The holidays are a time of excitement and joy, but they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. If you’re like us, you may be in the hustle and bustle of getting decorations put up and shopping for presents, and maybe you’re finding it harder to relax at the end of the day. Luckily, we’ve heard about a natural remedy for a busy mind and frazzled body that’s just what the doctor ordered — passionflower.
Passionflower was used by Native Americans to treat many different ailments like wounds, boils, and even liver problems. More recently, though, it’s been touted by alternative health practitioners for its calming properties.
In one study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, researchers set out to determine the impact of passionflower on human sleep. For the study, some subjects were given a tea infused with passionflower once per day for seven days while others received a placebo. They were also asked to keep a sleep journal, detailing their sleep length and quality. At the end of the study, the group drinking the passionflower tea experienced significant improvements in sleep quality, suggesting that passionflower tea could be helpful in the management of acute sleep troubles. So if you’ve been having trouble catching those precious Z’s, grab a mug and brew yourself some of this delicious tea!
Other research suggests that passionflower may be a helpful remedy for anxiety. Research from one study showed that subjects who took passionflower before surgery experienced less anxious feelings than those who took a placebo. How could this be? It’s believed that passionflower may increase levels of the compound gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers brain activity, which in turn promotes relaxation!
While taking passionflower is generally safe, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health cautions that it could have some side effects like sleepiness, dizziness, and confusion. So avoid taking it during the day or before operating machinery. Passionflower is also not considered safe for pregnant women, as it could induce contractions!
As always, be sure to get your doctors OK before trying any new supplement. To take passionflower for sleep and anxiety, you can sip a tea like this one from Buddha Teas ($8.60, Amazon), or try taking it as a supplement from a trusted brand like Solaray ($9.54, Amazon).
We’re wishing you a relaxed and restful holiday season!