PASSIONFLOWER (Passiflora Incarnata)

Passionflower is a weed native to the south eastern corner of the United States of America.  The whole plant may be harvested either fresh or dry to compound natural medicines. 
We make no therapeutic claims for any product not listed with the TGA.  This information is to provide history for educational purposes only.  Use only on the advice of a registered health professional such as a Doctor, Pharmacist, Naturopath, Herbalist, or other.
Passionflower was primarily used for nervous anxiety and insomnia, believed to be a sedative or relaxant.  Other reported traditional applications include insomnia, muscle spasm, asthma, menopause, and treatment for narcotic drug and alcohol withdrawal.  Passionflower was not widely used until the 1890s. The dried flowering and fruiting tops were listed in National Formulary (USA) from 1916 to 1936 as a sedative and sleep aid, but in 1978, the Food and Drug Administration banned it from sleep aids after no evidence for its effectiveness was presented during hearings.  It has recently developed quite a following overseas as a smoked or vaporized alternative to Cannabis, due to its sedative and tranquilizing nature. 


Passion Flowers have been associated with the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  The ten petals and sepals, represented ten disciples present at the crucifixion. The three stigma represented three nails on the cross, the five anthers the five wounds of Christ. The many fringes represented the crown of thorns in the passion story. Bosio counted 72 fringes or filaments, which according to tradition, is the number of thorns in the crown of thorns. Interpretations vary in literature.

The ideal temperature for releasing the most useful active compounds via aromatherapy is reported to be 154C.
Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations prepared by a health professional may provide more reliable dosage, however there is no guarantee of strength, purity, or safety of herbal medications, so effects can vary.  As with any medicinal preparation, to ensure the correct dose, patients have been encouraged to measure all liquid medications with an appropriate device such as a dropper, measuring spoon, or cup.  Some forms of Passionflower have been brewed to form a tea for drinking.  Tea made with the stems appears more potent than just the leaves and flowers alone.  Using different formulations of Passionflower together greatly increases risk of an overdose.
At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Passionflower. The appropriate dosage of Passionflower depends on several factors such as the patient's age, health, and other medical conditions. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician before taking.
Dosages used by traditional cultures
(not recommended)
Due to TGA regulations, we have been advised not to provide dosage information on our website.  Ask your registered health professional.

While Passionflower has some immediate effects, they are said to build up and increase over a period of weeks.  As with many herbs, consuming regularly in smaller amounts has resulted in longer lasting benefits, while high doses are said to have a short lived but more intense effects. After a period of regular consumption of any herb, a pause of a few weeks is always recommended.

Passionflower Tea
Tea is best taken at regular intervals over a period of a couple of weeks.  Volume can be reduced by boiling off excess fluid.  Honey can be added for flavor and sweetness.
Smoking Passionflower
The least common method of administration.  Smoking Passionflower is considered harmful to your health due to harmful toxins released in the process of combustion.
Passionflower Vodka
Another common and effective way to extract and consume medicinal compounds is the use of vodka as a solvent.  Patients have been known to soak medicinal herbs such as Passionflower in vodka for around 14 days to extract active compounds.
Passionflower Tincture
Passionflower Tablets and Capsules
Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.  Compounds in Passionflower are thought to induce contraction of the uterus.
Passionflower is known to affect the central nervous system and may increase the affects of anesthetics in surgery.  Stop usage at least two weeks before any planned surgery.

Side effects -

Passionflower is thought to be safe in small amounts for periods no longer than two months, but is believed to be unsafe in large amounts and for longer periods.  Passionflower may cause side effects such as dizziness, confusion, irregular muscle contraction, altered consciousness, and inflamed blood vessels. There has also been reports of nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, rapid heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythm in high doses.


Other medical conditions -

Surgery - Discontinue use two weeks prior to surgical procedures due to possibility of increased effects of anesthetics.
Alzheimer's - Avoid use due to reported CNS effects.
Parkinsons -  Avoid use due to reported CNS effects.


Drug interactions -

Sedative medications are thought to interact with passionflower.  Some sedative medications include Benzodianzepines , Zolpidem, Zoplicone, and all drugs with a pharmacy warning label 1 in Australia (drowsiness as a side effect).


Alprazolam:  Alprax, Kalma, Xanax.

Bromazepam:  Lexotan. 

Clobazam:  Frisium.

Diazepam:  Antenex, Valium, Valpam.

Flunitrazepam:  Hypnodorm. 

Lorazepam:  Ativan.

Nitrazepam:  Alodorm, Mogadon.

Oxazepam:  Alepam, Murelax, Serepax.

Temazepam:  Normison, Temaze, Temtabs.

Triazolam:  Halcion.


Zolpidem:  Dormizol, Somidem, Stildem, Stilnox.

Zopiclone:  Imovane, Imrest.


Ask your Pharmacist before thinking about taking Passionflower with any other medication.



Although rare, allergic reactions to Passionflower may occur. Stop taking Passionflower and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.