Mucuna prurita Hook.

Synonym M. pruriens Baker non DC.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Mucuna prurita.jpg

Habitat Throughotu India, including Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

English Cowhage, Horse-eye Bean. Ayurvedic Aatmaguptaa, Kapikacchuu, Rshabhi, Adhigandhaa, Ajadaaa, Kacchuraa, Laanguli, Rshyaproktaa, Svaguptaa, Shyaamguptaa, Markati, Kanduraa, Kevaanch, Shuukashimbi.

Unani Konchh.

Siddha/Tamil Poonaikkaali.

Action Seed—astringent, nervine tonic, local stimulant, used in impotence, spermatorrhoea, urinary troubles, leucorrhoea, traditionally used for male virility. Also used in depressive neurosis. Hair on fruit— vermifuge, mild vesicant; used for diseases of liver and gallbladder. Leaf—applied to ulcers. Pod— anthelmintic. Root and fruit—spasmolytic, hypoglycaemic. Root— CNS active.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the seed in impotence and paralysis agitans; the root in vaginal laxity.

The seeds contain the alkaloids, mucunine, mucunadine, mucunadinine, prurieninine, pruriendine and nicotine, besides beta-sitosterol, gluthione, lecithin, vernolic and gallic acids. They contain a number of bioactive substances including tryptamine, alkylamines, steroids, flavonoids, coumarins and cardenolides. L-DOPA is present in the seed as well as in the stem, leaves and roots.

Major constituents of the hairs on the pod are amines such as 5-hydroxy- tryptamine (serotonin), and a proteolytic enzyme mucuanain. (Serotonin was present only in pods.)

Prurieninine slowed down heart rate, lowered blood pressure and stimulated intestinal peristalsis in experiments carried out on frogs. The spasmolysis of smooth muscles was caused by indole bases.

Seed diet produced hypoglycaemic effect in normal rats, however, such diet had insignificant effect on alloxantreated rats.

There is some evidence that Cowhage might be useful for chlorpromazine-induced hyperprolactinemia in men.

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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