Mucuna Pruriens is one of the most powerful natural brain supplements that provide wonderful health benefits. It is popular for enhancing mood and protecting the brain to keep it healthy.
Also known as ‘velvet bean’, kapikachhu, and cowhage, It typically grows in Southern China and Eastern India but is now grown throughout the tropics.
It supplies the brain with some essential nutrients and the basic ingredients that it needs to function properly. This powerful herbal supplement is capable of having a direct impact on the brain’s neurotransmitters and in turn, improving your energy levels, mental state, testosterone levels, ability to relax, and the body’s composition.
One of the most essential compounds of this herb is an amino acid called Levodopa (L-Dopa), which is responsible for producing dopamine among other hormones in the brain.
The potential beneficial effects of Mucuna Pruriens include an increase in the human growth hormone level and that of other anabolic hormones, an increase in the testosterone level, improvement in sexual drive, and promotion of positive feelings.
This supplement is also helpful in reducing the signs of aging, as it acts as a neuroprotector of the brain cells and other bodily processes.
Moreover, since it contains L-Dopa naturally, it can serve as a natural alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The ancient Indian medical system of Ayurvedic and Unani has used Mucuna Pruriens for several years as an effective treatment option for infertility, Parkinson’s disease, and snake venom negation.
It is a tropical vine, legume plant with vines as long as 50 feet. It produces bean pods covered in prickly velvet hair – hence the name ‘velvet bean’!
The prickly, hair-like projections on the seedpods can cause itchiness on the skin upon contact, as they contain serotonin and a protein called mucunain.
What does mucuna pruriens do?
When consumed, this brain-boosting supplement converts into dopamine in the brain, which is an essential neurotransmitter that affects mood. This is how Mucuna Pruriens enhances mood. Some people even take this supplement to relieve their anxiety and depression.
In addition to this, the high nitrogen content of this plant makes it an effective soil fertilizer. People also use it as a food source or an animal feed.
Interestingly, the seeds of Mucuna Pruriens are dried and then brewed to make tea. People find this tea to be highly stimulating and use it as an alternative to coffee for promoting alertness.
The mechanism of action of Mucuna Pruriens involves an increment in the L-Dopa levels and stimulation of the pituitary gland to deposit the human growth hormone. It also activates the deposition of protein in the muscles.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that affects your mood, alertness level, sexuality and other important bodily functions. Since it cannot cross over the blood-brain barrier, you cannot take it directly to see results. Nevertheless, you can increase your dopamine levels by taking Mucuna Pruriens supplement, as it contains L-Dopa that produces dopamine.
- Improves the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the body.
- It enhances your focus, mood, and provides you motivation.
- You experience an increase in libido and stress response.
Following are some great benefits and uses of Mucuna Pruriens.
1. Reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
When it comes to the reduction of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the credit goes to L-Dopa content of Mucuna Pruriens.
One study found that Parkinson’s patients experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms after using Mucuna Pruriens powder.
Another study found this supplement to be just as effective as the standard levodopa treatment, only with a higher rate of absorption and faster reach to peak level.
2. Acts as an antidepressant
Researchers used the Forced Swim Test (FST) and Tail Suspension Test (TST) to check the antidepressant effects of Mucuna Pruriens extract. They found that it caused a considerable reduction in the immobility time in both the tests. This indicates that Mucuna Pruriens has antidepressant effects.
3. Relieves stress
A study investigated the effects of Mucuna Pruriens on the stress level of infertile men. The results suggested that this supplement is helpful in reducing and managing psychological stress in infertile men.
4. Decreases prolactin levels
Increased levels of prolactin can lead to the formation of tumors in the pituitary gland, which may cause visual impairment and headaches. Generally, dopamine agonists bring down the levels of prolactin. Therefore, It being a dopamine agonist is effective in treating a mild increase in the prolactin levels.
One study concluded that this herbal supplement decreased the levels of prolactin and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in infertile males.
5. Treats male infertility
The supplement also treats male infertility and promotes sperm motility, increases sperm count, and improves sperm quality.
One study found that this supplement increased testosterone levels in infertile men. Another study revealed that Mucuna Pruriens treatment improved sperm motility and sperm count.
6. Boosts energy levels, mood, and concentration
The L-Dopa present in Mucuna Pruriens supports many important neurotransmitters and their actions. This helps the brain create more dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals affect mood, energy, motivation, and feelings of pleasure.
Thus, this supplement enhances the level of focus, concentration, and alertness.
7. Improves sleep
Recent studies show that Mucuna Pruriens may improve the quality of sleep in both men and women. The levodopa compound produces neurotransmitters, such as dopamine that regulate crucial bodily functions including sleep.
The herb also contains small amounts of the ‘feel good’ hormone, serotonin. It helps relieve stress and anxiety, and thus makes it easier to fall asleep.
While testosterone production is much lesser in women than in men, it still plays a key role in sexual interest and performance in both.
The aphrodisiac uses of Mucuna Pruriens are not unknown – and the prolactin hormone has a lot to do with it. Prolactin has reproductive, immunoregulatory, and metabolic functions. Your body needs little amounts of this hormone but an excess of estrogen can lead to high levels.
Prolactin works by counteracting testosterone and hence, reduces sexual desire. This makes sense why prolactin-stimulating drugs decrease libido levels in women and cause impotence in men.
Now, to reduce the excessive prolactin in the body, the L-Dopa comes in handy, as it increases dopamine levels – it actually increases the level of testosterone in the body.
This hormonal shift results in an immediate increase in sexual interest and performance.
