Mucuna pruriens side effects, herb health benefit, l dopa content, for Parkinson’s, neurological conditions and libido enhancement
Does it affect sleep, testosterone, HGH, ADHD or weight loss?
February 15 2016
Mucuna pruriens, commonly known as velvet bean, contains L-Dopa which is used to make dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood, sexuality, and movement of the body. Studies in rats show supplementation to increase dopamine content in the cortex of the brain. It is used for male erectile dysfunction, as an aphrodisiac, and as nervine tonic. This plant has been used for generations in India to treat Parkinson’s disease, which has a low prevalence in India except in the small Parsi community where there is a high prevalence. Parkinson’s disease has been known in India since ancient days and the powder of mucuna pruriens seeds has been used for its treatment. This herbal remedy also has antioxidant properties.
Mucuna pruriens side effect, adverse events, safety, overdose, how safe is it?
The benefits and side effects of long term use of mucuna pruriens supplements in humans are not known, therefore users and their doctors should be vigilant for any symptoms or signs that could relate to a potential long term side effect. Increased body temperature, nausea, headache, sweating, rapid heart beat, palpitations, could occur with overdose. We are not aware of caffeine being present in this herb.
Q. I have suffered from a wide range of psychological problems and tried a number of conventional drugs some have worked better then other, none have given a satisfying result, and all have cast side effects. I started supplementing with Dr. Ray Sahelian’s mucuna extract, witch I have done for 3 weeks now, this has opened a new world for me suddenly I can actually function in the world and live a real life. However I’m wondering whether or not it’s a good idea supplementing with mucuna pruriens on a daily basis for a long period of time. Some side effects and even neurotoxicity seams to be associated with synthetic L-dopa. I have also heard that at least synthetic L-dopa loses its effectiveness over time. On the other hand some people claim that those side effect only occurs when synthetic L-dopa is taken. And that the natural herb mucuna isn’t associated with any of these side effects and that it actually is a safe herb even for long term us.
A. We don’t have much experience in the West with using mucuna pruriens for prolonged periods, so we don’t know what the side effects would be when used for months or years without a break. As a general rule, it is a good idea to take a day or two off a week off from a particular herb and then one full week off every month or every other month. By taking these breaks, any potential side effects are either avoided or significantly reduced. The percentage of L-dopa in mucuna pruriens is small, as opposed to taking in pure L-dopa as a pharmaceutical drug. Initial studies indicate mucuna pruriens has brain protecting potential.
Mucuna health benefit
At this time the most likely benefit of mucuna pruriens powder or extract is libido enhancement, and Parkinson’s disease. It is still not clear how it influences or treats ADHD, or sleep problems. It is unlikely to have a major influence on weight loss or be helpful in bodybuilding.
buy Mucuna Pruriens herb suitable for vegetarians, can be shipped to Canada, use no more than 2 capsules to minimize side effects
Formulated by Ray Sahelian, MD
Mucuna Pruriens herb – 200 mg
Mucuna pruriens seed dried water extract, 15 percent L Dopa which converts into dopamine.
Buy Mucuna Pruriens herb it can be shipped to Canada
Directions: Take one capsule in the morning or as directed by your health care provider.
You can buy at Amazon Mucuna 200mg
Composition and constituents
Nutritional analysis reveals mucuna pruriens seed contains crude protein ranged from 20-29 %, crude lipid 6-7%, total dietary fibre 8-10%, ash 3% and carbohydrates 50-60%.
Besides L-dopa, some mucuna pruriens supplements contain quite a number of others substances including tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids, D-chiro-inositol and its galacto-derivatives, trace amounts of bufotenine, DMT, and beta-carboline.
Influence on hormone levels
Numerous commercial sites claim that mucuna pruriens herbal product will increase levels of testosterone, HGH, GnRH, LH, and FSH. Are there any studies available that verify these claims?
Mucuna pruiriens increases dopamine levels which can influence hormone secretion. Not enough studies have been done in humans to know which hormones are influenced and for how long and whether different dosages lead to different hormone influences. It may have an influence on human growth hormone or testosterone levels but the jury is still out.
