Parkinson's disease, Increases libido, lowers blood pressure, Increases testosterone, Lowers blood sugar, Reduces spasms
Mucuna pruriens is a drug that is known for a variety of health benefits. Pruriens is extracted from a tropical legume which is known as ‘velvet bean’. In Mucuna pruriens, we have levodopa which is otherwise known as L-dopa, a compound that has various properties that benefit some human systems including the hormonal and nerve system. This is because the compound is biochemically active as it exists as a precursor to neurotransmitters, including adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine. When the levodopa compound gets into the brain, it boosts levels of dopamine. Dopamine is essential in neurotransmission that is associated with mood determination and cognition.
As an antioxidant, it is helpful in the protection against oxidative destruction caused by free radicals. Free radicals that are unpaired in the body are unstable. Its antioxidant nature is what allows mucuna pruriens to be able to donate a free electron to a radical to reduce its effects which are particularly in the brain. The oxidation process has adverse effects on the brain and could lead to brain function depletion eventually.
The fact that mucuna pruriens activates the antioxidation system in the body means that it can maintain the body’s homeostasis. Homeostasis is the mechanism through which the body can maintain its internal conditions of balance or the internal environment even if there are external changes. Research has also shown that mucuna can relieve stress and is also sought out as an anti-depressant.
The Ayurvedic tradition employs the use mucuna pruriens to improve mental health and reduce stress. With the effects that mucuna pruriens has, there is a high probability that this could be used in therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Mucuna pruriens can also improve sexual function, this is through boosting libido, increasing testosterone levels and increasing sperm count.