Mucuna pruriens is the Latin name for a bean-like plant also known as Velvet bean or Cowhage. It is a legume with several medicinal benefits found in tropical regions like India, China, and Africa. For years, healers have used the plant and its extracts to remedy Parkinson’s disease, nervous disorders, male infertility, and as an aphrodisiac.
Mucuna also serves as a good source food because it is rich in crude protein, essential amino acids, minerals, starch, and other essential fatty acids.
The plant contains relatively high levels of levodopa (L-DOPA) (6-9%), making it instrumental for therapeutics and pharmaceuticals. This is because L-DOPA is a dopamine precursor that offers several medicinal properties. The high amount of levodopa in the plant made it famous in the ancient Indian medical system ‘Ayurveda,’ especially for treating diseases like Parkinson’s disease and removing snake venom.