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Passionflower for Anxiety - How Well Does It Really Work?

Does using passionflower for anxiety help to reduce the symptoms? Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a commonly suggested herb for treating anxiety, stress, social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic attacks. It has been traditionally used to treat insomnia, menopause symptoms, ADHD, pain, neuralgia and seizure disorders.

Most of the modern research studies were done in European countries. Passionflower is approved by the German Commission E for treating anxiety disorders and insomnia.

One advantage of using passionflower for treating anxiety is that it is not additive (habit forming) like many prescription tranquilizers.

Research study on the health benefits of passionflower for Anxiety

Most of the research studies looked at using passionflower for insomnia. The two studies below focused on this herb's effectiveness in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Both studies reported positive benefits.

Study #1

Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam.
Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, Shayeganpour A, Rashidi H, Khani M.
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Oct;26(5):363-7.

This double-blinded randomized study involving 36 patients compared using passionflower against oxazepam, a commonly prescribed sedative and tranquilizer.

The results showed that passionflower was as effective as the prescription sedative oxazepam.

Although the drug oxazepam worked faster, the volunteers taking it reported significant poorer job performance and significant fatigue.

Not surprisingly, prescription drugs for treating anxiety disorders cause significant side effects such as fatigue and drowsiness.

Study #2

Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review.
Lakhan SE, Vieira KF.
Nutr J. 2010 Oct 7;9:42.

In this research review, the two authors concluded that herbal and natural supplements are effective in treating anxiety and anxiety-related problems. And these natural remedies were able to reduce anxiety without any serious or long-term side effects.

Dose to Use

Experts suggest using between 250 mg to 2,000 mg of the raw herb three times daily. The average amount of passionflower used daily is typically 4 to 8 grams.

For a tea formulation, drink one cup two or three times daily and 30 minutes before going to bed.

For a tincture formulation, use 5 to 10 mL of the liquid up to four times daily. Dosage will vary depending on the concentration of the extract. Follow the manufacturers' directions.

Bottom Line?

Passionflower works for treating anxiety disorders. Any quality natural remedies for anxiety treatment must include passionflower in their formulation.

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References for Passionflower for Anxiety

Revised: August 28, 2019

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