Does Passion Flower Work?
There are many alleged benefits of passion flower, but does passion flower work? Early studies suggest that the herbal supplement may be effective for treating generalized anxiety disorder and opiate withdrawal. However, much more research is needed before it can be determined that passion flower is indeed effective and safe for these uses.
Does Passion Flower Work? -- An Overview
Passion flower is an herbal supplement that is most often used to treat anxiety or insomnia. As with most other supplements, people use passion flower for many different uses. Passion flower supplements are sometimes claimed to be helpful for the following purposes:
- Arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Heart palpitations (feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Nerve pain
- Nervousness or excitability
- Opiate withdrawal (withdrawal symptoms from stopping an opiate drug, such as morphine)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Stomach upset due to anxiety or nervousness.
Passion Flower Studies
Early studies suggest that passion flower extract may be as effective as oxazepam (Serax®), a benzodiazepine medication, for treating generalized anxiety disorder. However, more research is necessary before it can be determined that passion flower really is effective (and safe) for treating anxiety.
There is also limited evidence that passion flower, when combined with clonidine (Catapres®), a prescription medication, can help decrease some opiate withdrawal symptoms. In particular, the combination of passion flower and clonidine decreased anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and agitation. Adding passion flower to clonidine did not provide any increased benefit (compared to clonidine alone) for the physical symptoms of withdrawal (such as shakiness or nausea), though.
For most other uses, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that passion flower really is effective for these various uses. More research is necessary before any conclusions can be made.