What is mucuna pruriens used for?
Mucuna pruriens is a bean-like plant. The bean, seed, and hair of the bean pod are used to make medicine.
Mucuna pruriens has been used to:
- Treat Parkinson’s disease
- Treat anxiety, arthritis, parasitic infections, and a condition called hyperprolactinemia.
- Relieve pain and fever
- Induce vomiting
- Treat snakebite
- Reduce joint and muscle pain (when applied directly to the skin)
- Stimulate surface blood flow in conditions that involve paralysis
- Treat scorpion stings
How does it work?
There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, it is known that mucuna pruriens contains levodopa (L-dopa), which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
L-dopa is changed to the chemical dopamine in the brain. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur in patients due to low levels of dopamine in the brain. Unfortunately, most L-dopa is broken down in the body before it ever reaches the brain unless special chemicals are used with levodopa. These chemicals are not present in mucuna pruriens.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using mucuna pruriens?
Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
- You have allergy with any substances of mucuna pruriens or other medications or other herbals.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.
How safe is mucuna pruriens?
A powdered preparation of mucuna pruriens seed, called HP-200, is possibly safe for most people when taken by mouth for up to 20 weeks.
The hair of the mucuna pruriens bean pod is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin.
Special precautions & warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking mucuna pruriens if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease): Due to the levodopa (L-dopa) in cowhage, it should be avoided or used cautiously in people with cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes: There is some evidence that mucuna pruriens can lower blood sugar levels and might cause blood sugar to drop too low. If you have diabetes and use cowhage, be sure to monitor you blood sugar carefully. The doses of your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): There is some evidence that mucuna pruriens can lower blood sugar levels and might make low blood sugar worse.
Liver disease: Mucuna pruriens contains levodopa (L-dopa). L-dopa seems to raise the blood levels of chemicals that indicate liver damage. This may mean that the mucuna pruriens is making liver disease worse. If you have liver disease, don’t use mucuna pruriens.
Skin cancer called melanoma: The body can use the levodopa (L-dopa) in mucuna pruriens to make to the skin pigment called melanin. There is some concern that this extra melanin might make melanoma worse. Don’t use mucuna pruriens if you have a history of melanoma or a suspicious changes in the skin.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers (peptic ulcer disease): There have been reports that levodopa (L-dopa) can cause gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in people with ulcers. Since mucuna pruriens contains L-dopa, there is some concern that it might cause gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in patients with ulcers. However, this problem has not yet been reported with mucuna pruriens.
Mental illness: Due to the levodopa (L-dopa) content, mucuna pruriens might make mental illness disease worse.
Surgery: Since mucuna pruriens might affect blood sugar levels, there is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking mucuna pruriens at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
What kind of side effects may I have from mucuna pruriens?
The most common side effects include:
- Abdominal bloating
Less common side effects include:
- Abnormal body movements
Other side effects include:
- Pounding heartbeat
- Symptoms of psychosis including confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and delusions
The hair of the mucuna pruriens bean pod is a strong irritant and can cause severe itching, burning, and swelling.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.
What interactions may I have with mucuna pruriens?
Mucuna pruriens may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.
Products that may interact with mucuna pruriens include:
- Medications for depression (MAOIs)
Mucuna pruriens contains chemicals that stimulate the body. Some medications used for depression can increase these chemicals. Taking mucuna pruriens along with these medications used for depression might cause serious side effects including fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, nervousness, and others.
Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.
- Methyldopa (Aldomet)
Mucuna pruriens can lower blood pressure. Methyldopa (Aldomet) can also lower blood pressure. Taking mucuna pruriens and methyldopa together might lower blood pressure too much.
Some of these medicines used for depression include amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.
- Guanethidine (Ismelin)
Mucuna pruriens can decrease blood pressure. Guanethidine (Ismelin) can also decrease blood pressure. Taking mucuna pruriens and guanethidine together might cause blood pressure to go too low.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Mucuna pruriens might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking mucuna pruriens along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications for mental conditions (Antipsychotic drugs)
Mucuna pruriens seems to increase a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Some medications for mental conditions help to decrease dopamine. Taking mucuna pruriens along with some medications for mental conditions might decrease the effectiveness of some medications for mental conditions.
Some medications for mental conditions include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (Clozaril), fluphenazine (Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), olanzapine (Zyprexa), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), thioridazine (Mellaril), thiothixene (Navane), and others.
- Medications used during surgery (Anesthesia)
Mucuna pruriens contains a chemical called L-dopa (levodopa). Taking L-dopa along with medications used for surgery can cause heart problems. Be sure to tell your doctor what natural products you are taking before having surgery. You should stop taking mucuna pruriens at least two weeks before surgery.
- Medications used for depression (Tricyclic antidepressants)
Some medications used for depression can slow down the stomach and intestines. This might decrease how much mucuna pruriens is absorbed. Taking some medications used for depression might decrease the effects of mucuna pruriens.
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for mucuna pruriens?
The dose for this herbal supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.
What form does mucuna pruriens come in?
Mucuna pruriens may be available in the following dosage forms:
- Dietary supplement (capsule)
- Pure levodopa mucuna pruriens dopamine powder
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.