Mucuna Pruriens: The Dopamine
In addition to extensive mucuna pruriens herbal research information, you will find on this page:
Mucuna Pruriens supplement in capsule form
Passion Rx - sexual enhancer with mucuna pruriens extract
Mind Power Rx brain enhancement formula with mucuna pruriens extract
Eyesight Rx for visual enhancement with mucuna pruriens extract
Mucuna pruriens, one of the popular Ayurvedic herbs, is also known as velvet bean or cowhage. Mucuna pruriens contains L-Dopa, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Mucuna has been used for generations in India for Parkinson's disease. L-dopa converts into dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood, sexuality, and movement. Mucuna pruriens has antioxidant properties. How well mucuna pruriens works in Parkinson's disease is just beginning to be evaluated in research studies and no definitive conclusions can yet be made.
Composition of mucuna pruriens seed - constituents of
Nutritional analysis reveals mucuna pruriens seed contains crude protein ranged from 20-29 %, crude lipid 6-7%, total dietary fibre 8-10%, ash 3% and carbohydrates 50-60%.
Mucuna Pruriens extract, formulated by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Veggie Caps, suitable for vegetarians
Mucuna pruriens has been used for centuries for its broad health benefits.
Mucuna Pruriens supplement facts
Mucuna Pruriens extract - 200 mg, 15 % L dopa
(Mucuna pruriens DC) (seed) dried water mucuna pruriens extract
Directions: Take one mucuna pruriens capsule in the morning or as directed by your health care provider.
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Composition of mucuna pruriens extracts in the form of supplements
Besides L-dopa, mucuna pruriens supplements contain quite a number of others substances including tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids, D-chiro-inositol and its galacto-derivatives, trace amounts of bufotenine, DMT, and beta-carboline. The composition of various substances in mucuna pruriens supplements depends on various factors including where it is grown, when it is harvested, how it is processed, etc.
Some people think that L dopa in mucuna herb is the chemical that has the only influence on its benefits for Parkinson's disease. However, there are many other substances in this herb that influence brain function.
Extraction of bioactive principles from Mucuna
Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2007 Feb;4 Misra L, Wagner H. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, India.
Mucuna pruriens is used in male impotency, as aphrodisiac, in sexual debility, and as nervine tonic. It also possesses anti-Parkinson property, possibly due to the presence of L-DOPA. In the present study, attempts were made to develop the suitable method(s) for extraction of L-DOPA/other active components from the seeds using different solvents. The various extracts were also screened for their neuroprotective and antioxidant activities. L-DOPA could be obtained in good yield on extraction. Interestingly, n-propanol extract, which contained negligible amount of L-DOPA, showed significant nerve protective activity, suggesting that some components, other than L-DOPA, might also be responsible for anti-Parkinson property of mucuna seeds.
extract side effect
When mucuna pruriens is taken in high dosages, there could be side effects such as increased body temperature, excess energy, insomnia, and rapid heart beat. If you are taking other supplements or medications, either take a mucuna pruriens pill your first day by itself or, if you must take the medications use half a capsule of mucuna to avoid any potential interactions.
Q. What are long term mucuna pruriens extract side effects?
A. The benefits and side effects of long term use of mucuna prurines extract supplements in humans are not known, therefore users and their doctors should be vigilant for any symptoms or signs that could relate to a potential long term side effect.
Mucuna pruriens benefit
Scientists and doctors in Western countries are beginning to seriously take a look at the potential benefits of mucuna pruriens herb in a number of conditions including Parkinson's disease, fertility, and sexual enhancement. Studies in rats show mucuna pruriens supplements influence dopamine content in the cortex of the brain. The seed powder of mucuna pruriens plant has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Mucuna pruriens extracts
Herbal and ingredients suppliers have mucuna pruriens herb available in various extract potencies. There is mucuna pruriens powder, mucuna pruriens extract standardized to 15 percent L dopa, mucuna pruriens extract at 20 percent L dopa, 60 percent L dopa and even 99 percent L dopa. It is difficult to know which extract potency is best for various medical conditions since comparisons are not available.
