Cultivating Griffonia? Well, there are at least a couple of problems. The first and most important is that the use of extracts of this plant in phytotherapy is recommended with caution - and better if you consult your doctor first - given the important effects on the metabolism of the active ingredient it contains (5-HTP , a precursor of the neurotransmitter melatonin).
The second problem of the cultivate Griffonia for therapeutic uses is that the part in which the active ingredient is contained is made up of the seeds, from which, however, the dry extract containing up to 20% of 5-HTP which is found in herbal preparations must be obtained. There are also preparations based on seeds of Griffonia which reach 90% of active ingredient, but are real medicines used in the pharmaceutical field on medical prescription.
There Griffonia in short, it is not a plant for herbal teas and decoctions (at least for the moment) and the dry extract is not something that can be done safely at home. To appreciate the benefits of this plant, it is better to focus on the preparations in capsules and tablets that are on the market: the doses of active ingredient will be the right ones and if you follow the instructions and the recommended dosage you can be calm.
From the botanical point of view it is enough to know that the Griffonia simplicifolia it is a climbing shrub with a sturdy woody trunk that can reach 3 meters in height. It is a typical plant of Central and West Africa belonging to the fabaceae (or legume) family in which the bean is also present, which is why the Griffonia simplicifolia it is also called the African bean.
Being a legume, one might think that the cultivation of Griffonia simplicifolia can imitate that of beans, lupins, broad beans and peas and the thing is not entirely wrong. Practice, however, tells us that this plant is found above all in the humid patches of Ghana and Ivory Coast, as well as in the woods, often next to Macroterme termite burrows.
It has not yet been ruled out that it may be the particular habitat in which it grows to potentiate in the seeds of Griffonia the antidepressant and antibulimic properties that are recognized in this plant. Reason why, and here there is a third problem, home cultivation could be ineffective and purely decorative.
While waiting to set up the seedbed, you can buy the Griffonia dry extract capsules