Passion flower, also known as Passiflora Incarnata L, is a climbing evergreen plant that features exotic displays of striking flowers. But as well as it’s bold look, it’s also claimed to have a range of calming properties, as well all health benefits.
We may be biased, but we always feel rejuvenated and refreshed after a cup of our Passion flower herbal tea, so we looked in to the science and will break down its properties below, discussing its link and use in minimising the symptoms of anxiety.
What is the link between Passion flower and anxiety?
We know that Passion flower is known for its calming properties, subsequently reducing the feeling of anxiety, but to really understand how it works, we first need to look at what anxiety actually does to the body.
In this context, when we refer to anxiety, we are specifically referring to racing thoughts and the affects they have on the body, rather than the general feeling of stress, which we all experience sometimes. Some of these effects include:
- A racing heartbeat, sweating or flushing.
- Sickness or stomach upsets.
- Dizziness or fainting.
Some of these symptoms are caused by the body releasing certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol when the mind believes it’s under threat.
What scientific studies support the calming affects of passion flower?
While there are many websites that talk about passion flower being calming, most of these claims are backed by beliefs rather than actual science.
The study we found which gives more explanation to its calming properties, and why this can help with anxiety, focused on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain, blocking certain brain signals and decreasing activity in your nervous system.
Nerve signals firing too quickly when we feel under threat is one of the reasons we feel the physical symptoms of anxiety, so slowing these down helps to control, or reduce them.
One of the main scientific beliefs therefore is that passion flower helps relieve the symptoms of anxiety due to it naturally containing GABA.
A 2016 clinical trail did show that consuming passion flower decreased anxiety and improved the memory in rats. While they couldn’t attribute this back to GABA directly, it was thought to have played a part.
What other conditions is Passion flower used for?
Passiflora Incarnata L is generally found in many herbal tablets, such as those you’d find at Holland and Barrett, as well as some medicines. Some of the other conditions it’s claimed to help with include:
- Various pains around the body.
If you want more evidence that passion flower can aid with certain health conditions, you only have to read the reviews section of Boots, Holland and Barrett, and many other sites.
At Tea Off we choose our ingredients for their quality and their taste, as well as the positive effects they have on the body. We’re always interested in new ingredients and the changes we notice after consuming them.
For us, like many others, we find passion flower makes us feel relaxed, but focused. The perfect afternoon pick-me-up.