Mucuna pruriens as sexual
Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter that enhances sexual urge. Mucuna pruriens contains L-Dopa, the precursor to dopamine. Mucuna pruriens has been known in Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac herb. Users of this herb notice sexual enhancement within days.
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Mucuna pruriens MAO inhibitor?
Q. I would like to try mucuna pruriens to raise my dopamine level but I first would like to know if it is an MAO inhibitor and whether I will need to avoid certain foods and medicines because of that.
A. Mucuna pruriens is not a MAO inhibitor and there are no food restrictions.
Mucuna pruriens and Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease has a low prevalence in India except in the small Parsi community. Parkinson's disease has been known in India since ancient days and mucuna pruriens seed powder has been used for its treatment. At this point it is too early to tell how to best use mucuna pruriens extract supplements for Parkinson's disease. It is not clear what the ideal dosage would be, how long the treatment would last, how mucuna pruriens combines with other drugs used for this condition, etc. It is quite possible that the addition of mucuna pruriens herb to one's Parkinson's treatment regimen would require lowering the dosage of the prescription medications. Consult with your doctor and ask that he or she read this page.
Anti Parkinson botanical mucuna pruriens prevents levodopa induced plasmid and genomic DNA damage.
Phytother Res. 2007 Dec. Tharakan B, Dhanasekaran M, Mize-Berge J, Manyam BV. Department of Neurology, Scott & White Clinic, Temple, Texas, USA.
Levodopa is considered the 'gold standard' for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, a serious concern is dyskinesia and motor fluctuation that occurs after several years of use. In vitro experiments have shown that in the presence of divalent copper ions, levodopa may induce intense DNA damage. Mucuna pruriens powder has shown anti Parkinson and neuroprotective effects in animal models of Parkinson's disease that is superior to synthetic levodopa. In the present study two different doses of mucuna pruriens protected both plasmid DNA and genomic DNA against levodopa and divalent copper-induced DNA strand scission and damage.
Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;75(12):1672-7.
We assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa / carbidopa. Eight Parkinson's disease patients with a short duration L-dopa response and on period dyskinesias completed a randomised, controlled, double blind crossover trial. Patients were challenged with single doses of 200 / 50 mg L-dopa / carbidopa, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna pruriens preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals. Compared with standard L-dopa / carbidopa, the mucuna preparation led to a considerably faster onset of effect, reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred. The rapid onset of action and longer on time without concomitant increase in dyskinesias on mucuna seed powder formulation suggest that this natural source of L-dopa might possess advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long term management of Parkinson's disease.
Note: Mucuna pruriens extract is much more concentrated and potent than mucuna pruriens seed powder.
Neuroprotective effects of the anti Parkinson drug
mucuna pruriens herb
Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):706-12. Manyam BV, Dhanasekaran M, Hare TA. Department of Neurology, Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX 76508
Mucuna pruriens herb possesses significantly higher anti Parkinson activity compared with levodopa in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned rat model of Parkinson's disease. The present study evaluated the brain restorative effect of mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder on the nigrostriatal tract of 6-OHDA lesioned rats. Mucuna pruriens powder significantly increased the brain mitochondrial complex-I activity but did not affect the total monoamine oxidase activity (in vitro). Unlike synthetic levodopa treatment, mucuna pruriens powder treatment significantly restored the endogenous levodopa, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin content in the substantia nigra.
Effect of antiparkinson drug HP-200 ( Mucuna pruriens
herb ) on the central
Phytother Res. 2004 Feb;18(2):97-101
HP-200, which contains mucuna pruriens endocarp, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Mucuna pruriens endocarp has also been shown to be more effective compared to synthetic levodopa in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. The present study was designed to elucidate the long-term effect of mucuna pruriens endocarp in HP-200 on monoaminergic neurotransmitters and its metabolite in various regions of the rat brain. Oral administration of mucuna pruriens endocarp had a significant effect on dopamine content in the cortex with no significant effect on levodopa, norepinephrine or dopamine, serotonin, and their metabolites- HVA, DOPAC and 5-HIAA in the nigrostriatal tract. The failure of mucuna pruriens endocarp to significantly affect dopamine metabolism in the striatonigral tract along with its ability to improve Parkinson symptoms in the 6-hydorxydopamine animal model and humans may suggest that its anti Parkinson effect may be due to components other than levodopa or that it has an levodopa enhancing effect.
