Passionflower is generally safe and has not been found to adversely interact with other sedative drugs. To be on the safe side, it should not be combined with alcoholic beverages or prescription sedatives.
Passionflower should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, or for children under 6 months old because there have not been any studies in these groups of people (5).
Who Should Use Passionflower?
In our practice, we find passionflower works best for people with anxiety who also have a lot of thoughts swirling in their head and experience a lot of circular thinking or obsessive thoughts.
The latin name passiflora incarnata translates as “passion made real.” As such, it can be a wonderful herbal reminder for people who have not found what they want to do in life and are anxious as a result. We find this herb can be helpful for young people in their 20’s looking for their calling in life.
An herbal medicine grown in Africa, the Mediterranean and India, ashwanganda (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogen. This class of herb helps the body fight stress by reducing the production of stress hormones that result in the fight-or-flight response. This adaptogenic quality can help the body relax and help the body stay strong. It also is a potent antioxidant as well.
This Indian herbal ashwaganda contains a chemical called ashwagandholine alkaloid which has a mild relaxant, tranquilizer like-effect on the central nervous system (6). In some studies of rats who took ashwanganda, their adrenal organs did not become over-sized with stress, something that commonly happens in rats and humans who are too stressed out (7).