Mucuna pruriensMucuna pruriens is not just another fancy name on the supplement label but rather a life-transforming ingredient. Researchers foraging in the world of alternative medicine have revealed just how powerful and effective it is in health. It is a rich source of L-Dopa. In your body, L-Dopa is a precursor of dopamine, a reward and pleasure neurotransmitter with several other functions.

We delved into the details of the findings to bring you everything you need to know before going for a supplement that contains it.

The extract has impressive effects on the mood, pleasure, testosterone, movement, and digestion. But before looking at why you may need it, what is Mucuna pruriens?

The Velvet Bean

Having been in use for thousands of years and in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2000 years, the Mucuna pruriens has been very beneficial. It is a legume that’s native to Africa and tropical Asia. The legume has also been used in agriculture and even horticulture.Mucuna pruriens The Velvet Bean Photo

It is commonly called the velvet bean for its velvet coating. In some regions, it is called cow itch for the extreme itchiness that you get when you touch it. That also earned it the name Atmagupta or “Secret Self” for its therapeutic seeds hidden in a pod with irritating hair. It’s an annual climbing shrub.


It is always important to understand what exactly is contained in something before going for it. The composition of the velvet bean extract is as follows:

  • L-DOPA (levodopa) mainly
  • Nicotinic acids
  • Tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids
  • Serotonin
  • Bufotenin
  • Beta-carboline
  • A dietary fatty acid – behenic acid
  • Inositol
  • Basic dietary minerals like selenium, magnesium, and iron in small amounts

It’s important to note that the levodopa is the main component while the others are only available in trace amounts and therefore have limited or no effects.

Now that you understand where exactly the extract is obtained from, it’s time to focus on why it’s beneficial.

Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens

  • A healthy central and peripheral nervous system
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better physical balance and posture
  • Supports movement and coordination
  • Intellectual benefits
  • Improved libido and stamina
  • Exercise endurance

How it Works

Okay, a list of benefits is worth nothing unless they are concrete facts backed by science. So, here’s what Mucuna pruriens does in your body.

Nervous System

Photo of happy man with arms open on beach sunsetAs mentioned earlier, the ingredient is a rich source of L-Dopa, a precursor of dopamine. The dopamine in your body plays several key roles in your behavior, cognitive function, sleep, voluntary movement, mood, memory, and learning.

Using the velvet bean extract will therefore mean:

  • Lower stress levels
  • A happier and exciting life due to the effects of dopamine on reward and pleasure centers
  • Better physical balance and coordination which is essential if you are an athlete
  • Lessens the effects of Parkinsonism due to the nourishing and revitalizing effects on neurons
  • Better sleep
  • Better memory and easier learning

The bottom line is that for you, the Mucuna pruriens extract will do your brain and body a lot of good. The above benefits allow your body to even function optimally which means your T levels will increase and with it a terrific performance.


One of the main reasons for its presence in supplements is its effect on the reproductive system. The increased dopamine levels have been shown to boost testosterone levels. As you already know, testosterone is the hormone of masculinity. Now, what exactly does boosting of testosterone mean for you?

Athletic Performance

As an athlete, an increase in T levels changes everything. You will feel the transformation. As you use supplements containing this ingredient, you’ll start noticing:

  • An increase in energy and you’ll actually do more in your routines
  • Quicker muscle recovery after working out which will allow you to work out more often
  • More muscle strength that boosts your exercise endurance
  • An increase in lean muscle tissue which leaves you looking more muscular
  • Better focus during workouts
  • Less body fat and more muscle

Infertility and Low Sex Drive

If you have been struggling with infertility or a low sex drive, then your sunrise is waiting for you in the Mucuna pruriens ingredient in supplements. It’ll help. You achieve:

  • Better sperm quality and quantity, the reason behind its use in treating infertility
  • Increased libido
  • More sexual energy that really gets your sex life to a whole new level
  • Stronger erectile function
  • Less stress and anxiety that lets you optimally perform in bed

It is interesting to note that it also boosts libido in women together with ova quality. It can, therefore, be safely used by both men and women.

Low Testosterone

Mucuna pruriens is also very effective at dealing with low T levels. Studies show that the ingredient gets low testosterone levels to healthy levels within weeks. So, if you have been struggling with symptoms like:

  • Hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Low libido
  • Lack of focus
  • Depression

These problems are due to dipping T levels as you age then this ingredient is for you. As the levels of T rise, you’ll realize the reversal of the symptoms you have been experiencing.

How to Take Mucuna pruriens           

As opposed to the earlier use where the beans were crushed and used in many ways including as a substitute to coffee, it is safer to take it in calculated dosages. That is only possible through the use of supplements with labeled dosages.

The supplement may either be in tablet form or in powder. Most supplements contain the velvet bean extract as one of the ingredients which work together with the others to achieve a specific goal. There are other supplements that are solely composed of the velvet bean extract.

The recommended dosage is 5g for a day. It is enough to exert all the desired benefits. Read the supplement label carefully before using to ensure you are not overdosing.

Safety and Side Effects

For any ingredient, it is always crucial to establish its safety. The Mucuna pruriens extract is safe because it’s all natural. There are very few reported side effects. However, you may need to be cautious if you have the following conditions.

  • In case you are sensitive to L-DOPA, its use may result in cramping, nausea, vomiting, hypotension or arrhythmias
  • If you are diabetic and are on medication, it has additive effects which may lower your sugars too much making it dangerous
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia are a contradiction to the use of the extract
  • If you are on any drug that acts on your nervous system like anti-depressants, the additive or antagonistic effects make it contraindicated
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may experience lower prolactin that means lower milk production and other effects
  • Hypertensive patients may need to be cautious due to the effects on blood pressure

In case you are in any of the above categories, you will need to consult your doctor before you initiate the use of the extract. If you experience any of the side-effects, stop the use of the supplement and see your doctor. Also, avoid overdosing as it is harmful even to a healthy person.


When you see the name Mucuna pruriens on a supplement label, you may think it’s just another fancy name to make it look sophisticated, but no, there’s more to it. Its high L-DOPA content that boosts the level of dopamine in the body has so many benefits. From its stress-relieving effects to testosterone boosting and antioxidant benefits, this extract is incredible.

It’s no longer confined to alternative medicine as more and more studies reveal just how highly effective it is. You can harness its power through supplements available on the market today.