The plant is an annual, climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15 m in length. When the plant is young, it is almost completely covered with fuzzy hairs, but when older, it is almost completely free of hairs. The leaves are tripinnate, ovate, reverse ovate, rhombus-shaped or widely ovate. The sides of the leaves are often heavily grooved and the tips are pointy. In young M.pruriens plants, both sides of the leaves have hairs. The stems of the leaflets are two to three millimeters long. Additional adjacent leaves are present and are about 5 mm long.The seeds of Mucuna pruriens have been used for treating many dysfunctions in Tibb-e-Unani (Unani Medicine).The plant and its extracts have been long used in tribal communities as a toxin antagonist for various snakebites. Research on its effects against Naja spp. (cobra),Echis (Saw scaled viper),Calloselasma (Malayan Pit viper) and Bangarus (Krait) have shown it has potential use in the prophylactic treatment of snakebites.M. pruriens has been shown to improve dopamine levels in rats. The herb contains L-DOPA, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. The L-DOPA content increases when extracts are prepared. Because of the L-DOPA content, formulations of the seed powder have been studied for the management and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.M. pruriens has been shown to improve dopamine levels in rats. The herb contains L-DOPA, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. The L-DOPA content increases when extracts are prepared. Because of the L-DOPA content, formulations of the seed powder have been studied for the management and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.INCREASES MUSCLE MASS – Reduce effects of toxic environmental Xenoestrogens
Over the years, many members have complained about muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass. In my opinion, this has a great deal to do with the environmental toxins that are causing increased estrogen levels and reducing the testosterone levels. Xenoestrogens are not only in plastics, but its in the hormones the farmers use to fatten up their animals for market – beef, chicken, turkey, pork. These little chemicals also do a number on the immune system in general, setting up all kinds of cancers, and a number of autoimmune disorders—fibromyalgias, chronic fatigue, thyroid problems, multiple sclerosis, prostate enlargement, and the list goes on.Velvet Bean has been well documented in its ability to increase testosterone and stimulate growth hormone (thereby increasing muscle mass). PARKINSON’S DISEASE
L-Dopa is used in the treatment of Parkinson disease. Parkinson disease is believed to be related to low levels of dopamine in certain parts of the brain. When dopa is taken by mouth, it crosses through the blood-brain barrier. Once it has crossed from the bloodstream into the brain, it is converted to dopamine. The resulting increase in dopamine concentrations in the brain is thought to improve nerve conduction and to assist in lessening the movement disorders in Parkinson disease. Velvet bean is now being considered as an alternative to the pharmaceutical medication levodopa.LOWERING BLOOD SUGAR
Several in vivo studies have been conducted on the blood-sugar-lowering effect of Velvet bean. These studies all validate the traditional use of the plant for diabetes. An extract of the seed dropped blood sugar levels in rats by more than 30%.APHRODISIAC, ERECTILE DISFUNCTION & FERTILITY
Velvet bean has a long history of traditional use in Brazil and India as an aphrodisiac. Clinical studies in India have validated that the plant does indeed have aphrodisiac activity. It also has reported with anabolic and growth hormone stimulant properties. The anabolic effect of the seed is due to its ability to increase testosterone. In 2002, a U.S. patent was filed on the use of velvet bean to stimulate the release of growth hormone in humans. Research cited in the patent indicated that the high levels of L-dopa in mucuna seed were converted to dopamine which stimulated the release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. L-dopa and dopamine are also effective inhibitors of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland; increased levels are considered to cause erection failure in males.