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Kapikacchu - Mucuna pruriens - Atmagupta

Kapikacchu, org (1/2 lb.)

Item Number : 6912 Price: $10.95

USDA Organic

Certified Organic Kapikacchu seed powder

(Mucuna pruriens)

Nutritive tonic that supports proper function of the reproductive and nervous systems.*

   * Supports the proper function of the reproductive system in both men and women*
   * Promotes calm and a healthy state of relaxation*
   * Supports healthy nerves and proper function of the nervous system*
   * Natural source of [[wp>levadopa]] ([[wp>L-dopa]]) *

Ayurvedic Energetics

   * Rasa (taste): sweet, bitter
   * Virya (action): heating
   * Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
   * Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for vata and pitta, may increase kapha.


Kapikacchu is a nutritive tonic commonly used in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac and to support proper function of the reproductive system. It increases sexual energy and strengthens and tones the reproductive organs. In men, kapikacchu supports potency, stamina and control. In women it promotes a healthy libido and fertility. The vitality bestowed by kapikacchu nourishes the entire body and calms the nerves making it an excellent rejuvenative for vata. It is also natural source of levadopa (L-dopa) which is an essential precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine.*

For a 1 lb bag click here For five lbs or more in bulk click here

Herbal tablets that contain Kapikacchu include: Healthy Vata, Men's Support, and Stress Ease

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

For more information on Kapikacchu visit:

Wikipedia's entry for Mucuna pruriens

Herbs for life: Kapikacchu monograph

Search index page description Banyan Botanicals Kapikacchu is USDA certified organic, sustainably sourced, and fairly traded. Kapikacchu is also spelled with only one 'c' as in Kapikachu. Kapikacchu is also known as Kavach (Hindi), Atmagupta or Vanari (Sanskrit), Wandurme (Sinhalese) and Velvet bean or Cowitch plant (English). The botanical name of Kapikacchu is Mucuna pruriens. Kapikacchu seed powder is available in ½ lb and 1 lb bags and in bulk bags of 5 lbs or more.

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Botanical name: Mucuna pruriens, Papilionaceae (Fabaceae)

Other names: Atmagupta (‘concealed self,’ S), Goncha, Kevancha, Khujani (H), Punaikkali (T), Cowitch, Cowhage (E)

KapikachuBotany: Kapikachu (sometimes transliterated as Kapikacchu) is a climbing annual with slender, pubescent branches. The leaves are trifoliate, attached by a long petiole up to 12 cm long, the leaflets ovate, elliptic to rhomboid ovate, 7-15 cm long, the terminal leaflet slightly larger, the leaf surface pubescent above and densely covered in a silvery-grey hairs below, margin entire. The purple flowers are borne in elongated racemes of up to 30 flowers, giving rise to curved pods with longitudinal ribs, covered in brown or grey bristles, 5-7.5 cm long, each containing four to six black ovoid seeds. Kapikachu is found throughout India, Africa and Southeast Asia (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 778-80; Warrier et al 1995, 68).

Part used: Seeds.


     Rasa: amla, tikta, kashaya, madhura
     Vipaka: guru
     Virya: ushna
     Karma: medhya, balya, vajikarana, Vatapittahara (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 248; Warrier et al 1995, 68)

Constituents: The most prominent constituent in Kapikachu is L-dopa (3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine or 3-hydroxy-L-tyrosine), present in concentrations that range from a low of 1.81% for an accession named M. pruriens var. utilis grown in the USA, to a high of 7.64% for an accession named M. pruriens var. cochinchinensis grown in Bénin. It appears that L-dopa synthesis in the various cultivars is higher in plants grown at low latitudes, near the equator. Researchers have also identified a number of hallucinogenic indoles such as bufotenine, N,N-dimethyltryptamine and other tryptamines including serotonin, the latter of which is found in high concentrations in the bristles on the seed pods, which can cause profound skin irritation similar to a Nettle rash (hence the name ‘itcher of monkeys’). Other constituents include physostigmine, cyanogenic glycosides, trypsin and amylase inhibitors, tannins, lectins, and phytic acid. Several alkaloids have also been identified, including nicotine, mucunine, mucunadine, prurienine, prurienidine, prurieninine, as well as an oil comprised of stearic, palmatic, myristic, arachidic, oleic, and linoleic acid, phytosterols and lecithin (St-Laurent et al 2002; Szabo and Tabbet 2002; Burgos et al 2002; Yoganarasimhan 2000, 366; Kapoor 1990, 236).

