Mucuna: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mucuna gigantea flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
(unranked): Eurosids I
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Genus: Mucuna

Some 100, see text

Mucuna is a genus of around 100 accepted species of climbing vines and shrubs of the family Fabaceae, found worldwide in the woodlands of tropical areas.

The leaves are 3-palmate, alternate or spiraled, and the flowers are pea-like but larger, with distinctive curved petals, and occurring in racemes. Like other legumes, Mucuna plants bear pods. They are generally bat-pollinated and produce seeds that are buoyant sea-beans. These have a characteristic three-layered appearance, appearing like the eyes of a large mammal in some species and like a hamburger in others (most notably M. sloanei) and giving rise to common names like deer-eye beans, ox-eye beans or hamburger seed.


Uses and ecology

Mucuna poggei pods

The pods of some species are covered in coarse hairs that contain the proteolytic enzyme mucunain and cause itchy blisters when they come in contact with skin; specific names such as pruriens (Latin: "itching") or urens (Latinized Ancient Greek: "stinging like a nettle") refer to this. Other parts of the plant have medicinal properties. The plants are used in herbalism against a range of conditions, such as urinary tract, neurological and menstruation disorders, constipation, edema, fevers, tuberculosis, ulcers, Parkinson's disease[1] and helminthiases like elephantiasis[2]. Velvet Bean (M. pruriens) is one of the most important sources of L-dopa, a common component of nootropics ("smart drugs"); it also contains serotonin, 5-HTP, nicotine and some decidedly psychoactive compounds (see below)[3].

Several species, such as the New Guinea Creeper (M. novo-guineensis) and M. pruriens, have brought into cultivation, although at temperatures below about 10 °C they need to be grown indoors. They are grown as ornamental plants and, locally, for food. There is interest in developing Mucuna species as a sustainable, edible cover crop. A scientific newsletter, Mucuna News, has been produced in 2001/2002 to publish the results of an international workshop focusing on improved cultivation techniques.

5-MeO-DMT, one of the psychedelic tryptamines found in Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) in trace quantities[4]

The genus is of some interest as a cover crop and living mulch for tropical areas; it can increase phosphorus availability after application of rock phosphate[5]. M. pruriens was used in Native American milpa agriculture and popular as green manure in the southern USA before it was replaced by soybean in the mid-late 20th century. Mucuna is also used as a food crop, e.g. in eastern Nigeria, although the L-dopa content makes it less desirable. The plant must be processed before it can be eaten; for example, the leaves must be soaked to leach out the L-dopa. The seeds are also cracked open and soaked before they are eaten.[6]

Mucuna pod hairs are a common ingredient in itching powder. On the other hand, the hairless parts of certain species are used by some South American shamans to make a entheogenic snuff[7]. Presence of the hallucinogenic tryptamines 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenine and dimethyltryptamine[3], and supposedly the beta-Carboline 6-MeO-Harmane has been confirmed in M. pruriens, apparently the only thoroughly researched species this far.

Some Mucuna species are used as a food plant by caterpillars of Lepidoptera. These include Morpho butterflies and the Two-barred Flasher (Astraptes fulgerator) which is sometimes found on M. holtonii and perhaps others. The plant pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella mucunae is named for being first discovered on Mucuna.


