Botanical Name : Mucuna Pruriens
Other Names : Kiwanch, Cowitch, Kapikachhu, Velvet bean, Cowhage plant
The plant is an annual, climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15 m. It bears white, lavender, or purple flowers and pods that are covered in loose orange hairs, which cause a severe itch.
Root is used as a remedy in facial paralysis and nervous disorders. Decoction of the roots purifies the blood, cures rheumatism, asthma, cough, stone in the bladder and improves vitality. It is also used for fevers, edema, and elephantiasis.
Mucuna pruriens (syn. Dolichos pruriens) is a tropical legume known by a multitude of common names, including velvet bean, cowitch, cowhage, kapikachu, nescafe, sea bean, kratzbohnen, konch, yerepe (Yoruba) and atmagupta. The plant is an annual, climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15 m.
It bears white, lavender, or purple flowers and pods that are covered in loose orange hairs which cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The beans are shiny black or brown. It is found in tropical Africa, India and the Caribbean.
Mucuna pruriens seed powder contains high concentrations of levodopa, a direct precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsonism. In large amounts (30 g/dose) it and has been shown to be equally effective in the treatment of parkinsons disease as pure levodopa/carbidopa medications but no data on long-term efficacy and tolerability is available. Another benefit of Mucuna is that it can increase the production of human growth hormone, and extracts are commonly sold as body-building supplements.
Mucuna has also been shown to have diuretic effects. It increases tissue resiliency and improves coordination.
In history, Mucuna has been used as an aphrodisiac. It is still used to increase libido in both men and women due to its dopamine inducing properties. Dopamine has a profound influence on sexual function.
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