The Full Wiki

Mucuna pruriens: 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 pruriens
Mucuna pruriens seed pod
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Genus: Mucuna
Species: M. pruriens
Binomial name
Mucuna pruriens
(L.) DC.

Many, see text

Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume known by a multitude of common names (see below).


Nomenclature and taxonomy

Common names

  • Atmagupta (आत्मगुप्ता)in Sanskrit language
  • Kapikacchu (कपिकच्छु) in Sanskrit language
  • Kiwanch (किवांच) or Konch (कोंच) in Hindi language
  • Khaajkuiri in Marathi
  • Alkushi (Bengali)
  • poonaikkaali in Tamil
  • Velvet bean in English language
  • Cowitch in English language
  • Cowhage
  • Juckbohne (German: "Itch bean")<;ref name="Rätsch"/>
  • Picapica
  • Kapikachu
  • Yerepe (Yoruba)
  • Feijão Malucos (Angola and Mozambique. Portuguese: "Mad Bean")
  • Naykaranam ( Malayalam)
  • Mah Mui (TH: หมามุ่ย) in Thai language


  • Mucuna pruriens ssp. deeringiana (Bort) Hanelt
  • Mucuna pruriens ssp. gigantea
This subspecies is named after its large fruits of about 15 cm in length. M. gigantea is a valid species.
  • Mucuna pruriens ssp. pruriens


  • Mucuna pruriens var. hirsuta (Wight & Arn.) Wilmot-Dear[2]
  • Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens (L.) DC. is the stinging variety.[3]
  • Mucuna pruriens var. sericophylla[2]
  • Mucuna pruriens var. utilis (Wall. ex Wight) L.H.Bailey is the non-stinging variety grown in Honduras.[4]


Synonyms of M. pruriens, M. pruriens ssp. pruriens and M. pruriens var. pruriens:

  • Carpopogon atropurpureum Roxb.
May also refer to M. atropurpurea
  • Carpogon capitatus Roxb.
  • Carpogon niveus Roxb.
  • Dolichos pruriens L.
  • Marcanthus cochinchinense Lour.
  • Mucuna atropurpurea sensu auct. non (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.
M. atropurpurea (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. is a valid species
  • Mucuna axillaris Baker
  • Mucuna bernieriana Baill.
  • Mucuna cochinchinense (Lour.) A. Chev.
  • Mucuna cochinchinensis (Lour.) A. Chev.
  • Mucuna esquirolii H. Lev.
  • Mucuna luzoniensis Merr.
  • Mucuna lyonii Merr.
  • Mucuna minima Haines
  • Mucuna nivea (Roxb.) DC.
  • Mucuna prurita Hook.
  • Mucuna velutina Hassk.
  • Negretia mitis Blanco
  • Mucuna prurita (L.) Hook.
  • Stizolobium atropurpureum (Roxb.) Kuntze
May also refer to M. atropurpurea
  • Stizolobium capitatum (Roxb.) Kuntze
  • Stizolobium cochinchinense (Lour.) Burk
  • Stizolobium niveum (Roxb.) Kuntze
  • Stizolobium pruritum (Wight) Piper
  • Stizolobium velutinum (Hassk.) Piper & Tracy

Synonyms of M. pruriens var. hirsuta:

  • Mucuna hirsuta Wight & Arn.

Synonyms of M. pruriens var. sericophylla:

  • Mucuna sericophylla Perkins

Synonyms of M. pruriens var. utilis:

  • Carpopogon capitatum Roxb.
  • Carpopogon niveum Roxb.
  • Macranthus cochinchinensis Lour.
  • Mucuna aterrima (Piper & Tracy) Holland
  • Mucuna atrocarpa F.P. Metcalf
  • Mucuna capitata Wight & Arn.
  • Mucuna deeringiana (Bort) Merr.
  • Mucuna hassjoo (Piper & Tracy) Mansf.
  • Mucuna martinii H. Lev. & Vaniot
  • Mucuna nivea (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.
  • Mucuna pruriens var. capitata Burck
  • Mucuna pruriens var. capitata (Wight & Arn.) Burck
  • Mucuna pruriens var. nivea (Roxb.)Haines
  • Mucuna utilis Wight
  • Stizolobium aterrimum Piper & Tracy
  • Stizolobium deeringianum Bort
  • Stizolobium hassjoo Piper & Tracy
  • Stizolobium pruriens (L.) Medik.
  • Stizolobium pruriens var. hassjoo (Piper & Tracy)Makino
  • Stizolobium utile (Wall. ex Wight) Ditmer


Mucuna pruriens flowers (colored engraving)

The plant is an annual, climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15 m in length. When the plant is young, it is almost completely covered with fuzzy hairs, but when older, it is almost completely free of hairs. The leaves are tripinnate, ovate, reverse ovate, rhombus shaped or widely ovate. The sides of the leaves are often heavily grooved and the tips are pointy. In young Mucuna pruriens plants, both sides of the leaves have hairs. The stems of the leaflets are two to three millimeters long. Additional adjacent leaves are present and are about 5 mm long.

