Aphrodisiac Properties of Passiflora
In addition to the benefits listed above, the benzoflavone moiety has exhibited aphrodisiac, libido-enhancing and virility-enhancing properties in 2-year-old male rats. When administered concomitantly with nicotine, ethanol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for 30 days in male rats, the BZF also prevented the drug-induced decline in sexuality in male rats. Because the BZF moiety isolated from Passiflora incarnata is a tri-substituted derivative of alpha-naphthoflavone (7,8-benzoflavone), a well-known aromatase-enzyme inhibitor, the mode of action of BZF has been postulated to be a neurosteroidal mechanism vide in which the BZF moiety prevents the metabolic degradation of testosterone and upregulates blood - testosterone levels in the body.
The aphrodisiac properties of the methanol extract of leaves of Passiflora have also been evaluated in mice by observing the mounting behavior. The methanol extract of P. incarnata exhibited significant aphrodisiac behaviou in male mice at all doses, i.e. 75, 100 and 150 mg/kg. Amongst these, the highest activity was observed with the 100 mg/kg dose when the mountings were calculated about 95 min after the administration of the test extracts. It certainly is no where near as potent as index yohimbe bark.
Passiflora and Anxiety
Passiflora may be helpful in reducing restlessness, anxiety, and nervousness. It also has anti-cough properties. The methanol extracts of leaves, stems, flowers, and whole plant exhibited anxiolytic effects at 100, 125, 200 and 300 mg/kg, respectively. The roots were practically devoid of anxiolytic effects. This means the leaves seem to contain the most concentration of the active ingredients.
A double-blind randomized trial compared the efficacy of Passiflora incarnata extract with oxazepam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. The study was performed on 36 out-patients diagnosed with GAD allocated in a random fashion: 18 to the Passiflora extract 45 drops/day plus placebo tablet group, and 18 to oxazepam 30 mg/day plus placebo drops for a 4-week trial. Passiflora extract and oxazepam were effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. No significant difference was observed between the two protocols at the end of trial. Oxazepam showed a rapid onset of action. On the other hand, significantly more problems relating to impairment of job performance were encountered with subjects on oxazepam. The results suggest that Passiflora extract is an effective drug for the management of generalized anxiety disorder, and the low incidence of impairment of job performance with Passiflora extract compared to oxazepam is an advantage.
Passiflora extract may be an effective adjuvant agent in the management of opiate withdrawal.
Passiflora has the ability to suppress cough.
Pharmacological studies on the sedative and hypnotic effect of Kava kava and Passiflora extracts combination.
Phytomedicine. 2005. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Salerno, Italy.
Kava kava extract, Passiflora extract and a combination of both extracts, administered to mice, caused a significant decrease of the amphetamine-induced hypermotility and significant prolongation of sleeping phase induced by subcutaneous injection of barbiturates. Due to a synergism of both extracts, simultaneously administered the pharmacologically registered effect in both in vivo experiments was found to be superior over the sum of the single separately administered extracts.
Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) -- a reliable herbal sedative
Krenn L. Universitat Wien, Althanstrasse, Wien. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002.
Extracts and fluid extracts from the aerial parts from Passiflora incarnata are widely used as components of herbal sedatives. Many pharmacological investigations confirm the sedative effects of Passiflorae herba. From some of the studies also anxiolytic effects can be deduced. As Passionflower is mainly used in combinations, clinical studies of the single drug are not available. Based on pharmacological data, the experiences of traditional use and the use in combinations Passiflora extracts are an important factor in the phytotherapy of tenseness, restlessness and irritability with difficulty in falling asleep.
Passiflora can be used as a tea, 2 to 5 grams of the dried herb two to three times a day (one teaspoon is usually about 2 to 3 grams). Passiflora is also available as fluid or tincture extract (follow directions on the bottle). Capsules of the dried herbal extract are available from 200 to 400 mg, taken one to three times daily, although it is easier to find passionflower combined with valerian and other sedative herbs.
No significant side effects have yet been reported in the medical literature, but long term studies are not yet available. One passiflora side effect is drowsiness.
Passiflora Research, opiate withdawal
Passionflower in the treatment of opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.
Akhondzadeh S. Tehran University of Medical Sciences, South Kargar Avenue, Tehran, Iran.
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001.
Clonidine-based therapies have been utilized as the main protocol for opiate detoxification for several years. However, detoxification with clonidine has its limitations, including lack of efficacy for mental symptoms. Accumulating evidence shows the efficacy of Passiflora incarnata extract in the management of anxiety. In our continuing study of traditional medicines, which have neurotropic effects, this plant had an anxiolytic effect, which may be used as an adjuvant agent in the detoxification of opiates by clonidine. We present the results of a double-blind randomized controlled trial of clonidine plus passiflora extract vs. clonidine plus placebo in the outpatient detoxification of 65 opiates addicts. A total of 65 opiates addicts were assigned randomly to treatment with passiflora extract plus clonidine tablet or clonidine tablet plus placebo drop during a 14-day double-blind clinical trial. All patients met the DSM IV criteria for opioid dependence. The fixed daily dose was 60 drops of passiflora extract and a maximum daily dose of 0.8 mg of clonidine administered in three divided doses. Both protocols were equally effective in treating the physical symptoms of withdrawal syndromes. However, the passiflora plus clonidine group showed a significant superiority over clonidine alone in the management of mental symptoms. These results suggested that passiflora extract may be an effective adjuvant agent in the management of opiate withdrawal. However, a larger study to confirm our results is warranted.