Passionflower is a plant used in homeopathic medicine which is known for its calming abilities. It is primarily used to alleviate insomnia and to curb anxiety. It has also been used to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal from narcotics, ADHD, asthma, seizures and for relief from pain.

Passionflower is a climbing vine first discovered in by Spanish explorers in Peru in 1569. It is a perennial plant native to areas in the Americas with either a tropical or subtropical environment. It has a wooden stem that can grow up to around ten meters in length. The flower itself is comprised of five white petals and five sepals that come in various colors. The passionflower contains a yellow or purple egg-shaped berry within which a sizeable number of small seeds lay in a pulpy liquid. The flowers, leaves and stems of the flower are the pieces that are used for their medicinal affects.


The explorers who discovered passionflower named it so because they saw the flowers as a divine representation of the Passion of Jesus Christ with each feature of the flower representing a different part of the process. The three styles are indicative of the three nails used to hold Jesus to the cross. The five stamens are representative of the five distinct wounds suffered. The pattern found inside the flower’s corona resembled the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his crucifixion. Lastly, the five petals and five sepals together signify the ten apostles. For the explorers, this discovery was a sign from the Lord that their voyage met His approval. Over time, the use of passionflower spread from the Americas to Europe.

The chemicals found inside the plant effect the body’s central nervous system. It is believed that passionflower raises gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) levels inside the brain. A rise in these levels causes a reduction of some brain cell activity, thus making the user feel calm and relaxed.

Passionflower is often used in conjunction with other herbs known for calming qualities. These include lemon balm and valerian root. It comes in various forms such as teas, infusions and liquid extracts. Dry leaves can also be rolled into a type of cigarette and smoked. It is also found as part of the ingredients in multi-supplement solutions such as Elimidrol.

While passionflower has many useful purposes, it does have some common side-effects. Some of these include disorientation, dizziness, muscle spasms, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. In some users, it may cause an abnormal heart rhythm or palpitations. Passionflower in any form is not safe for use in women who are pregnant as the chemicals may cause early contraction of the uterus. Users should also stop consumption of passionflower at least two weeks before any type of surgery as it may heighten the effects of anesthesia and other medicines both during and after the procedure.