I read that it can raise testosterone levels, and being a woman, should this be a concern for me? I am working to correct some neurological imbalances and want to try a product we carry in the supplement store I work at. I am 27 years old and also take 5-HTP, but would like to use mucuna pruriens in addition to that. My only concern would be any unnecessary hormonal changes.
Neurological imbalances is a very ambiguous diagnosis. We have not seen any good human studies regarding the influence of mucuna pruriens on hormone levels.
Q. I have read several reports and seen several forum posts online regarding the testosterone increasing effects of mucuna supplement, as a result of the supposed human growth hormones it contains. Even as a 24 yr old male, I have no interest in gaining big bulky muscle mass and am mainly interested for the dopamine enhancing effects. Some of the reports I read even stated a discontinuation of use due to overwhelming muscle gain. Could you possibly tell me whether or not mucuna supplement has any significant effects on testosterone production and human growth hormones HGH? I understand some mucuna pruriens products have different extraction forms etc and thus will vary from one to the other, so it is possible yours might be different from other brands such as Himalaya and Nutraceutics Rx. Also, I see that the mucuna L-dopa content is only 15% whereas other manufacturers are listed as between 30% and 60%. Might this amount still be effective for producing the supposed dopamine increasing effects?
A. There are many substances in mucuna pruriens herb, besides L Dopa, that have a clinical effect. The enhancement of dopamine is only one of many ways it influences the body and mind. Not enough human trials have been done with these supplements to determine its influence on human growth hormone and testosterone levels. There are quite a number of different mucuna pruriens supplements on the market with varying levels of l dopa percentages and other constituents within the herb. The only way to tell if a mucuna supplement will work for your needs is to try each different product since you may get different results from each one. Higher l dopa concentrations may not necessarily be a better option.
Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004.
We assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa / carbidopa. Eight Parkinson’s disease patients with a short duration L-dopa response and on period dyskinesias completed a randomised, controlled, double blind crossover trial. Patients were challenged with single doses of 200/50 mg L-dopa / carbidopa, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna pruriens preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals. Compared with standard L-dopa / carbidopa, the mucuna preparation led to a considerably faster onset of effect, reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred. The rapid onset of action and longer on time without concomitant increase in dyskinesias on mucuna seed powder formulation suggest that this natural source of L-dopa might possess advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long term management of Parkinson’s disease.
Neuroprotective effects of the antiparkinson drug Mucuna pruriens.
Phytother Res. 2004.
The present study evaluated the neurorestorative effect of Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder on the nigrostriatal tract of 6-OHDA lesioned rats. Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder significantly increased the brain mitochondrial complex-I activity but did not affect the total monoamine oxidase activity (in vitro). Unlike synthetic levodopa treatment, Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder treatment significantly restored the endogenous levodopa, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin content in the substantia nigra. Nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and coenzyme Q-10, that are shown to have a therapeutic benefit in Parkinson’s disease, were present in the Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder. Earlier studies showed that Mucuna pruriens treatment controls the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This additional finding of a neurorestorative benefit by Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder 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.
Mucuna pruriens is not having the hoped for result. My wife has Parkinson’s and takes about 300 mg per day Roche’s Prolopa 200/50 mg formulation. We tried adjusting it to that level, but a full week of experimentation did not give an improvement — in fact, just the opposite. Looks like I’ll use it for my libido which it does help a lot!
The dosage of mucuna pruriens may not have been enough, or it could have interacted with Prolopa, or perhaps you wife just would not respond to it. Not everyone responds positively to medications or herbal supplements.
Q. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinsonism. I currently take Carbidopa 10 MG / Levadopa 100 mg 4 times per day. I would like to try mucuna herbal extract and see if I can possibly reduce my medication. Can you tell me if there is any contraindication?
A. Caution is advised when combining herbal supplements and medications. When adding any supplement to a medication program very low dosages should initially be used.
Q. I have been using Physicians Formulas mucuna 400 mg 10% L dopa along with carbadopa 25mg tid for Parkinson’s Disease and have been doing better than with the sinemet 100mg/25 mg I previously took. Now the changed formulation is 200 mg 15% L-dopa.
