What are the benefits of 5HTP? 5-HTP is a chemical byproduct of the protein building block L-tryptophan. It’s produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect mood, sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behaviour, and pain sensation. You can’t get 5-HTP from food. The amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to make 5-HTP, can be found in turkey, chicken, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnip and collard greens, and also seaweed.