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

Kapikacchu – Mucuna pruriens is a very famous mutli-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
Hindi name: kaunch, Kevanch
English name: Cow-hage, Cow itch, Velvet beans
Kannada – Nasukunni
Malayalam – Naikorana

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Kapikacchu – The pale brown bristles of 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.

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.

Mucuna pruriens flowers on tree. it is a tropical legume,also known as velvet bean.

Medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) – Guru (heavy to digest), Snigdha (unctuous, oilyness)
Rasa (taste) – Madhura – sweet, Tikta – Bitter
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion
Veerya  – Hot potency
Prabhava – Special effect – Vrushya – aphrodisiac

Effect on Tridosha – balances all the three Doshas

Mucuna pruriens - Ayurveda Details

Mucuna pruriens – Ayurveda Details

kapikacchu Ayurveda details

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 faeces, increases bulk of faeces
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.

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 dose.

Side effects:
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.

Ayurvedic 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 gynaecological diseases.
Because of its use in increasing stamina, it is used as an ingredient in numerous bodybuilding supplements.

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  1. Sir, i was wondering if there is any psychoactive plant/medicine in Ayurveda which helps you being in an altered state of mind (meditative).

    Thank you.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

  2. white or black kaunch seeds………….which one is effective?

  3. I have started spermakot of arya vaidya sala to my patient.He is feeling sleepy.Is this because of Spermakot.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      It could be due to Shatavari and Jatiphala, which are in Spermakot. Let the patient take it, 10 minutes before dinner.

  4. Maulick Chopra says:

    Dear Sir,
    My father is suffering from Parkinson from last 8 years. A doctor advised him to consume Kapikacchu (2.5 grams/day) with milk. So he is consuming in powder form with the prescribed dose after the breakfast but sometimes he complaint with acidity/burning sensation after the consumption of Kapikacchu powder.

    I would be grateful if you provide me a solution for the above mentioned problem, whether the dose is high or the way he is consuming Kapikacchu is wrong (before meal or after meal with milk or water)

  5. Yuvraj Singh says:

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

  6. As its vrishya,obviasly it also have an property in hormonal balance… Can it prescribed in case of pimbles (youvana pidaka)

  7. 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?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

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

  8. 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

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes, he can. 5 grams powder once or twice a day after food for 2 months time.
      For further personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) – http://easyayurveda.com/consult/

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