The Griffonia seed extract is one of the main ingredients in most 5-HTP supplements as the seeds contain the amino acid called 5-hydroxytryptophan. 5-HTP is a building block of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior and pain sensation.
Because 5-HTP can be taken to improve disruptions in each of these areas, it is becoming increasingly popular among individuals looking for more natural, alternative medicines. Understanding one of the main ingredients, Griffonia seed extract, can help you better understand how 5-HTP supplements can benefit your health.
The Griffonia simplicifolia is a climbing shrub that is native to Western and Central Africa. This shrub blooms flowers of a greenish hue and black pods where the Griffonia seeds, sometimes also called beans, develop. The 5-HTP found in Griffonia seeds works as a neurotransmitter, signaling the brain to produce increased amounts of serotonin. When someone’s serotonin levels are too low, they can experience a number of health problems including insomnia, overactive appetite and depression. Even if serotonin levels are normal, boosting them a bit with 5-HTP can reduce appetite, making it much easier to stick to a diet plan and reduce caloric intake.
Much of the Griffonia seeds are imported from Ghana to the United States, the UK and other countries where 5-HTP supplements are made. Before the 5-HTP is extracted from the Griffonia seeds, the seeds are typically stored for up to 10 months. The seeds are then crushed and through a chemical process the extract is removed from the seeds and then recrystalized before being added to other mixtures that will become supplement products. As a side note, the bark of the Griffonia plant has antiseptic properties and the juice that is extracted from the plant’s leaves has been said to relieve vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.
Griffonia extract is available in a few different forms, including liquid, power and as part of a supplement – like many of the 5-HTP products on the market today. The advantage of taking Griffonia extract as part of another supplement is that many of these supplements contain other beneficial ingredients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Other 5-HTP supplements are made with a special blend to help treat specific ailments. For example a 5-HTP product made to help relieve insomnia might also include valerian, another natural supplement that promotes healthy sleep.
Like any supplement, natural or not, Griffonia extract has some side effects that may possibly occur. The most common include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems. While Griffonia extract is more potent when taken on an empty stomach, and empty stomach is what can cause the stomach and digestive related side effects. Consider taking Griffonia extract with a meal and if side effects still occur, consult your physician.
Griffonia extract is an effective, natural product that can be used to help manage the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. As more and more people around the world are seeking out alternative, natural forms of medicine, Griffonia extract will continue to be one of the most popular choices.