Passionflower Tea Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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Cup of passionflower tea on table

Today we’re going to dive into using passionflower tea, so if you get flushed or embarrassed easily, now is the time to click away. Kidding, kidding! Although its name has led many to believe that it’s an aphrodisiac, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) doesn’t refer to romantic passion. The name was coined by 16th century travelers who thought that different parts of the flower symbolized the passion of the Christ.

Traditionally used by the Houma, Cherokee and other Native American tribes as a sedative (1), this gorgeous climbing vine is considered helpful for people who desire: 

  • better sleep
  • stress support
  • a mood lift
  • help shutting off “worry mode” 

Herbalists David Winston and Steven Maimes describe it as useful for: 

“The person [who] can’t shut off his mind at night, and . . . lays in bed thinking about the day, yesterday, tomorrow, last month, next month, what if this, and if only that. I have had patients tell me it’s like having a talk radio station in their heads and they can’t find the off switch. Passionflower is the off switch.” (2)

We’ll dive into my easy recipe for passionflower tea soon, but first I want to mention that – as always – none of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA, this article is not medical advice, and it is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. If you have a question about whether this herb (or any other) is right for you, please talk with a qualified healthcare provider. Okay, let’s dive in!

Close up of passionflower vine

What makes passionflower so relaxing?

According to Penn State Medical Center, “Scientists believe passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.” Clinical herbalists say there are actually a variety of constituents that contribute to passionflower’s therapeutic properties, but GABA is definitely the most well-known. 

If you’re not familiar with it, GABA is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the central nervous system. It’s associated with a positive mood, a sense of well-being, restful sleep, and calm focus. Although it’s most often sipped before bed to encourage restful sleep, some research suggests that it may be also helpful during the day to calm hyper children. (3) Some adults also consume it during the day – often along with adaptogenic herbs – to increase resilience to stress. 

Herbs That Blend Well With Passionflower

Although the benefits of passionflower can be enjoyed by simply brewing it in water, this herb can also be blended with other nervines (herbs that relax the nervous system) to create a synergistic effect. Some of the most common herbs used alongside passionflower are: 

Chamomile– “Drinking a cup of chamomile tea is like getting a warm hug from a loved one. It can help you relax and unwind after a stressful day, decrease pain caused by muscle tension or spasms, and strongly reduce inflammation. Chamomile’s best gifts are that it is gentle while simultaneously offering profound relief.” (Rosalee de la Foret, Alchemy of Herbs)

Lemon Balm – Gentle yet potent, lemon balm is perfect for use with kids and adults for a mood lift, relaxation, sleep, first aid, and more. (Click here to read more about the benefits and uses of lemon balm)

Valerian Root – This flowering herb has long been used to support emotional well-being, relaxation and deep sleep. It’s name comes from the Latin valere, which translates as “to be well” or “to be strong.” One thing to be aware of when blending passionflower with valerian root is that roots need to more coaxing to release their beneficial compounds. See the notes section of the recipe for instructions on blending these two together. (Click here to learn more about the benefits of valerian root)

Other herbs to consider: St. John’s Wort, Hops, Lavender, Rose

Does passionflower tea have any side effects?

According to the Botanical Safety Handbook: 2nd Edition, its a Safety Class 1A herb, which is the safest rating possible. Traditionally it has been used for people of all ages – in fact, Native Americans used to give babies a tea made from the roots to aid in weaning. (1)

However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that it should be avoided by pregnant women due to the possibility that it may stimulate contractions. Herbalists David Winston and Steven Maimes also note that “Passionflower may increase the effects of prescription sedatives, antispasmodics, and anxiolytics; use them together with caution. Do not use passionflower with older type antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). (2)

Close up of passionflower tea
Cup of passionflower tea on table
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4.84 from 6 votes

Passionflower Tea Recipe

This relaxing passionflower tea recipe can be consumed before bed to support deep, restful sleep. It can also be sipped throughout the day to quiet mental chatter, increase resilience to stress, and lift mood.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Infusing time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1
Author Heather Dessinger


  • 1-2 tsp dried passionflower
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp additional herb from the above list (optional – if you're using valerian root see the notes section for additional instructions)


  • Place 1-2 teaspoons dried herb in a cup. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the herb, cover the cup with a small plate or lid, and allow the infusion to steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain out the herbs and drink 4 oz. up to four times per day. (12)


To brew passionflower with valerian root: Bring 1 1/3 cups water to a light simmer (not a boil) and add 1 teaspoon valerian root. Cover and simmer on low for 20-40 minutes, then remove from heat. Add the passionflower, cover, and allow to steep for an additional 20-30 minutes, Strain out the herbs, then serve.


Sodium: 13mg

What’s your favorite way to make passionflower tea?

Please tell me in the comments below!

passionflower tea recipe

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1. United States Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service. Purple Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata L.) 

2. Winston, David (2019) Adaptogens, Herb for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief

3. Shahin Akhondzadeh et. al. (2005) Passiflora incarnata in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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Recipe Rating

20 thoughts on “Passionflower Tea Recipe”

    • Be careful, you are showing photos of Passiflora caeruela (blue Passion flower), which contains poisonous glycosides. Teas should be made from Passiflora incarnata (purple Passion flower), at least in the US, unless one really knows how to prepare the blue.

  1. You can do it either way. And I recommend experimenting with both dried flowers and leaves as well as fresh for what works best for you.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi, I’ve been into herbs for a long time, and every time I hear of another herb I can use for tea or medicine I find my excitement levels rising. Thank you for this article. You write simply, not expecting your audience to understand difficult terms etc and thus makes more sense.

    Would this work with actual passionfruit seeds as well, I was wondering?

    Stormee McCarthy

  3. I have a passion flower vine growing in my front yard. Thank you for this tea recipe and I look forward to reading about more such recipes from your e-book!

  4. 5 stars
    Greetings to you! I lived in California for few years and in the yard was a passion flower vine.
    Did you know the passion flower vine is the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly? It was wonderful
    The caterpillars would crawl inside the security door to go through the next stage of development,
    and I would come home from work and let out any hatched butterflies. One time I had a new long house dress, very colorful flowers on it and when I went outside to see my butterflies, they surrounded me thinking I was a walking bouquet. I was laughing hysterically. It makes me cry to think about it. And I never tried to eat the fruit, sadly, but when the fruit turned red, the mockingbird would come and I would watch him devour the fruit.
    I sure do love it when you talk about your butterflies.
    Thank you, take care…

  5. Hello! While reading reviews on Amazon, someone questioned if this tea is “decaf”. The answer was “no”, with no further comment.
    Is this true?
    Love your site!
    Carol Clemans

  6. Thank you so much for this, very useful information.
    I’ve just found passionflower in my garden and now I’m going to made a tea!

  7. Thankyou for the information hope to be helped with my sort of arthritis-nerves burning sensation from my knees to my feet.