KAPIKACCHU – Mucuna pruriens – Ayurvedic Herb









  • —  Kolasimbi or sukrasimbi (Madanandi Neganda 7-33)
  • —  Mucuna nigicans (hour) steed.
  • —  Mucuna sericophylla.
  • —  Mucuna utilis.



  • —  Kapikachu
  • —  Athmaguptha
  • —  Makati
  • —  Ajada
  • —  Shukashimbi
  • —  Kapadura
  • —  Ladagali
  • —  Chedaga
  • —  Dhu sparsh
  • —  Pravushayani
  • —  Prarvshani
  • —  Kaphiromaphala
  • —  Banashukari
  • —  Vreshabi
  • —  Vrepyabeej





English                 :         Cowhage, cowitch.

Hindi                    :          Kounch.

Malayalam           :        Naikuruna.

Kannada               :        Nasugunne

Tamil                    :         Punaikkali

Telugu                  :         Doolagondi

Panjabi                 :         Aalukusi

Gujarati                :         Kavach

Marathi                :         Khajkuhile





  • —  Beeja
  • —  Mula
  • —  The hairs of fresh fruit




Seeds                             E-L-dopa, mucunine, mucunadine, prurienin, purienin, tryptamine.

Seed oil                        Stearic, palminic, miristec, arichidic,          olic,limoleic, acids and sterol.

Podtrichomes           5-Hydroxy tryptamine.

Whole plant               Choline.


Seeds contain humidity 9-1 proteins 25.03, fibers 6.75, and minarals 6.95%. Seeds also contains 0.16 phos phorous iron 0.02% Suphur and manganese.  Seeds yield dopa (1.5%) glutalhayone, lecithin, gallicacid, glucose and several alkaloids, seeds kernel yield viscid white oil.




Rasa                     :         Madhura, tikta

Guna                     :         Guru, Snighta

Virya                    :         Ushna

Vipaka                  :         Madhura

Dosakarma         :         Tridosa samaka




  • Balya
  • Vrsya
  • Paustika
  • Utejaka
  • Vajikara
  • Krimigna
  • Vatanadi dourbanyhara
  • Mutrajanana
  • Yoni sankocake
  • Brumhana
  • Vranavisodana
  • Arthavajanana
  • Garvhadharaka



  • Kastartava
  • Klaivya- sukrakshaya
  • Ksaya- karsyadourbalya
  • Mutrakrcha- mutraghata
  • Vrkka roga
  • Krimi- gandotada krimi
  • Vata vyadhia
  • Nadidourdalya
  • Atisara
  • Rakta pitta
  • Dusta vrana
  • Parkinsonism



  • Vajikarana           :-

Wheat flour is mixed with kapikacchu biga choorna coocked with ksheera.  It is mixed with ghrta and taken in followed by intake of milk.

(B.P 72/71-75)

  • Semen deficient   :-

The kapikacchu beeja choorna and iksura mixed with sharkara and given.

(S.S.C. 26-30)

  • Rakta pitta Atisara:-

Kapikacchu roma found on the fruit are put within the pulp of guda and swallowed twice or thrice A day after applying ghrta on the lips and mouth usefull in helmintheasis.

(sidda.Bhaishajya manimala 21-280)

  • Vata vyadhi        :-

Kwatha is prepared with the kapikacchu beeja choorna and adminstered.


  • Vrkka roga         :-

The moola kwatha is used in vrkka roga for mutrajanana action.


  • Shleepada            :-

The paste prepared with mula is applied in shleepada.


  • Rakta atisara      :-

Mulakalka is given and mulasidha kshira is given as pathya.


  • Krimi                   :-

The pod hairs powder is given with jiggery, honey, butter.


  • Unmada               :-

Vanari or kapikacchu is suggested to be externally as rubbing measures.

  • Dysuria                :-

Svayam guptadi choorna.

(Chakradatta 33/17)




  • The traditional use of kapikacchu as effective to aphrodiciac is practiced in tribal medicine.  A piece of root is kept in mouth during coitus by male partner enjoying with delayed ejaculation.



  1. Total alkaloids of seeds showed weak neuro muscular blocking effects of frog           rectusabdominus.

(Battcharya and sanyal)

  1. Indolik bases derived from  m.pruriens showed antispasmodic action on smooth muscle preparations against spasm induced by aceteylcholine, histamin,  serotonin and oxytocin.  Neuro muscular blocking activity of the d-      tobo curarine  type, was observed by 5 –methoxyn-N, N-dimethyl tryptamine and an unidentified 5-oxy indo,3-alkylamine, where as the unidentified beta carbotene only potentiated the acetyl coholine response on frog rectus abdominis.                                                                                                                                                                             (Ghosal, 1970,1971)
  2. Bufotenine showed both invitro and in vivo anticholinesterase activity similar to but 20-30 times weaker than that of physostigmini.

