Scientifically known as Passiflora incarnata, passionflower has been a trusted herbal ally for centuries throughout the world. Our founder, Andrea Nakayama, knows it as the flower growing up on the side of her home like a weed. Little did she know that the flower would later become a topic of discussion in Full Body Systems, as a tool for sleep support.

Let’s explore why we’ve come to appreciate the calming power of passionflower and why you (and your clients!) may too.

Passionflower’s natural sedative properties for sleep support

Passionflower’s secret lies in its sedative properties, which are potent in its leaves, stems, and exquisite flowers. This gentle sedation soothes both body and mind, making it an invaluable remedy for those struggling with daytime irritability or anxiety and sleepless nights. Unlike many sleep aids, passionflower offers a restful slumber without the dreaded grogginess or “narcotic hangover.”

Stress-relief and more

There’s more to passionflower than just a good night’s sleep. It’s also a fantastic stress-buster. The constituents in passionflower, including alkaloids and flavonoids like apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, and kaempferol, work in harmony to gently relax the whole body. According to renowned herbalist David Hoffman, passionflower has a sedating effect on the central nervous system, offering relief from the throes of chronic stress and anxiety.

Functional Nutrition in a cup

Before we dive into our sleep support recipe, a quick note about crafting herbal remedies with milk: According to Michael Teirra and Karta Purkh Sinfa Khalsa in their book The Way of Ayurvedic  Herbs, much like water, milk has the unique ability to draw out specific compounds from herbs, offering a holistic remedy to carry you through the night. Warm milk is restorative, balancing vata and pitta tendencies. Let’s bring back this time-tested tradition with our Sleep Tight Bedtime Milk.

Sleep Tight Bedtime Milk

For the Sleep Tight powder blend


  • ½ tsp Passionflower powder
  • ½ tsp Chamomile powder
  • ½ tsp Catnip powder


  1. Mix all ingredients and store in a small jar in a cool, dry place.

For the Sleep Tight herbal milk


  • 1 cup milk (preferably almond, coconut, cashew, or hemp)
  • ½ tsp sleep-tight powder (from the blend you prepared)
  • 2–3 drops of maple syrup, honey, or stevia
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Pour milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it’s just about to boil, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the herbal powder for about a minute to ensure it’s well blended.
  3. Whisk in the remaining ingredients – sweetener of your choice and a drop of vanilla extract if you desire.
  4. Serve in your favorite mug, and for a final touch, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top. Enjoy it piping hot.

Sip on this Sleep Tight Bedtime Milk and let the calming embrace of passionflower, chamomile, and catnip lull you into a serene slumber. For our practicing readers, it can be a gentle and effective way to support your client’s pursuit of restful sleep in your efforts to address Non-Negotiables. Either way, cheers to nights filled with sweet dreams and refreshed mornings, courtesy of Functional Nutrition!

This recipe was developed in partnership with Megan Liebmann, of the Slow Medicine Collective.

Khalsa KPS, Tierra M. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World’s Oldest Healing System. Lotus Press; 2008.

Borrás S, Martínez-Solís I, Ríos JL. Medicinal Plants for Insomnia Related to Anxiety: An Updated Review. Planta Med. 2021;87(10-11):738-753. doi:10.1055/a-1510-9826 

Bruni O, Ferini-Strambi L, Giacomoni E, Pellegrino P. Herbal Remedies and Their Possible Effect on the GABAergic System and Sleep. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):530. Published 2021 Feb 6. doi:10.3390/nu13020530

Passionflower. In: LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; March 28, 2020.
Hoffman, D. Passionflower., Accessed August 29, 2023.

Functional Nutrition Alliance

By: Functional Nutrition Alliance

Founded by Andrea Nakayama, we help coaches, clinicians, and health care practitioners across the globe transform healthcare with Functional Nutrition. We offer cutting-edge nutrition training programs, clinical guidance, and Functional Medicine thought leadership.