Passiflora The genus Passiflora
contains over 500 species, known also as the passion flower or
Most are but some are shrubs, annuals, perennials and even trees. Some of the
species produce fruits. Several of the species are native to Central and South
America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. Passiflora usually
grows in tropical climates.
This amazing herb has been widely used for its
health benefits. I will
explain these benefits one at a time. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans
over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety
— roughly 18 percent of the nation's population.
Depression and anxiety disorders
are not similar, but people with depression
often experience similar symptoms to those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability, insomnia
and difficulty in concentrating. Anxiety and depression are a result
of an imbalance of the brain chemicals, especially GABA GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID. Passiflora works by increasing levels of this chemical gamma
aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the
brain, the key brain chemical, therefore it helps in alleviating the symptoms
of anxiety and depression.
restful sleep can break the vicious cycle of anxiety and depression. Sleep is important in maintaining good health because lack of sleep
affects every function of the body. Passiflora can greatly enhance the quality of sleep. It
has a calming effect on the neuronal activity of the brain helping the person
to fall asleep, and to sleep more peacefully. In 2011, a double-blind,
placebo-controlled investigation was conducted on the effects of passionflower
herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. The results indicated a significantly
higher rating for sleep quality in those consuming passionflower than in
Studies have been conducted that show
that passion flower can treat the vasomotor signs of menopause. Symptoms of menopause
include night sweats, hot
flashes, mood fluctuations, and cognitive changes. A similar condition in men has
recently been highlighted in the media called andropause or male menopause, is associated with the decrease in the male hormone testosterone. The
common symptoms of male menopause include low sex drive, lack of energy, depression, irritability
and mood swings.
in improving cognitive functions, especially concentration. It has also been implicated
in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although the
passiflora has been used mainly for anxiety, depression, symptoms of female and
male menopause and ADHD, there are others surprisingly good effects of
passiflora on the human body. It helps in
lowering blood pressure by reducing the stress on the body. Now, as of 2017, the new guidelines for
treating blood pressure are stricter. I believe this added benefit of
passiflora is of great help in achieving this goal.
Passiflora helps in reducing the levels of insulin in the human body. It does this by increasing the body’s own level of sensitivity to insulin. This then has an added benefit of lowering inflammation in the body, which is a key to longevity.