Passionflower is a flowering type of vine that’s been said to help with insomnia, anxiety, hot flashes, pain, and more. And with over 500 known species of the plant, there’s a lot of benefits to go around.

Studies suggest that passionflower works by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a naturally-occurring amino acid that reduces activity in the central nervous system. This results in relaxation, enhanced mood, better sleep, and pain relief.

Passionflower has also been found to be a successful treatment for the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) with less side effects compared to benzodiazepines.

Passionflower benefits

  • boosts GABA levels in the brain, which promotes relaxation
  • shown to ease generalized anxiety with fewer side effects than prescribed sedatives
  • effective in reducing the intensity of menopausal hot flashes

For a restful night’s sleep, try sipping a cup of passionflower tea right before bed. This tea will act as a mild sedative.

Studies in mice showed that passionflower had positive benefits on sleep quality, which is good news since roughly 70 million U.S. adults may experience sleep issues.

Try it: It can be made into a tea by steeping dried passionflower (or a tea bag) in boiling water. Passionflower tea is mild in flavor with a grassy earthiness and can be sweetened with a floral honey.

Recipe for Passionflower Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. dried passionflower (about 2 grams) or a tea bag
  • 1 cup hot water
  • honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Steep dried passionflower in hot water for 6-8 minutes. Steep for 10-15 minutes for a stronger tea and more potential benefits.
  2. Strain or take tea bag out of water. Optional: Sweeten with a touch of honey.

Dosage: Drink one cup of tea made with 1 tablespoon of dried passionflower per night for at least seven days to feel the effects.

Possible side effects of passionflower Passionflower has very few side effects, but it can cause sleepiness or dizziness which may affect functioning. Passionflower shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women and may interact with certain medications, so it’s always best to consult with a professional before consumption.

As always, check with your doctor before adding anything to your everyday routine to determine what’s best for you and your individual health.


Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.