Griffonia simplicifolia, or simply griffonia, is a perennial shrub plant, originally from Africa, which can reach up to three meters in height. It is quite adaptable, since its cultivation takes place in the most diverse environments. Africans have known about the medicinal properties of this shrub for centuries. There are reports that they chewed their stalks and roots to alleviate the symptoms of some illnesses, and that they used their leaves as a poultice to aid the healing and healing process of wounds.

What is it for?

This plant is used to treat insomnia, obesity, anxiety, chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, PMS symptoms, nausea and to improve mood. However, its most popular use is to combat depression.

Why does it help against depression?

Gryphonia is rich in 5-HTP, an amino acid that is a precursor to the production of serotonin. This amino acid is nothing more than a type of tryptophan, which induces an increase in the so-called “happiness hormone”. The highest 5-HTP concentration of griffonia simplicifolia is found in its seeds. It is usually sold as a herbal remedy, in capsule form or as a food supplement. In many cases, you find it with the amino acid name instead of the plant.

Serotonin is precisely the same hormone that is produced when we eat chocolate, for example. It works in ways that improve mood, regulate appetite, sleep, body temperature, heart rate and increase intellectual abilities.

Gryphon tea

Tea from this plant can be very helpful in relieving symptoms of chronic headaches or treating insomnia. Put eight gryphony leaves in a liter of boiling water and let it rest for 15 minutes. Strain and drink an average of three cups during the day, preferably after meals.

When not to consume griffonia simplicifolia?

Despite its great effectiveness against depression, avoid consuming it when taking medications such as fluoxetine or sertraline, for example. Pregnant or lactating women should also avoid gryphonia.

Side effects

If consumed in excess, this plant can cause nausea, gas, heartburn, vomiting and diarrhea. So don’t overuse it. The supplement and capsules should not exceed 70 mg as it can cause stomach pain.

Where to buy?

Griffonia simplicifolia leaves can be found in many different herbalists or on the internet. 5-HTP capsules and supplements are sold in health food stores, specialty pharmacies or online.