Stress is not just responsible for your actions when faced with a stressful situation or a string of stressful situations. If you end a bout of stress blowing up at your family members and nursing a head or neck ache, you're also setting yourself up for health problems later on, unless you get a grip on it.
Trying an herbal supplement called passionflower (that's not a typo) can help you calm the nervousness, irritability or agitation associated with chronic stress and help you relax more completely at the end of your day.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is native to the Americas and now grown in Europe as well. This plant was first discovered in the 16th century by Spanish explorers while traveling throughout Peru. Since then, passionflower has become a popular herbal remedy for its mild sedative effect. The parts of the plant growing above the ground -- the leaves, stems and flowers -- are used to create medicinal supplements like capsules, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures (extract combined with alcohol).
Common Uses for Passionflower
As previously mentioned, passionflower has a mild sedative effect, which has made it a popular sleep aid and treatment for anxiety, nervousness, narcotic drug withdrawal and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Passionflower works by increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical found within the brain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). Passionflower has also been used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia and painful swelling as well as asthma, irregular heartbeat, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and high blood pressure.
On the November 28 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," passionflower was recommended for people who bottle up their emotions and stress. Chronic stress that's not addressed can lead to fatigue, inflammation, hormonal imbalances and other physical symptoms, according to guest Holly Lucille ND, RN, a licensed naturopathic doctor. Dr. Lucille recommended passionflower, taken before bed, to help people with chronic stress take back the control to be more productive as well as physically and mentally well.
How to Take It
You can find a range of passionflower supplements available to suit your needs and preferences. Dr. Lucille suggested a liquid extract, taking five to 10 drops on the tongue or in water before bedtime to help you calm down, unwind and get the rest you need. You can also find passionflower combined with other herbs like valerian root, skullcap, chamomile, hops and kava, according to the NIH. Speak with your physician before adding this supplement to your routine. Due to its mild sedative effect, it may interfere with certain medications such as prescription sedatives, antiplatelets, anticoagulants and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.
Other great ways to de-stress include mediation, yoga, listening to music, exercising, taking a bath or reading a good book. Any way you can detach yourself from everything else you have going on (including your ever-buzzing cell phone) is good for you mentally and physically. Anyone in close proximity will also thank you.
You can find a range of great passionflower products at low prices at eVitamins! Try this great supplement today to feel your best!
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