Griffonia simplicifolia as a source for 5HTP nutrient available as a supplement pill
Feb 25 2014

Griffonia simplicifolia is a woody climbing shrub that grows about 10 feet and native to West Africa and Central Africa. Extracts from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant contain a small percentage. 5HTP supplements convert into serotonin in the human body and are available for sale over the counter.

5-HTP sold over the counter is extracted from the Griffonia simplicifolia seed. The seeds come from an African tree grown mostly in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. 5-HTP can also be made synthetically in the laboratory. The final product is the same as the one made by the body. Only a small (3 to 7) percent of the griffonia simplicifolia seed is made of 5-htp, therefore, consuming griffonia simplicifolia seeds is not an efficient way of getting 5-HTP. This nutrient is not made from fermentation of bacteria. This plant also contains lectins.

Lectins in the seeds and composition
The seeds of Griffonia simlicifolia contain four lectins, including GS-I and GS-II. GS-II is specific for terminal, non-reducing alpha or beta linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. This lectin is not blood group specific, unlike GS-I.

Chin J Nat Med. 2013. A new β-carboline alkaloid from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia. To study the chemical constituents from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia Baill.METHODS:The chemical constituents were isolated and purified by a combination of chromatographic materials including silica gel, Sephadex LH-20, and preparative TLC. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of MS and NMR data analysis. The cytotoxic activities were evaluated against HepG2 cancer cell line using the MTT colorimetric method.RESULTS:A new β-carboline alkaloid, griffonine (1), together with seven known alkaloids, hyrtioerectine B (2), 3-carboxy-6-hydroxy-β-carboline (3), hyrtiosulawesine (4), 5-hydroxyindole-3-carbaldehyde (5), 5-hydroxy-3-(2-hydroxyethyl) indole (6), trigonelline (7), and 5-hydroxytryptamine (8) were isolated and identified. Alkaloids 1, 2 and 4 showed growth inhibitory effects on the HepG2 cell line with IC50 values of 23.5, 9.6 and 19.3 μmol·L(-1), respectively.CONCLUSION:Alkaloid 1 is new and was named griffonine. Alkaloids 2-7 were isolated from this plant for the first time. Alkaloids 1, 2 and 4 were potentially cytotoxic.

Benefit
Extract from this herb is useful in the treatment of depression, obesity, sleep disorders and anxiety disorders.