|Family Name: FABACEAE
Botanical Name : MUCUNA PRURIENS
Common Name: COWITCH, COMMON COWITCH, KAPIKACHU, COWHAGE, KAUNCH, COWAGE,
Part Used: ROOTS, SEEDS, LEAVES
Uses : Mucuna pruriens Bak., Leguminosae, is one of the popular medicinals of India. and is constituent of more than 200 indigenous drug formulations. All parts of Mucuna posses valuable medicinal properties The roots are bitter, sweet thermogenic emollient, stimulant, purgative, aphrodisiac, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic.It is considered useful to relieve constipation, nephropathy, strangury, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, elephantiasis, dropsy, neuropathy, consumption, ulcers, helminthiasis, fever, and delirum The leaves are aphrodisiac. Leaves are also useful in ulcers, inflammation, cephalagia and general debility The seeds are astringent, laxative, anthelmentic, alexipharmic and tonic.
Physicians in ancient India first used Mucuna seeds in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease over 4500 years ago.
The seed powder of the leguminous plant, Mucuna pruriens has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsonism," write R. Katzenschlager, from Donauspital/SMZ-Ost in Vienna, Austria, and colleagues. The English name "cowage" plant (Mucuna pruriens) is derived from Hindi Kiwach. In Sanskrit, it is called Atmagupta. The plant belongs to the family Leguminosae, which is indigenous to India and
has long been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Overdose effects of
Mucuna were also recognized in Ayurveda. These included headache, dystonia, fatigue, tremor, syncope, and thirst.
Work on the Mucuna for Parkinson’s disease is being continued. The importance of this particular study is not that Mucuna is an alternative to L-DOPA, rather it is that compounds occurring naturally in plants for example, may contain biologically active components that can be isolated, tested, and used to provide safer and better treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
Mucuna pruriens, recognized as an aphrodisiac in Ayurveda, has been shown toincrease testosterone levels2, leading to deposition of protein in the muscles and increased musclemass and strength3. The extract is also known to enhance mental alertness and improve coordination
According to the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation of Chennai, traditional healthcare uses ofMucuna pruriens (local names: Baidhanka (Oriya), Rundulu (Rana), Tuliarimalalaha (Kandha))in southern India are as follows:
i.Abdominal discomfort: Grind the root of Mucuna pruriens to make a paste. Take this pasteorally once a day for two days.
ii.Infertility (In men): Put 10 g roots of Mucuna pruriens s glass of cow milk. After few minutesthe colour of this milk change to black. Take this glass of milk orally in the evening once aday for seven days.
iii.Leucorrhoea: Grind the seeds of Mucuna pruriens into powder. Take one teaspoonful of thispowder orally with 10 g honey twice a day for fifteen days.
iv.Cholera: Boil the roots of Mucuna pruriens with four litres of water. Filter the decoction. Takeone glass of this decoction orally with honey eight times a day until cured.
iv.Diabetes: Grind together the following into powder: 50 g seeds of Mucuna pruriens, 50 g seedsof Hygrophila auriculata, 50 g tubers of Ipomoea digitata, 50 g roots of Withania somnifera, 50g tuber of Curculigo orchioides and 50 g tuber of Salmalia malabarica. Take one teaspoonful of thispowder orally with one glass of water in which sugar candy is already dissolved, twice a dayfor a month.
vi.Snakebite: Extract juice from the roots of Mucuna pruriens. Take orally one teaspoonful of thisjuice three to four times continuously just after snake bite. Grind 100 g root of Mucunapruriens to make a paste. Mix 50 g molasses to this paste. Take this paste orally with water justafter snakebite.
vii.Toothache: Sundry the root of Mucuna pruriens. Grind this dried root into powder. Apply this powder on the aching teeth.
viii.Worm infection: Grind together the root of Mucuna pruriens with the root of Cassia occidentalisto make a paste. Take this paste orally with a glass of water once a day for three days
In many parts of Chhattisgarh the traditional healers advise the patient to put this dipped root (without extraction) inside the mouth during sexual intercourse in order to increase the duration. According to them as long the juice is going inside the stomach, there will be no ejaculation. - " Pankaj Oudhia"
Mucuna prurienswhich contains high levels of L-dopa is highly beneficial for men with erectile problems and women with low libido. The L-Dopa content provides much of Mucuna’s benefits. Optimizing dopamine levels appears to increase testosterone levels and elevates mood. Dopamine is also used to increase natural human growth hormones.
Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study.
Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ.
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK.
BACKGROUND: The seed powder of the leguminous plant, Mucuna pruriens has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsonism. We have assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa/carbidopa (LD/CD). METHODS: 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 LD/CD, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals. L-dopa pharmacokinetics were determined, and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and tapping speed were obtained at baseline and repeatedly during the 4 h following drug ingestion. Dyskinesias were assessed using modified AIMS and Goetz scales. RESULTS: Compared with standard LD/CD, the 30 g mucuna preparation led to a considerably faster onset of effect (34.6 v 68.5 min; p = 0.021), reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. Mean on time was 21.9% (37 min) longer with 30 g mucuna than with LD/CD (p = 0.021); peak L-dopa plasma concentrations were 110% higher and the area under the plasma concentration v time curve (area under curve) was 165.3% larger (p = 0.012). No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred. CONCLUSIONS: 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 PD. Assessment of long term efficacy and tolerability in a randomised, controlled study is warranted.
The effect of Momordica charantia and Mucuna pruriens in experimental diabetes and their effect on key metabolic enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.
Rathi SS, Grover JK, Vats V.
Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi.
The Indian traditional system of medicine prescribed traditional plant therapies. Two such plants, i.e. Momordica charantia (MC) and Mucuna pruriens (MP), earlier shown to reduce hyperglycaemia, were assessed for their anti hyperglycaemic effect on varying degrees of hyperglycaemia and diabetic complications. Alcohol and aqueous extracts of MC (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg/day) and only an alcohol extract of MP (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg/day) were evaluated in a pilot study (plasma glucose >180 mg/dL, 21 days), a chronic study in alloxanized rats (plasma glucose >280mg/dL, 120 days) and streptozotocin (STZ) mice (plasma glucose >400 mg/dL, 60 days). In the pilot study, the maximum antihyperglycaemic effect occurred with an aqueous extract of MC at week 3 and an alcohol extract of MP at week 6 at a dose of 200 mg/kg/day. In chronic alloxanized rats, the selected dose of MC led to a significant fall of 64.33%, 66.96%, 69.7% and 70.53% in plasma glucose levels at 1, 2, 3 and 4 months, respectively. MP showed a decrease of 40.71%, 45.63%, 50.33% and 51.01% at the same time period. In chronic STZ diabetic mice, MC led to a mean reduction of 15.37%, 18.68% and 22.86% in plasma glucose levels on days 40, 50 and 60 of sampling while MP had no significant effect. The alteration in hepatic and skeletal muscle glycogen content and hepatic glucokinase, hexokinase, glucose-6-phosphate and phosphofructokinase levels in diabetic mice were partially restored by MC but not by MP. The mechanism of action of MC and MP is discussed.