Mucuna (Kaunch) is an aphrodisiac herb used as a nervine tonic and for mail virility. It is well known as a testosterone hormone stimulating herb that increases the sperm count. It is also a well known dietery supplement which helps in deposition of protein in muscles which helps in incresing muscles strength. It also restores mental alertness and improves nerves co-ordination. The herb is often used by athletes in various sports medicines. Mucuna has shown the positive results in parkinson’s disease.

Sanskrit : Kapikachu, Atmagupta, Kaunch (Page)

English :Cowhage, cowitch.Velvet Bean, Buffalo bean, Picapica
Common name : Paryaya

Latin name :Mucuna pruriens / M. prurita

Family : Fabaceae

Morphology: Perennial twining shrubs clothed with dense hairs when young. Leaves are alternate, trifoliate, long petioled, leaflets ovate, rhomboid, acute, mucronate, lateral leaflets unequal sided at base, densely covered with silvery grey hair. Flower: Purple coloured in axillary peduncled racemes; calyx 2-lipped tube pubescent; corolla papilionaceous, exserted; stamens diadelphous 9+1. Fruit: Turgid, falcately curved pod. Densely covered with irritant bristles.

Ayurvedic Pharmacodynamic properties:

Rasa : Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter)

Guna :Guru (heavy), Snigdha (oily)

Virya: Ushna (hot)

Vipaka :Madhura (sweet)

Doshakarma:Vata shamak (alleviates V Dosha)

Part used: Roots, Seeds, and Leaves

Chemical Composition : Seeds contain L-dopa (4-3, 4-dihydroxy phenyladaline) gluthione, lecithin, gallic acid, glycosides, nicotine, prurenine, prurenidine, dark brown viscous oil. alkaloids mucanine, tannic acid, resin, lecithin

Medicinal Properties: It has Anthelmintic, Diuretic, Aphrodisiac, Nervine, Astringent, Rejuvenative, Analgesic, Carminative properties.

Medicinal uses:

Mucuna is an aphrodisiac herb used as a nervine tonic & for male virility. It is well known for its aphrodisiac properties & also as a testosterone stimulating herb that increase the sperm count.

It is well known dietary supplement which helps in deposition of protein in muscle & hence helps in increasing muscle & mass strength.

It also restores mental alertness & improves co-ordination.

It is direct precursor of neurotransmitter of levodopa. L-dopa increases production of dopamine which improves mood, sexuality, co-ordination of muscles & positive effect in Parkinsons.

Pods are used as anthelminthic,

Seeds are in leucorrhoea, spermatorrhoea, in expelling round worms & otherworms except tape worm

Root powder is laxative

Farmers use mucuna as cover crop, a fodder or as green manure

Toasted ground seeds are used as a coffee substitutes

An ointment is used for Elephantiasis

Dose: Churna 3-6 gms; Roots 50-100ml; Bristles 125 mg.

Important formulations: Vanari Ghrita, Vanari Gutika, Kaunchapaka.


It is not prescribed during pregnancy, because it has uterine stimulant effect and may cause birth defects.
It lowers the blood sugar level. Those with hypoglycemia or diabetes should only use Kauch under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
It is contraindicated in combination with M.A.O. inhibitors.
It has androgenic activity, increasing testosterone levels. Persons with excessive androgen syndromes should avoid using Kaunch.
It inhibits prolactin. If you have a medical condition resulting in inadequate levels of prolactin in the body, do not use unless under the direction or your healthcare practitioner.
The seed contains high quantities of L-dopa. Levodopa is the pharmaceutical medication used for Parkinson’s disease. Those with Parkinson’s should only use under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Home Remedies:

Its powder is useful to increase sexual potency, it should be use in the dose of 3-5 gms along with other herbs like Ashwagandha, Akarkara, Javitri etc.
Decoction of its 10 gm root powder is beneficial in dysmenorrhoea.
its decoction of root is also beneficial in neurological disorders like paralysis, facial paralysis etc.


In Ayurveda, the seeds are used as a tonic and for male virility. The pods are anthelmintic and the root powder is acts as laxative. The seed powder has been tried in Parkinson’s disease with positive results. Earlier studies showed that Mucuna pruriens treatment controls the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This additional finding of a neurorestorative benefit by Mucuna pruriens cotyledon powder on the degenerating dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The roots are tonic, stimulant, diuretic, purgative and emmenagogue. An ointment prepared from the roots is applied for elephantiasis. The seeds are astringent and tonic; they possess slight insecticidal activity. A research team demonstrated that the extract of M. prurita has potential for effective control against the protozoan fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The leaves of the plant are applied to ulcers. Mucuna pruriens seeds also have the antiglycaemic effect.