Fact Sheets

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

January 11, 2017   /
Crystal Petrello, MS, RDN, LD

Also known as: Apricot vine, fleur de la passion, Passiflore officinale, water lemon, wild passion flower

Scientific Name: Passiflora incarnata

Used for
Oral: Insomnia, gastrointestinal upset related to anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder, nervousness and excitability, neuralgia, generalized seizures, spasmodic asthma, menopausal symptoms, palpitations, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and pain relief

Topical: Bath preparations, for hemorrhoids, burns, and inflammation


  • Likely safe when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods.
  • Possibly safe when used orally and appropriately, short-term for medicinal purposes.
  • Possibly unsafe when used orally in excessive amounts
  • Unsafe during pregnancy when used orally because some passionflower constituents show evidence of uterine stimulation

Possibly effective for anxiety
Insufficient reliable evidence to rate: Insomnia

Flavonoids: Apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, and vitexin
Harman/harmala alkaloids: Harmine, harmaline, harmalol, harman, and harminĀ 
Other: Maltol and ethyl maltol

Food/drug/herb/supplement interactions

  • Hypotensive herbs and supplements
  • Sedative herbs and supplements
  • Antihypertensive drugs
  • Central nervous system depressants

References and recommended readings
Ehrlich SD. Passionflower. University of Maryland Medical Center website. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/passionflower. Reviewed June 26, 2014. Accessed July 10, 2015.

Passion flower. Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database website. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=&s=ND&pt=9&Product=passion+flower&btnSearch.x=0&btnSearch.y=0. Accessed July 10, 2015.

Passion flower. Drugs.com website. http://www.drugs.com/npp/passion-flower.html. Accessed July 10, 2015.