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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Griffonia
    Supplement Articles  
GRIFFONIA
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

The beneficial mood stabilizing effects of Griffonia have long been used for its rich 5-HTP content …

GRIFFONIA

Griffonia seeds are the plant source for most of the 5-HTP found in supplements.
The seeds of the African Griffonia shrub (Griffonia simplicifolia) have long been used as a source of 5-HTP.  5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytrytophan, which is a chemical naturally synthesized from tryptophan by our bodies.  From this state, 5-HTP can be converted directly into our relaxing brain hormones serotonin, and melatonin.  For more information, please see our article on 5-HTP.

Mental Health
The main compound in Griffonia, 5-HTP, helps to dilate the blood vessels in the brain, and thus can help to prevent migraines.  When converted to serotonin, it helps to balance mood, and alleviate depression.  In fact, in research studies, 5-HTP was found to be equal or better in the treatment of depression as tricyclic antidepressants and Prozac!

Weight Loss
A deficiency of serotonin in the brain can lead to emotional overeating and then to obesity.  Supplementing with Griffonia, as a source of the building blocks of serotonin can help to reduce emotional and stress related food cravings and overeating.

Age-Associated Insomnia
As we age, our melatonin production in our brain declines naturally.  Supplementing with Griffonia provides a source of 5-HTP, which can support healthy melatonin production.

How should I take Griffonia?
Generally Griffonia supplements will be standardized by their content of 5-HTP.  The dosage is usually standardized to provide somewhere between 50 and 300mg of 5-HTP daily.  In order to allow your body to adapt, it is a good idea to slowly increase your dosage over a few weeks until you achieve the desired dose.  Taking Griffonia supplements with carbohydrates like with juice can help to speed its absorption.  Be sure to read the important information below for safety tips.

GRIFFONIA – QUICK FACTS

PARTS USED

·  Seeds

INDICATIONS

·  Anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, obesity, insomnia, mood support.

OPTIMUM DOSAGE

·  Dose required to achieve 50-300mg 5-HTP daily. (Clinical doses may be higher as recommended by your practitioner).

WORKS WELL WITH

·  Vitamin B6, protein supplements, fruit juice.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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·  Excessive use of 5-HTP alters the levels of some immune cells, so regular monitoring with blood tests is recommended for long-term use.

·  5-HTP has IMPROVED effects when taken with St. John’s wort, SAMe and tryptophan.

·  Taking excess Griffonia can lead to a build up of serotonin in the brain and a condition known as serotonin sickness.  Symptoms include: agitation, confusion, headache, sweating, poor coordination, high fever, loss of consciousness, seizures and irregular heartbeat.  If these symptoms occur, please seek emergency medical attention.

·  Side effects can include: constipation, gas, nausea, drowsiness, and reduced sex drive.

·  Do not combine Griffonia with conventional antidepressant medications, as serious side effects can occur.

·  Do not use Griffonia within 4 weeks of taking a MAO inhibitor medication.

·  The safety of supplementation is not known for women who are pregnant or nursing.
For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2012.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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