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  Latin Name Mucuna pruriens
English Name Cowhage
Hindi Name Kapikachu or Kaunch
Part Used Seed

1,2A herbaceous twining annual found almost all over India and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has long been valued in medicine. The roots are tonic; stimulant, diuretic, purgative and emmenagogue.They are used for diseases of nervous system, kidney troubles and dropsy. The seed are astringent and tonic and they contains L-Dopa, neurotransmitter pre-cursor a effective drug in Parkinsoní disease. The seeds contain the alkaloids, mucunine, mucunadine, mucunadinine, pruriendine and nicotine, besides B-sitosterol, glutathione, lecithin, vernolic and gallic acids. They contain a number of bioactive substances including tryptamine, alkylmines, steroids, flavonoids, coumarins and cardenolides. The seeds form the herbal drug, kapikacchu, prescribed by mobile tribal medicine men in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. It is also given to patient suffering from depressive illness; it proved very efficacious in a preliminary study for 2 months without side effects and induced mood elevation.

3Earlier studies showed that Mucuna pruriens treatment controls the symptoms of Parkinson's disease only , but in addition it also have neurorestorative benefit on the degenerating dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra may be due to increased complex-I activity and the presence of NADH and coenzyme Q-10.

4Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. 5It is also found to reduce Stress and improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men.


References:

 

1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol. 6, 439-444, 2005
2. The Wealth of India, First Supplement Series (Raw Materials) Vol. 4: J-Q, page 166-167, 2006
3. PMID: 15478206, Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):706-12.
4. PMID: 18973898, Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1934-40. Epub 2008 Oct 29
5. PMID: 18955292, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2010 Mar;7(1):137-44. Epub 2007 Dec 18


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