Introduction of Mucuna Pruriens:Mauritius velvet bean or Cowage.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Mucuna Pruriens, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC., other two usable species, ②.Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour)Tang et Wang.,③.Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Mucuna Pruriens, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Mucuna Pruriens(Mauritius velvet bean).

Mucuna Pruriens and several pendulous pods English Name: Mucuna Pruriens.
 Latin Name: Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC., Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. utilis (Wall ex Wight) Baker ex Burck.
 Common Names: Mauritius velvet bean, Velvet bean,Bengal bean, Buffalo bean, Cow-Itch Plant, Cowage, Cowitch, Couhage, Kiwach, Florida velvet bean, Lacuna bean, Lyon bean, Lyon's bean.
 Property and flavor: cold nature, tastes bitter.

 Brief introduction: Mucuna Pruriens is also known as cowhage, cowitch, velvet bean, buffalo bean, and lyon bean, it is the bean of Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC., the herb was traditionally used as a food or food during famine, it is a nutritious and delicious bean, and modern findings support its use as an alternative to L-DOPA for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Mauritius velvet bean as the seeds of the species (1). Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. It is a plant species of the Mucuna genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family). The seeds are used medicinally. Other two usable herbs with similar functions, dog-claw beans is the seed of plant species (2).Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour)Tang et Wang., tiger bean is the seed of the plant species (3).Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.

 fruiting plant of Mucuna pruriens DC with a cluster of green pods Botanical description: Mucuna prurines(L.)DC. is is a plant of the Leguminosae (bean or pea family) family and Mucuna genus, it is commonly known as "Mauritius velvet bean, Velvet bean, Bengal bean, Buffalo bean, Cow-Itch Plant, Cowage, Florida velvet bean, Lacuna bean, Lyon bean, Lyon's bean.", its synonyms are Labradia pruriens, Mucuna esquirolii, Stizolobium pruriens, Stizolobium pruritum, Mucuna prurita, Dolichos pruriens.

 Mucuna prurines L.DC. is an annual semi-woody twining vine; Branches are slender, covered with pilose, and glabrous when aged;

 The pinnate compound leaf has 3 leaflets, the terminal leaflet is broadly oval or rhombic egg-shaped, 14~16 cm long, the apex is round or tapered, the base is broadly cuneate (wedge-shaped) or round, the upper part is covered with only the young elbow, the lower part is sparsely covered with gray silk, the lateral leaflet is large and extremely oblique, and the petiole is covered with pale yellow silk;

 flowering plant of Mucuna pruriens DC with purple flowr pods grow on stem Racemes are axillary, 15~30 cm long, each node bears 2~3 flowers, peanuts are located in the upper 2/3 of the preface axis, and the rest are glabrous; Calyx is wide cyathiform (cotyloid), calyx tube is about 5 mm long and 1 cm wide, densely covered with pale yellow silk hairs; The corolla is dark purple, the vexil is 1.6~2.5 cm long, the winged stem is 2~4 cm long, and the keel pelals is 2.8~4.2 cm long. Each flap has a handle and ears.

 The pod is oblong, 5~9 cm long, 1~2 cm wide, and 5 mm thick, slightly bent in an "S" shape, and densely covered with dark brown or light brown long spines; The seed is oblong and flat, the umbilical length of the seed is about 1/8 of the perimeter of the seed, and there is aril around it;

 fruiting plant of Mucuna pruriens DC with pendulous pods grow in field Ecological environment: It grows in sparse forests, mixed forests, thickets, rivers, and roadsides from flat to areas with a latitude of 1,700 meters. The plant grows in tropical areas of southwest and south China. The plant widely grows in Asia, tropical America, tropical Africa, and Madagascar.

 Growth characteristics: Mucuna is a popular crop in south China. Seeds are sown at the rate of 50 kg/ha (Kilogram per hectare) between 15th June to 15th July with plant spacing of 60 cm × 60 cm. Likes warm and humid climate, drought-tolerant, resistant to thin, not resistant to phlegm. In spring sowing, the distance between the holes is 60 cm × 60 cm, the seeding amount is 2~3 seeds per hole, and the seeding amount is 5 kg/hm2 (Kilogram per hectare). It can be harvested 2 to 3 times a year, and fresh grass yield is 22 to 37 t/hm (metric tons per hectare). For grazing, after the seeds are ripe, the cattle are first grazing, then the grazing pigs are used, and the remaining pods are taken. Fresh stems and leaves should be fed green, or mixed with corn, sorghum, etc. to form silage.

(2).Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour)Tang et Wang.

 fruiting plant of Mucuna cochinchine-sis Lour Tang et Wang with green pods grow in field Botanical description: The Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour)Tang et Wang., is a plant of the Leguminosae(bean or pea family) family and Mucuna genus, it is commonly known as dog-claw beans, white mucuna bean, dragon-claw beans, cat-claw beans, cat beans.

 Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour)Tang et Wang is an annual twining herb. Stems are sparsely white pilose. 3 compound leaves, alternate; The terminal leaflet is broadly ovate, long oval or rhombic egg-shaped, the base of the lateral leaflet is extremely oblique, 7~14 cm long and 5~8.5 cm wide, the apex is blunt or slightly concave, with short needles, and both sides are white and sparsely piliferous; Petiole is densely piliferous; Stipules is setose.

 flowering plant of Mucuna cochinchine-sis Lour Tang et Wang with purple flowers grow in sunny days Racemes droop; Bracts are small, linear-lanceolate; Calyx is broadly campanulate, densely covered by gray-white pilose, and sparsely piliferous. The upper lobe is extremely broad, and the lower middle one is linear-lanceolate; Corolla is dark purple or white, keel pelals are about 4 cm long, the winged stem is slightly shorter, and vexil is about 2 cm long.

