Passiflora foetida (passionflower): Antidepressant Effects

weight lossPassiflora foetida is a species of passionflower often called wild maracuja, bushpassion fruit, wild water lemon or stinking passionflower. This species of passionflower is native to South, Central and North America. Passiflora foetida is a creeping vine with an edible fruit, and when damaged emits a pungent smell from its damaged foliage, hence its common name stinking passionflower. Researchers have investigated the mood elevating effects of Passiflora foetida on animals. In one study, researchers administered methanolic extracts of Passiflora foetida plants to mice and then exposed them to experimental stress in order to cause depression like behaviour in the animals. The extracts of passionflower were significantly effective at decreasing the depressive symptoms of the mice. In this regard the passionflower was as effective as the antidepressant drugs fluoxetine and imipramine. The authors concluded that passiflora foetida extracts exert antidepressant effects on mice.   

passiflora anxiety depression

Passiflora foetida flowers. Passionflower has been most extensively researched for it anxiolytic effects, but studies also show an antidepressant effect for extracts of certain species. Image from: By Leon Brooks – http:// www.public- domain- / public- domain- images- pictures- free- stock- photos/ flora- plants- public- domain- images- pictures/ flowers- public- domain- images- pictures /passionfruit-cream.jpg, Public Domain, https:// w/ index.php?curid=24918864.

passiflora anxiety depression

Passiflora foetida fruit. Passionflower species of plants contain a number of phytochemicals that may explain their antidepressant effects. These include flavonoids and alkaloids of various kinds/ Like all passionflower species, the fruits of Passiflora foetida are edible. Image from: By Vvenka1 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, https:// w/ index.php? curid=3657316.

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Santosh, P., Venugopl, R., Nilakash, A. S., Kunjbihari, S. and Mangala, L. 2011. Antidepressant activity of methanolic extract of Passiflora foetida leaves in mice. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. 3(1): 112-115

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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