Some men even experience a noticeable decrease in the refractory period when they take Mucuna Pruriens powder a few hours before engaging in sexual activity. Since prolactin plays a major role in the drowsy feeling that makes men want to go to sleep after sex, it all makes sense!
For people who experience low levels of dopamine due to stresses of daily life or regular use of stimulants, Mucuna Pruriens supplement can lift their mood in no time!
This drug is a natural nootropic and its effects are comparable to some synthetic ‘smart drugs’.
Research suggests that L-Dopa in Mucuna Pruriens increases the dopamine levels in the cortex region of the brain. This explains why people experience an enhanced mood and elevated mental alertness after taking Mucuna Pruriens supplement or Kapikachhu powder on an empty stomach.
It is worthy to mention here that more is not good when it comes to dopamine levels in the brain. Therefore, you should consider sticking to the recommended dosage. Even a slight increase in the available L-Dopa levels is enough to do its job and produce some beneficial effects for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Alternatively, excessively high amounts of L-Dopa can produce adverse effects, including high blood pressure, nervousness, tension, and anxiety. Hence, you should consider starting off slow with Mucuna Pruriens!
The Natural Medicines database rates Mucuna Pruriens as a potentially safe drug given that adults use it appropriately and orally.
Research shows that powdered form of this herbal supplement is safe to use for up to 20 weeks.
Most users are able to tolerate the supplement really well and reports of side effects are extremely rare. However, certain adverse effects may arise if users take a dose that is higher than the recommended dosage.
Five possible side effects of Mucuna Pruriens,
- Little confusion
These side effects, although not very serious, may only arise in case of an overdose and are usually very uncommon.
If you plan to use the raw stems and leaves of the plant, beware because it may cause severe itching. Thus, it is better to use a powdered form of the plant.
Even though the supplement is highly safe to use, you should consider talking to your doctor before taking it to make sure there will be no negative interactions with any medications or supplements that you are taking or any medical condition that you might have.
The appropriate dosage of the Mucuna Pruriens depends on factors, like age, gender, weight, and most importantly the reason behind taking the supplement.
How to take mucuna pruriens?
If you are taking the supplement for mood enhancement purposes, the recommended dosage ranges from 200 mg to 500 mg. it is better to start at 200 mg and increase the dose only if you do not notice any change. Moreover, it is important that you take this supplement on an empty stomach so that any food or nutrients, such as protein and vitamin B6 do not interfere with its absorption. Thus, a capsule with a glass of water before breakfast would be good.
When to take mucuna pruriens?
On the other hand, if your aim is to reduce and manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the recommended range of dosage is between 15 g to 30 g. Surprisingly, even at such high dosages, the side effects are likely to be mild and mainly gastrointestinal in nature. Again, take the dose on an empty stomach in the morning and another in the evening.
Furthermore, for infertility consider taking 5 g of Mucuna Pruriens powder with a teaspoon of water every day. Ideally, you should take it in the evening, several hours after you eat something and an hour or two before dinner.
Where can you get good Mucuna Pruriens supplement?
If the benefits offered by Mucuna Pruriens have impressed you and you are considering trying it, make sure you buy a high-quality supplement. There are a number of online vendors, which sell this mood and brain enhancing supplement at quite reasonable rates. All you have to do is to hunt a trusted and reliable vendor and place your order online.
Thanks to technology, you can save yourself some precious time and effort of going to a pharmacy or medical store. Upon confirmation of your order, make the payment either online if they accept or otherwise wait for the deliveryman to bring the supplement to your doorstep and pay him.
What could possibly be better than getting a premium-quality supplement delivered to your doorstep in just a few days time? Talk about convenience!
Majority of the user reviews of Mucuna Pruriens are positive! Users absolutely love how the supplement fulfills all it claims.
Several users who take this supplement for treating Parkinson’s disease report experiencing an improved balance and reduction in their tremors. Users who could not previously flex their muscles and move their arms or legs at all report that this supplement improved overall movement and flexibility, and their gait. Moreover, any users enjoy its mood-boosting property and use it as a herbal remedy for depression and anxiety – and they love the results! They report feeling positive, jolly, and energetic all day long.
Their cognitive functions also improve and they experience having clearer thoughts.
All in all, Mucuna Pruriens serves as a miracle-worker and is great for improving cognition, sleep, mood, energy levels, stress levels, and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study.
- Estimation of L-dopa from Mucuna pruriens LINN and formulations containing M. pruriens by HPTLC method.
- Assessment of symptomatic and neuroprotective efficacy of Mucuna pruriens seed extract in rodent model of Parkinson’s disease.
- Antidiabetic oligocyclitols in seeds of Mucuna pruriens.
- Nutritional quality evaluation of velvet bean seeds (Mucuna pruriens) exposed to gamma irradiation.
- Effects of Mucuna pruriens protease inhibitors on Echis carinatus venom.
- Alkaloids of Mucuna pruries chemistry and pharmacology.
- Alkaloidal constituents of Mucuna pruriens seeds.
- Neuroprotective effects of the antiparkinson drug Mucuna pruriens.
- Extraction of bioactive principles from Mucuna pruriens seeds.
- Distribution of L-DOPA in the root of velvet bean plant (Mucuna pruriens L.) and gravity.
- Studies on the incorporation of velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) as an alternative protein source in poultry feed and its effect on growth performance of broiler chickens.
- Effect of various domestic processing methods on antinutrients and in vitro protein and starch digestibility of two indigenous varieties of Indian tribal pulse, Mucuna pruriens Var. utilis.
- Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Property of Leaf Extracts of Vitex doniana and Mucuna pruriens.
- Proteomic analysis of the pathophysiological process involved in the antisnake venom effect of Mucuna pruriens extract.