Mucuna pruriens for
Effect of Mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men.
Fertil Steril. 2007 Nov 12. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Jaiswar SP, Ahmad S. Departments of Biochemistry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India.
To investigate the impact of mucuna pruriens seeds on semen profiles and biochemical levels in seminal plasma of infertile men. Sixty normal healthy fertile men (controls) and 60 men undergoing infertility screening. Before and after the treatment, seminal plasma lipid profile, lipid peroxide, fructose, and antioxidant vitamin levels were measured. Treatment with mucuna pruriens significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation, elevated spermatogenesis, and improved sperm motility. Treatment also recovered the levels of total lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, phospholipids, and vitamin A, C, and E and corrected fructose in seminal plasma of infertile men. Treatment with mucuna pruriens increased sperm concentration and motility in all the infertile study groups. Oligozoospermic patients recovered sperm concentration significantly, but sperm motility was not restored to normal levels in asthenozoospermic men. The present study is likely to open new vistas on the possible role of mucuna pruriens seed powder as a restorative and invigorating agent for infertile men.
Mucuna pruriens for
Effect of Mucuna pruriens on oxidative stress mediated damage in aged rat sperm.
Int J Androl. 2009 Jan 8. Suresh S, Prithiviraj E, Prakash S. Department of Anatomy, Dr Arcot Lakshmanasamy Mudaliar Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
Protective efficacy of mucuna pruriens on reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced pathophysiological alterations in structural and functional integrity of epididymal sperm in aged Wister albino rat was analysed. Our observations indicate the antioxidant enhancing property, free radical quenching ability and sperm enhancing efficacy of the mucuna pruriens herb. Collectively, sperm damage in ageing was significantly reduced by quenching ROS, improving antioxidant defence system and mitochondrial function.
Mucuna pruriens emails
Q. Could you tell me how much l-dopa that mucuna pruriens contains penetrates the blood brain barrier? Is it true that only a very small amount crosses it? So small that it may not significantly affect parkinsonian tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease? Furthermore, it is also said that the liver plays a role in reducing the amount of l-dopa transported to the brain before it even reaches the blodd brain barrier. I am interested in buying mucuna herb but I need an answer to these questions.
A. We really do not know how much l dopa in mucuna pruriens crosses across the blood brain barrier since we have not seen these types of studies, they are difficult to do. The liver most likely does play a role in the metabolism of this herb, and there is a wide variation in each person regarding this metabolism. For practical purposes, one has to find out by trial and error whether mucuna herb works for them or not.
Q. If the amino acid tyrosine converts to L- Dopa,
then would taking a tyrosine supplement produce the same effect or result as
taking mucuna pruriens?
A. Not really. Mucuna pruriens has many other compounds in it besides L Dopa.
Q. I am now taking
Sinemet 25/100 three times daily. What is the equivalent in a mucuna pruriens dosage?
A. The equivalent dose is not known, and it is not clear yet whether mucuna pruriens works the same way as Sinemet or has similar benefits. Research with mucuna pruriens is still early and we don't know enough about it to make firm recommendations.
Q. My mother has
suffered from Parkinson's Disease for 13 years now, and recently she started
taking HP200 (powder form of mucuna beans). I was researching these beans on the
internet, and came across your name. I was wondering if you had any information
with regards to the side affects of mucuna beans. The powder really seems to
cause the symptoms of Parkinson's to subside.
A. Thus far we have not had any reports of any significant side effects with mucuna when taken by itself in reasonable amounts. High dosages can cause side effects such as restlessness, insomnia, and increased body temperature.
Q. I am half way through the second container of mucuna pruriens bottle (taking 2 capsules
twice a day) without any positive or negative results. I was diagnosed with
having Parkinsonís in July 2002 and with bladder cancer in January 2004. I am
treating both conditions with natural supplements.
