Passiflora incarnata                         Common name: Passionflower

Parts used:  Flowering tops, leaves

Constituents: Alkaloids (harman, harmoline), flavonoids (vitexin, saponarin, luteolin, rutin, kaempferol, quercitin), fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, oleic, myristic), acids (formic & butyric), sugar, gum, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides, volatile oil, chrysin

Medicinal actions: Antispasmodic, sedative, hypnotic, hypotensive, vasodilator, cardiotonic, bitter, diuretic, anti-depressant, nervine relaxant, anxiolytic, analgesic


Medicinal use: Passiflora has a depressant effect on CNS activity and is hypotensive; it is used for its sedative and soothing properties, to lower blood pressure, prevent tachycardia and for insomnia.  Can be used safely for nervous tension and restlessness, muscle spasm, headaches, irregular sleep patterns, irritability, neuralgias and any condition in which an antispasmodic would be beneficial.


  • Alkaloids (harman, harmoline) have muscle relaxant and sedative effects.
  • Flavonoids are antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and sedative.
  • Chrysin helps conserve testosterone levels.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 tsp (approx. 2 g) per cup water; 1 cup BID-TID. Tincture: (1:5), 1-3 ml TID; weekly max: 40 ml. Pause 2 weeks on, 2 days off with long-term dosing.

Contraindications: None known.

Toxicity: No adverse effects within recommended dosage. Mild nerve and muscle irritation with long-term use.

Interactions: Additive effect with sleep aids, barbiturates and other CNS depressants.

photo (1)

Sara Hearm (2013). The Naturopathic Herbalist