5-HTP is primarily derived from the Griffonia simplicifolia
plant. It is a naturally occurring amino acid and a percursor to the neurotransmitter serotonins, which is essential for the stabilization and improvement of mood as well as for promoting quality sleep. It is a commonly used supplement for recovering addicts and people treating depression/anxiety, although not all of these individuals find that they need
the 5-HTP. This may or may not be a supplement you incorporate into your daily supplementation protocol. 5-HTP can help treat the following:
- "Sober Sadness" - An early drug withdrawal symptom
- Relieves dysphoria after taking MDMA
- Relieves migraines
- Treats some fibromyalgia symptoms
- Treats depression
Start with a low dose of 5-HTP and pay close attention to your emotions and physical state (does your mood improve, do you feel more or less irritable, do you sleep better or worse, etc). You may start with 100mg/day and work up to 400mg/day (take 100mg every 4 hours, 4x/day).
Some people may experience digestive upsets when taking 5-HTP, such as heartburn and nausea. Vivid dreams and nightmares are also fairly common, and some people experience drowsiness rather than a more wakeful state after taking 5-HTP. Because different people experience 5-HTP differently, this is why it's so important to be able to tune into yourself when you start taking this supplement, since it may require some trial and error to get the dosage right FOR YOU.
DO NOT COMBINE 5-HTP WITH ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS, METHAMPHETAMINES, OR OTHER PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS OR STREET DRUGS. Combining 5-HTP with certain drugs (specifically SSRI medications, MAOI's or amphetamine drugs) can lead to Serotonin Syndrome. Wait at least 2 weeks after taking one of these drugs/medications before taking 5-HTP. If you feel like you may relapse, wait to take 5-HTP until you feel relatively confident about your control over your addiction.