Have you ever felt stressed beyond normalcy? In the present day, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 19.1% of U.S. adults have had an anxiety disorder within the past year. When looking at the statistics surrounding anxiety, it can become intimidating very quickly. As of right now, there are around 53 different medicines used to treat anxiety. One of the solutions is less frequently mentioned as it is a supplement — not medicine — but it can be just as or even more effective.
Passion flower was introduced to the mental health world long before typical medicines were, and were originally used by the Native Americans for the physical healing properties it can contain when boiled down. Though passion flower was originally found in Peru in 1569, it was only used for physical wounds such as burns or sores. It wasn’t until 1978 that the United States recognized it as a sleep aid.
Many doctors and researchers began to realize that passion flower directly increased the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid, otherwise known as GABA. GABA is one of the neurotransmitters within the brain that correlates with a person’s nervous system. When increasing the levels of this neurotransmitter with the help of passion flower, the body’s reaction lowers the activity, thus lowering the anxiety within the body and brain. Since then, the market for passion flower has expanded, making it a well-known supplement for many people. The global market of passion flower is estimated to be worth $2.72 billion in 2019, and will grow to $3.62 billion by 2025.
It is most commonly used to treat anxiety, but is also utilized in the battle with insomnia and even seizures. Today, passion flower is not recognized by the Food and Drug Administration within the United States, which comes with both challenges and benefits. The obvious setback with not being recognized is that most anxiety specialists do not directly recommend it. Whether it is from ignorance or disregard for the supplement, it is not often looked at as a contender with known anxiety treatments, such as anti-anxiety medicines. The positive of not being recognized by the FDA directly is the opportunity of utilizing it is higher. Many people, myself included, are able to grow their own passion flower right at their house. Others can obtain it through popular consumer sites like Amazon or CVS. The restrictions on the flower are light, which gives a hopeful tone to the battle with anxiety.
As one goes through the trials of anxiety, stress, and seemingly impossible situations, it is important to research all options. Passion flower holds the potential to help many different people with their anxiety without disrupting their lives. Not only is it easily obtainable, but it is not a medicine, which means one can enjoy the freedom of growing it, making it into a tea, taking here and there, or even taking a shot of it everyday. Now one can start or continue their battle with anxiety with more than just the 53 different medicines — they can also implement a flower or two.