Passionflower is considered both a religious symbol and an effective medicinal plant
In 1569, Spanish explorers discovered passionflower in Peru. They believed the flowers symbolized Christ’s passion and indicated his approval for their exploration. Passionflower is found in combination herbal products used as a sedative for promoting calmness and relaxation. Other herbs contained in these products often include German chamomile, hops, and Valerian. Native Americans have used passionflower to treat a variety of conditions. These include boils, wounds, earaches, and liver problems.
Passionflower is a plant. The above ground parts are used to make medicine. Passionflower is often used for sleep problems, gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to anxiety, stress or nervousness.
Passionflower is sometimes also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness and excitability, and pain relief. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), more research is needed to assess the potential uses of P. incarnata. Some studies suggest it may help relieve anxiety and insomnia. P. incarnata has many common names, including purple passionflower and maypop. Early studies suggest it might help relieve insomnia and anxiety. It appears to boost the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. This compound lowers brain activity, which may help you relax and sleep better.
In a trial published in Phytotherapy Research, participants drank a daily dose of herbal tea with purple passionflower. After seven days, they reported improvements in the quality of their sleep. The researchers suggest that purple passionflower may help adults manage mild sleep irregularities.
Some trials suggest that purple passionflower may also relieve anxiety. A study reported in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia examined its effects on patients scheduled for surgery. Patients who consumed it reported less anxiety than those who received a placebo.