Home Magazines Editors-in-Chief FAQs Contact Us

The different roles of Griffonia simplicifolia in the treatment of depression: a narrative review

International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Renata de Melo Guerra Ribas,1 Diélita Carla Lopes de Oliveira,1 Paulo César da Silva,1 Hugo André de Lima Martins,1 Joyce Gomes de Moraes,1 Mayara Paula da Silva,1 Valdenilson Ribeiro Ribas,1 Clenes de Oliveira Mendes Calafange,2 Ana Elisa Toscano Meneses da Silva Castro,2 Raul Manhães de Castro2


Introduction:Several studies have demonstrated the importance of some plants for the treatment of depression because they are sources of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), among them, Griffonia simplicifolia stands out, especially when dosed and formulated as an herbal remedy.

Objective:The purpose of this article is to conduct a narrative review on the treatment of depression through the phytotherapic Griffonia simplicifolia.

Method:A bibliographic review and a search of the electronic index databases MEDLINE / PubMed, Web of Science, CAPES journal portal, BIREME and Google Scholar were carried out.

Results:Phytotherapy is only equivalent to allopathy only in the use of the law of the like. However, its substances come only from vegetable origin. Thus, unlike allopathic drugs, it cannot be called a drug, but an active principle. Thus, both allopathy and phytotherapy agree to increase the availability of 5-HT in the treatment of depression. In this sense, among these medicinal plants tested in the laboratory, this study chose Griffonia simplicifolia that presents pharmacodynamic conditions for the treatment of depression because it is a source of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). Research has shown that Griffonia simplicifolia extracts increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Each seed is estimated to contain about 6 to 14% of 5-HTP. In some countries, after an industrial extraction, the researchers combine the contents of several seeds to provide 95-98% of 5-HTP in each capsule.

Conclusion:The studies presented in this narrative review demonstrate that 5-HTP extracted from Griffonia simplicifolia can be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, insomnia, in the anxiety control and, above all, in depression.


phytotherapy, griffonia simplicifolia, depression, chalkstone, pharmacognosy, taxonomy, 5-hydroxytryptophan