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Botanical Name

Passiflora incarnata L.

Common Name

Passionflower, purple passionflower, maypop, wild apricot, wild passion vine, passionflower, apricot vine



Parts Used


Native To

Europe,North America

Harvesting Guidelines

Passionflower is a plant that can be harvested for its leaves, stem, flowers, and roots. For the leaves and stem, it is best to harvest during the flowering stage when they are still green and full of life. The flowers should be harvested as they appear. Roots, on the other hand, should be harvested in the fall after the vines and leaves start to wither.


Passionflower has been used for centuries to promote peaceful and restful sleep, without any negative side effects. It has been deemed safe and effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Modern clinical trials have also shown that passionflower can improve subjective sleep quality, with even low doses of the herb providing short-term benefits for healthy individuals. In fact, a small double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that an infusion of passionflower aerial parts improved sleep quality in participants with only mild fluctuations in sleep quality.(1)

Passionflower has been found to have profound effects on the nervous system and its functions. The Eclectics, a group of 19th century American physicians, used passionflower to treat spasms and spasmodic pain in various parts of the body, including the digestive and female reproductive systems. It was also effective in reducing muscular twitchings, headaches caused by nervousness or debility, and spasmodic afflictions of the respiratory system such as croup and some forms of asthma. Passionflower was also found to enhance deeper respiration, lower the pulse, and reduce blood pressure, making it useful in treating acute anxiety states such as panic attacks. Additionally, it was used to treat childhood convulsions resulting from epilepsy or fever.(2)

Passionflower has been used in traditional Western herbalism for its ability to support individuals with spasmodic, painful, irritable, or anxious states. This versatile plant has a wide range of potential uses in both chronic and acute conditions. According to historical sources, passionflower is best suited for individuals who are weakened or debilitated, rather than those with normal strength. Modern herbalists continue to recognize this, with an understanding that passionflower is most effective for those who are fragile or exhausted. Additionally, some herbalists have noted that passionflower may be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with internal dialogue, distraction, or stoicism. Overall, passionflower has a long history of use and a broad range of potential applications in traditional Western herbalism.(3)

Passionflower has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in assisting individuals suffering from drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Recent studies have shown that passionflower contains compounds that act on benzodiazepine and opioid receptor sites, making it a potential therapeutic option for those struggling with opiate and benzodiazepine dependency, addiction, and withdrawal. In fact, a recent double-blind, randomized controlled trial found that passionflower extract was effective in mitigating mental symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia that often accompany detoxification protocols for opiate addiction. The study concluded that passionflower is a safe and effective adjuvant in the treatment of opioid addiction and withdrawal.(4)


Adult Dose:(5)

Varies widely depending on author and indication.

Tea: 1.5g – 3.0g total daily*. ½ tsp per cup boiling water, infused for 15 mintues, ½ cup morning and evening, or before bed for sleeplessness**. Standard infusion of freshly dried herb, 2-6 ounces, up to 4 times a day***.

Tincture: 2-4 mL of 1:8 25% up to 3 times a day**. Fresh plant 1:2 50% or dried plant 1:5 50% up to 4 times a day**


Passionflower extract is considered safe by the FDA, but caution should be taken when using it with MAO inhibitors due to the presence of harman alkaloids. While there were concerns about its effects on children under four, the specific dosage was not specified. Some individuals may experience vomiting even with small doses, but there have been no reported adverse effects on pregnant women or their fetuses. The American Herbal Products Association states that passionflower is safe to use during pregnancy and lactation.(6)




(1)Ellingwood, F. (1919). The American materia medica, therapeutics, and pharmacognosy. Retrieved from:

(2)Felter, H.W. & Lloyd, J.U. (1898). King’s American dispensatory. Retrieved from:

(3)Wood, M. (2009). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to New World medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. (4)Akhondzadeh, S., Kashani, L. Mobaseri, M., Hosseini, S.H., Nikzad, S., & Khani, M. (2001). Passionflower in the treatment of opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 26(5), 369-373.

(5)Bartram, T. (1988). Bartram’s encyclopedia of herbal medicine. London, England: Robinson Publishing, Ltd.

(6)Gagnon, D. 2000. Liquid herbal drops in everyday use (4th ed.). Santa Fe, NM: Botanical Research and Education Institute, Inc.


Scientific Research:

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


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