Mucuna pruriens, a rich source of natural L-dopa, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, makes up about 7% of seeds, and has been used to treat several brain-related diseases in the ancient books of the traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda, most commonly Parkinson’s disease.
In empirical medicine, what are the effects of Mucuna prurien? Are there any side effects of Mucuna prurien? See text analysis for details
What is Mucuna prurien?
Mucuna pruriens, also known as quinoa/tiger claw/velvet bean, belongs to the butterfly family, is an annual legume of the genus Blood Vine, including about 150 varieties, native to eastern India and western China.
In Central America, Mucuna pruriens is also commonly used as a substitute for coffee after roasting and grinding (due to the similar flavor of the two).
It has been found in the literature that Mucuna pruriens may have anti-diabetic, antitumor, anti-microbial, aphrodisiac, and learning and memory-enhancing properties.
What are the proven benefits of Mucuna pruriens?
1. Mucuna pruriens improves Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson disease is a devastating disease of the human nervous system, the second most common progressive chronic neurodegenerative disease, causative factors may be: exposure to pesticides and other toxic substances, family history, head trauma, oophorectomy, etc., but age is still the most important record.
From a motor function perspective, Parkinson’s disease includes four basic features: bradykinesia, resting tremors, stiffness, postural and gait disturbances.
A double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study (18 patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease) noted that Mucuna pruriens showed similar motor response improvements compared with the oral drug levodopa/benzepazine (levodopa+ benserazide), but also fewer dyskinesia and adverse events. Note 1
*Conclusion: For patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, Mucuna pruriens is not lower than Levodopa+ Benserazide in all efficacy and safety indicators, but limited by the small sample size, more studies are still needed to support it.
2. Mucuna pruriens is beneficial for male infertility
Male fertility, which refers to the inability of men to conceive women of reproductive age, is estimated by the World Health Organization to be the current 60 million to 80 million couples worldwide with infertility, and male infertility accounts for about 40% to 50%, affecting about 7% of men.
Male infertility is often associated with low sperm concentration (hypozoospermia), poor sperm motility (asthezoospermia), abnormal sperm morphology (spermatospermia), secondary hypogonadism, genetics, semen tract obstruction, oncological disorders, severe sexual dysfunction, congenital abnormalities of the genitourinary tract, acquired or secondary testicular damage.
A prospective study of 60 infertile men found that Mucuna pruriens significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation, improved spermatogenesis and improved sperm motility. Note 2
Another prospective study (75 infertile men) pointed out that Mucuna pruriens can help improve testosterone, luteinizing hormone, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, as well as sperm count and motility. Note 3
*Conclusion: For male infertility, the use of Mucuna pruriens may help improve sperm quality, but due to small sample sizes, more large randomized controlled studies are needed to support this
3. Mucuna pruriens lowers blood lipids and prevents blood clots
Thrombosis is the formation of blood clots in the vascular system and can occur in the arteries and venous systems.
It can lead to a variety of conditions, including myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and limb ischemia. Related causative factors are: age, obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, etc.
An animal study has pointed out that Mucuna pruriens has hypolipidemic effects and antithrombotic activity. Note 4
*Conclusion: Animal studies have found that Mucuna pruriens has hypolipidemic and antithrombotic effects, but further verification is still needed in human studies
4. Mucuna pruriens has an anti-melancholic effect
Major depressive disorder is a disabling mental disorder with a complex etiology that involves an interplay of genetic and environmental factors.
In addition to core symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest, hopelessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, suicidal ideation, or suicidal behavior, many patients have psychological symptoms such as cognitive impairment and anxiety.
Currently, antidepressants are the most common form of treatment for major depressive disorder, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medications.
However, according to recent efficacy trials, only 42% to 46% of outpatients with depression who received the first step of treatment with SSRIs experienced remission.
An animal study suggests that Mucuna pruriens extract can produce a specific antidepressant effect in models of acute and chronic depression mediated by interaction with the dopaminergic system. Note 5
*Conclusion: Animal studies have found that Mucuna pruriens may have antidepressant effects, but further validation is still needed in human studies
Are there any side effects Mucuna pruriens?
A large, double-blind study showed that 15 to 30 grams of Mucuna pruriens powder was taken in a 12- to 20-week course with no significant adverse effects. Note 6
However, possible side effects have been reported as nausea, bloating, vomiting, thirst, dyskinesia, insomnia, headache, rapid heartbeat, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and delusions (especially in cases of overdose).
Safety precautions (14 contraindications for use)
1. Do not use if pregnant, trying to get pregnant and breastfeeding women (due to unknown safety)
2. Do not use in patients with cardiovascular disease (due to the levodopa (L-dopa) component in Mucuna prurien, it may cause orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, fainting)
3. Do not use for patients with diabetes or taking related hypoglycemic drugs (because Mucuna pruriens may have hypoglycemic effects)
4. Do not use for poor liver and kidney function (due to unknown safety)
5. Do not use for skin cancer (melanoma) patients, extra levodopa (L-dopa) may worsen melanoma.
6. Do not use in patients with gastrointestinal ulcer disease, levodopa (L-dopa) may cause gastrointestinal bleeding in ulcer patients.
7. Do not use in patients with mental illness (schizophrenia or related mental disorders), levodopa (L-dopa) may worsen symptoms
8. Do not use glaucoma (narrow angle glaucoma) because levodopa (L-dopa) may increase intraocular pressure
9. Discontinue use at least two weeks before surgery (may affect blood sugar control, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery)
10. Do not consume raw Mucuna pruriens beans as they contain lectin (a plant protein), which may cause food sensitivity symptoms such as diarrhea, indigestion, bloating, vomiting and so on
11. Do not combine with antidepressant monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which can cause serious side effects, including rapid heartbeat, hypertension, epilepsy, nervousness, related drug names: Phenelzine (phenylhydrazine), tranylcypromine
12. Do not combine with blood pressure lowering drugs methyldopa or guanethidine, which may cause excessive blood pressure drop
13. Do not combine with antipsychotic drugs (Antipsychotics) dopamine receptor antagonists, may reduce the efficacy of the drug, related drug names are: chlorpromazine, clozapine, fluphenazine (hydroxyflupromazine), haloperidol (fluorocarbazinol), olanzapine, perphenazine, Prochlorperazine, quetiapine, risperidone, thioridazine, thiothixene
14. Do not use in combination with tricyclic antidepressants, which may reduce the effect of Mucuna prurien
Where can I buy the highest quality Mucuna Pruriens that is recommended by most people?
NOW Foods, Dopa Mucuna, 90 Veg Capsules
(Direct shipping from the United States / Worldwide delivery)
Contains 15% natural L-Dopa
Vegetarian food available
GMP quality certification