What is Passionflower?
There are a variety of supplements, herbs, and medicines out there that can help you relax and destress, but there are few with as much history as passionflower. Passionflower is an exotic-looking flower native to South America, and its medicinal qualities are just as extraordinary as its appearance. For centuries, perhaps even longer, it’s been used an anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia, and even painkilling drug.
It’s impossible to know when passionflower began to be used as a drug because historical records don’t go back that far, and knowledge of its properties was originally primarily passed down through community/cultural knowledge rather than written down. It’s probable that it has been cultivated as a crop by native inhabitants of South America for thousands of years due to its sedative qualities; it is often considered part of traditional South American Native Indian medicine. We also know it was introduced to the western world in 1569, when a Spanish doctor encountered the passionflower in Peru. However, it took forty years after that for the flower to make its way to Europe, and once there it was often used as an ornamental plant—because it is beautiful—rather than for its medicinal properties. Some Europeans even prescribed religious significance to the plant due to its appearance, which led to its name, “passionflower,” as in the passion of Christ.
The plant’s medicinal qualities were rediscovered around World War 1, when it began to be used as a drug for shell-shocked veterans in Switzerland and France. After that, its benefits began to be more widely-known around the world and it began to be consumed widely as a sedative in the western world rather than just admired as an ornamental flower. Its popularity increased throughout the 20th century and persists today. Passionflower is now widely consumed in supplements, foods, and teas, and is recognized as a substance safe to consume for everyone except pregnant women.
Scientifically speaking, passionflower has been proven as a mild sedative in animals, as well as proven to be safe for people to eat, but it still isn’t exactly clear why it works like it does. Its effects are still something of a mystery. However, given its long history—thousands of years—it is clear that its usefulness is no joke. Over the millennia, it has proven itself useful again and again and again, and inspired both medicine and the imagination. Its uses are still being fully studied and understood, but it has enormous potential for uses even beyond the ones we know of today. For example, it may be useful as a cosmetic treatment for skin blemishes, and it has even been suggested that it may be helpful in soothing opioid withdrawal.
Personally, we believe strongly in the power of Passionflower; it is a key ingredient in our popular tranquility formula (https://perfectlyhealthy.com/collections/anxiety/products/tranquility-formula). It acts consistently and usefully as a natural, healthy, safe alternative to prescription anxiety and insomnia medicines, and can be consumed in a variety of forms to suit your needs and tastes. It is not only part of history, but part of the future as well.