Passion flower tea is made from the flowers, leaves or stems of passionflower herb or the passiflora incarnata plant. This species of passion flower is also known by other names such as ocoee, maypop and wild apricot. There are actually over 400 species of the passiflora family and the other species often used is the passiflora caerulea which is also known as the blue passion flower or the common passion flower.
Passionflower herb was used traditionally in Central America, Mexico and South Texas as well as Europe as a natural remedy for anxiety, hysteria, insomnia and seizures. The herb is now widely used as an herbal remedy to treat various other ailments.
According to scientific theories, passionflower contains constituents that are able to increase the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA in the brain. This chemical helps lower the activity of some brain cells, produces a calming effect, relieves muscle spasms and induces sleep. Other herbs that produce the calming and sedative effects are chamomile, hops, kava, lemon balm, skullcap and valerian root.
There were several studies conducted on patients with generalized anxiety disorder. From three trials, it indicated that passion flower extract were able to reduce the symptoms of GAD such as fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, rapid heartbeat and trouble sleeping. One study even showed that passion flower was as effective as one prescription medication for anxiety.
Some other benefits of drinking passion flower tea or taking the herbal extract are as follows:
To make passion flower tea, mix ½ teaspoon of the dried passionflower herb in a cup of boiling water. Steep it for a few minutes, strain it and add stevia sweetener or honey.
Passion flower herb is available in infusions, liquid extract and tinctures. Passionflower supplements are available in capsules and you can also buy the cut and dried herb or passionflower powder. Passion flower extract is also used as an ingredient combined with other herbs such as aloe vera in skin care and hair care products.
Other ways to take maypop herb is to sprinkle a few drops of the liquid extract into your juice or other beverages. You can also fill your bath tub with the fresh or dried flowers and leaves or the liquid extract and relax your body in it.
If your body resists this herb, some possible passion flower side effects may include dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate and vomiting.