Benefits of Passion Flower
There appear to be several benefits of passion flower, some more valid than others. The herbal supplement is claimed to be beneficial for treating conditions such as insomnia, epilepsy or seizure disorders, and generalized anxiety disorder. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that these passion flower uses are effective.
Passion flower is a flowering plant that is commonly used in dietary supplements for anxiety or sleeping problems. Passion flower supplements are often claimed to help with the following conditions:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Stomach upset due to anxiety or nervousness
- Nervousness or excitability
- Opiate withdrawal (withdrawal symptoms from stopping an opiate drug, such as morphine)
- Nerve pain
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Heart palpitations (feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart)
- Arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm)
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
Some of these alleged benefits of passion flower are more valid than others (see Does Passion Flower Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of passion flower are sometimes exaggerated, and these claims must be evaluated critically. Most importantly, it is essential to remember that natural products should not be used carelessly, as many natural products can be quite toxic (for instance, many poisons are natural products).
Interestingly, some people assume that passion flower has aphrodisiac-like properties (to stimulate sexual desire) because of the name of the flower. However, passion flower was named by Spanish explorers who thought that the interesting petals of the flower resembled a crown of thorns (reminding them of the passion, or crucifixion, of Christ). Passion flower does not appear to be an aphrodisiac.