Cowhage Bean - Mucuna pruriens

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The History

At the end of the 1980s Prof. B.V. Manyam from India started
his worldwide investigation in the United States of America.
He looked for plants reported to help in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

In the literature he found Datura stramonium, effect: anticholinergic, Mucuna pruriens and Vicia faba with a high
L-dopa content, Claviceps purpurea, effect: dopamine agonistic, and the South American Banisteria caapi, effect: MAO-inhibiting.

Prof. Manyam decided to investigate Mucuna pruriens further due to the few reported side effects. The aim was to develop
a standardised preparation, thus allowing appropriate dosage as well as a sufficient shelf life.

After a number of successful clinical studies the powder from Mucuna pruriens was approved for the treatment of Parkinson patients in India. Currently, this preparation is the only world wide available herbal drug that can be used in high quality Parkinson therapy.

 

Juckbohnenpflanze Mucuna pruriens
Foto: Bala V. Manyam

The plant

Mucuna pruriens (see picture) is a creeper from the Fabaceae family (genera: Mucuna, species: pruriens). The bush has characteristic pods and is widely spread in the tropics such as India, Ghana, Mexico, Honduras.

The pharmaceutical preparation from India is made from the powder of carefully selected and peeled beans.