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Passion flower

Passion flower is effective for countering anxiety and stress

Friday, December 13, 2013 by: P. Simard
Tags: passion flower, anxiety, stress

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(NaturalNews) Spanish missionaries gave the plant its name, "passion flower," because certain aspects of it reminded them of the wounds, whips and stigma linked to the passion of Christ. This herb should definitely be one of the first that comes to mind when looking to naturally treat conditions of anxiety, seizures, nervousness, insomnia and even hysteria.

Scientists have reason to believe that passion flower's effectiveness primarily stems from its ability to increase the presence of a substance in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Specialists agree that this chemical reduces the activity of certain brain cells, which then leads to putting you in a more relaxed state of mind.

As with most other medicinal herbs, passion flower is also filled with protective antioxidant elements such as vitexin, isovitexin, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, apigenin and luteolin glycosides. There seems to be a perfect interaction between the plant's alkaloids and bioflavonoids, thus encouraging physical healing and general wellness.

Passion flower is a safe alternative to get rid of anxiety

As you may know by now, when there's not much money to make out of it, research tends to be scarce. Fortunately, enough was done to demonstrate that passion flower may be just as powerful in treating general anxiety disorders as the usual drug used to do so. A past study involving 36 individuals showed that passion flower was as efficient as oxazepam (Serax) for dealing with these symptoms. Another study conducted with 91 participants presenting anxiety symptoms proved that passion flower-derived products effected much better results than their placebo counterparts. Further research was also able to conclude that patients who were given passion flower prior to undergoing surgery became less anxious and recovered just as fast as those given a simple placebo.

The Department of Pharmaceutics at Florida's College of Pharmacy was also able to demonstrate that passion flower helps neutralize or at the very least greatly diminish anxiety symptoms in rats. Knowing that rodents usually have an aversion for open spaces, the scientists used what is called the elevated plus maze model in order to come up with their findings. It turned out that rats were significantly more inclined to go through the open spaces of the specific maze model when passion flower doses of 375 mg/kg were given to them.

Passion flower can also be used to reduce pain, thanks to its antispasmodic and sedative virtues. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants actually recommends using it as an alternative to relieve pain that may prevent you from falling asleep. The herb may also be able to alleviate premenstrual cramps, headaches, toothaches and general muscle soreness.

Some scientists believe that passion flower supplements may provide benefits for women that cannot or decide not to use hormone replacement during menopause.

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About the author:
After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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