Medical research:

Parkinson’s disease: Researchers evaluated the efficacy of a formula comprised of Mucuna pruriens, Hyoscyamus reticulatus, Withania somnifera and Sida cordifolia, decocted in cow's milk in 18 clinically diagnosed patients with Parkinson’s disease. Thirteen patients underwent shodhana (for 28 days) and shamana therapies (56 days), whereas the remaining five patients underwent shamana therapy alone (84 days). Only the former group showed significant improvement, exhibiting a better response in tremor, bradykinesia, stiffness and cramps as compared to the latter group. An analysis of the medication revealed about 200 mg of L-dopa per dose (Nagashayana et al 2000). Researchers examined the efficacy and tolerability of HP-200, a natural product derived from Mucuna pruriens, in 60 patients with Parkinson's disease, 26 of which were taking synthetic levodopa/carbidopa formulations before treatment. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) was used at baseline and periodically during the 12-week evaluation. Doses were started at 7.5 grams, three times a day, increased at weeks two and four to obtain the best response, the average daily dosage by the end of the 12-week study being 45 grams. Statistically significant reductions in Hoehn and Yahr stage and UPDRS scores were seen from baseline to the end of the 12-week treatment. Adverse effects were mild and were mainly gastrointestinal in nature (Manyam et al 1995).

Antioxidant: An in vitro study of an alcohol extract of the seeds of Mucuna pruriens was carried out in rat liver homogenate to investigate the chemical interaction of various phytochemicals with different species of free radicals. The extract was shown to inhibit FeSO(4)-induced lipid peroxidation, as well as chemical reactions induced by superoxides and hydroxyl radicals (Tripathi and Upadhyay 2002).

Diabetes: An alcohol extract of Mucuna pruriens dosed at 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg/day was evaluated in a study of alloxan-induced diabetic rats for 120 days, and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. In the alloxanized rats, the extract showed a decrease of 40.71%, 45.63%, 50.33% and 51.01%, whereas in streptozotocin mice Mucuna pruriens had no effect (Rathi et al 2002).

Antivenom: The effect of a lethal Echis carinatus venom on serum enzyme levels and blood plasma coagulation parameters in rats pretreated with Mucuna pruriens seed aqueous extract was investigated. The results showed that the increased level of coagulation factors and enzymes such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), and creatinine kinase were inhibited by the extract in pretreated rats (Aguiyi et al 2001).

Toxicity: A study examining the oral toxicity of Mucuna pruriens on albino rats for 30 days showed no toxic effect up to a dose of 600 mg/kg (Tripathi and Upadhyay 2002). Mucuna contains phytic acid, which binds to minerals in the gut thereby inhibiting their absorption, as well as lectins, which can promote gastrointestinal upset and inflammation.

Indications: Weakness, debility, consumption, wasting, asthenia, infertility, frigidity, spasm, tremor, chorea, Parkisonson’s disease, dementia.

Contraindications: Preexisting sensitivities to legumes, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Medicinal uses: Kapikachu has long been valued in Ayurveda as one of the most effective vajikarana dravyas, used in both men and women, but specifically male sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and sperm pathologies. To this end Kapikachu is often combined with botanicals such as Gokshura and Ashvagandha for men, and with Gokshura and Shatavari in the treatment of frigidity and leucorrhea in women. As an all-purpose vajikarana rasayana the Bhavaprakasha recommends a formulation for a vati (pill) called Vanari vati, made by decocting one kudava (approx. 192 g) of the seed-pods in one prastha (approx. 768 g) of cow’s milk until the milk becomes thick. The seeds are then removed from the pods and pounded, fried in ghee, and mixed with twice their weight in jaggery. The resultant preparation is then rolled into small pills and dosed at about 3-4 grams, twice daily (Srikanthamurthy 200, 834). Kapikachu is also widely used in the treatment of almost any Vata disorder used to strengthen the mind and body in debilitated states, used in combination with botanicals such as Ashvagandha, Amalaki, Brahmi and Jatamamsi. It is an important remedy in many spasmodic afflictions, both topically and internally, including paralysis, hemiplegia and kampavata (paralysis agitans). In the treatment of Parkinson’s disease Kapikachu has shown benefit in clinical trials, used singly or in combination with botanicals such as Ashvagandha, Bala, and Parasikayavani (Hyocyamus niger). Mixed with equal parts powders of Arjuna and Nagabala (see Bala), Kapikachu seed powder is fried in ghee and cooked with milk and sugar to make Kakubhadi modaka, used in the treatment of cough, bronchitis and consumption (Sharma 2002, 134). As a member of the Fabaceae Kapikachu contains many of the same constituents in beans that can promote gastrointestinal distress, and thus measures should be taken to include herbs with a pachana activity in formulation, such as Shunthi (Zingiber officinalis). The seeds are traditionally referred to as an antivenomous remedy against scorpion sting and snakebite, which has been validated by modern research. The hairs scraped from the pods are traditionally used topically as an irritant in fainting, and internally as a decoction in the treatment of intestinal parasites


• Churna: freshly powdered dried seed, 3-10 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Tincture: crushed seeds, 1:4, 25% alcohol, 3-15 mL

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mucuna_pruriens.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:12 (external edit)