A. Not everyone notices benefits from herbs or medicines.
Q. What is the dosage of mucuna pruriens for
Parkinson's disease? Do all patients with Parkinson's benefit from macuna
A. There have not been enough studies with Parkinson's disease and mucuna pruriens for us to know the right dosage, how often to take mucuna, and how it combines with prescription drugs. Each patient has to be tailored individually starting with a low dose of mucuna pruriens and then proceeding to a higher dosage while prescription drug dosage is decreased. Medical guidance is suggested. We don't know the percentage of patients who benefit from mucuna pruriens supplement.
Q. I would like to know if you have heard any feedback
about mucuna pruriens and it's effect on mood. Due to it's ability to raise
dopamine, I would think that mucuna pruriens would raise mood, libido, etc.
Depression due to low dopamine would probably respond to mucuna pruriens, but I
would like to know how much of a mood enhancer it really is.
A. Some people do notice a mood and libido lift with a mucuna pruriens supplement, it would be best to start slow with half a mucuna pruriens capsule daily.
Q. I am now taking toprolol and wonder if it will
interfere with the mucuna pruriens if I take it.
A. It's difficult to say since such combination research has not been done with mucuna pruriens and beta blockers. We suggest if your doctor approves to use only a quarter of a capsule and monitor your symptoms.
Q. I have Parkinson's disease and in just six days mucuna pruriens product had me where I could sign my name again and since have regained a lot of my functions.
Mucuna Pruriens is one of a number of Ayurvedic herbs. Mucuna pruriens is sometimes misspelled as mucana or mucua pruriens or mucuna puriens. I have also seen misspellings of mucuna as macuna. Other names for mucuna pruriens are cowhage or cowage, velvet bean, and Nescafe.
Q. This question is in regard to the mucuna supplement.
I have read several reports and seen several forum posts online regarding the
testosterone-increasing effects of mucuna supplement, as a result of the
supposed human growth hormones it contains. Even as a 24 yr old male, I have no
interest in gaining big bulky muscle mass and am mainly interested in mucuna
plant for the dopamine enhancing effects. Some of the reports I read even stated
a discontinuation of use due to overwhelming muscle gain. Could you possibly
tell me whether or not mucuna supplement has any significant effects on
testosterone production and human growth hormones (HGH)? I understand some
mucuna pruriens products have different extraction forms etc and thus will vary
from one to the other, so it is possible yours might be different from other
brands such as Himalaya and Nutraceutics Rx. Also, I see that the mucuna L-dopa
content is only 15% whereas other manufacturers are listed as between 30% and
60%. Might this amount still be effective for producing the supposed dopamine
A. There are many substances in mucuna pruriens herb, besides L Dopa, that have a clinical effect. The enhancement of dopamine is only one of many ways mucuna pruriens herb influences the body and mind. Not enough human trials have been done with mucuna pruriens supplements to determine its influence on human growth hormone and testosterone levels. There are quite a number of different mucuna pruriens supplements on the market with varying levels of l dopa percentages and other constituents within the herb. The only way to tell if a mucuna pruriens supplement will work for your needs is to try each different product since you may get different results from each one. Higher l dopa concentrations may not necessarily be a better option.
Q. I am ordering the mucuna pruriens 15% l'dopa
supplement. When you take synthetic levodopa you have to reduce protein intake
or you don't get the same symptom relief for Parkinson's. My healthcare
providers don't know enough about mucuna pruriens herb to answer the question,
does one need to reduce protein intake to get good/best results with the mucuna
pruriens herb, or does it not matter because this it is a natural product?
A. The benefits of mucuna pruriens herb do not seem to rely on protein intake. It is best to take the mucuna pruriens herb about half an hour or so before breakfast on an empty stomach for best absorption. If needed another capsule can be taken before lunch.
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Tongkat ali enhances libido in men and women. This herb is very potent and should not be taken the same day as mucuna pruriens extract unless the dosages are very low.
Tribulus terrestris extract is an herb that has sexual enhancing properties. We suggest not taking tribulus the same day as mucuna pruriens herb but rather one can alternate their use.
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This page was last updated in 2009.