Kapikacchu – Mucuna pruriens is a very famous multi-faceted herb of Ayurveda, with immense health benefits. Its usage is spread from aphrodisiac to neurological conditions. Its extract – L-dopa is widely used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
It is widely used in treating sexual and neurological disorders.
Botanical name: Mucuna pruriens Hook.
Table of Contents
Hindi name: Kaunch, Kevanch
English name: Cow-hage, Cow itch, Velvet beans
Kannada – Nasukunni
Malayalam – Naikurana
Tamil name – Poonai Kaali Vithu, poonaiKali Vithu, poonaiKali Vidai
Medicinal qualities, Effect on Doshas
Guna (qualities) – Guru (heavy to digest), Snigdha (unctuous, oiliness)
Rasa (taste) – Madhura – sweet, Tikta – Bitter
Vipaka – madhura taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Hot potency
Prabhava – Special effect – Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Effect on Tridosha – balances all the three Doshas
Mucuna pruriens benefits
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Bruhmani – Nutritive, nourishing
Guru (heavy to digest)
Vatahara – balances Vata – useful in neurological disorders
Pittasranashini – useful in bleeding diseases
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Bahumala – causes increased production of feces, increases bulk of feces
Vataghni – Useful in Vata related neurological disorders
Dushtavrananashini – useful in healing infected wounds with pus formation.
Seed is especially natural aphrodisiac and balances Vata.
Its oil is heavy to digest, sweet and astringent.
Its root decoction causes uterine constriction on external application. It also induces menstruation, hence used in the treatment of amenorrheoa.
The studies have shown that the seed has following health benefits-
- Increases libido and sexual virility
- Promotes the sperm count in men and ovulation in women
- Increases blood circulation to the genitals and hence acts as a good aphrodisiac
- Decreases symptoms of stress and anxiety and hence acts as a mood elevator
- Strengthens the urogenital system due to its potent nervine effect
- Supports central and peripheral nervous system and there by acts as a very good tonic etc
Vanari kalpa, Kapikacchu pak, Atmagupta bala mashadi kashaya, Kapiukacchu choorna are the important preparations of Kapikacchu available in the market.
Parts used, Dosage
Parts used: Seed, root, pod hair.
Mucuna pruriens dosage:
Seed powder – Up to 6 – 10 grams per day for adults.
Seed Extract – 250 – 500 mg, once or twice a day after food.
Decoction – 5 – 15 ml, once or twice a day, in divided doses.
Kapikacchu cowhage home remedies
By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
1. Kapikacchu remedy for sexual fatigue, tiredness:
3-5 gram of fine powder of cowhage is taken along with a cup of warm milk twice daily, before food. This is useful to improve sexual power, premature ejaculation, lethargy and fatigue.
2. Cow itch remedy for bodyache, muscle pains:
Kapikacchu-Shatavari and Gokshura are taken in equal amount, together – 1 teaspoon, mixed with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup. Filtered. This is advised in a dose of 50 ml, once or twice a day to treat neuralgia, fatigue, bodyache, backache etc.
3. Kapikacchu milk remedy for back ache and senile debility:
5 gram of coarse powder of mucuna is cooked with cow’s milk. It is added with a teaspoon of ghee and half a teaspoon of sugar. This is useful in treating backache and senile debility.
For weight gain
4. Mucuna sweet cake for weight gain and body stability:
Fine powder of mucuna – 2 tablespoons is cooked well with a cup of milk till it turns into semi solid mass.It is fried with a tablespoon of ghee till it turns brown. This is cooked in mild heat with constant stirring till the whole mass turns into a cake. If needed, cardamom, saffron, clove can be added as per taste.
This is spread over the plate smeared with little ghee. On self cooling this can be stored. This delicious cake is effective nutrient in gaining weight and to overcome senile debility.
5. Mucuna seed remedy for mind irritation and concentration:
Regular usage of seed decoction in the dose of 40-50 ml helps to relieve the disorientation and irritation of the mind.
6. Root powder / decoction for sciatica:
Kapikacchu root powder also has rejuvinative benefit and nervine tonic effect. Its powder or decoction is useful in the treatment of back ache and sciatica.
Read related: Sciatica – Ayurvedic Understanding And Successful Treatment Options
It may cause burning sensation or constipation in some people.
There are no definitive research made on side effects of Mucuna pruriens. But because the drug has aphrodisiac and neurological effects and because it has high amounts of L Dopa, this medicine should always be taken under strict medical supervision.
It is best to avoid this medicine during pregnancy and lactation. Children should be given this medicine only under strict medical supervision.
However, all the side effects of Levodopa can not be correlated with side effects of Mucuna pruriens. It is a natural herb with a healthy mix of phyto-chemicals and Levodopa is just one among them.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Cowhage powder (Kapikacchu) in Parkinson’s disease
Ayurveda medicines with Mucuna pruriens as ingredient:
Mushalyadi Churna – Used in PE, ED etc.
Manmath Ras, Iksuhradi Lehyam – Used in Aphrodisiac therapy
Mashabaladi kashaya – Used in neurological disorders such as Hemiplegia, facial palsy, Tinnitus etc.
Amritaprasha Ghrita – Used in burning sensation, fever, bleeding disorders, cough, asthma, weakness and gynecological diseases.
Because of its use in increasing stamina, it is used as an ingredient in numerous bodybuilding supplements.
Should Kapikacchu be necessarily taken by people after marriage? Can it be used as nerve tonic by unmarried people?
It can be taken even by unmarried people or people without any sexual disorders, for other health benefits of Kapikacchu such as improving nerve strength.
In kapikacchu the primary compound is known as levodopa, or L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Due its chemical constituents good appreciation is made in the management of movement disorders, altered memory functions, sleep disorders, mood related problems, and learning disabilities.
Kapikacchu – The pale brown bristles of the fruit causes intense itching on skin contact
Guptapala, Svagupta, Atmagupta – Fruits are self protected by the bristles.
Markati – having bristles similar to monkey
Kandura – causes itching
Shukashimbi – the fruit shape resembles bird’s beak.
Charaka Samhita –
Balya – Tonic group of herbs
Madhuraskandha – Group of herbs with sweet taste
Vidarigandhadhi group of herbs
Vatasamshamana – Group of herbs that balance Vata.
Patanjali Divya Shuddh Konch Beej Churan – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited.