The natural remedy passionflower has more than 40 monikers including: maypop, purple passionflower, and wild passion vine. It is a plant that grows commonly in the southern United States and has the scientific name Passiflora incarnata. The plant has beautiful and intricate purple flowers and a small green edible fruit known as a maypop.
Passionflower is used as a natural remedy for a number of problems such as anxiety, narcotic withdrawal, restlessness, seizures, high blood pressure, ADHD, and irregular heartbeat. While more research needs to be done to explain exactly how passionflower works, scientists have a theory that it increases the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. Increasing GABA in the brain causes the activity of specific brain cells to decrease, which, in turn, makes you calmer and more relaxed.
Early scientific studies have shown that passionflower, when taken as a tea, infusion, extract or tincture, can relieve anxiety as effectively as prescription drugs. Other evidence has shown that passionflower, when used in combination with a drug known as clonidine, is very effective at reducing the non-physical symptoms of withdrawal including anxiety, irritability, agitation, and sleep problems. Finally, there are some very early study results that show that drinking passionflower tea before going to bed significantly improve the quality of your sleep. The study did not find any decrease in the amount of time that it took participants to fall asleep, however.