Latin name: Mucuna pruriens Baker non DC., Mucuna prurita Hook. (Fabaceae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Kapikachhu, Atmagupta, Kaunch, Kevanch
Cowhage has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to elevate sperm count and regularize ovulation in women. The herb is also helpful in normalizing nerve cell functions.
Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow, India, found that Cowhage also supports the normal function of the male reproductive system, and particularly supports normal levels of male fertility (Fertility and Sterility. October 2008). Scientists at King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, India, agreed with the findings, adding that Cowhage supports the body’s normal response to stress (Evid Based Complement Alternative Medicine. December 2007).
L-DOPA or levodopa is present in the seed as well as in the stem, leaves and roots. Levodopa is used as a predrug or a precursor of a drug, to increase dopamine levels for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, since it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier whereas dopamine itself cannot.
Key therapeutic benefits:
- The herb is an aphrodisiac, which helps support the production of a hormone commonly associated with the ‘pleasure system’ of the brain.
- Cowhage is considered an effective nervine tonic in traditional Indian healthcare. It supports brain function and ensures optimum performance of the nervous system.
- The herb is a prophylactic against oligospermia (low sperm count) and is useful in increasing sperm count and regularizing ovulation in women.