Mucuna pruriens, an herb used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, is gaining popularity fast amongst health enthusiasts around the world. While it is an Ayurvedic herb, it possesses some extraordinary properties that make it quite unique, as you will see. Also called velvet bean or cowitch, it is used in horticulture & herbalism for many purposes.
The excess of xeno-estrogens & femininity overcoming both men & women may make this an herb worthy of consideration. Everyday, people are exposed to plastic, soy, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic chemicals all of which promote feminine traits in both genders. In men, it tends to cause man-boobs & deterioration of androgenic hormones, testosterone being one of them. In females, it causes early maturation & physical characteristics that one should not develop at 7 years of age. This is becoming an increasing problem in our society with no quick fix in sight.
Mucuna pruriens may offer some relief to such problems in our society. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is said to increase sperm count & aid in male potency. Being a potent aphrodisiac, it provides many benefits to those who are seeking to increase their over all health of the endocrine/hormone/glandular system. Strong hormones are the baseline of exceptional health, without them, the body is predisposed to all sorts of illnesses. By strengthening the endocrine system, we will find ourselves with more energy, enthusiasm, & vitality to pursue our lives.
Yet it gets better. Mucuna does a lot more than strengthen our hormones. It has been shown to increase growth hormone levels (a key in anti aging). Its used to help sleep. It helps with depression. Most importantly, it has been shown scientifically to help prevent & possibly reverse Parkinson's disease.
Mucuna contains many complex chemicals such as 5-htp (dubbed "herbal ecstasy"), serotonin, levadopa (a precurser to dopamine - the pleasure chemical; shown to help with sexual function profoundly), DMT (a chemical produced in sleep & at the time of death) amongst others. It can be used as a prophylactic aid to snakebites. For lucid dreamer enthusiasts, it can help aid in deeper meditation & strengthening lucid dreams. It's used for a myriad of purposes in Siddha medicine. It seems as if there is little that mucuna cannot aid in.
According to Wikipedia, mucuna has a multitude of names, some of which are:
ci mao li dou 刺毛黧豆 in Chinese
Kara Benguk in Javanese language
Atmagupta (आत्मगुप्ता)in Sanskrit language
Kapikacchu (कपिकच्छु) in Sanskrit language
Kiwanch (किवांच) or Konch (कोंच) in Hindi language
Khaajkuiri in Marathi
poonaikkaali in Tamil
Velvet bean in English language
Cowitch in English language
Buffalo beans in English language (also refers to Thermopsis_rhombifolia )
Juckbohne (German: "Itch bean")
Feijão Malucos (Angola and Mozambique. Portuguese: "Mad Bean")
Naykuruna (ML:നായ്ക്കുരണ) ( Malayalam)
Mah Mui (TH: หมามุ่ย) in Thai language
Đậu mèo rừng, đậu ngứa, móc mèo in Vietnamese language
So how does one prepare this wonderful medicine? It can be used as a capsule or extract, tincture of which I've tried with much success or simply as a powder to add in smoothies or raw chocolates. I personally like the powder form & enjoy it before a workout or to aid in meditation. This is really a wonderful herb that can help many people & should be given a try.