Griffonia Simplicifolia (5-HTP) Side Effects and Dangers
Does Griffonia really possess these unique abilities to treat people? Are its benefits worth obtaining possible side effects? Read all information in this article!
What Is Griffonia Simplicifolia?
Griffonia is the common name for Griffonia simplicifolia. This shrub is native to the African continent in its central and western parts.
Amounting to 10 feet in height, the plant bears seed pods and green flowers. Its seeds and leaves are known as beneficial in treating a number of diseases.
Ancient tribes used it for various purposes: its roots and stem as chewing sticks, and its leaves as both kidney and bladder treatments. The seeds are famous around the world because their extract contains 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
This substance garners a lot of interest for its nootropic characteristics for serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for stabilizing mood, sleep, and appetite. Increased levels of it help to cope with depression and anxiety, as well as promote general well-being. The seed extract can be consumed as a soothing tea or taken in a seed form. It is sold as a one-component supplement or in a stack. Griffonia comprises up to 20% of 5-HTP by weight. Modern homeopathy also effectively uses this herb for various illnesses.
What Is It Used For?
Griffonia seeds are ground into a powder and used for a number of ailments. Their primary target is to boost our mood. Due to its few negative effects, it is chosen as a natural and powerful mood enhancer in comparison to antidepressants.
It has been widely used for antibiotic purposes and to treat stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea, while its leaves are effective in the treatment of wounds. This herb also regulates appetite and leads to weight reduction in obese people. It is very useful to help manage migraines, insomnia, and headaches.
How Does Griffonia Simplicifolia Work?
Griffonia has been widely used for centuries to increase the level of serotonin in the human brain and for mood elevation. Serotonin is called the neurotransmitter of happiness because its enhanced level affects our mood. On the contrary, individuals who suffer from depression and different mood disorders have low levels of serotonin.
Serotonin is created from tryptophan – a substance usually derived from our everyday food. Tryptophan is present in high-protein food products like eggs, poultry, milk, beans, nuts, and red meat. Serotonin can be also created from 5-HTP, because its molecules are faster transformed into serotonin. 5-HTP reaches the bloodstream and easily crosses the blood barrier. In the blood, it is converted into serotonin and is able to target the brain.
As a rich source of 5-HTP, Griffonia also inhibits another mood neurotransmitter – dopamine. It also results in higher level of serotonin production. People experience feelings of pleasure, joy, euphoria, and various benefits in their mental states.
Griffonia supplements are usually taken in the morning, at the time when we swallow our regular vitamins. It should be used only in case of need, under the influence of stress and anxiety.
Benefits of Griffonia Simplicifolia for Health
All Griffonia benefits are linked with an increased serotonin level. Due to these effects, users feel more confident, focused, and get more emotional and mental control. It successfully releases muscle tension and eliminates depression. It provides effective pain relief in treating headaches, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Numerous herb reviews state that its users feel more relaxed after a hard-working day. Besides, the extract is very effective for premenstrual syndrome.
This herb has been thoroughly researched for its positive results after usage by people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It shows benefits, controlling impulsive behavior.
As a potent treatment for appetite suppression, the supplement has become popular among obese people who stick to a diet. It inhibits feelings of hunger, what is especially important for weight loss. Users feel as if they are satiated and stop consuming an excessive amount of food.
Affecting dopamine and serotonin levels, Griffonia improves our quality of sleep and is widely used as an additional therapy to treat insomnia and narcolepsy.
This plant has potential qualities to cope with the symptoms of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, but it needs more scientific evidence.
Who Shouldn’t Take Griffonia Simplicifolia?
Before involving a new supplement in your diet, consult a therapist to avoid getting negative reactions. Some health conditions do not presuppose taking Griffonia supplements in any way.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as patients with liver malfunction and with Down’s syndrome, should not take this extract. It is also considered unsafe to be used by children. The extract cannot be combined with a group of medicines:
- other antidepressants;
- pills to ease pain;
- drugs for blood pressure;
- medicines for Parkinson’s disease;
- tablets for migraines.
