Mucuna, or Mucuna pruriens, is a top superfood and popular ayurvedic herb.
Mucuna pruriens benefits as an extract that is produced from the beans of seeds of a legume plant commonly grown in Southeast Asia.
In the East Indian System of Ayurveda, Mucuna is known as one of the most beneficial herbs for normalizing “vatasamshamana”, or the vata dosha.
In other words, it is a great herb for calming the nervous system and deeply nourishing all tissues and fluids of the entire body. Mucuna is one of the rare Ayurvedic herbs that actually balance all three doshas or body types.
In the Chinese herbal system, Mucuna is considered a yang and jing herb, which helps to restore the kidney-adrenal meridian, reproductive power, brain enhancement, eyesight, and sense of hearing.
Mucuna pruriens Benefits to Health
“Contains L-DOPA and Increases Dopamine”
Mucuna pruriens is a velvety bean that contains many beneficial substances, including the amino acid L-DOPA (Levodopa), which increases dopamine concentrations in the body that move beyond the protective blood-brain barriers.
Many people lack adequate dopamine levels due to increased levels of toxicity from pollutants and poor diets.
Mucuna is, in fact, the highest natural source of L-Dopa! Dopamine calms and relaxes the nervous system, basically providing a shield and buffer, “doping” up the body against stress.
Essentially, L-Dopa builds dopamine in the same way tryptophan builds serotonin.
L-Dopa also helps to replenish natural dopamine levels that are deficient in those recovering from addictive stimulants, drugs and tobacco use.
When our dopamine is drained we get overly restless and jittery, causing damage to neurotransmitter production in the brain.
“L-dopa is metabolized into dopamine by both the heart and brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter without which communication among the nerves within the brain would be impossible.” Vital Man by Stephen Buhner
Mucuna is an Aphrodisiac
Mucuna is an aphrodisiac that arouses or increases sexual desire and improves sexual performance in both men and women.
One reason for this effect is because dopamine naturally supports healthy hormone levels.
Mucuna pruriens benefits have long been acknowledged in Ayurveda medicine for improving sex drive, and regulating nervous system functions.
“L-Dopa has also been found to increase sexual interest and activity and to facilitate erections in men. It is used for treating anorgasmia (a woman’s inability to have an orgasm).” Stephen Buhner
In a research study conducted by King George’s Medical University in 2007, Mucuna pruriens benefits not only reduced stress, but also improved the quality of semen in infertile men.
Mucuna pruriens List of Technical Benefits
- High in tryptophan
- Substantial amounts of betacarbolenes
- Source of L-Dopa
- Contains bioactive tryptamines
- Carminative, anti-hypertensive
- Dopamine helps to produce health giving hormones
Mucuna pruriens List of Common Benefits
- A natural source of L-dopa (levodopa), increases dopamine in the brain
- Helps to relax the body, decreasing stress and anxiety
- Enhances libido and revitalizes reproductive system
- Can offer qualities as an antidepressant
- Promotes better sleep
- Helps in additive drug recovery
- Supports cognitive functions and memory
- Good for normalizing motor skills and relaxing muscle movements
- May help regulate blood sugar levels
- Fosters healthy digestion and elimination
- Helps to naturally energize the body
What is Mucuna?
The word Mucuna comes from the native Amazonian word “mucunian”, which (along with serotonin), is present in the hairs of the seed pod.
Mucuna is a vine shrub that grows very rapidly in tropical climates. It is native to India, West Indies, and Africa.
The Mucuna seeds, or beans, are harvested from the long (4-13cm), sometimes hairy, pods that grow off of the vine.
Mucuna pruriens benefits come from the Mucuna seed powered extracts, which contain higher concentrations of L-Dopa.
How To Use Mucuna
It is important to purchase a high quality Mucuna powder extract to get the best effects from using it. It is easiest to take in capsule form.
Mucuna Pruriens Dosage
For those new to Mucuna, begin by taking smaller doses between 700-1400mg, eventually building up to 2100-2800mg per serving. It is best taken with water in the morning before meals, which is a great way to consume any micro-nutrient. Many have found it beneficial to take before sleep at night also.
There are no documented side effects from those using Mucuna, which makes it very safe to use for most people. Mucuna pruriens, however, should not be consumed by pregnant women.
All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or prescription. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to cure or prevent any disease.