Boasting a long-standing history in Ayurveda medicine, Mucuna pruriens is a natural supplement that yields many health benefits. It also goes by the name of dopa bean, velvet bean, or Bengal bean with its primary function of being an adaptogen. What are the main benefits of supplementing Mucuna pruriens? Check out my full Mucuna pruriens review.
Improves mood and motivation
Helps manage Parkinson’s symptoms
Not suitable for people with low blood pressure or low glucose levels
Hailing from the regions of Nepal, India, Bengal, and its vicinities, mucuna pruriens has only relatively recently found a place in Western medicine.
In the East, however, it has enjoyed a wide reputation as an unrivaled nerve tonic.
Other historical uses include using mucuna pruriens as a treatment for arthritis and for boosting sexual health and fertility.
If you are reading this blog post, I guess you are wondering what exactly mucuna pruriens is?
Although the name says “bean,” mucuna pruriens is a legume. The plant itself grows a climbing vine to a height of up to 50 feet.
It possesses slender branches and leaves that grow on hairy petioles. There are white to purple flowers that are found growing in clusters of two or three.
The therapeutic value of mucuna pruriens comes from the bean or legume part of the plant. The same is also used as legumes for cooking by some cultures while others attach superstitious significance to the legumes by crafting the seeds into amulets for better health and other protective benefits.
The dopa bean has also been used as an antidote for scorpion stings in the past.
Working Mechanism Of Mucuna Pruriens
The potency of mucuna pruriens or the dopa bean comes from its naturally occurring high levels of L-dopa.
L-dopa is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is an important chemical messenger in the brain.
It is involved in processes such as reward, memory, motivation, attention, and even regulating body movements. 
Dopamine is also responsible for sleep and mood as well as relaxing the nervous system. So, by supplementing with mucuna pruriens, the hope is to increase the production of dopamine naturally in the body.
The one advantage that L-dopa holds over dopamine is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. While the dopamine molecule cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, L-dopa can do so easily in its precursor form.
However, L-dopa is metabolized into dopamine through the heart and the brain.
That said, to get this effect, the right amount of dopamine is essential. With healthy levels, this hormone can keep the nervous system functioning optimally, but an overdose will malfunction receptors.
To keep a balance, a person may need to be wary of addictive tendencies such as smoking, drinking, or overeating as such behaviors will elevate dopamine levels over time.
When this happens, addictive tendencies can affect brain cells and bring about severe dopamine deficiency.
Mucuna Pruriens Benefits
Mucuna pruriens boasts a chemical structure that complements the central nervous system well. Yielding sufficient L-dopa to promote dopamine production, mucuna pruriens also produces its serotonin.
Among other things, serotonin works in the capacity of a natural mood stabilizer.
When released in the brain, this neurotransmitter regulates mood, anxiety, and happiness, whereas lower levels have been associated with depression. 
As such, mucuna pruriens induced L-dopa production can be beneficial for individuals experiencing nerve-anxiety issues. The same may also help regulate mild neurodegenerative diseases or reduced cognitive functioning.
Let’s check other Mucuna pruriens health benefits.
1. Mucuna Pruriens Boosts Motivation
The L-dopa bean also goes by another curious name of the magic bean. This is given its somewhat magic-like ability to improve mood.
Think of working really hard to achieve a goal.
When you do so, the satisfaction experienced is a rush of dopamine. The dopamine acts as a reward signal in the brain generating a positive feeling and motivation.
2. Mucuna Pruriens Lowers Depression And Anxiety
Another mood-enhancing ability of L-dopa is to lower depression and anxiety.
When the brain experiences a rewarding stimulus, the response is to release more dopamine. This, in turn, can help lower stress and anxiety levels. 
Because Mucuna pruriens does provide a natural source of L-dopa, rather than a synthetic one, experts in this field have started looking at it as a natural anti-depressant.
3. Mucuna Pruriens Improves Learning
Apart from working on mood, the effect of dopamine activity in the brain has also been examined for learning and memory.
If anything, dopamine is a much-needed neurotransmitter essential for long-term memory storage and retrieval. 
Research has established that dopamine is integral to remembering incidences that have motivational significance. At the same time, it is also equally crucial for working memory.
Working memory is the brain’s ability to retrieve and use information from short-term memory.
When there are sufficient levels of dopamine present in the system, the brain can easily use term memory to make present and future decisions.
4. Mucuna Pruriens Enhances Social Behavior
The ability of mucuna pruriens to assist with social behavior once again stems from its dopamine-producing capacity.
It also ties in with the sense of drive and motivation since a person with adequate dopamine levels feels good about themselves.
Mucuna Pruriens also likely boosts confidence when approaching others and improves their morale.
5. Mucuna Pruriens Improves Libido
Continuing with its reward sensations, how a person responds to sex also has a lot to do with their current dopamine levels.
Here, dopamine acts as an aphrodisiac that enhances libido and sexual energy. Dopamine is also claimed to assist with fertility, healthy ova, and sperm as well as improve reproductive organ functioning. 
