Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens)
Commonly used part: Seeds
Effects are: Slight euphoria, both mental and physical energy and overall sense of well- being.
Velvet Bean seeds are used as an androgenic, nootropic, antivenin, anti- Parkinson’s (2002 U.S. patent) aphrodisiac, hypoglycemic and anabolic. Contains 7% to 10% of L-dopa. Dopamine does not cross the blood-brain barrier. However, L-dopa (levodopa) does gain access to the brain, where it is converted to dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes enjoyment and interest in life.
Velvet Bean is used mainly to treat the following: Parkinson’s disease, impotency and erectile dysfunction, as an aphrodisiac, increase testosterone, muscle builder, anabolic/androgenic aid to stimulate growth hormone and as a weight loss aid.
Also, it has been used in many cultures to treat: Edema, intestinal gas, as a diuretic and nerve tonic. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is used for worms, dysentery, diarrhea, snakebite, cough, tuberculosis, impotence, rheumatic disorders, pain reliever, sterility, gout, menstrual disorders, menstrual promoter, uterine stimulant and blood purifier, diabetes and cancer.
Velvet bean is an annual climbing vine that grows 3-18 m in height. It is indigenous to tropical regions, especially Africa, India, and the West Indies. Its flowers are white to dark purple and hang in long clusters.
The seeds of velvet bean are high in protein, carbohydrates, lipids, fiber, and minerals. They are also rich in novel alkaloids, saponins, and sterols. The main plant chemicals found in velvet bean include: alkaloids, alkylamines, arachidic acid, behenic acid, betacarboline, beta-sitosterol, bufotenine, cystine, dopamine, fatty acids, flavones, galactose d, gallic acid, genistein, glutamic acid, glutathione, glycine, histidine, hydroxygenistein, 5-hydroxytryptamine, isoleucine, l-dopa, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, lysine, mannose d, methionine, 6-methoxyharman, mucunadine, mucunain, mucunine, myristic acid, niacin, nicotine, oleic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, phenylalanine, prurienidine, prurienine, riboflavin, saponins, serine, serotonin, stearic acid, stizolamine, threonine, trypsin, tryptamine, tyrosine, valine, and vernolic acid.