Generally speaking, Passionflower is a plant used for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), sleep problems (insomnia), relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal and gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to nervousness or anxiety. Passion Flower Extract can also be used for hysteria, seizures, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), symptoms of menopause, nervousness, palpitations, excitability, irregular heartbeat, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, and pain relief. The drug was discovered by Spanish explorers in Peru in 1569. It was believed that the flowers of this plant symbolized Christ's passion. Passionflower can be found in many different herbal products with sedative properties for promoting relaxation and calmness. The herbs that can be combined with Passion Flower Extract include skullcap, German chamomile, kava, hops, and valerian.
The medication was formerly approved as an over-the-counter sleep aid and sedative in the USA, but it was taken off the market in 1978 because of the lack of evidence proving its effectiveness and safety. Today, Passion Flower Extract may be available alone or as an ingredient of other herbal products. It works due to the content of special chemicals which possess sleep inducing, calming, and muscle spasm relieving effects. However, there is no information how exactly they work. Since Passion Flower Extract is a widely used compound it can be presented by numerous brands. Let us take a closer look at this product and its properties.
The ingredients contained in the blend are claimed to bring sleep inducing, calming, and muscle spasm relieving effects. Each capsule contains zero calories. Silica is used to promote bone and cartilage growth. Ascorbyl Palmitate is an additional ingredient. However, according to webmd.com, Passion Flower Extract is not as effective as advertised by the majority of brands. For example, it is said that it is possibly effective for the treatment of anxiety, since there is lack of evidence proving that passionflower can effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety. It is low-effective in relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, even in combination with another drug known as clonidine. Actually, this combination may be effective in decreasing symptoms of agitation irritability, anxiety, and sleep problems (insomnia).
Passion Flower Extract seems to be ineffective in relieving symptoms of "adjustment disorder with anxious mood", a psychiatric disorder. Usually, it is used in a product called Euphytose, EUP. Other ingredients in this supplement include ballota, crataegus, and valerian, all of which have slight sedative effects, while paullinia and cola contained in it have a stimulant effect. None of the ingredients are responsible for reducing anxiety. According to webmd.com, there is insufficient evidence for the effectiveness of Passion Flower Extract for trouble sleeping (insomnia). One preliminary research showed that drinking a passionflower tea before going to bed might improve sleep quality but this did not seem to decrease the number of awakenings at night, the time needed for falling asleep, or refreshed feelings in the morning. The medication seems ineffective for the treatment of nervous stomach, heart problems, seizures, high blood pressure and fibromyalgia. More evidence is needed to estimate Passion Flower Extract for these uses. But what health dangers may this product carry? Let's find out in the next part of this review.
Passion Flower Extract is likely safe for most relatively healthy people when taken in amounts found in food. It can be taken as medicine or tea for a short period of time (up to two months). It can be unsafe when used in large amounts. The product can cause such side effects as confusion, dizziness, irregular muscle action and coordination, inflamed blood vessels and altered consciousness. There has also been a report of a rapid heart rate, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, and abnormal heart rhythm. There is lack of information to estimate the safety of Passion Flower Extract when used in the periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding. But there is an opinion that it can be extremely harmful for future mothers. It contains some chemicals that might cause the contraction of uterus. It is also better to stay on the safe side and not to use the product during breast-feeding. The drug can affect the human central nervous system and increase the effects of anesthesia during surgery, thus it is recommended not to use passionflower at least two weeks before a planned surgery. Passion Flower Extract may negatively interact with Sedative medications (CNS depressants). It is high time to take a look at what real users think about the product.
"I just started using Passion Flower Extract in the liquid form for my anxiety. I haven't noticed significant effects yet, but I don't like its taste a lot. The liquid tastes like prune juice, and it's yucky! I ordered two bottles to test how well it works for me. It contains alcohol. I haven't had any bad side effects yet, but the taste is unpleasant."
"PassionFlower Extract turned out to be completely ineffective for treating anxiety. Besides, it made me lightheaded, my focus was blurry. I also had upset stomach a few times and felt tightness in my chest. I used it for two weeks and threw it away. I don't want to risk my health. It didn't make me any happier."
"Passion Flower extract did work for me when I had minor stress but it didn't help me when I experienced severe anxiety. It made me sleepy, which interfered with my studying. I think, passionflower is not strong enough if you feel full blown anxious. You need something more powerful."
Since the product is made by different brands and in different forms, the cost may differ a lot. For instance, Amazon offers Herb Pharm Certified Organic Passionflower Extract for Mild and Occasional Anxiety in the liquid form. One ounce of the product costs $12.64, while a four-ounce bottle is priced at $35.53.
Passion Flower Extract cannot be a good solution for everyone since it comes with a number of disadvantages. It does possess calming effects but these might lower the body's stamina because the body is kept relaxed. It prevents excitement when it is required. The product might lead to certain side effects including sleepiness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and rapid heart rate. To avoid these undesired reactions, use the supplement in the right manner. Do not take it in large amounts; otherwise, you will experience confusion, thinning of blood vessels, and drowsiness. Passion flower extract might work well in combination with other ingredients possessing calming effects. If you want to use a reasonable product to alleviate anxiety, do not take Passion Flower Extract on its own. You are advised to consult the doctor who will prescribe you a more effective product from a reputable company with minimum side effects. In this way, Passion Flower Extract cannot be recommended to usage.