Mucuna pruriens has been used for several years in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. It is effective for various conditions from Infertility, Parkinson’s, and snake venom negation!
- Introduction to Mucuna Pruriens
- Health Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Introduction to Mucuna Pruriens
Mucuna Pruriens (MP) is an herbal drug thought to treat male infertility and nervous disorders [R]. It is also used as an aphrodisiac.
Mucuna Pruriens has been used in the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda for thousands of years to treat things ranging from infertility to Parkinson’s. Recent studies show that these claims are, in fact, substantiated [R].
It is a good source of L-Dopa, a precursor to dopamine [R].
Mucuna Pruriens is also known as velvet bean. M. pruriens grows on trees native to southern China and eastern India but is now found throughout the tropics.
Health Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens
1) Mucuna Pruriens Reduces Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
A reduction in the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is associated with the L-Dopa content of Mucuna Pruriens [R].
In a study done with 60 subjects, a statistically significant decrease in the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease was found in patients treated with HP-200, a powder derived from Mucuna Pruriens, compared to the control, levodopa treatment [R].
In another study, Mucuna Pruriens (MP) was found to be just as effective as levodopa treatment, but MP had a faster absorption rate and reached peak level faster [R].
These two studies suggest that Mucuna Pruriens, a natural source of L-Dopa, has advantages over conventional sources of L-Dopa, levodopa, in the management of Parkinson’s Disease.
2) Mucuna Pruriens is an Antidepressant
The antidepressant effects of MP extract were investigated with the Forced Swim Test (FST) and Tail Suspension Test (TST). MP extract significantly reduced immobility time in the FST and TST [R]. These results indicate that MP extract has antidepressant abilities.
3) Mucuna Pruriens Reduces Stress
In a study done to assess the effects of MP in infertile men who were under psychological stress, 60 infertile, stressed males were assessed based on a questionnaire and cortisol levels. 60 healthy, fertile males were used as the control.
In the infertile men, treatment with MP ameliorated psychological stress. The conclusion from this study is that MP helps manage stress (so far, this effect has only been shown in infertile men) [R].
4) Mucuna Pruriens Decreases Prolactin levels
In infertile men, MP treatment decreased levels of Follicle-stimulating Hormone and Prolactin [R].
High levels of Prolactin can lead to tumors in the pituitary gland which can cause headaches, visual impairment, and ED.
Dopamine agonists like bromocriptine are usually used to treat high Prolactin levels, but MP which is also a dopamine agonist seems like it can potentially be used to treat mildly increased Prolactin levels [R].
5) Mucuna Pruriens can Treat Male Infertility
MP is commonly used as a supplement to treat male infertility and has been shown to increase sperm motility, sperm quality, and sperm count.
In a double-blind study with 60 infertile men, treatment with MP (5 grams of powder daily) improved sperm count and motility [R]. This study shows that MP increases sperm quality and can be used as a treatment for infertility.
In a study examining the effects of MP on infertile men, it was found that MP increased testosterone levels [R]. This was only found in infertile men and it is unsure if the same effects occur in fertile men.
6) Mucuna Pruriens Can be Used as a Pretreatment to Cobra Venom
MP extract has been used by Nigerians as a prophylactic (pretreatment) for snakebites. A study done on rats investigated the protective effects of MP against cobra venom toxicity [R]. The hearts of pretreated (with MP) and untreated rats were studied after venom dosing.
It was found that the MP pretreatment protected against the effects of snake venom on the heart [R].
The protective effect of MP pretreatment against cobra venom involves a protective action of MP on heart function. This suggests that MP may have therapeutic potential as a protector of cardiovascular function.
For Parkinson’s Disease
In the two studies that showed a decrease in PD symptoms with MP supplementation, used dosages of 30 grams and 15 grams. Both these dosages were effective and didn’t cause any major adverse effects. I would suggest taking 5 grams daily with water.
5 grams of MP powder daily has been shown to increase sperm motility, count, and overall quality [R]. Take with water. (5 grams = 1 teaspoon).
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
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