Kapikacchu – Mucuna pruriens Benefits, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda

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.
Family: Fabaceae

Vernacular names

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

Marital fatigue

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.

Body ache

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.

Senile debility

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.

Mind irritation

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

Sanskrit verse

Mucuna pruriens - Ayurveda Details
Mucuna pruriens – Ayurveda Details
kapikacchu Ayurveda details

Side effects

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.

Can 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

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.

Chemical composition

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.

Sanskrit Synonyms

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
Durabigraha – Difficult to pluck as its hairs cause itching
Adhyanda – Seeds resembles testicles
Vrushyabija, Ajata – Seeds are potent aphrodisiac
Sukashimbi – Fruits having stiff hairs
Langali – Fruits resembles shape of tail of monkey
Shukashimbi – the fruit shape resembles bird’s beak.

Classical categorization

Charaka Samhita –
Balya – Tonic group of herbs
Madhuraskandha – Group of herbs with sweet taste

Sushruta Samhita
Vidarigandhadhi group of herbs
Vatasamshamana – Group of herbs that balance Vata.


An annual twinner|
Branches – Slender, More or less hairy at first, glabrescent
Leaves – Trifoliate, compound, stipules are lanceolate, all leaflets are subacute, mucronate, pubescent above, densely clothed with silvery grey hairs beneath
Inflorescence – 6 – 30 flowered raceme
Fruit – Pod, curved on both end, densely clothed with persistent irritant bristles which are at first pale brown, afterwards steel gray. Have 5- 6 seeds
Seeds – Small brownish black, hilum is not the length of the circumference of the seed. Kidney shaped. Seed coat is hard. The embryo consists of two hard dusky brown cotyledons. With no odour.

Patanjali Divya Shuddh Konch Beej Churan – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited.

53 thoughts on “Kapikacchu – Mucuna pruriens Benefits, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda”

    • Herbs like Brahmi, Shankhapushpi etc improve concentration level. But there is nothing that I know, other than one’s own determination and God’s grace, that would make someone to meditate more.

      • I can say from long experience that these in the traditional formulas with vacha, ashwagandha etc gives easier meditation and markedly more results from the practice

  1. Hi,
    I am using kappikacchu by Himalaya. Side effects are itching, bloating and black stools ? Should I continue ?

  2. Hi, was wondering if seed powder dosage is correct? Other herbs such as Ashwagandha have dosages listed for both tablets and powder. Wondering if this dosage refers to tablets and not powder?

    • Thank you for pointing out. Mistake is corrected.
      Seed powder dose is up to 8 – 10 grams per day.

  3. My dad is a 12 years known Parkinson patient, recently underwent pallidotomy, please suggest if he can continue to consume Kapikachhu churna. He complains of pain in his limbs

  4. Hello, I was wanting to know if it is safe to take Mucuna Pruriens, Holy Basil and Ashwagandha together. I have done research on all 3 but I am not sure how safe it is to take them together.

    Thank you for your time.

  5. Sir Whats is the tamil pronouncement of this word….in herbal shop by saying what we can get marina pruriens

  6. Hello

    Is it ok to take Gokhsura and Kapikachu by Himalaya in morning after breakfast.

    Also Confido and Speman by Himalaya in evening after dinner.

    Is it ok to take all four pills daily for 60 days

  7. Sir kindly tell any herb for my height i am 21 years also i have some hormonal problem how to fix them as well plz plz reply

    Thank you 🙂

  8. Is kaunch beej powder create some digestive issues? I think it may have started in me. Is it true that kaunch beej may create some digestive issues? Is it good for digestion or for stomach? please reply me fast. I am in a confusion.

  9. Hello doctor.
    After consuming kaunch,Ashwagandha and kaunch with milk at night. I had bloating stomach and had some blood once in stool.
    What to doi?
    Is it really linked with its consumption.

  10. DEAR SIR





  11. Hello Dr Webber,
    It’s a good article. Since the focus of kapikatch is essentially strenthening well being of the user, .can someone take it similar to ginseng or chawanprash
    Thank you.

  12. Hello Dr, if a middle aged woman consumes kapikachu choornam for general debility, is there any chance of developing facial hair or masculine features?

  13. Hello Doctor. Do kaunch beej need any type of purification such as boiling in milk before grinding them.

  14. Hi Dr J, Great site..only just found it the other day. I was wondering if the constipation caused by mucuna is common first of all and if it subsides with time? Would it be best taken 30 minutes after a meal? I’m using a seed powder mucuna from biopure.
    Warm regards,

  15. Hi Dr,
    I was just wondering how common constipation is with Mucuna Seed powder? I used it before and it may have been causing issues, however it may have been another supplement I was using!

    When I do decide to go back on it should the constipation go away with time, and is there anything I can do to mitigate this if it does occur?

    Warm regards,

    • I had another client complaining of mild constipation with Mucuna. Try it for one month, your body should be able to adjust with it, in that period.

  16. Thank you Dr. J V Hebbar. Very good information on mucuna. To Mitchu Kuttan – You may be interested in nymphaea caerulea. Blue lotus, pink lotus, and white lotus can all be used to induce a psychoactive state conducive to meditation. In fact, many Buddhist and Taoist monks have an ancient powder, made from pink and blue lotus that induces a zen state.

  17. I have been advised to take Kapikachu churna with warm water twice daily after food for Parkinson’s. Does the churna brings vast change if taken regularly? How long should I take this? Please advise


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