Griffonia is said to have numerous positive effects. Griffonia is the name of the African black bean. The climbing plant is native to the African jungle. The fruits of the plant are green pods that resemble chili peppers in shape. In Ghana, the bean's home country, it is considered an aphrodisiac. But what is in the bean, which is called the "anti-depressive jungle plant"? We explain the effects and correct intake of Griffonia.
Effects of Griffonia and 5-HTP
Griffonia is said to have a mood-lifting and antidepressant effect. It is said to increase concentration, promote mental resilience, as well as have pain-reducing and mood-lifting effects. But what's in the bean that is even said to help with depression? The seeds contain plenty of L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). This valuable amino acid is converted in the human body into the messenger substance serotonin and provides more mental well-being in cases of listlessness, fatigue, mood swings or depressive moods. There are only a few foods that contain 5-HTP, the African black bean is one of them. A lack of serotonin leads to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep, eating and memory disorders. Synthetic preparations have a long list of side effects, which is why Griffonia is popularly used as a natural antidepressant.
The positive effect of herbal remedies with 5-HTP on depressive moods or sleep disorders has already been proven by clinical studies. An Austrian study also proves the positive effect of Griffonia on depression, anxiety disorders and stress. Note: If depression is suspected, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
What is the correct dosage of 5-HTP?
Normally, we take in enough substances through our food or the sun to support the body's own production of 5-HTP. However, various reasons, such as a lack of vitamin D, advanced age and various diseases, may make supplementation of 5-HTP advisable. The dosage of Griffonia depends on the composition of the product. Studies use very different doses of the active ingredient 5-HTP ranging from 50 to 1000 mg; moderate amounts of 200 to 300 mg are usually used. When taking Griffonia, the additional substitution of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate) is recommended, as the body cannot convert 5-HTP in the case of a vitamin B6 deficiency.
Note: Griffonia should not be taken if other medicines, such as antidepressants, are being taken. Possible interactions cannot be ruled out. The intake should be clarified with a doctor beforehand. It is also not advisable to take it during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Excessive doses of 5-HTP lead to high serotonin levels, which can have a negative effect on the body.
If you have any further questions about Griffonia and how to take it properly, our pharmacists at Saint Charles Pharmacy in Vienna and Berlin will be happy to advise you. If you want to learn more about antidepressant herbs, we recommend the article on St. John's wort.