Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata

Parts used medicinally: Aerial parts

Passionflower is one of the key anxiety-relieving plants used by herbalists. Common indications include insomnia, anxiety and nervousness, and is especially useful in children.

Passion flower is a plant native to South America and was used as herbal medicine both traditionally and now by modern herbalists.

As you can see from the picture, the flower is very elaborate, with easily recognizable, distinctive features. It is these features that have contributed to the various names it has been given throughout history. The various parts of the flower were said to symbolize different aspects of the crucifixion of Christ. It was known by its Spanish discoverers as “La Flor de las cinco Llagas” or the ‘The Flower With The Five Wounds.’ The English term ‘passion’ refers to the crucifixion also.

Passion flower is mainly used by herbalist for its effects on the nervous system. It is a sedative helping with sleep problems, especially those caused by stress and a busy mind. It’s calming to the nervous system and is used to ease anxiety and tension. It can help to relax muscle spams and exerts mild analgesic properties.



  • Passion flower was traditionally used by some Native Americans as a poultice to reduce swellings and inflammation.
  • A small clinical trial in 2005 looked at the use of passion flower in children with ADHD and showed promising results as a natural alternative to the common medication.


  • Try steeping some loose dried passion flower in a teapot for 15 minutes. Once you strain it, you'll have a lovely bedtime drink to help with those minor sleep problems.
  • Try carrying around a small bottle of passion flower tincture and put a few drops under your tongue for use when you're feeling anxious.

If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies