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Benefits of Kapikacchu (Mucuna Pruriens) And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2020

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health benefits of kapikachhu are as follows; controls central nervous system, enhances mood, increases testosterone and dopamine level, lower stress, treats Parkinson disease, solves reproductive problems and treats inflammation.

Kapikacchu (Mucuna Pruriens)

Kapikacchu is a tropical legume. The plant is notorious for the extreme itchiness it produces on contact, particularly with the young foliage and the seed pods. It has value in agricultural and horticultural use and has a range of medicinal properties.

Interesting Facts: Kapikacchu is scientifically known as Mucuna Pruriens.

Kapikacchu bears white, lavender, or purple flowers. Its seed pods are about 10 cm long and are covered in loose, orange hairs that cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The itch is caused by a protein known as mucunain. The seeds are shiny black or brown drift seeds.The dry weight of the seeds is 55–85 grams/100 seeds.

Nutritional Value of Kapikacchu

Kapikacchu contain L-dopa (4-3, 4-dihydroxy phenyladaline) gluthione, lecithin, gallic acid, glycosides, nicotine, prurenine, prurenidine, dark brown viscous oil, alkaloids mucanine, tannic acid, resin, lecithin. Kapikacchu silage contains 11-23% crude protein, 35-40% crude fiber, and the dried beans 20-35% crude protein. It has Anthelmintic, Diuretic, Aphrodisiac, Nervine, Astringent, Rejuvenative, Analgesic, Carminative properties.

Health Benefits of Kapikacchu

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Kapikacchu (Mucuna Pruriens)

Low Dopamine and L-Dopa

The neurotransmitter dopamine acts upon your central nervous system and, in concert with other neurotransmitters, plays a vital role in motivation, attention, memory, mood, relaxation, sexual desire, sleep and many other areas.

People suffering Parkinson’s disease are known to lack dopamine in the brain and some research has shown that mucuna pruriens may benefit the condition. Scientists are also studying the link between low dopamine and depression.

If Kapikacchu and its L-dopa can be used to normalize dopamine levels for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease or clinical depression it may have important applications as a treatment. Especially since mucuna extract has been shown to be more effective than isolated L-dopa in research studies.

For Mood Enhancement

For someone experiencing lowered dopamine levels due to stimulant use and the stresses of modern life, the benefits of taking mucuna can include a significantly positive effect on their mood. Research like this study shows the L-dopa in mucuna pruriens increases dopamine in the brain cortex.

Many people report mood enhancement and elevated alertness within an hour of taking kapikachhu powder or mucuna pruriens supplements on an empty stomach. It’s important to mention though that more is not better in the case of dopamine and dosages of the L-dopa in Kapikacchu should be low.

A gentle increase in available dopamine can have many beneficial effects on mental and physical wellbeing. On the other hand, large amounts of L-dopa in excess of the recommended dosage may produce negative results like high blood pressure, tension and nervousness. It really is better to start off slow with pruriens.

Increases Testosterone

Testosterone production plays a central role in libido and sexual performance for both men and women. While women produce much less testosterone than men, it is still a vital hormone for sexual interest and desire.

Benefits of kapikachhu has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac for both men and women. One of the scientific reasons why the herb has been so effective for this purpose is due to another hormone called prolactin.

Prolactin is a hormone with reproductive, metabolic and immunoregulatory functions. It is needed in small amounts but an excess of estrogen in the body can lead to high levels. Prolactin tends to counteract testosterone in the body, thus reducing sexual interest.

In fact, a common side effect of drugs that stimulate prolactin function is impotence in men and low libido for women .Increased dopamine from the L-dopa found in a high quality kapikacchu extract reduces excessive prolactin and increases testosterone in the body. Many women and men quickly notice an increase in sexual desire and performance when taking kapikacchu from this hormonal shift.

Increases dopamine level

By increasing dopamine levels in your body, kapikacchu may help increase lean muscle mass by stimulating human growth hormone production. Dopamine has been shown to increase HGH levels within the body and human growth hormone is known to increase protein synthesis and help stimulate muscle growth.

Lowers stress

Kapikacchu benefits also include improved relaxation and help getting to sleep. Dopamine from L-dopa acts on the pineal gland which secretes the sleep hormone melatonin. Higher dopamine levels are also associated with lower stress and an improved ability to relax.

Treats Parkinson’s disease

Kapikachhu gives considerable benefits in the long-term management of Parkinson’s disease or PD.

Solves reproductive problems

Seeds of Kapikacchu are useful for increasing ejaculate count in men. It is very useful herbal medicine to increase ovulation in females. Kapikachhu herb is very effective to build nervous system and to improve reproductive health.

Reduces inflammation

Kapikachhu also serves to reduce inflammation in the body.

Uses of Kapikacchu

In many parts of the world Mucuna pruriens is used as an important crop. Since the plant is a legume, it fixes nitrogen and fertilizes soil. In Indonesia, particularly Java the beans are eaten and widely known as Benguk. The beans can also be fermented to form a food similar to tempe and known as Benguk tempe or tempe Benguk.

Kapikacchu is a widespread fodder plant in the tropics. The whole plant is fed to animals as silage, dried hay or dried seeds. It also has use in the countries of Benin and Vietnam as a biological control for problematic Imperata cylindrica grass.

Kapikacchu is said to not be invasive outside its cultivated area. However, the plant is invasive within conservation areas of South Florida, where it frequently invades disturbed land and rockland hammock edge habitats.


Side-Effects of Kapikacchu

There are no definitive research made on side effects of Kapikacchu. But because the drug has aphrodisiac and neurological effects and because it has high amounts of L Dopa, this medicine should always be taken under strict medical supervision.

It is best to avoid this medicine during pregnancy and lactation. Children should be given this medicine only under strict medical supervision.

Cultivation of Kapikacchu

Kapikacchu is native to Africa and tropical Asia and widely naturalized and cultivated.


  • Manyam BV, Dhanasekaran M, Hare TA. Neuroprotective effects of the antiparkinson drug Mucuna pruriens. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives. 2004 Sep;18(9):706-12. [Cited 27 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Sridhar KR, Bhat R. Agrobotanical, nutritional and bioactive potential of unconventional legume–Mucuna. Livestock Research for Rural Development. 2007;19(9):126-30. [Cited 27 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Lampariello LR, Cortelazzo A, Guerranti R, Sticozzi C, Valacchi G. The magic velvet bean of Mucuna pruriens. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. 2012 Oct 1;2(4):331-9. [Cited 27 June 2019]. Available from:

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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