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13.02.2024


Sleepless nights? Passiflora incarnata makes them shorter

If you suffer from insomnia, supplementing with Passiflora incarnata - commonly known as passionflower - can increase the amount of sleep you get at night. High doses are not required for this.


Sleepless nights? Passiflora incarnata makes them shorter


Study
Doctors at the Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine in South Korea divided 84 adults with sleep problems into 2 groups. For 2 weeks, one group took a capsule containing active substances in the evening, while the other took a capsule with 60 milligrams of Passiflora incarnata extract.

The Koreans used an extract extracted from a mixture consisting of 80 percent dried leaves and 20 percent dried fruits of Passiflora incarnata. The researchers ground the raw materials, mixed them with a solution of ethyl alcohol and heated it to 90 degrees Celsius for 2 hours. Then they filtered the solution, mixed it with dextrin and allowed the water and ethyl alcohol to evaporate.

Subjects in a control group received a placebo.

Results
The subjects who received Passiflora incarnata slept 23 minutes more per night. This difference was statistically significant. The total sleep time [TST] did not change in the subjects in the control group.

Click on the table below for a larger version.


Sleepless nights? Passiflora incarnata makes them shorter


Sleepless nights? Passiflora incarnata makes them shorter


Phytochemicals
Extracts from Passiflora incarnata first contain the flavonoid chrysin, which is related to quercetin. You see the structural formula of chrysin above. In addition, Passiflora incarnata contains the glycosylated flavonoids orientin, vitexin, iso-orientin and iso-vitexin. [Structural formulas]

Pharmacologists suspect that these compounds enhance the effect of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that more or less switches off various stimulatory neurotransmitters.

Passiflora incarnata also contains minuscule amounts of telepathin [structural formula below]. In large doses, telepathin inhibits the breakdown of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. It is not clear whether telepathin plays a role in the effect of Passiflora incarnata as a sleep aid.


Sleepless nights? Passiflora incarnata makes them shorter


Source:
Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2020 Jan;35(1):29-35.

More:
Passiflora incarnata, a natural sleep enhancer? 07.12.2018

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