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While science has allowed for incredible developments when it comes to dietary supplements, mother nature has much offer on the subject as well. Also known as cowitch and cowhage, mucuna pruriens is a legume that originates from southern China and eastern India and favors a tropical environment. Although the entire plant offers benefits, it is the bean that boasts the most medicinal benefits. Let's take a closer look at mucuna and the benefits it offers as a dietary supplement.

What Is Mucuna?

Mucuna is an ingredient that comes from the creeping vine known as mucuna pruriens. It is more commonly known as the "velvet" bean. This nickname comes from the hairs that cover the seed pods. However, it is worth noting that the mucuna bean's pod can cause severe irritation when it comes into contact with human skin.

The seeds of the mucuna pruriens contain L-dopa, as well as tannins and phenols. The properties of these nutrients offer several medicinal benefits to users. Mucuna pruriens also contain hallucinogenic tryptamines; however, there are negligible amounts of these hallucinogenic tryptamines in mucuna supplements.

Benefits of Mucuna

Studies have shown that the entire mucuna pruriens plant offers health benefits, as it contains significant amounts of crude protein, essential amino acids and starch. However, it is the bean that offers the majority of benefits.1

Parkinson's Disease

Mucuna contains L-dopa, which is a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for basic motor functioning and hand-eye coordination. Those who suffer from Parkinson's disease have lower levels of dopamine, which means they have a harder time coordinating their body movements. Since mucuna has a significant amount of L-dopa, it has been shown to be a natural way to lessen the symptoms of Parkinson's.2

Studies have shown that mucuna may be a natural alternative to Levodopa3, which is a medication frequently prescribed to Parkinson's sufferers.

Male Infertility

Suffering from infertility can be frustrating and embarrassing. Studies have shown that mucuna can help men who struggle with infertility by improving their levels of testosterone, L-dopa, adrenaline and noradrenaline.5 This leads to an increase in sperm count and motility.

Male Sexual Function

Mucuna pruriens is known as a natural aphrodisiac and has been shown to enhance male sexual function.4 Many men suffer from low libido and erectile dysfunction. Mucuna as a supplement can boost hormone levels and restore male libido and sexual function.


Dopamine is not only responsible for coordinating the body's movements, but it impacts positive emotions and that "feel good" excitement. Due to mucuna's ability to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, it has the ability to act as a natural antidepressant.5 It is also as a stress reducer, which in turn improves mood and eases symptoms of depression and anxiety.

How to Use Mucuna

Mucuna is typically taken orally as a dietary supplement. Mucuna supplements normally come in either powder or capsule form. As with anything, there can be too much of a good thing. It's important to regulate your intake of mucuna supplements.

If you have any questions about the recommended dosage for you and your individual needs, consult your medical professional.

Effects of Taking too Much Mucuna

Taking too much mucuna and having excessive amounts of L-dopa can lead to unwanted side effects. These side effects include heart palpitations, nausea, sweating and elevated blood pressure. Individuals with depression are also sensitive to mucuna. Depression sufferers often have low levels of serotonin, and excessive amounts of L-dopa can further decrease the production of serotonin, which can exacerbate symptoms of depression.

Foods That Contain Mucuna

Mucuna is only found in the mucuna pruriens vine, and it is most effective when it is taken as a supplement. Mucuna can be incorporated into foods, but most avoid doing so because of the chemical changes that occur during the cooking process. The benefit of cooking mucuna is that the heat renders trypsin inhibitors useless, which makes for easier digestion. However, cooking also destroys L-Dopa, which is the most beneficial component of mucuna.

Mucuna Supplementation With Dopa Mucuna

There are always certain instances where diet is not going to give you everything you need. There's no need to worry if your diet does not provide the necessary amount of mucuna. Oral supplements are available for those who want to make sure they are consuming enough in their daily diet.

Dopa Mucuna is a powerful, all-natural supplement that contains a clinically-proven dosage of L-dopa and mucuna. Learn more about Dopa Mucuna and UMZU's line of natural supplements by visiting our online showroom.

With crazy, busy schedules it is easy to be tempted by fast food, processed food, and an abundance of poor eating choices. With obesity and bad eating habits on the rise, it's more important now than ever to pay attention to what you put in your body. Your health is one of the most important investments you can make. After all, you will need it for years to come! Take care to make sure you are receiving adequate amounts of both macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as engaging in healthy exercise. Begin your journey to a healthier you today!

Citations and Sources

Aware C, Patil R, Vyavahare G, Gurav R, Bapat V, Jadhav J. Processing Effect on L-DOPA, In Vitro Protein and Starch Digestibility, Proximate Composition, and Biological Activities of Promising Legume: Mucuna macrocarpa. J Am Coll Nutr. January 2019:1-10. [PubMed]
Radder D, Tiel G, Boers I, Muilwijk E, Bloem B. Mucuna Pruriens Combined with Carbidopa in Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Report. J Parkinsons Dis. March 2019. [PubMed]
Johnson S, Park H, DaSilva N, Vattem D, Ma H, Seeram N. Levodopa-Reduced <i>Mucuna pruriens</i> Seed Extract Shows Neuroprotective Effects against Parkinson’s Disease in Murine Microglia and Human Neuroblastoma Cells, <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i>, and <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>. Nutrients. 2018;10(9). [PubMed]
Suresh S, Prakash S. Effect of Mucuna pruriens (Linn.) on sexual behavior and sperm parameters in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rat. J Sex Med. 2012;9(12):3066-3078. [PubMed]
Rana D, Galani V. Dopamine mediated antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression. Ayu. 2014;35(1):90-97. [PubMed]

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