Passionflower tea boasts many different benefits including the ability to reduce anxiety, treat sleep disorders, prevent depression, ease menopausal symptoms, stimulate the libido, curb drug addiction, heal the skin and lower blood pressure, among others. There are also some notable side effects to drinking this tea, such as dizziness, drowsiness, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting or stomach upset. However, these side effects are rare, and mainly affect people allergic to members of the Passiflora genus, or people who consume an excessive amount of this tea.
The primary species used to make this tea is taxonomically known as Passiflora incarnata, but there are more than 500 different species of passionflowers and vines that grow around the world. The plant is also known commonly as maypop. Passionflower tea has been used in North and South America for centuries, but was eventually introduced to European markets and is now globally sought after. The flowers, leaves, and stems of this plant are all good for different medicinal applications, but the tea is brewed specifically with the leaves. Most of the health benefits of passionflower tea are the result of significant levels of harmine, flavonoids and organic acids, such as linolenic, palmitic and myristic acid, as well as various amino acids, coumarins, and other antioxidants.
What is Passionflower Tea Good For?
Passionflower tea is good for treating insomnia, anxiety, addiction, high blood pressure, eczema, psoriasis, depression, menopause, menstrual discomfort, infertility and other inflammatory conditions.
Menopause can be a difficult and stressful time in life, resulting in mood swings, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and sleeplessness. The sedative and soothing effects of passionflower tea can help to balance your neurotransmitters, and also stimulate the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is known to improve mood and regulate hormones.
Chronic Stress and Depression
The phytochemicals and alkaloids found in passionflower tea, such as quercetin and kaempferol, are known to improve mood and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body. This can keep you feeling energized and positive, relieving feelings of stress and anxiety.
Traditional use of passionflower tea includes its application for rashes, burns, irritation or inflammation on the skin. This can come in many forms, from eczema and psoriasis to acne, burns and allergic reactions. Topical application of this tea is not common, but a powerful brew can have notable effects in treating these conditions.
Reducing inflammation throughout the body is what many organic acids and antioxidants are best at, and the compounds found in passionflower tea are no exception. This tea has long been recommended for joint disorders and arthritis, as well as gout, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the gut. These soothing active ingredients can help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and cramping, as well as chronic inflammation caused by free radical activity.
If you want to increase your libido, this tea might be the secret, as it can increase the production of testosterone in the body, giving men a reproductive boost, not only increasing sex drive, but also virility and fertility.
The blood pressure-lowering qualities of passionflower tea are well known, and are the result of a specific antioxidant compound known as edulilic acid. By treating hypertension, this tea can help prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease, and generally, reduce the strain on the cardiovascular system. This side effect can also help relieve headaches and migraines, by reducing the pressure and inflammation in capillaries near the temples.
This herbal tea has long been used to treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia or restlessness at night. By impacting the neurotransmitter levels in the brain with flavonoids and other phytochemicals, you can enjoy a full night of undisturbed sleep and a refreshed feeling in the morning!
Some people have turned to passionflower tea to curb drug addiction, by soothing the symptoms of withdrawal, improving mood and reducing anxiety. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence points to passionflower tea’s ability to reduce nicotine cravings, making it important for those trying to quit smoking.
How Do You Make Passionflower Tea?
If you want to brew passionflower tea at home, all you need is dried or fresh passionflower leaves and hot water, in addition to any sweeteners you may desire. Dried leaves can either be crushed into a powder to infuse in the tea, or the leaves can be placed in an infuser or tea strainer. Fresh leaves can also be used to brew this tea, in which case about a 1/4 cup of the leaves is required for a strong brew.
- 2 grams of passionflower leaves (ground into powder)/ 1/4 cup of fresh passionflower leaves
- 2 cups of water (filtered)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar or organic honey, if desired
Step 1 – Add the powdered passionflower leaves to a stainless steel pot
Step 2 – Add water and bring the water up to a boil.
Step 3 – Allow the mixture to boil for roughly 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Remove from heat and cool, then strain the tea into a teapot or mug.
Step 5 – Add honey or sugar, if desired, and enjoy!
Note: Some sediment from the powder will be at the bottom of the cup; for the full effect of the tea, drink it all the way to the bottom!
Side Effects of Passionflower Tea
For all the benefits of this herbal tea, there are also quite a few side effects, including cognitive distress, drowsiness, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, hypotension and muscle spasms. While most of these side effects are the result of drinking an excessive amount of this tea, you should still monitor your use and reaction to this tea carefully.
- Pregnancy – One of the stimulant properties of this powerful tea affects uterine contractions, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women, and can even result in miscarriages or premature labor. Breast-feeding women are also advised not to consume this beverage, as it can pass along potent chemicals to their child.
- Cognitive Confusion – Common side effects of drinking large quantities of passionflower tea include dizziness, lack of coordination, mental confusion and anxiety. If you experience any of these side effects, discontinue use and avoid operating motor vehicles or taking any physical risks.
- Gastrointestinal Distress – Nausea, vomiting, bloating and cramping have been reported when high levels of this tea are consumed, as the active components can cause inflammation in the gut.
- Blood Pressure – Being able to lower blood pressure is a benefit to heart health, but in combination with other blood pressure-lowering medications, it can be dangerous, resulting in fainting, lightheadedness, drowsiness and muscle weakness.
- Sedation – The sedative properties of this tea are highly praised, but they can also cause negative reactions with certain medications, such as anti-depressant, antispasmodic and anti-anxiety medications, resulting in highly intensified sedative effects. If you are prescribed any of these medications, speak with your doctor before adding passionflower tea to your daily or weekly health regimen.