’ when used in a multi-ingredient product (Euphytose, EUP). Other herbs in the product are crataegus, ballota, and valerian, which have mild sedative effects, and cola and paullinia, which have stimulant effects. It’s not clear, though, which ingredient or ingredients in the mix are responsible for decreasing anxiety.”

University of Maryland Medical System references some additional information in support of the claim that  passionflower helps lessen anxiety.

Passionflower has been shown to be non-addictive, unlike prescription medications used for anxiety and panic attacks, although long term use may depress the nervous system and lead to “mental fogginess”

If you are taking a MAO-inhibiting drug you should use precaution.  Do not take it if you are already taking medications for anxiety and depression or sleep issues.  Obviously like any supplement, your use should be discussed with an appropriate healthcare provider in advance.  It is recommended that one starts out in small doses to see how one responds to it.

Passionflower is available in tinctures and extracts.

What ultimately is our take on using passion flower for anxiety?

We believe that using passion flower for anxiety combined with evidenced based practices can be effective for anxiety and panic attacks.

Additionally, knowing that you are doing something that is beneficial for your health can be very calming.  This is important because relaxation can make you feel good and naturally lessen anxiety.  However it is most important to ensure that you are tackling your anxiety and panic attacks with evidenced based practices.

We cover such practices in detail in our free newsletter on anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia.  To get started on the road to recovery from anxiety, enter your email address below.

References (Passionflower Anxiety Treatment)

Brett, J. Passionflower: Herbal Remedies. Retrieved December 30, 2012, from Discovery: fit & health website:
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/passionflower-herbal-remedies.htm

Medline Plus. Passionflower. (Updated October 2011). Retrieved December 30, 2012, from:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/871.html
University of Maryland Medical System. Passionflower. (Reviewed June 2011). Retrieved December 30, 2012, from:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/passionflower-000267.htm