Mucuna Pruriens


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Mucuna Pruriens

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Mucuna pruriens, also known as cowitch and velvet bean [1; 2] is a traditional medicinal plant belonging to the Leguminosae family [2].

Benefits and effects  

M. pruriens beans have been described as a possible and useful therapeutic agent for disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and also reproductive system [13]. Leaves of M. pruriens have been documented as remedy for diabetes, arthritis, dysentery and cardiovascular disease [10]. One report has described that compared to synthetic L-DOPA contained in Sinemet, L-DOPA derived from Mucuna is twice as powerful in controlling Parkinson disease symptoms [9].

Parkinson’s disease

A randomised, controlled double-blind crossover trial was carried out in order to compare the anti-parkinsonian effects of a mucuna seed powder formulation against synthetically produced L-DOPA [16]. 30g of powdered M. pruriens extract formulation showed a longer duration of therapeutic response when compared to a dose of manufactured L-DOPA.

 Mucuna pruriens depression and stress 

A 5 gram M. pruriens seed powder treatment was taken orally over a 3-month period, and results showed improvements in psychological stress [19]. Conclusions drawn from this data indicates that M. pruriens is not only able to circumvent and manage stress, but also regenerates the anti-oxidant system of infertile men [19]. In rats, Mucuna pruriens was shown to dramatically alleviate stress-induced oxidative damage in the rat brain [18].

Breast cancer

Using a methanol extract of M. pruriens to test its effectiveness against proliferating breast cancer cells, results confirmed that M. pruriens inhibited cancer cell growth [22].


Doses of 1000mg and 1500mg were administered to rats, and testis, blood and prostate were tested for analysis. Results indicated that the M. pruriens extract significantly increased relatives weights of testis and testicular testosterone levels; along with protein levels in the testis [23].


500mg/kg and 750mg/kg treatment of M. pruriens root extract caused significant increases in serum urea and creatinine levels [24].

Conversely, smaller doses – 125mg/kg and 25mg/kg – in animals did not cause structural changes in the liver.  [25].

Safety and Side Effects

Individuals should not use M. pruriens if they have hypersensitivity to M. pruriens or its components [9].

One report found that a patient suffered from gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, M. pruiens should be avoided in patients with psychosis or schizophrenia [9].

The toxicity of Mucuna pruriens has been studied on the basis of whether or not its consumption has negative effects on kidneys [7]. In a dose-dependent manner, 50-200mg/kg of M. pruriens methanol extract was administered to adult rats. Results demonstrated that high doses of the M. pruriens extract caused cell degeneration in kidney tissue compared to control groups [7].

Clinical studies

Assessments of the effectiveness of Mucuna pruriens on five healthy human volunteers – in a single dose regiment of a 30mg powder extract – was evaluated. [27]. The pharmacokinetic profile of the extract showed features similar to synthetically produced L-DOPA [27].

Additional information

Weight0.019 kg


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[1] Akhand Pratap Singh, Saumya Sarkar, Muktanand Tripathi, Singh Rajender, 2013. Mucuna pruriens and Its Major Constituent L-DOPA Recover Spermatogenic Loss by Combating ROS, Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Apoptosis. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54655. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054655.

[2] Kavitha C. and Thangamani C, 2014. Amazing bean “Mucuna pruriens”: A comprehensive review. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol. 8(2), pp. 138-143.

[3] Satyndra Kumar Yadav, Jay Prakash, Shikha Chouhan, Surya Pratap Singh, 2013. Mucuna pruriens seed extract reduces oxidative stress in nigrostriatal tissue and improves neurobehavioral activity in paraquat-induced Parkinsonian mouse model. Neurochemistry International 62 (2013) 1039–1047.

[4] Nget Hong Tan, Shin Yee Fung, Si Mui Sim, Enrico Marinello, Roberto Guerranti, John C. Aguiyi, 2009. The protective effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds against snake venom poisoning. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 123 (2009) 356–358.

[5] Bala V. Manyam, Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran and Theodore A. Hare, 2004. Neuroprotective Effects of the Antiparkinson Drug Mucuna pruriens. Phytother. Res. 18, 706–712 (2004).

[6] Lucia Raffaella Lampariello, Alessio Cortelazzo, Roberto Guerranti, Claudia Sticozzi, Giuseppe Valacchi, 2011. The Magic Velvet Bean of Mucuna pruriens. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 331-339.

[7] Stella C. Gbotolorun, Perpetual K. Isah, and Oluwaseye A. Adebajo, 2018. Toxicity of Mucuna pruriens seed extract on the kidney of adult Sprague-Dawley rats. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Vol. 7 No. 1 Pages 27-33.

[8] Yamini B. Tripathi and Anil K. Upadhyay, 2002. Effect of the Alcohol Extract of the Seeds of Mucuna pruriens on Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress in Albino Rats. Phytother. Res. 16, 534–538.

[9] Rafael González Maldonado, 2018. Mucuna and Parkinson’s Disease: Treatment with Mucuna and Parkinson’s Disease: Treatment with Natural Levodopa. IntechOpen.