People should not mix Griffonia with ephedrine that is available as over-the-counter tabs to treat a cold. Their interaction may result in drowsiness, nausea, and decreased libido.
If you are planning a surgery, stop using the supplement two weeks prior to the procedure to avoid interference with the medications commonly used during operations. Some other herbal plants and dietary supplements are also contraindicated with Griffonia seed extract, such St. John’s wort, Hawaiian baby woodrose, etc.
Side Effects and Dangers
In healthy people, Griffonia supplements don’t cause any allergic or adverse reactions. Traditionally used as tea, its pure extract produces mild effects in mood improvement.
Used in capsules in moderate doses, it has few side effects. Single reported adverse symptoms include:
- loss of appetite;
More serious reactions are presented by a loss of libido, nightmares, and abdominal cramps. They rarely occur and require immediate medical help.
Taken in large amounts or in combination with other medicines that lead to the serotonin increase, Griffonia may result in serotonin syndrome. This disease can be developed due to abundance of serotonin in the human brain. Its typical symptoms are manifested by:
- irregular heartbeat;
- difficulty in concentrating;
- high fever;
If the disease is left untreated, it can be even fatal. Follow the recommended dosage intake for the safest and best results. One more significant side effect is called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). It is caused by a poor extraction from the body and due to a poor quality of supplement. It is characterized by fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and in rare cases it can be fatal. This disease affects different body systems including the muscles, blood, skin, and various organs. This disorder cannot happen as a result of using a quality product.
How to Prevent 5-HTP (Griffonia Simplicifolia) Dangers?
Before you start using Griffonia, it is necessary to talk to a physician and learn all the potential dangers and warnings associated with it. Make a list of all contradicting medicines and be aware of possible side effects and their treatment.
The extract can be taken only by adults. Control the dosage by each intake, and don’t exceed it or combine it with other tablets. Buy the supplement in trustworthy pharmacies to be sure of its high quality.
It is recommended taking Griffonia for maximum of 2 months at a time to avoid addiction or forming a habit. The necessary dosage of the supplement depends on many factors like weight, age, sensitivity, physiology, etc. The reason for taking the extract is also important. Your doctor will calculate the exact dose for your personal needs. An average daily serving is max 100 mg. This dosage is found in most 5-HTP stacks on the market. A beginner with no experience can start with a 50 mg dose. The effect will be light, but still also noticeable.
To prevent the risk of getting Griffonia’s side effects, use it in combination with other supplements. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a good candidate to mix with 5-HTP. It causes the nerves to calm down and helps in stressful situations. Add L-theanine to the stack as one more ideal component to relieve anxiety.
Summing these thoughts up, we can highlight that Griffonia dangers do exist, but appropriate and safe doses can help to derive all the benefits of this magic plant and significantly increase serotonin.
Alternatives to Griffonia Simplicifolia
As soon as people hear about possible risks that are associated with Griffonia intake, they refuse to use the supplement. In this case, there is a wide variety of other means to boost mental activity and increase mood. Focus on tryptophan and choline supplements, because they are also transformed into serotonin as well as 5-HTP.
Try other natural remedies that help to manage depression and anxiety:
- rhodiola rosea increases resistance to stress, and increases energy and concentration;
- lavender and lemon balm successfully eliminate insomnia;
- curcumin acts as a powerful antidepressant;
- garcinia cambogia and ginkgo biloba are potent serotonin boosters;
- omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B complex make nerves of steel and good health.
Smart drugs are also the best variant to lift our mood. They help to cope with excessive sleepiness and amplify mental activity. Modaheal 100 mg, Modafinil, and other Provigil alternatives work more effectively than stand-alone mood supplements. ModafinilXL is a trustworthy online pharmacy where these pills can be purchased over-the-counter. Made in India and highly approved by our customers, they are able to make wonders with no risks for our lives.