You’re putting a lot of effort into your exercise and nutrition, which is great because those are two foundations of health. But did you know that stress can derail all your efforts? It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the gym, you can undo your progress if you don’t get your stress in check. Today I want to share an herb that is very supportive for reducing stress, calming anxiety, and promoting restful sleep. This magical herb is Passion Flower, and it should be a staple in your healthy medicine cabinet. In fact, I suggest you buy several bottles and keep one in your purse, one in your bed side table, and one in your desk at work too!
What is Passion Flower?
There are hundreds of species of the plant known as Passion Flower or passiflora. The plant has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, and is recognised for its uses in modern medicine. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Anti-anxiety: It calms the racing mind, but it won’t make you sleepy so it’s great to use it during the day if you’re feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed. Studies show that this amazing herb is very effective for reducing anxiety. One study found that Passion Flower was just as effective as a pharmaceutical drug in reducing symptoms of anxiety. (1) It’s also been demonstrated to be as effective as pharmaceuticals in reducing anxiety prior to surgery. (2)
- Sleep: One of the best ways to use Passion Flower is to promote sleep. It assists in the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter responsible for sleep. It also calms the mind and promotes restfulness. (3) If your mind is racing when you climb in bed, try 5-20 drops under the tongue. You can experiment with what amount gives you the desired effect. It won’t make you groggy or give you a hang over the next day.
- Memory: More research is needed, but animal studies suggest that Passion Flower may have beneficial effects on memory and cognition. (4)
- Body composition: Early studies suggest Passion Flower Bark (Passiflora edulis) may have positive effects on body composition, and metabolic, and antioxidant parameters. (5)
- Epilepsy: Some studies show an anti-convulsive effect from the use of therapeutic Passion Flower. (6,7)
How Do You Take Passion Flower?
You can buy Passion Flower in capsules, tinctures, or as dried herbs or teas. The most convenient form is a tincture because you can take a few drops or a dropper-full whenever you feel you need help with calming your mind. Tinctures are also great for kids because they don’t have to swallow a pill. (Yes you can give it to kids too!) You can purchase tinctures made with glycerine that are alcohol-free, or that are less sweet.
Is it Safe?
Passion Flower is classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in the United States. (8) Passion Flower has not been studied during pregnancy, and may have interactions with some medications, so as with any supplement, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before use.
Have you tried Passion Flower? What benefits have you noticed from using it? Let us know in the comments!