Vitamin Expert

Passion Flower

(passiflora incarnate)

Botanical family: Passifloraceae
Parts used: Whole plant
Main active ingredients: Alkaloids, flavonoids
Actions: Sedative, relaxant, pain reliever, antispasmodic
Good for: Sleep problems, anxiety, headaches
Available forms: Tincture, tablet

Passion flower

Native to South America, this climbing shrub can grow as high as 9m and is widely cultivated throughout Europe. It produces wonderful showy flowers with white petals surrounded by a crown of pink or violet filaments and large stamens with orange coloured sacs.

It takes its name from the Italian ‘fiore della passione’ referring to the flower’s resemblance to Christ’s crucifixion – the stamens are thought to represent the wounds of Christ, the filaments, the crown of thorns and the petals the apostles.

History of Passion flower

Passion flower was valued by Native Americans mainly for its ability to heal bruises and wounds. Later herbal practitioners valued the plant for its calming, sedative and pain- relieving actions and it has been used over the years for anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, muscle spasms, seizures, hysteria and hyperactivity in children.

Current uses of Passion flower


Passion flower is widely used in remedies for anxiety and nervous tension where it is often found combined with valerian and/or hops. It can also help soothe period pains and tension headaches.


Passion flower is often used for insomnia especially when the root cause is nervousness. Again it is often combined with valerian and is popular for its gentle, non-addictive sedative properties.

How to take Passion flower

You need to take 0.5 – 1g of dried extract three times a day or 1.4 ml tincture three to four times a day.


Do not take passion flower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Try this

Passion flower can be found in RelaxHerb Passion Flower (A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress such as mild anxiety, based on traditional use only) and Bonuit Sleep Aid (A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety, based on traditional use only).