COWHAGE, Kevanch, Mucuna Pruriens, किवांच
Indian Name : Atmagupta
Botanical Name : Mucuna Pruriens
Other Names : Kiwanch, Cowitch, Kapikachhu, Velvet bean, Cowhage plant, Mad Beans, Atmagupta, आत्मगुप्ता, Kapikacchu, कपिकच्छु, किवांच, Konch, कोंच, Yoruba, Kevanch, Kivanch
The plant is notorious for the extreme itchiness it produces on contact, particularly with the young foliage and the seed pods. The hairs lining the seed pods and the small spicules on the leaves contain 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) which cause severe itching when touched. The calyx below the flowers is also a source of itchy spicules and the stinging hairs on the outside of the seed pods are used in itching powder. In India, the application of cow dung and unrefined moist tobacco are very effective to treat the itching caused by the spicules of this herb.
The seeds must be soaked from at least 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance of cooking, or the water changed up to several times during cooking, since otherwise the plant can be toxic to humans. The plant and its extracts are used as a toxin antagonist for various snakebites and for diseases including Parkinson's disease as well as for treating anxiety, arthritis, parasitic infections, and a condition called hyperprolactinemia (Prolactin hormone is too high in blood). Kiwanch is sometimes used as a coffee substitute called "Nescafe" (not to be confused with the commercial brand Nescafé).Its seed powder contains high concentrations of levodopa, a direct precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Root is used as a remedy in facial paralysis and nervous disorders. Decoction of the roots purifies the blood, cures rheumatism, asthma, cough, stone in the bladder and improves vitality. It is also used for fevers, edema, and elephantiasis.
Another benefit of Mucuna is that it can increase the production of human growth hormone, and extracts are commonly sold as body-building supplements. Mucuna has also been shown to have diuretic effects. It increases tissue resiliency and improves coordination. In history, Mucuna has been used as an aphrodisiac. It is still used to increase libido in both men and women due to its dopamine inducing properties. Dopamine has a profound influence on sexual function.
Medicinal Properties and Benefits of Seeds:
1. It act as precursor of the neural transmitter dopamine.
2. It causes significant effect on glucose metabolism and arterial blood pressure.
3. It stimulates the natural release of growth hormone.
4. It functions to activate depressor neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) and caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM).
5. It plays major roles as a neurotransmitter for baroreceptor reflex and blood pressure regulation. 6. It reduces body fat and decreases cellulite.
6. It is used to cure fertility disorders, Parkinson’s disease and leprosy.
7. It is useful in constipation, strangury, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea and ulcers.It is used in inflammations, verminfuge and general debility.
NOTE: Please take an expert advice as per your requirement to confirm the benefits and doses.