Here at Wild Sun Wellness, we are passionate about passionflower!! This herb is has been used in traditional herbal medicine for hundreds of years. Herbalists continue to use passionflower because of its wonderfully soothing effects on the nervous system. It falls under the herbal category of nervines, or nerve tonics, that are calming, relaxing and balancing to the nervous system.
Passionflower is a tropical vine that is native to South, Central and North America, and Southeast Asia. This is the same plant that the passion fruit comes from.
Passionflower is a key player in our relaxing herbal powder: Slumber Party, for several reasons... Let's dive in:
1. It Calms the Monkey Mind
Passionflower is one of our best herbal allies for shutting off the mental chatter going on inside our heads. This is often a main concern for people who have extreme stress in their lives at any given moment - they just can't turn their brain off when their heads hit their pillows.
2. It Soothes Anxiety
Passionflower supports the nervous system by reducing anxiety, a study hones in on the properties of the flavonoids and how they act once inside the body, "Along with other flavonoids, chrysin has been shown to bind to benzodiazepine receptors sites and acts as an agonist for GABA activity, especially at A type GABA receptors. This has an inhibitory effect on the brain, accounting for passionflower’s anxiolytic properties." Meaning that passionflower's flavonoids have been proven to reduce anxiety because they bind to the same receptors that a pharmaceutical anxiolytic would, they go into that receptor site and act similarly, but don't cause the same type of side effects that pharmaceuticals are known for. Kind of a win-win if you ask me.
3. It is Sedative
According to Herbalist David Winston, Passionflower is the nervine with the most sedative effects. This is because of the alkaloids and flavonoids naturally occurring in the flower - they are Alkaloids: harmine, harman, harmol, harmaline, harmalol and passiflorine; Flavonoids: apigenin, homoorientin, isovitexin, kaempferol, luteolin, orientin, quercetin, rutin, saponaretin, saponarin and vitexen. (Hoffman). These chemical consituents work to depress the central nervous system and in turn, calm it down.
The best part about passionflower being sedative is that you wake up actually feeling refreshed, rather than feeling groggy or tired.
4. It is Antispasmodic
As mentioned above, passionflower has constituents that depress the central nervous system. Because of this action, passionflower tends to have antispasmodic effects while in your system. It has been traditionally used for nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's disease, seizures or hysteria. It can even be used for neuralgia and nerve pain. (Hoffman)
As you can see, Passionflower is very nurturing to the nervous system, and it is for this reason that it is a prime ingredient in our relaxing herbal blend. Go ahead - give it a try!
Hoffmann, David, 1951-, Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 2003.