[10] K. N. Agbafor and N. Nwachukwu, 2011. K. N. Agbafor and N. Nwachukwu. Biochemistry Research International, Article ID 459839, 4 pages doi:10.1155/2011/459839.

[11] M. PUGALENTHI, V. VADIVEL & P. SIDDHURAJU, 2005. Alternative Food/Feed Perspectives of an Underutilized Legume Mucuna pruriens var. Utilis—A Review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 60: 201–218.

[12] Guoyao Wu, 2009. Amino acids: metabolism, functions, and nutrition. Amino Acids (2009) 37:1–17 DOI 10.1007/s00726-009-0269-0.

[13] Ghazala Hussain and Bala V. Manyam, 1997. Mucuna pruriens Proves More Effective than L-DOPA in Parkinson’s Disease Animal Model. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, VOL. 11, 419–423.

[14] Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran, Binu Tharakan and Bala V. Manyam, 2008.  Antiparkinson Drug – Mucuna pruriens shows Antioxidant and Metal Chelating Activity. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, 22, 6–11.

[15] Amro MS, Teoh SL, Norzana AG, Srijit D, 2018. The potential role of herbal products in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Clin Ter 2018; 169 (1):e23-33.

[16] R Katzenschlager, A Evans, A Manson, P N Patsalos, N Ratnaraj, H Watt, L Timmermann,
R Van der Giessen, A J Lees, 2004. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004;75:1672–1677.

[17] Dipanwita Pati, Dilip Kumar Pandey, Radhakrishnan Mahesh, Vadiraj Kurdekar Hemant R. Jhadav, 2010. Anti-Depressant-Like Activity of Mucuna Pruriens; A Traditional Indian Herb in Rodent Models of Depression. Pharmacologyonline 1: 537-551.

[18] Sampath Madhyastha, Rachana Chauhan, Gayathri M. Rao, Hema Umesh, 2011. Neuroprotective Effects of Mucuna pruriens Against Stress-Induced Oxidative damage. J Physiol Biomed Sci. 2011; 24(2): 28-33.

[19] Kamla Kant Shukla, Abbas Ali Mahdi, Mohammad Kaleem Ahmad, Shyam Pyari Jaiswar, Satya Narain Shankwar and Sarvada Chandra Tiwari, 2007. Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men. eCAM 2010;7(1)137–144


[20] Archana P Raina & RC Misra, 2017. Chemical evaluation of Mucuna species for L-dopa content – an anti-Parkinson’s drug yielding medicinal plant from India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 17(1), January 2018, pp. 148-154.

[21] Graciene de Souza Bido, Hingrid Ariane da Silva, Tiara da Silva Coelho Bortolo, Marcos Rodrigues Maldonado, Rogério Marchiosi, Wanderley Dantas dos Santos & Osvaldo Ferrarese-Filho, 2018. Comparative effects of L-DOPA and velvet bean seed extract on soybean lignification. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 2018, VOL. 0, NO. 0, e1451705 (5 pages).

[22] Sonam Sinha, Sonal Sharma, Jaykant Vora, Heta Shah, Anshu Srivastava, Neeta Shrivastava, 2018. Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC chemo sensitize human breast cancer cells via downregulation of prolactin-mediated JAK2/STAT5A signaling. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 217 (2018) 23–35.

[23] K. Muthu and P. Krishnamoorthy, 2011. Evaluation of androgenic activity of Mucuna pruriens in male rats. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 10(66), pp. 15017-15019.

[24] Ene A.C , Nwufo C.K . and Emejulu A.A, 2018. Subacute Toxicity Studies of Ethanol Root Extract Of Mucuna Pruriens on Albino Wistar Rats. Journal of Research in Green Chemistry 2018, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page No: 7-26.

[25] Sanjay Kasture, Silvia Pontis, Annalisa Pinna, Nicoletta Schintu, Liliana Spina, Rosanna Longoni, Nicola Simola, Mauro Ballero, Micaela Morelli, 2009. Neurotox Res (2009) 15:111–122 DOI 10.1007/s12640-009-9011-7

[26] J. B. Mugendi, E. N. M. Njagi, E. N. Kuria, M. A. Mwasaru, J. G. Mureithi and Z. Apostolides 2010. Effects of processing technique on the nutritional composition and anti-nutrient content of mucuna bean (Mucuna pruriens L.). African Journal of Food Science Vol. 4(4), pp. 156 – 166.

[27] S. S. Mahajanit V. J. DoshiS and K. M. Parikh, 1996. Bioavailability of L-DOPAfrom HP-200-a Formulation of Seed Powder of Mucuna pruriens (Bak): a Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Study. Phytotherapy research, vol. 10, 254- 256.

Also known as:Velvet Bean, Cowitch, Werepe, Karara, Agbara
Good for: , , , , , , ,
Stacks well with: Coming soon…
Typical dose:Variable (see dosage above)
Half Life :Variable
Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens

Depression Support
Pre Workout
Build Muscle
sexual health
Mood Support