What is Griffonia seed extract (5-HTP)? And what does it do?
Another day, another all-natural superfood is suddenly the must-have supplement for people in the UK. Today, that superfood is Griffonia seed extract - the source of the much less natural-sounding (but still totally natural) 5-Hydroxytryptophan. Or 5-HTP to you and I and everyone else without a chemistry degree.
But what on earth is Griffonia seed extract? Is it really different to 5-HTP? And what does this compound do to the human body?
Let’s dive in and find out.
Introducing Griffonia seeds and their extract
Imagine a small, bright green seed. Like an edamame bean, but a little bit smaller. That’s what Griffonia seeds look like, and as you might expect they grow on the Griffonia plant. Griffonia simplicifolia, to give it its Sunday name.
This plant grows in tropical climates in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tongo, and produces vibrant green seeds that are high in protein, calcium, phosphorus and something we’ll come onto in a second.
The whole plant is used in traditional African medicine thanks to antiseptic chemicals in the leaves and a stem that’s supposed to have aphrodisiac qualities. But it’s that final compound in the seeds we’re most interested in.
So that’s where we get 5-HTP?
Correct! Each ripe Griffonia seed is made up of around 15% 5-HTP. The seeds can be ground down and processed to remove everything but the 5-HTP, which is also known as Griffonia seed extract.
And initial studies of 5-HTP have been very promising indeed, because it’s a compound our bodies absorb very easily, especially when it’s been isolated and added to a vitamin tablet or even a vitamin gummy.
And what does Griffonia seed extract (5-HTP) do?
Those studies we mentioned? As a dietary supplement, 5-HTP helps the body process serotonin - something that’s key to pain management and mental health treatments. Serotonin is the pleasure chemical in your brain - without it, you can be prone to depression, and suffer more from painful conditions like fibromyalgia. Get enough of it, you’ll have a much better sense of wellbeing.
But the most promising use of 5-HTP wasn’t as a treatment for any of these conditions, it’s to help people feel calmer and more relaxed, so that they find it easier to drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep.
Where can I find a 5-HTP supplement?
Right here at Sealions! You’ll find natural Griffonia seed extract packed with 5-HTP in our vegan night time gummies. Flavoured with natural passionfruit, these gummies also contain lavender, lemon balm and chamomile. Two a day, and you might find that it's easier to drift off into a comfortable, relaxing sleep.And it’s all thanks to that serotonin-boosting Griffonia seed extract and that hard-to-pronounce 5-HTP. But now you know exactly what it is and where it’s from!