Passionflower for Weight Loss – is it Effective?

According to MedlinePlus, 66 percent of American adults are either obese or overweight, which has led to an outbreak of health complications such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis.

Because of the health risks associated with carrying extra body fat, the weight loss industry is full of products and diet plans claiming to have the secret of true fat loss. While many claims are nothing more than advertising hype, you can obtain weight loss support through natural supplements.

Passionflower is traditionally used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels; however, proponents of this herb claim that it can also support overall weight loss. Before using passionflower supplements, talk with your doctor to ensure its safety, especially if you’re taking medications.


Before delving into the specifics about passionflower’s ability to help you lose weight, I want to discuss the active compounds in passionflower.

While the exact active compounds found in passionflower are currently under debate within the scientific community, the University of Maryland Medical Center states that the compounds found in passionflower work by enhancing the production and release of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid. When GABA levels are increased, brain activity is temporarily reduced, thus resulting in an overall feeling of relaxation and calm.

Effects of Passionflower on Weight Loss:

Although there is no solid scientific evidence connecting passionflower to an increase in weight loss, due to its effects within your body it may indirectly increase weight loss by controlling the release of cortisol. Cortisol is one of the most interesting hormones as it is essential, but excessive cortisol levels can lead to weight gain and other complications.

Production of cortisol is increased when you undergo psychosocial stress, such as anxiety or everyday stress. When cortisol is released from your adrenal glands, it enhances the development of immature fat cells, or adipocytes, into mature or functional fat cells. This hormone also promotes the accumulation of mature fat cells to your abdomen.

Knowing this information, if you are able to promote a relaxed sensation you will ultimately reduce sensations of stress, which inhibits the release of cortisol. Thus, passionflower may indirectly aid in weight loss by hindering excessive cortisol levels. While this notion is based in scientific fact, further research is required to determine the true value passionflower has on not only stress release, but cortisol production.

References Used:

MedlinePlus: Weight Control

University of New Mexico: Cortisol Connection

University of Maryland Medical Center: Passionflower

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