The flower heads take the form of axially arrayed panicles. They are 15 to 32 cm long and have two to three, or many flowers. The accompanying leaves are about 12.5 mm long, the flower stand axes are from 2.5 to 5 mm. The bell is 7.5 to 9 mm long and silky. The sepals are longer or of the same length as the shuttles. The crown is purplish or white. The flag is 1.5 mm long. The wings are 2.5 to 3.8 cm long.

In the fruit ripening stage, a 4 to 13 cm long, 1 to 2 cm wide, unwinged leguminous fruit develops. There is a ridge along the length of the fruit. The husk is very hairy and carries up to seven seeds. The seeds are flattened uniform ellipsoid, 1 to 1.9 cm long, 0.8 to 1.3 cm wide and 4 to 6.5 cm thick. The hilum, the base of the funiculus (connection between placenta and plant seeds) is a surrounded by a significant arillus (fleshy seeds shell).

Mucuna pruriens bears white, lavender, or purple flowers. Its seed pods are about 10 cm long[1] and are covered in loose orange hairs that cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The chemical compounds responsible for the itch are a protein, mucunain,[1] and serotonin. The seeds are shiny black or brown drift seeds. It is found in tropical Africa, India and the Caribbean.

The dry weight of the seeds is 55 to 85 g/100 seeds.[5]

The number of chromosomes in the plant cells is 2n = 20, 22 or 24.


Mucuna pruriens seeds of two different colors

In many parts of the world Mucuna pruriens is used as an important forage, fallow and green manure crop.[6] Since the plant is in the legume family (peas and beans), it, with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria, takes nitrogen gas from the air and combines it with other chemical compounds producing fertilizer and improving the soil.

Mucuna pruriens is a widespread fodder plant in the tropics. To that end, the whole plant is fed to animals as silage, dried hay or dried seeds. Mucuna pruriens silage contains 11-23% crude protein, 35-40% crude fiber, and the dried beans 20-35% crude protein.

Mucuna pruriens is sometimes used as a coffee substitute called "Nescafe" (not to be confused with the commercial brand). Cooked fresh shoots or beans can also be eaten. This requires that they be soaked from at least 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance of cooking, or the water changed up to several times during cooking, since otherwise the plant can be toxic to humans. The above described process leaches out chemical compounds such as levodopa, making the product suitable for consumption. If consumed in large quantities as food, unprocessed Mucuna pruriens is toxic to nonruminant mammals including humans.

In history, M. pruriens has been used as an effective aphrodisiac.[7][8] It is still used to increase libido in both men and women due to its dopamine inducing properties. Dopamine has a profound influence on sexual function.[9][10] A typical dose for a man is 15 g of ground seeds mixed with cow's milk.[1]

Mucuna pruriens seeds have also been found to have antidepressant properties when consumed.[11]

Dried leaves of Mucuna pruriens are sometimes smoked.[1]

Mucuna pruriens has also recently become popular among lucid dreaming enthusiasts: when combined with other supplements that stimulate the cholinergic system, the dopamine presumably produced from the consumption of Mucuna pruriens confers upon the lucid dreamer greater motivation and confidence.[citation needed]

The hairs lining the seed pods contain 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) which causes severe itching (pruritis).[12][13] The hairs on the outside of the pods of Mucuna pruriens are a common ingredient in itching powder.[14] "Mucuna pruriens" is used in Siddha medicines for a quite long time for improving sexual function; to cure 'pakka vaatham'(paralysis", leucorrhoea etc. There are 3D photos of the plant in the Siddha book.[15] Mucuna pruriens is used in the countries of Benin and Vietnam as a biological control for problematic Imperata cylindrica grass.[6] Mucuna pruriens is said to not be invasive outside its cultivated area.[6]


Mucuna pruriens seeds contain high concentrations of levodopa, a direct precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including Parkinson's Disease.[16][17] In large amounts (e.g. 30 g dose) it has been shown to be as effective as pure levodopa/carbidopa in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, but no data on long-term efficacy and tolerability is available.[18]

