Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
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.
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.
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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.