 Mucuna cochinchine-sis Lour Tang et Wang:dragon-claw bean pods The pod is 8~10 cm long and 2 cm wide, and it is black when mature, with sparse hair and 1~2 vertical ridges. 6~8 seeds, grayish white. Its flowering period is in April, fruiting from October to November.

 Mucuna cochinchine-sis Lour Tang et Wang:fruiting plant Ecological environment: The Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour) Tang et Wang., grows in hilly sloping land or flat groves. Mucuna cochinchine-sis(Lour) Tang et Wang was native to southern and eastern Asia. It was already recorded in Chinese materia medica since the Ming dynasty, and in China, it is cultivated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Pearl River Basin, and southwest China.

 Mucuna cochinchine-sis Lour Tang et Wang:brown pods and dragon-claw beans Food uses: "Warm in nature, sweet and slightly bitter, and slightly toxic." The tender pods and seeds of dog-claw beans have slight toxins, and the toxicity is equivalent to that of green beans (french beans), so they must be detoxified before eating. The tender pods and seeds are poisonous, so they need to be soaked for 2-3 days or boiled and then soaked for one day before being taken as vegetables. In rural areas of southwest China, dog claw beans have a long history of food use. Usually, they are picked when the pods are ripe, and after being detoxified by boiling, soaking, etc., they are dried and dehydrated to be made into dry goods for storage. In winter, they are taken out and cooked after soaking. They are delicious and have the effects of tonifying the kidney and strengthening the body.

(3).Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze.

 plants of Stizolobium capitatum Sweet O.Kuntze. Botanical description: The Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze., is a plant of the Leguminosae family (bean or pea family) and Mucuna genus, it is commonly known as "Mucuna capitata Sweet, Carpopogon capitatum Roxb", "tiger bean, rat bean, leopard cat bean", etc.

 Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze. is an annual twining herb. All the plants are covered by white and sparsely pilose. Trifoliate leaves; The terminal leaflet is broadly ovate, 6~9 cm long and 4.5~7 cm wide, the apex is blunt and mucronate, the base is round and cuneate (wedge-shaped), and the lateral leaflets are oblique; Stipules are setose.

 Racemes shortened into capitate, axillary; Calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), bilabiate (2-lipped), the lower calyx tooth is longer, densely covered with white short bristles; Corolla is dark purple, 2.5~3 cm long; Stamens 10, dimorphic, 9~11; Ovary has brown hair, filiform style, and white pubescence.

 Pods are ligneous (woody), strip-shaped, dark brown, about 9 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, and densely covered with yellowish pubescence. The seeds are gray-white, reniform, about 1.5 cm long and 1 cm wide, and surrounded by a white caruncle with a collar-shaped bulge. Its flowering and fruiting period is in October.

 The seed is reniform, about 1.4 cm long, 1 cm wide, and 6 mm thick. Its surface is grayish white, with grayish-black markings, slight shrinkage, and slightly shiny. Its edge has grayish-black hilum, which is about 6 mm long and 1.5 mm wide. The seed has a light-tasting, bean smell when chewed.

 Ecological environment: The Stizolobium capitatum(Sweet)O.Kuntze., grows in hilly sloping land or flat groves. This species grows in the Huangshan mountain area of China, cultivated.

 Food uses: Its fruit is as big as the sword bean's fruit. It tastes delicious when boiled to remove the blackwater before taking. The bean tastes sweet, slightly bitter, mild in nature, and slightly toxic. It functions as warming the middle energizer and invigorating Qi, but overeating makes individuals feel tired of stuffy.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.aphrodisiac; ②.body building and stimulate HGH (Human Growth Hormone); ③.diuretic effects.; ④.support healthy testosterone levels; ⑤.relieve Parkinson's disease.

 In history, Mucuna has been used as an aphrodisiac. It is still used to increase libido in both men and women.

 Mucuna can be a very beneficial supplement for bodybuilders. It is high in the amino acid L-Dopa which helps maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Mucuna can increase the production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone, also called growth hormone or somatotropin, peptide hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It stimulates the growth of essentially all tissues of the body, including bone.). An increase in HGH levels can increase the body's ability to build lean muscle and break down fat.

 Mucuna has also been shown to have diuretic effects. Mucuna support healthy testosterone levels, which in turn can lead to increased muscle mass and strength.

 Because of the large amount of Levo-dopa in the seed, it is used for treating Parkinson's disease, when dopamine deficiency was linked to Parkinson's disease in the 1960s, scientists got interested in finding a source of L-DOPA for treatment of Parkinson's disease. Because, the presence of L-DOPA was known to be present in the legume, initial attention was paid to extracting levodopa from various Mucuna seeds and in fact, over a thousand plants were screened for the high content of L-DOPA. The seeds of all mucuna species contain a high concentration of L-dopa; velvet bean seeds contain 7-10% L-dopa.

 Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally, the herb mucuna pruriens was used to relieve pain, abdominal pain, cholera, diabetes, infertility, reduces inflammation, toothache, kill parasites, calm nerves, reduce fever, lowers cholesterol, scorpion bites, and snakebites, modern findings support its use as an alternative to L-DOPA for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Externally, the herb is used for rheumatic disorders and muscular pain.

 Administration of Mucuna Pruriens (Mauritius velvet bean): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Mucuna Pruriens (Mauritius velvet bean)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: Dosage: Seeds are recommended 9~15 grams.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The stinging hairs lead to extremely aggressive itching and burning in contact with the skin, accompanied by long-lasting inflammation.




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  • 1.Introduction of Mucuna Pruriens:Mauritius velvet bean or Cowage.

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