(attacharya, sanyal 1971)

  1. The total indol alkyl amines produced marked behavioural changes including excitations, tremors, pilorection, etc

(Battacharya ,1971)

  1. Seed diet showed hypo cholesterotemic effective rats                                                                                                                             (Pandet, 1968)
  2. M.pruriens seed diet produced hypoglycemic effect in normal rats.                                                                                                          (Pant,1968)
  3. The protein isolated from seeds in the diet lead to a reduction in the cholesterol content of liver and blood in rats.                                                                                                                                                  (Singh 1968)
  4. In 15 psychiatric patients, M.Pruriens (15 Gm of crude seed powder) was found in significantly inhibit the prolactin response to chlorpromazine ingection as effectively as 0.5gm of L-dopa.                                                                                                                                                  (Vaidya-1978)
  5. The powdered seed extract showed a potent antiparkinsonian effect which was not however, entirely due to L-doopa fere fraction of seed showed significant antiparkinsonian activity at a dose of 200mg/kg.                                                                                                                             (Nath-1981)
  6. The powdered extract showed hypotensive activity in dogs an spasmodic action in guneapig preparation.                                                                                                                                                                (Ramswamy -1979)




Beeja choorna      –        3-5 gms

Mulakwatha          –        50-100ml

Roma                       –        125-250 grains with guda



  • Vanari gutika
  • Masabaladi pachana
  • Vanari vatika
  • Brhat masa taila




The effect of mucuna pruriens, herbaceous legume, on some properties of forest acrisol was examined in RCBD experiment of four treatment control, NPK fertiliser, mucuna in corporation and mucuna mulch.  At flowering the fresh biomass was cut at soil level, chopped up and applied to the soil either by incorporation or as mutch.  In both cases mucuna improved the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.  Available soil moisture content increased from 9.54% to values between 10-20% and 11.40% while bulk density reduced from 1.42 -1.36mgm.3.  Total N increased from 0.14%-0.18%.  Organic cant K levels did not change while P was slightly reduced.  Earthworms populations in the mucuna plots where there thrice times higher than those plots without mucuna.  Mucuna suppressed served growth this improvement in the physical and chemical properties are indicators of the potential botanical name “mucuna pruriens”.




Mucuna pruriens seed contain high concentration of levodopa, a direct precusor of the neuro transmitter dopamin.  It was long been is used in traditional (Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsons diseases.  It has long been used in traditional ayurvadic Indian medicine for diseases).  In large amount (30gms dose), it has been shown to be as effective as pure levodopa/carbidopa in the treatment of parkinsons diseases.  But no data on long term efficacy an tolerability are available.

In addition to levodopa, it contain serotinin 5 htp, nicotin, N-DMT bufotenine and  five meo-DMT.  As such it could potentially have psychidilic effects and it has proportionally been used in ayahuasca preparations.  The mature seed of the plant contain above 3.1-6.1%.  L-dopa it trace amount of 5-Hydroxy tryptamine, nicotone, DMT- noxid, bufotenine, 5-meo –DMT-n-oxide and beta carbotin one study using 36 samples of the seeds found no tryptamine present in them.



A field experiment with different agronomical parameters of growing velvet bean (mucuna pruriens) was carried at the zandu foundation for heath care research farm, ambach to slandardize its cultivation and post harvesting drying practices for two crop cycles.  During 2000 to 2001 and 2001 to 2002 for commercial production this crop was raised with start of mansoon rain in its  region in June and irrigated at 15 day intervels during dry season of October to January.  The crop gave maximum seed yield of 1.995 tones/ha at closer placing of 1.0 *1.0m(10,000 plants/ha) with individual plant supporting system.  The trail conducted with wider spacing (1.0m * 1.5m, 8,000 plant/ha) and individual plant supporting with bamboo stakes with 12 doses of NP2O5  and K2O/ha fertilizer revealed the higher member of pods/9m and yield with 75/100 and 0.150, 50 and 0 applications.  The K untried was not applied as the farm soil contained high K2O levels.  The pods pricked at semi dry maturity stage gave optimum seed yield.  L-dopa and superior quality of seed used in drug manufacturing  industry.



Seeds of mucuna utilize wall and mucuna cochinchinensis cheval, are often sold as substitutes.  The former is atleast double the size of mucuna pruriens seeds with a dull black wall dark brown seed coat, faintly marked with light brown flicks, mucuna cochinensis seeds is ash colored and larger in size.  It is more commonly sold by the name of safed kauncha.



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