Mucuna sloanei parts drawing from Vervolg ob de Avbeeldingen der artseny-gewassen met derzelver Nederduitsche en Latynsche beschryvingen (Adolphus Ypey, 1813)
Mucuna urens habitus
Hamburger Seed
  • Mucuna acuminata
  • Mucuna amblyodon
  • Mucuna argyrophylla
  • Mucuna atropurpurea
  • Mucuna aurea
  • Mucuna bennettii – Red Jade Vine
  • Mucuna biplicata
  • Mucuna birdwoodiana
  • Mucuna bracteata
  • Mucuna calophylla
  • Mucuna canaliculata
  • Mucuna championii
  • Mucuna coriacea
  • Mucuna curranii
  • Mucuna cyclocarpa
  • Mucuna diabolica (disputed)
  • Mucuna diplax
  • Mucuna discolor
  • Mucuna elliptica
  • Mucuna fawcettii
  • Mucuna ferox
  • Mucuna flagellipes
  • Mucuna gigantea
  • Mucuna glabrialata
  • Mucuna gracilipes
  • Mucuna hainanensis
  • Mucuna holtonii
  • Mucuna hooglandii
  • Mucuna huberi
  • Mucuna humblotii
  • Mucuna imbricata
  • Mucuna interrupta
  • Mucuna killipiana
  • Mucuna lamellata
  • Mucuna lamii
  • Mucuna lane-poolei
  • Mucuna longipedunculata
  • Mucuna macmillanii
  • Mucuna macrobotrys
  • Mucuna macrocarpa
  • Mucuna macroceratides (disputed)
  • Mucuna macrophylla
  • Mucuna macropoda
  • Mucuna manongarivensis
  • Mucuna mapirensis
  • Mucuna melanocarpa
  • Mucuna membranacea
  • Mucuna mindorensis
  • Mucuna mitis (disputed)
  • Mucuna mollis
  • Mucuna mollissima
  • Mucuna monosperma
  • Mucuna mutisiana
  • Mucuna nigricans
  • Mucuna novo-guineensis – New Guinea Creeper
  • Mucuna oligoplax
  • Mucuna pachycarpa
  • Mucuna pacifica
  • Mucuna pallida
  • Mucuna paniculata
  • Mucuna platyphylla
  • Mucuna platyplekta
  • Mucuna pluricostata (disputed)
  • Mucuna poggei
  • Mucuna pruriens – Velvet Bean, Cowhage, Kapikachu, atmagupta, yerepe (Yoruba), "buffalo bean"
    • Mucuna pruriens var. utilis
  • Mucuna psittacina (disputed)
  • Mucuna reptans
  • Mucuna reticulata
  • Mucuna revoluta
  • Mucuna rostrata
  • Mucuna samarensis
  • Mucuna schlechteri
  • Mucuna sempervirens
  • Mucuna sloanei
  • Mucuna stanleyi
  • Mucuna stans
  • Mucuna stenoplax
  • Mucuna terrens
  • Mucuna thailandica
  • Mucuna tomentosa
  • Mucuna urens
  • Mucuna warburgii


  1. ^ Katzenschlager et al. (2004)
  2. ^ Oudhia (2002)
  3. ^ a b Erowid (2002)
  4. ^ "Indolealkylamines in Mucuna species.". Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  5. ^ Vanlauwe et al. (2000)
  6. ^ Oudhia (2002), Diallo & Berhe (2003)
  7. ^ Chamakura (1994)
  8. ^ ILDIS (2005)


  • Chamakura, R.P. (1994): Bufotenine - a hallucinogen in ancient snuff powders of South America and a drug of abuse on the streets of New York City. Forensic Science Review 6(1): 1-18.
  • Diallo, O.K. & Berhe, T. (2003): Processing the Mucuna for Human Food in the Republic of Guinea. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems 1(2/3): 193-196. PDF fulltext
  • Erowid (2002): Mucuna pruriens. Created 2002-APR-22. Retrieved 2007-DEC-17.
  • International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS) (2005): Genus Mucuna. Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 2007-DEC-17.
  • Katzenschlager, R.; Evans, A.; Manson, A.; Patsalos, P.N.; Ratnaraj, N.; Watt, H.; Timmermann, L.; van der Giessen, R. & Lees, A.J. (2004): Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 75(12): 1672-1677. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2003.028761 PMID 15548480 (HTML abstract)
  • Oudhia, Pankaj (2002): Kapikachu or Cowhage (Mucuna pruriens) Crop Fact Sheet. Version of 5-9-2002. Retrieved 2007-DEC-17.
  • Vanlauwe, B.O.: Nwoke, C.; Diels, J.; Sanginga, N.; Carsky, R.J.; Deckers, J. & Merckx, R. (2000): Utilization of rock phosphate by crops on a representative toposequence in the Northern Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria: response by Mucuna pruriens, Lablab purpureus and maize. Soil Biology and Biochemistry '32(14): 2063-2077. doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(00)00149-8 (HTML abstract)

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Mucuna pruriens


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales
Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Erythrininae
Genus: Mucuna
Species: M. atropurpurea - M. axillaris - M. bennettii - M. birdwoodiana - M. brachycarpa - M. bracteata - M. coriacea - M. diabolica - M. fawcettii - M. flagellipes - M. gigantea - M. hainanensis - M. holtonii - M. imbricata - M. macrocarpa - M. melanocarpa - M. mollissima - M. monosperma - M. mutisiana - M. novoguineensis - M. poggei - M. pruriens - M. rostrata - M. sempervirens - M. sloanei - M. stans - M. urens


Mucuna Adans.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address