In addition to levodopa, Mucuna also contains serotonin (5-HT), 5-HTP, nicotine, N,N-DMT (DMT), bufotenine, and 5-MeO-DMT. As such, it could potentially have psychedelic effects, and it has purportedly been used in ayahuasca preparations.[19]

The mature seeds of the plant contain about 3.1-6.1% L-DOPA,[12] with trace amounts of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin), nicotine, DMT-n-oxide, bufotenine, 5-MeO-DMT-n-oxide, and beta-carboline.[20] One study using 36 samples of the seeds found no tryptamines present in them.[21]

The leaves contain about 0.5% L-DOPA, 0.006% dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 0.0025% 5-MeO-DMT and 0.003% DMT n-oxide.[22]

Psychiatric Adverse Effects

Panic reactions can occur after consumption of Velvet Bean, due to the high levels of Nicotine. For example, reactions such as violence, aggression, homicidal and suicidal attempts. It contains dependence-forming properties making it highly addictive. Characteristic to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. For every 1000mg there is 375 mg of nicotine. In comparison to a cigarette of 1200 mg typically has 8 mg of nicotine.


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Rätsch, Christian. Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen. Botanik, Ethnopharmakologie und Anwendungen.. Aarau: AT-Verl.. p. 15. ISBN 978-3855025701. 
  2. ^ a b "Mucuna pruriens information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ Picapica
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Factsheet - Mucuna pruriens". Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  6. ^ a b c "Factsheet - Mucuna pruriens". Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  7. ^ Amin KMY, Khan MN, Zillur-Rehman S, et al. (1996) "Sexual function improving effect of Mucuna pruriens in sexually normal male rats". Fitoterapia, jrg.67 (nr.1): pp. 53-58. Quote: The seeds of M. pruriens are widely used for treating male sexual dysfunction in Tibb-e-Unani (Unani Medicine), the traditional system of medicine of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent.
  8. ^ "Mucuna Pruriens, Dopamine, L-dopa, Growth Hormone, Macuna". Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  9. ^ Giuliano F, Allard J. Dopamine and male sexual function. 2001. Eur Urol 40:601-608. PMID 11805404
  10. ^ Giuliano F, Allard J. Dopamine and sexual function. 2001. Int J Impot Res 13 Suppl 3:S18-S28. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3900719 PMID 11477488 free full text
  11. ^ "Medicinal Plants: Chemistry And ... - Google Book Search". Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  12. ^ a b "Medical Toxicology - Google Book Search". Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  13. ^ [ YERRA RAJESHWAR, MALAYA GUPTA and UPAL KANTI MAZUMDER, "In Vitro Lipid Peroxidation and Antimicrobial Activity of Mucuna pruriens Seeds," 1735-2657/05/41-32-35 IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS Copyright © 2005 by Razi Institute for Drug Research (RIDR) IJPT 4:32-35, 2005] ]
  14. ^ G. V. Joglekar, M. B. Bhide J. H. Balwani. An experimental method for screening antipruritic agents. British Journal of Dermatology. Volume 75 Issue 3 Page 117 - March 1963
  15. ^ Dr.J.Raamachandran,"Herbs of Siddha Medicines-The First 3D book on Herbs, Vol.1, Murugan pathippagam
  16. ^ Manyam BV, Dhanasekaran M, Hare TA. Effect of antiparkinson drug HP-200 (Mucuna pruriens) on the central monoaminergic neurotransmitters. 2004. Phytother Res 18:97-101. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1407 PMID 15022157
  17. ^ Manyam BV, Dhanasekaran M, Hare TA. Neuroprotective effects of the antiparkinson drug Mucuna pruriens. 2004. Phytother Res 18:706-712. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1514 PMID 15478206
  18. ^ Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, et al. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. 2004. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 75:1672-1677. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2003.028761 PMID 15548480 free full text
  19. ^ "Erowid Mucuna pruriens Vault". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  20. ^ "Species Information". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  21. ^ "The phytochemistry, toxicology, and food potential of velvetbean". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  22. ^ Chemical Compounds Found in "Mucuna Puriens"

External links

The hindi name for Mucuna pruriens is "konch".


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: Mucuna pruriens
Varieties: M. p. var. hirsuta - M. p. var. pruriens - M. p. var. sericophylla - M. p. var. utilis


Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.


  • Prodr. 2:405. 1825
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 24652

Vernacular names

((VN |de=Juckbohne |pl=Świerzbiec właściwy |pt=Feijão-da-flórida }}

Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Mucuna pruriens on Wikimedia Commons.

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