Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionPassionflowerSurgery

Treating anxiety before surgery with passionflower

Also known as Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), the purple passionflower has antianxiety and sedative effects.

Most studies of Passiflora incarnata have been in animals. Here’s a study in humans.

First, the details.

  • 60 patients were randomly assigned to take Passiflora incarnata 500 mg by mouth or placebo, 90 minutes before surgery.
  • A numerical rating scale was used to assess anxiety and sedation before and up to 90 minutes afterward.
  • Once in the operating room, the Trieger Dot Test and Digit-Symbol Substitution Test were done on arrival and 30 and 90 minutes after removing the tracheal tube.
    • Trieger Dot Test: A connect-the-dot test to measure muscular activity associated with mental processes.
    • Digit-Symbol Substitution Test: Measures attention, perceptual and motor speed, visual scanning, and memory

And, the results.

  • Anxiety was significantly less in the passiflora group.
  • There were no differences in psychological variables or recovery of psychomotor function.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that Passiflora incarnata “reduces anxiety without inducing sedation.” The Passipy brand of Passiflora incarnata manufactured by Iran Darouk was used in this study.

There appears to have been no attempt to conceal the treatment given from the patients or the researches. That’s too bad, because aside from that, it looks like a good study.

7/10/08 13:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.