One of the ingredients in my beauty smoothies is mucuna pruriens. There were a few questions about this ingredient on Facebook this week, so I wanted to share some knowledge with you about this astounding herb. This is a truly amazing herbal adaptogen that is well known for it’s wide range of tonifying, strengthening and all around beneficial properties.

I recently learned this, and was surprised to find that, it is best known as a potent herbal aphrodisiac. Mucuna pruriens is known by many names, some of which are cowitch, cowhage, velvet beans, sea beans, buffalo beans, Kapikachu, Atmagupta and many more. I use it for its longevity properties and beautifying effects.

Mucuna Pruriens are know for:

•Sweet, bitter and hot

•Heavy and unctuous (oily or greasing quality)

•Balancing to all three doshas (a rare quality even amongst herbal adaptogens, ginseng and gotu kola are also known for this)

•Builds fertility in men (Increases semen volume, sperm count and sperm motility)

•Very potent at increasing libido for both men and women

•Treats leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge), menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding) and spermatorrhoea (involuntary ejaculation) which are all signs of leakage of Jing/Ojas, which is the foundational essence of health, and endocrine balance which is key in maintain beautiful skin

•Helps men last longer sexually

•Used to build muscle in those who are weak

•Helps women increase lactation when breastfeeding

•Prevents and or lowers the effects of poisonous snake bites

•Treats Parkinson’s disease

•Treats depression, hence the positive thoughts resonating through

•Treats insomnia and generally deepens sleep, when well rested, skin looks better.

•The hairs on the mucuna pod are used to treat several species of parasitic worms (excluding tapeworms)

•Helps digestion without increasing pitta (fire), creating more radiant skin

I love to use it because this herbal extract is easy to use and is extremely bio-available (absorbable) by the body.

This is the science behind the nature (brace yourself, this is powerful):

Mucuna pruriens contains a compound called L-DOPA which is a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine works as one of the best natural hgh releasers (human growth hormone) by stimulating the pituitary gland to increase it’s production. High levels throughout life of the body’s own natural growth is known as a major key for human longevity.

Dopamine also increases other youth hormones such as testosterone (it must be mentioned that these increases are never throwing the endocrine system out of balance, merely improving levels which tend to decrease over time in the average person). These resulting increased levels of these hormones from the use of mucuna pruriens extracts, powders and/or raw herbs explains its association with increasing libido, fertility, lean muscle mass, reducing signs of aging such as wrinkles and body fat, increasing bone density and even boosting overall energy levels.

Animal studies have shown powerful results such as a ten fold increase in mounting frequency by male rats. Also a decrease in post ejaculatory intervals have been observed, meaning that the animals being studied are more quickly able to return to “the task at hand”.

Animal stdies show that mucuna pruriens extract basically cures premature ejaculation and reduces the amount of time between ejaculations by reducing hypersensitivity in the genitals.

L-DOPA from mucuna pruriens has been shown to be safer and more effective for controlling Parkinson’s disease than the pharmaceutical drugs Levodopa and Carbidopa. This is because the myriad of other chemical constituents that accompany L-DOPA in the unprocessed plant also play a role in its ability to manage Parkinson’s disease. Research is still being undergone but showing hope as a treatment for recovering drug addicts and people suffering from depression related illness, since these people have deficiencies of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Enhanced lucid dreaming effects have been reported with the use of this amazing herb. Other chemicals in addition to L-DOPA found in mucuna pruriens that can have a mind altering effect include serotonin (5HT), oxitriptan (5-HTP), nicotine, N,N-DMT, bufotenin (5-HO-DMT) and 5-MeO-DMT.

These would explain its noted effects as an entheogenic substance often found in Ayahuasca preparations (an Amazonian psychedelic shamanic herbal preparation). No worries though, these chemicals are not in present in high enough quantities to cause “reality altering” effects, unless the herb happens to be combined with a sufficient amount of an MAOI)

This herbal adaptogen can also be used by anyone who likes to have a good time. The abundance of bliss chemicals combined with the velvet beans adept ability at helping men last longer sexually and increasing libido for both genders makes this a safe and hilariously fun herb to use recreationally.

It is also quickly becoming popular as a natural bodybuilding hgh secretagogue. This is much safer to use than synthetic human growth hormone, which is downright dangerous. The great thing with this herb is that it gets your body to make growth hormone itself and thus control the amount it makes and avoid the problems associated with elevated levels of hgh. Amazing.

One of the critical secrets of longevity is maintaining optimal levels of key hormones as well as other phytochemical factors in your bloodstream. Mucuna pruriens is a natural growth hormone as well as a booster of other hormones of youth that tend to diminish as we age.

It has been found that blood plasma levels of some of the top antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (an enzyme that prevents your hair from going gray!), glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are kept elevated in those who take this adaptogenic herbal aphrodisiac.

The powerful benefits of mucuna pruriens extract and whole herb should be temporarily avoided while pregnant or suffering from diabetes (it has blood sugar lowering properties). It should also be avoided by anyone with schizophrenia. If you choose to use adaptogenic herbs to manage or reverse any disease or disorder, always work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner. There is no specifically determined dosage for this herbal aphrodisiac, however most people agree on 15-30 grams a day for adults as a safe and effective amount.