What is Mucuna Pruriens?
Mucuna Pruriens is a tropical legume, or bean producing plant. It is known by many other names, often relating to the intense itching the tiny hairs on the plant produce when touched. Examples include Velvet Bean, Cow-Itch, Hairy Indian Bean, Itching Powder, Itch Bean, Mad Bean and Cattle's Bean.
Where Does Mucuna Pruriens Come From?
Mucuna Pruriens is distributed across Africa, India and the Caribbean. It is often used as a manure, or fodder for livestock as silage or dried hay and seeds. Although toxic to humans, it can be eaten safely by animals with a rumen such as cattle and sheep.
Mucuna Pruriens Health Benefits
Mucuna Pruriens is being investigated for its potential to treat Parkinson's Disease. Although only one double blind study has yet been conducted, the results were highly promising and it showed significant ability to suppress symptoms at relatively high dosages. It may also have positive effects on memory and act as a neuroprotectant.
Traditionally and in modern medicine it is used as an antivenom for snake bites. This stems from its ability to inhibit proteases, and can significantly reduce mortality whether preloaded or given after the bite. It is particularly effective against the vipers found in India.
Mucuna Pruriens Benefits for Bodybuilding
Mucuna Pruriens may have testosterone boosting effects. In infertile or low-fertility men 5g of supplementation was able to increase circulating testosterone levels by around 25%. It is not yet known whether this would occur in normal healthy males as well. These effects are though to be related to its ability to increase dopamine levels, which counteracts other hormones suppressive effects on testosterone.
Mucuna Pruriens Side Effects, Safety and Negatives
Up to 30g/day of Mucuna Pruriens powder can be taken to no ill effects. Above this dose it can be associated with minor side effects including hyperventilation and spontaneous erections. Mucuna Pruriens would be toxic to humans when eaten as a food, but at supplementation levels it is fairly safe. There have been case reports of psychosis induced from eating the beans. These are related to famine periods in Mozambique where the beans had not been cooked for long enough to leech out the toxins.
Mucuna Pruriens can also have anti-nutrient effects, inhibiting absorption of protein and other nutrients in the digestive system. These properties can be reduced by soaking prior to consumption.
Mucuna Pruriens Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
5g of powder has been used with results to fertility. This would be a good starting point for supplementation for testosterone boosting properties. It would be wise to consume at a long a time as possible from meals, due to its abilities to hinder protein absorption.
Mucuna Pruriens Supplements
Mucuna Pruriens is bought as a powder from specialist herbal stores, or it is found in some testosterone boosting products such as USPLabs TestPowder.
Stacking Mucuna Pruriens
Mucuna Pruriens would best be stacked with other hormonal products such as testosterone boosters or growth hormone supports such as Elemental Nutritions HGH, as well as anti-estrogens such as Beast E-liminate.