Passion Flower Monograph

Scientific name of Passion Flower:
Passiflora alata, Passiflora incarnata

Action of Passion Flower:
Non-drowsy natural sedative

Passion Flower is used for these common wellness concerns:
Occasional nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety; irritability and mild to moderate mood swings caused by everyday stress; occasional sleep difficulty

Find Passion Flower in these Clarocet blends:

Clarocet NRI® Immediate Response Capsules™
promote fast-acting relaxation when you need it most.

Clarocet ERT® Extended Release Tablets™
promote positive mood balance all day strong.

Clarocet CS® Controlled Release Tablets™
promote long-lasting energy and mental sharpness.

Clarocet PM® Rapid Release Capsules™
promote a deep, restful night's sleep.

Clarocet Junior® Easy-to-Swallow Tablets™
support Emotional Wellness in kids ages 7 thru 13.

An Overview of Passion Flower

Passion Flower is a woody vine that bears small berry-like fruit called grandilla. The brightly colored flowers and above-ground portions of the Passion Flower vine are used to derive medicinal compounds that relax the central nervous system and promote emotional balance. In clinical study, the active components of Passion Flower have been shown to provide positive support for:

  • Occasional nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety
  • Depressed mood and mild to moderate mood changes caused by everyday stress
  • Restlessness and occasional sleep difficulties

In the United States, Passion Flower is classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. Substances that receive a GRAS classification have maintained a long, safe history of common use in foods or have been determined to be safe based on proven scientific research.

Science and Pharmacology of Passion Flower

Phytochemists have isolated multiple components from the above-ground portions of the Passion Flower plant, including several Flavonoids that are believed to exhibit a sedative effect in the central nervous system:

  • Vitexin
  • Isovitexin
  • Chrysin
  • Orientin

Chrysin is a monoflavonoid, considered to be the primary active component derived from Passion Flower. In laboratory settings, scientists have demonstrated that Chrysin works as a partial agonist of the central benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Although the precise mechanism of action is not clearly understood, it is thought that the combination of Flavonoids in Passion Flower contribute to its effectiveness as an anxiolytic, helping to promote relaxation, soothe tension and relieve occasional anxiety and panic caused by emotional stress.

Passion Flower Safety and Usage

Passion Flower maintains an excellent safety profile when it is used as directed. In the United States, Passion Flower is classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. Substances that receive a GRAS classification have maintained a long, safe history of common use in foods or have been determined to be safe based on proven scientific research. In adults, a dose of 100 to 250 milligrams is recommended for the relief of occasional nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety. It is also recommended for irritability and mild to moderate mood swings caused by everyday stress, restlessness and occasional sleep difficulty. In children between the ages of seven and 13, a dose of 50 to 200 milligrams is recommended to promote relaxation and emotional balance.

What are the potential side effects of Passion Flower?

Side effects are rare and have been documented as mild to moderate in clinical study. They may include headache, gastrointestinal discomfort, drowsiness or sleep difficulty. In the event that you experience an adverse reaction, discontinue use of this herb. Passion Flower does not cause withdrawal or discontinuation effects.

Is Passion Flower safe for children?

Passion Flower is generally well tolerated when used by children between the ages of seven and 13. Because each child is unique, Passion Flower should be administered under the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.

Does Passion Flower adversely interact with prescription drugs?

Taking Passion Flower in combination with prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) may cause drowsiness. If you are taking a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with your prescribing doctor before making any changes or additions to your current treatment plan.

What precautions should I take before beginning Passion Flower?

Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a wellness plan that includes dietary supplements like Passion Flower.

Passion Flower Clinical Studies

1. Behavioural effects of Passiflora incarnata L. and its indole alkaloid and flavonoid derivatives.
Soulimani R, Younos C, Jarmouni S, Bousta D, Misslin R, Mortier F.
Laboratoire d'Ethnobotanique et de Pharmacologie, Universite de Metz, France.
J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Jun;57(1):11-20. PMID: 9234160 [Read the Abstract]

2. TLC determination of flavonoid accumulation in clonal populations of Passiflora incarnata Menghini A, Mancini LA.
Department of Plant Biology, University of Perugia, Italy.
macol Res Commun. 1988 Dec;20 Suppl 5:113-6. PMID: 3247338 [Read the Abstract]

3. A HPTLC densitometric determination of flavonoids from Passiflora alata, P. edulis, P. incarnata and P. caerulea and comparison with HPLC method.
Pereira CA, Yariwake JH, Lancas FM, Wauters JN, Tits M, Angenot L.
Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto de Ouimica de Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil.
Phytochem Anal. 2004 Jul-Aug;15(4):241-8. PMID: 15311844 [Read the Abstract]

4. Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora coerulea.
Wolfman C, Viola H, Paladini A, Dajas F, Medina JH.
Instituto de Biologia Celular, Facultad de Medicina, UBA, Argentina.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 Jan;47(1):1-4. PMID: 7906886 [Read the Abstract]

5. Passion Flower -- a reliable herbal sedative
Krenn L.
Institut fur Pharmakognosie, Universitat Wien, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Wien. Liselotte.Kren@univie.ac.at
Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(15-16):404-6. PMID: 12244887 [Read the Abstract]

6. A combination of plant extracts in the treatment of outpatients with adjustment disorder with anxious mood: controlled study versus placebo.
Bourin M, Bougerol T, Guitton B, Broutin E.
GIS Medicament, Faculte de Medecine, Unite de Psychopharmacologie, Nantes, France.
Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 1997;11(2):127-32. PMID: 9107558 [Read the Abstract]

7. 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.
Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, South Kargar Avenue, Tehran, Iran.
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Oct;26(5):363-7.PMID: 11679026 [Read the Abstract]

Related online research destinations

Last Updated: February 2015 [PHMF-03-0]