Many of the sexual benefits provided by mucuna pruriens have historically been linked with male fertility.
However, more recent animal studies show that it can do the same for female fertility too.
More research is recommended to establish whether mucuna pruriens can indeed work with its estrogenic-like features as shown by these studies.
6. Mucuna Pruriens Regulates Prolactin Levels
Prolactin is a hormone best known to assist females in producing milk. In cases where the woman is neither pregnant nor nursing prolactin levels should ideally be low.
But when higher than usual levels of this hormone are present, it has been linked to female infertility.
Mucuna pruriens seems to counter this effect by regulating prolactin production. 
Another effect of lowering prolactin levels can help manage the discomfort associated with menstrual cramping and weight gain in women.
7. Mucuna Pruriens Improves Sleep Patterns
When sleep-deprived, a person’s ability to focus and pay attention can quickly become compromised.
This may leave them feeling unable to think straight and disoriented. It may also point to low levels of dopamine in the body. 
To correct dopamine levels related to sleep issues, using mucuna pruriens may help address insomnia. Yet, it may also be counterintuitive as it can worsen symptoms for some people.
8. Mucuna Pruriens Can Improve Parkinson’s Symptoms
Parkinson’s develops in the part of the brain where dopamine-producing cells begin to die. And it is this loss of dopamine in the brain that leads to issues with movement.
As the condition progresses, with the brain getting less and less dopamine, the symptoms become more apparent, and the individual can start experiencing tremors, difficulty walking, and other issues.
Since dopamine is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, doctors resort to medications that can help manage symptoms. Initially, these drugs designed to either increase or substitute dopamine can help with symptom management, but with time, their effectiveness diminishes and becomes less consistent.
However, mucuna pruriens offers a natural alternative to drugs, and its L-dopa form can cross the blood-brain barrier. It also provides the benefit of no side effects when compared to medication. 
Mucuna Pruriens Side Effects
Because Mucuna pruriens presents most of its benefits to dopamine and serotonin levels in the body, it becomes vital to monitor any side effects.
While it does show promise in treating anxiety and depression, there is also the possibility that administering mucuna to individuals with depression caused by low serotonin could make the depression more severe.
This can happen when too much dopamine starts to interfere with serotonin production.
Likewise, while it can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms, long-term supplementation with L-dopa may bring about abnormal muscle movements in patients.
Anyone taking drugs classified as anti-depressants, dopamine receptor blockers, or antipsychotics should not take L-dopa.
L-dopa can also cause low blood pressure, so if you already suffer from low blood pressure, use this supplement with caution. The same goes for anyone with low blood glucose levels.
People with diabetes should also practice caution when using mucuna pruriens.
There is some indication that mucuna pruriens may cause gastric bleeding in people with ulcers, so do not use if you have intestinal or stomach ulcers.
For people who do not suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, mucuna pruriens, when taken according to the recommended dose, seems well tolerated.
A few minor side effects, such as nausea or abdominal bloating may be experienced initially.
Mucuna Pruriens Dosage
It is recommended to take mucuna pruriens with food at a dosage of 200 to 500 mg daily.
Going beyond one gram daily can bring about symptoms like sweating, nausea, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
Because an overdose is a concern here, it becomes essential to cycling Mucuna pruriens supplementation.
Experts recommend stacking it alongside other supplements such as serotonin, Rhodiola, L-tyrosine, or N-Acetyl Cysteine.
To help L-dopa cross the blood-brain barrier, it is recommended to take it with carbidopa, as this prevents its peripheral metabolism. As such, this helps more L-dopa to reach the brain.
Mucuna Pruriens Reviews
I’ve searched for reviews of people using Mucuna pruriens to understand how it affects short and long-time users.
Here is share some reviews with you.
I’m sure you’ll be positively surprised.
“Granted I have only taken this for a few days, but my mood seems to have increased SUBSTANTAILLY!!!! I have been struggling with depression for a long time, and no medications seemed to work for me without unlivable side effects. But the first day of using Mucuna Puriens and I am already feeling better.”
“I use this product as part of a regime to curtail my essential tremor which had gotten worse over the last few years. This helps bring my condition down to a level it was years ago! Within half an hour, my shakiness lessens.”
“Stimulating, gets me up and moving. I’ve cleaned a lot since I started using this. Serotonin and Dopamine must maintain a balance with each other, this natural form of L-Dopa can help achieve that.”
“I ordered my Mucuna pruriens extract to give it a try for symptoms of ADD, along with vitamin B6 and green tea extract. I have had a wonderful experience and will continue to use, taking breaks.”
Buy Mucuna Pruriens
When sold as a dietary supplement, Mucuna pruriens gets processed into a dried powder form.
This form is easy to use as it can conveniently be mixed in with water, milk, honey, or any other carrier substance.
Mucuna pruriens is also available in capsule form for people who find it difficult to tolerate the taste of the powder.
Greg Gostincar is the founder of Your Inception. He has been researching, testing and experimenting with nootropics since 2015. Greg is one of the most recognized researchers in the field of nootropics.