Mucuna Beans (Mucuna pruriens)

aka Velvet Bean, Dopa-bean, Bhainswalibel (Hindi), 刺毛黧豆 (Chinese)

MDMA is famed for its glowy, and blissful feelings. But it sure has its reputation for what it makes you pay the next day… not to mention the handful of seriously harmful effects it can cause in the body and mind. Originally, MDMA was used by progressive psychotherapists as a tool to open up the heart and help the individual access their emotions. It was even used in some human based trials on Parkinsons patients, showing significant progress for hours at a time for the majority of participants. Yet, as you can probably figure, the significant drawback didn’t make it a publicly accepted, and government regulated drug. It quickly spread into the night scene, and to this day being very popular in party atmospheres. The reason people seem to love it so much, is due to the fact that it boosts intense positive feelings, opening the heart, ripening the emotions, giving warm empathic feeling with an overall sense of “bliss”.

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So, the key element of MDMA, and many feel-good drugs, are that they releases an exorbitant amount of neurotransmitters over the course of a few hours, when commonly, those neurotransmitters are released sparsely. When the gates are flooded open the reserves run and get drained, so, as you can figure, you need time to recuperate your energy back, hence the key reason why many people feel depressed the day(s) after ingesting.

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The infamous “L-DOPA” within Mucuna pruriens is an amino acid synthesized by our brain. L-DOPA is a precursor of several neurotransmitters including dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Mucuna contains a high concentration of L-DOPA, and is commonly used as a “nootropic” (brain and mind booster), because of its dopamine count increasing alertness, as well as for its trademark in boosting mental health. Being an antioxidant, L-Dopa is also a heavy metal chelator, libido booster, and well know associated for its pleasure giving chemistry, also associated to its “heart opening qualities”. This is one of the reasons this velvet bean has been successfully used as a potent aphrodisiac, and mood booster, also showing all the desired characteristics of an anti-depressant. Naturally derived L-Dopa has also been used in several forms of therapy to open the heart, allowing for patients to open their heart’s with ease, allowing for greater transformation within their healing trajectory. 



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Velvet “magical” beans do contain some tryptamine compounds, which are well-known psychedelics. Their concentration is probably very low in most available supplements, though.  In some animal studies, very large doses of mucuna had mild hallucinogenic and sedative activity. It’s possible that mucuna beans have a very mild relaxing and psychedelic effect, although at least proper animal studies are needed to confirm this [R]. Some people report “dreamy” feelings from taking mucuna, but it’s unknown if mucuna actually has these properties, what its content of tryptamines and other psychoactive is, and what effects are possible, until more studies come out.

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L-Dopa when derived naturally from the bean has a safer and wider spectrum approach, than the synethically derived L-Dopa. The advantage of L-Dopa is that it passes through our blood-brain barrier, releasing freshly made dopamine in our brains, whom is essetinally responsible for our experience of pleasure. If our body is lacking the ability to secrete a healthy amount of dopamine, we disconnect from the ability to experience bliss, ecstatic moments, and reward. If our daily regime is governed by exhaustion, this can greatly interfere with not only our sex drive, but our ability to orgasm, or even allow our selves to experience authentic pleasure. Also, low level of Dopamine is associated with infertility.



Mucuna Pruriens has been shown to curb Prolactin levels through increasing Dopamine level, which suppresses prolactin secretion.16, 17 Prolactin is a hormone, linked to the feeling of sexual satisfaction after ejaculation. It also mediates the refractory period or “recovery time” before going for another orgasm. High level of Prolactin increases the duration of refractory period.



We all know that hormones affect our psyche and bodies in numerous ways. Cortisol is one of fames stress hormones produced by stress. When we have elevated levels of Cortisol produced for a long period of time, it naturally suppress our sex hormones, resulting in lower libido. Mucuna pruriens has been found to significantly reduce cortisol, by targeting our HPA axis, thus lowering the damaging effects from stress, preventing adrenal fatigue, cognitive impairment, etc.

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One of the more interesting components of the velvet bean, is its content of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-MeO-DMT, nicotine, and bufotenine in trace amounts, which just happens to be the active ingredients in ceremonial plants like ayahuasca, tobacco, and peyote. While Mucuna has been proven to not be psychedelic, an in fact a tonic, easily purchased just about anywhere now-a-days. Because it contains the above mentioned chemicals in trace amonts, it has been associated to be a master plants amongst indigenous herbalists worldwide, as its known its spiritual and consciousness expanding chemistry. Ralph Metzner, produced a great documentary on DMT, showing how it’s secreted by the pineal gland, which is often associated as the master regulator of consciousness in the body, and is believed to control essential day-to-day functioning, like our sleep-wake cycle, perception, etc. Many who take Mucuna Pruriens report more positivity, creativity, vivid dreams and deeper sleep with regular use but often times after just a single dose.



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  • Use for treatment of sexual dysfunctions.

  • Succesfuly used for as a nootropic, known to boost mental performance, and cognition.

  • Used as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, including other nervous disorders.

  • Used as a neuroprotective herb and has been used for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Successfully used as a mild painkiller.

  • Considered one of the most potent aphrodisiac that boosts sexual desire, treats premature ejaculation, improves sperm quality, increases testosterone level and improves erection strength.

  • Used effectively in the treatment of Arthritis, and related issues.

  • Used as an anti-venom, and against scorpion stings. 

  • Used as a anti-epileptic and anti-neoplastic activity.

  • A source for anti-oxidants

  • Found to be effective in the treatment of various Diabetic related health issues.

  • Used as an anti-microbial.

Other folk uses: whooping cough, dog-bite, madness, pain, polarities, ring worm, syphilis, parkinson disease, menstruation disorders (dysmenohrrea, ovary pain, etc.) constipation, tuberculosis, fevers, and more.

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  • Improves fertility in men and women [R+].

  • Can reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease [R].

  • Animal based studies have confirmed L-DOPA to improved mood, depression and anxiety disorders. Showing all the desired characteristics of an anti-depressant. [R].

  • Mucuna pruriens may help with ADHD with the addition of essential vitamins and minerals  [R].

  • Improves sleep [R].


Potential side-effects: nausea, discomfort, vomiting (uncommon), insomnia (uncommon)

Drug interactions:  Increasing dopamine levels or using l-dopa could be dangerous in some people, including those with the following conditions [R]: Glaucoma,  Heart arrhythmias, Chronic nerve pain (neuropathy), as l-dopa may worsen it, Stomach ulcers, Psychosis.

- Some antidepressants and anti-Parkinson’s drugs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or MAOI) — people taking these drugs should avoid Mucuna pruriens supplements. The use of both may dangerously increase dopamine levels and cause very high blood pressure.

- Some anty-psychotic medications (D2 antagonists) can reduce the effects of Mucuna

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Extract Powder: 5 grams daily, 1-2 times per day

Decoction: 16 to 30 grams (1/2-1oz) simmered in water for about 20min.

Alcoholic Extract: 2 Tbsp., 2-4 times daily.

Precautions: If used excessively might cause nausea and abdominal cramps. 




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