Mucuna Pruriens for Parkinson’s Disease
Mucuna pruriens is a tropical bean commonly known as Velvet Bean. It contains large amounts of levodopa which is a natural remedy for Parkinson’s disease. The seed powder of the Velvet Bean plant has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine for nervous system diseases including parkinson’s.
It has shown the following benefits:
- Effects began after 34 minutes of consumption.
- 37 extra minutes of effect duration.
- 110% higher L-dopa levels.
What is a good Mucuna Pruriens dose?
- Mucuna pruriens dosage for Parkinson’s Disease: 15-30 grams of a dried extract standardized for levodopa (seed powder). Other studies used lower doses, starting with 5 grams per day.
- For Infertility in men: 5 grams per day increased sperm motility, count, and overall quality.
- To reduce plasma glucose levels: 500 mg/kg.
- To enhance exercise performance: 150 mg extract standardized to 15% levodopa.
- For increasing testosterone: 5 grams of powder per day.
- For ADD/ADHD: 500 mg per day. Lower doses, starting with 100 mg per day may still generate a dopamine response, while up to 1 gram per day is still considered safe.
Only take it 4-5 days a week to reduce dependence and tolerance.
The video below shows the role of Mucuna Pruriens in Parkinson’s Disease:
This is our recommended Mucuna Pruriens supplement (Amazon’s Choice):
We have assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa/carbidopa (LD/CD).
Title: Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study
- Health Status: parkinson’s disease.
- Number of subjects: 8.
Eight Parkinson’s disease patients with a short duration L-dopa response and dyskinesias were challenged with single doses of 200/50 mg LD/CD, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals.
Compared with standard LD/CD, the 30 g mucuna preparation led to
- A considerably faster onset of effect (34.6 v 68.5 min; p = 0.021), reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. Mean on time was 21.9% (37 min) longer with 30 g mucuna than with LD/CD
- Peak L-dopa plasma concentrations were 110% higher and the area under the plasma concentration v time curve (area under curve) was 165.3% larger
- No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred.
The rapid onset of action and longer on time without increase in dyskinesias on mucuna seed powder formulation suggest that this natural source of L-dopa might possess advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long term management of PD. Assessment of long term efficacy and tolerability in a study is warranted.
What are the effects of Mucuna Pruriens long-term use?
The following benefits are associated with a long-term use of mucuna pruriens:
- Anti-parkinsonian effects without causing dyskinesia (involuntary movement) usually associated with long-term use of standard parkinson’s medication.
- Reduction and improvement on dyskinesia developed by continuous use of standard parkinson’s medication.
The long-term tolerability of mucuna pruriens has not been established yet. Some people presented gastrointestinal side-effects. In order to improve tolerability, the dose can be lowered and/or it can be paired it with other medications.
See the details of each study below:
To investigate whether Mucuna pruriens (MP), a levodopa-containing leguminous plant growing in all tropical areas worldwide, may be used as alternative source of levodopa for indigent individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) who cannot afford long-term therapy with marketed levodopa preparations.
Title: Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson disease: A double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study
- Health Status: parkinson’s disease.
- Number of subjects: 18.
We investigated efficacy and safety of single-dose intake of MP powder from roasted seeds obtained without any pharmacologic processing. Eighteen patients with advanced PD received the following treatments, whose sequence was randomized:
- Dispersible levodopa at 3.5 mg/kg combined with the dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor benserazide (LD+DDCI; the reference treatment)(2) high-dose MP (MP-Hd; 17.5 mg/kg)
- Low-dose MP (MP-Ld; 12.5 mg/kg)
- Pharmaceutical preparation of LD without DDCI (LD-DDCI; 17.5 mg/kg)
- MP plus benserazide (MP+DDCI; 3.5 mg/kg)
When compared to LD+DDCI, MP-Ld showed similar motor response with fewer dyskinesias and AEs, while MP-Hd induced greater motor improvement at 90 and 180 minutes, longer ON duration, and fewer dyskinesias. MP-Hd induced less AEs than LD+DDCI and LD-DDCI. No differences in cardiovascular response were recorded.
Single-dose MP intake met all noninferiority efficacy and safety outcome measures in comparison to dispersible levodopa/benserazide. Clinical effects of high-dose MP were similar to levodopa alone at the same dose, with a more favorable tolerability profile.
Dopaminergic anti-parkinsonian medications, such as levodopa (LD) cause drug-induced dyskinesias (DID) in majority of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mucuna pruriens, a legume extensively used in Ayurveda to treat PD, is reputed to provide anti-parkinsonian benefits without inducing DID.
Title: A water extract of Mucuna pruriens provides long-term amelioration of parkinsonism with reduced risk for dyskinesias
We compared the behavioral effects of chronic parenteral administration of a water extract of M. pruriens seed powder (MPE) alone without any additives, MPE combined with the peripheral dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor (DDCI) benserazide (MPE+BZ), LD+BZ and LD alone without BZ in the hemiparkinsonian rat model of PD.
- In experiment 1, animals that received LD+BZ or MPE+BZ at high (6mg/kg) and medium (4mg/kg) equivalent doses demonstrated significant alleviation of parkinsonism, but, developed severe dose-dependent DID. LD+BZ at low doses (2mg/kg) did not provide significant alleviation of parkinsonism. In contrast, MPE+BZ at an equivalent low dose significantly ameliorated parkinsonism.
- In experiment 2, MPE without any additives (12mg/kg and 20mg/kg LD equivalent dose) alleviated parkinsonism with significantly less DID compared to LD+BZ or MPE+BZ.
- In experiment 3, MPE without additives administered chronically provided long-term anti-parkinsonian benefits without causing DID.
- In experiment 4, MPE alone provided significantly more behavioral benefit when compared to the equivalent dose of synthetic LD alone without BZ.
- In experiment 5, MPE alone reduced the severity of DID in animals initially primed with LD+BZ.
These findings suggest that M. pruriens contains water-soluble ingredients that either have an intrinsic DDCI-like activity or mitigate the need for an add-on DDCI to ameliorate parkinsonism.
These unique long-term anti-parkinsonian effects of an administered water extract of M. pruriens seed powder may provide a platform for future drug discoveries and novel treatment strategies in PD.
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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;75(12):1672-7. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2003.028761. PMID: 15548480; PMCID: PMC1738871.
- Cilia R, Laguna J, Cassani E, Cereda E, Pozzi NG, Isaias IU, Contin M, Barichella M, Pezzoli G. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson disease: A double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1;89(5):432-438. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004175. Epub 2017 Jul 5. PMID: 28679598; PMCID: PMC5539737.
- Lieu CA, Kunselman AR, Manyam BV, Venkiteswaran K, Subramanian T. A water extract of Mucuna pruriens provides long-term amelioration of parkinsonism with reduced risk for dyskinesias. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2010 Aug;16(7):458-65. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2010.04.015. Epub 2010 May 31. PMID: 20570206; PMCID: PMC2909380.