A. Apparently the original source of 10 percent L dopa was no longer available and the formula was switched to 15 % L dopa at 200 mg. Keep in mind that L dopa is not the only active substance in mucuna pruriens and just going by the L dopa percentage does not take full account of the many other substances in mucuna pruriens that influence brain chemistry. There are no plans to return to the old formulation. Also one needs to keep in mind that the dosage requirement of medications and herbs can change over time. The effect of certain herbs can begin to accumulate over time and less of a dosage is required. The only way to know for sure is by trial and error. That different mucuna pruriens supplements on the market, even if the percentage of L dopa is the same, may have different effects due to variations in growing the plants, processing, storing, and encapsulating.
Infertility, sperm function
Effect of Mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men.
Fertility Sterility. 2007.
We evaluated sixty normal healthy fertile men (controls) and 60 men with infertility. Before and after the treatment, seminal plasma lipid profile, lipid peroxide, fructose, and antioxidant vitamin levels were measured. Treatment with mucuna pruriens significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation, elevated spermatogenesis, and improved sperm motility. Treatment also recovered the levels of total lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, phospholipids, and vitamin A, C, and E and corrected fructose in seminal plasma of infertile men. Treatment with mucuna pruriens increased sperm concentration and motility in all the infertile study groups.
PLoS One. 2013. Mucuna pruriens and its major constituent L-DOPA recover spermatogenic loss by combating ROS, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis. Division of Endocrinology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India. The Ayurvedic medicinal system claims Mucuna pruriens to possess pro-male fertility, aphrodisiac and adaptogenic properties. Some scientific evidence also supports its pro-male fertility properties; however, the mechanism of its action is not yet clear. The present study aimed at demonstrating spermatogenic restorative efficacy of MP and its major constituent L-DOPA (LD), and finding the possible mechanism of action thereof in a rat model.
Restless legs syndrome treatment
I read online that mucuna pruriens helps some people with restless leg syndrome (which I have had for over 20 years). I am presently on Requip, which works great, if, I’m ready to go to sleep. However, my RLS begins around 8pm at night once I sit down. If I take the Requip, I can not stay awake with my family for it makes me SO sleepy. Up to now, I just walk the floors until time to take Requip since it is just impossible to sit and relax. I would like to try something for the RLS that does not make me drowsy. I have no other medical problem except for the RLS. Now to the question: You have several products which have the mucuna pruriens. I want to take the one that has the “Highest” amount of the herb in it. Which of your products would you advise? How would you suggest I convert from Requip to mucuna? Or do I take both. One in morning, one at bedtime? The pure mucuna has 200 mg. Does the Passion Rx or Eyesight Rx, have more mucuna? Do you think something else would work better?
Passion Rx and Eyesight Rx have small amounts of the herb, so the pure herb would be the choice if you wanted a large amount. We have not seen studies that have evaluated the role of this herb in terms of restless legs syndrome treatment so we don’t know how well it works, and if it does, what the appropriate dosage would be. Also, we have not seen studies that have evaluated the combination of this herb with the prescription medication ropinirole, so we don’t know if the combination of the herb mucuna pruriens and ropirinole would be of benefit or cause side effects. There is much still to be learned about this medical condition and its natural treatment and interactions.
Pregnancy, breast feeding
Q. Is mucuna pruriens safe to take while breast feeding?
A. We have not seen human studies regarding its safety for use in women who are pregnant. To be on the safe side, it may be cautious to not use this herb during pregnancy.
Sexual enhancement, effect on libido
Studies in rodents indicate that the use of this herb has sexual enhancing properties. This herb can be used in small dosages together with other herbs used for sexual enhancement, including catuaba, horny goat weed, muira puama, yohimbe, and tongkat ali.
I recently purchased mucuna pruriens for my orgasm problem but it didn’t seem to help so I thought I’d ask if there are any other items you would recommend instead. I take forever to reach orgasm. All I see for men are products to delay orgasm – that is not what I need and any of those serotonin products would make things far worse for me. I I tried mucuna as an attempt to see if dopamine insufficiency might be my issue. At this point I can’t tell if it is or isn’t (I’ve only been taking it for four days).
It’s difficult to predict which herb or herbal combination will help since this area has not been studied. But it would be fair to give each herb or product a period of at least one to two week trial. Other products to try would include Passion Rx, LJ100, and tribulus terrestris. For more information, see Natural Sex Boosters book.
