Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis)

Composition, Efficacy and Safety


Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is an exotic climbing vine. Originating in South America, passion fruit is now grown worldwide as an edible fruit for the food industry. It has been used widely in folk medicine in South America to treat anxiety, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis and urinary infection. The constituents of different extracts include flavonoids, alkaloids, cyanogenic compounds, glycosides, vitamins, minerals and terpenoid compounds. The in vitro inhibitory effect of fruit aqueous extract on matrix-metalloprotease 2 and 9 has been shown. While some animal studies have described anxiolytic effect of leaf extract, one provided contradictory evidence. However, objective scientific validation of the putative health benefits of P. edulis in humans is still lacking. Although short-term adverse effects of crude leaf extract in human have been described, there is not any large-scale case-control study. This situation has led to questionable conclusions concerning specific health benefits or risks of P. edulis. Further studies are warranted to explore the efficacy and safety of P. edulis extracts.

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Review stimulated by research on alternative medicine funded by Wallace Research Foundation and Yerbas Medicinales (SWSEC) to RRW. The authors have no conflicts of interest directly relevant to the contents of this review.

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Correspondence to Dr Ronald R. Watson.

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Zibadi, S., Watson, R.R. Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis). Evid-Based-Integrative-Med 1, 183–187 (2004).

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  • Anxiolytic Effect
  • Passion Fruit
  • Crude Leaf Extract
  • Yellow Passion Fruit
  • Cyanogenic Compound