We do not have enough patient experiences or testimonials at this time to know whether mucuna works for weight loss. Other alternative supplements include green tea extract and hoodia.
The only time in my life I have ever been at my ideal weight was with a bariatric doctor who prescribed Bontril to help me lose weight. All was well, but after a hysterectomy I started gaining the weight back and then when I tried getting back on bontril I realized it no longer worked for me. I did not know your body could become desensitized to it after long term use. The most important effect of the pill was effective craving and appetite control. I no longer had any cravings of any kind which made it very easy to stick to my eating plan. I have researched for several years on why Bontril was so effective and I have found that it is a parasympathetic drug which means it increases the output of dopamine and others in the brain. I have been looking ever since for a natural substitute to Bontril but had never found it. Now I am reading on mucuna pruriens and I am wondering if this might be what finally helps me regain my normal weight after so many years of struggling. I have tried other herbs to control the stress such as Rhodiola rosea and Ashwaganda to no avail. They make me feel a little less stressed but not much.By the way, according to my saliva test, my cortisol curve is totally inverted, cannot fall asleep at night but need naps during the day to function.Please let me know your sincere opinion since I read your article and I was very grateful for having found it. Please let me know if, from your knowledge, you think that this might be a good Bontril substitute. Now that I know about drug dependency, of course I would use it Monday through Friday and take the weekends off in order to avoid dependency.
Effect on neurotransmitters
It is widely believed that mucuna pruriens influences the dopamine system, however there may be other factors involved. A study was designed to elucidate the long-term effect on neurotransmitters in various regions of the rat brain. Mucuna pruriens powder at a dose of 2.5, 5.0 or 10.0 grams /kg/day was mixed with rat chow and fed daily ad lib to Sprague-Dawley rats for 52 weeks. Controls received no mucuna pruriens. The rats were sacrificed at the end of 52 weeks and the neurotransmitters were analyzed in the cortex, hippocampus, substantia nigra and striatum. Oral administration of mucuna pruriens endocarp in the form of HP-200 had a significant effect on dopamine content in the cortex with no significant effect on levodopa, norepinephrine or dopamine, serotonin, and their metabolites- HVA, DOPAC and 5-HIAA in the nigrostriatal tract. The failure of Mucuna pruriens endocarp to significantly affect dopamine metabolism in the striatonigral tract along with its ability to improve Parkinsonian symptoms in the 6-hydorxydopamine animal model and humans may suggest that its anti-parkinson effect may be due to components other than levodopa or that it has an levodopa enhancing effect.
Combining with drugs, medication interaction
I am currently taking 20mg of adderall xr, not everyday, but a couple times a week. I take it when I know I’m going to have a busy day at work or have a lot of things to get done at home. I don’t take it everyday to avoid any side effects and to not become too immune to its effects. I was reading about mucuna pruriens product and its ability to increase dopamine and I was wondering if this product alone or in combination with L-Tyrosine would be a suitable substitute for the days I don’t take the adderall. Perhaps your product might be a suitable replacement for adderall altogether. Please let me know as I am interested in trying the herb.
It is difficult to predict what would happen in any one individual, but we suggest not taking the supplement the same day as the medication.
I am currently taking Madopar at 100mg, I would like to reduce my dosage to 50 mg. Could I take mucuna with Madopar together?
Madopar is a prescription medication that contains two active ingredients, levodopa and benserazide. It is not possible for us to predict whether the addition of the plant remedy would reduce your need for the prescription medication.
I would like to know if i can take l dopa drug Madopar along with mucuna pruriens (not at the same time obviously) but reduce Madopar to once a day and maybe replace with.
We suggest your doctor read this page and offer the advice since we cannot offer individual suggestions. It is best that your doctor knows that mixing drugs and herbs can have unexpected reactions and as a general rule it is best to learn how the herbs work by themselves before combining, and sometimes lower dosages are required when combining drugs and herbs since herbs can be potent.
Will mucuna pruriens and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine, an SNRI) have a bad interaction? I know the studies say do not take with Tricylic antidepressants and MAOI inhibitors but this is an SNRI (Seratonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor)? Any advice or comments would be appreciated.
A large factor in the interaction between medications and other meds, and with herbal supplements depends on the dosage and the person taking them. I have not seen any studies with this combination so it is not easy to predict. Anytime a person is adding an herb to an existing prescription medication, it is advisable to begin with very low dosages.
Q. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am 55 in good health otherwise. I have read where Mucuna pruriens herb is beneficial to Parkinson patients. I presently take Mirapex 1mg 3 x daily. Is there a conflict?
A. We do not know the interaction of MP with Mirapex medication.
I took macuna and also Anafranil after two days. I am social phobia patient, I get serious interaction of high BP and insomnia since one months plus anxiety, depression, sinking, worries, please help me to get sleep and out from this conditions. My age is 43 yrs. Clomipramine (trademarked as Anafranil) is a tricyclic antidepressant.
Q. The reason i started using macuna pruriens was complex social problems. I maintained a social life only because it was better than having no friends. I avoided people as much as possible for instane I did most of my work from home saying that I liked it that way, but I really didn’t. Like most people I have a strong interest for the opposite sex, yet I couldn’t build a healthy relationship with a girl. I really didn’t feel any thing for the girls I met, as a consequence I felt guilty as if I was conning the girl and not being honest. It always ended up with me braking up. In general I felt a constant discomfort being around others yet I was yearning for contact with other people. Taking mucuna pruriens herb has made me normal I enjoy seeing other people in a new way. If i ever will design a formula for social phobia mucuna pruriens is it! I have tried a number of drugs none has given satisfying results. Yet I’m a bit concerned about side effects naturally I think about the regular Parkinson drugs, synthetic L-dopa for instance, which clearly is serious stuff. How ever, and I don’t really understand how, natural L-dopa seams to be vary different from the synthetic variant. How can natural L-dopa be free from neurotoxicity? Is its chemical structure actually different from synthetic L-dopa? I have tried clean natural L-dopa in order to evaluate this I compared mucuna with a dose of natural L-dopa that was corresponding to the quantity of L-dopa I estimated would be in the herb. And I must say that the effect was wary much similar.
A. Mucuna pruriens has only a few percent L dopa, and it has many other compounds in it that have an effect on the brain and body. Many of these compounds have antioxidant abilities. So, mucuna pruriens is not the same as L dopa medication although it may have similar clinical benefits. We have not seen enough human research to know in detail what other brain chemicals a mucuna pruriens supplement would influence.
Q. Please clarify the difference between the two mucuna pruriens products below. I am not clear as to what the pecentage of L-Dopa vis a vis the mg quantity in each product means, and what the difference is, especially in the net percent of L-Dopa delivered to the brain according to the mg dosage.
Mucuna Pruriens 120 Caps: 100mg of 60%L-Dopa HERBAL POWERS
Mucuna Pruriens 60 caps: 400mg of 10% of L-Dopa Physicians Formula
A. There are a number of extracts of mucuna pruriens and we can’t comment on other products form other companies since we have not idea what effect they have. Please keep in mind that there are many active ingredients in mucuna pruriens besides L dopa. Also, a higher dosage or percentage of L dopa is not necessarily better since since effects can occur. The best way to tell what works for you is to try each product separately and see how it works for you. One product may be ideal for one person but cause problems and side effects in another person.
Q. I came upon mucuna pruriens herb being suggested for Parkinson’s disease and was wondering if you know if it would also be helpful for decreasing the tremors in essential tremor.
A. We don’t have any feedback regarding the use of mucuna pruriens herb in the treatment of essential tremor, but if your doctor approves it may be worth trying the herbal extract.
I am a home gardener here in Texas, USA. I just bought Mucana pruriens seeds from a company in Florida, with a 90 day growth cycle and am waiting for them to pop thru the soil. My husband has Parkinson’s and takes a drug called carbidopa-levodopa 4 times a day that replaces his lost natural dopamine. If I get a harvest from the bean plants, can he just eat the raw bean for the same effect as your 200mg capsules?
There are many factors that influence the composition of a bean, the soil, temperature, how it is grown, etc. It is not possible for us to know whether consuming the bean would be effective and what the l dopa content would be. The capsules have a 15 % l dopa concentration that is standardized.