What is Mucuna Pruriens? What are the Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects of Velvet Bean? Dopa Mucuna Recipes

Mucuna pruriens, commonly known as velvet bean, is a legume that is native to tropical regions around the world. It is known for its high levels of L-DOPA, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Mucuna pruriens has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and has recently gained popularity as a dietary supplement due to its potential health benefits. It is available in various forms such as powder, capsules, and extracts.

The health benefits of Mucuna pruriens are believed to include improved mood, cognitive function, and fertility, as well as reduced stress and inflammation. It is also used as a natural remedy for Parkinson's disease due to its ability to increase dopamine levels in the brain. However, like any supplement, it may cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches, and may interact with certain medications.

Dopa Mucuna recipes are formulations that combine Mucuna pruriens with other ingredients to create a delicious and nutritious supplement. These recipes often include ingredients such as coconut milk, almond butter, and honey, and are designed to provide a tasty way to incorporate Mucuna pruriens into a daily diet. In this article, we will explore the health benefits, uses, and side effects of Mucuna pruriens in more detail.

Brief Introduction of Mucuna Pruriens

Velvet Bean botanical name is Mucuna Pruriens, some other common names are monkey tamarind, kaunch beej, dopa mucuna  Bengal velvet bean, Florida velvet bean, Mauritius velvet bean, Yokohama velvet bean, cowage, cowitch, lacuna bean, and Lyon bean, it is mainly found in Africa and tropical Asia.

Mucuna Pruriens is an evergreen and flowering tree. Leaves, roots, pods, and seeds are edible and used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes.

The dried leaf of the Mucuna Pruriens contains vitamins A, C, E, B6, B9, B12, iron, copper, and zinc, and is useful in stomach ulcers and inflammation.

The roots of the plant are bitter, sweet thermogenic, emollient, stimulant, purgative, and diuretic. The seeds are astringent, laxative, anthelmintic, alexipharmic, and tonic.

Mucuna Pruriens

What is Velvet Bean?

Mucuna Pruriens seeds are shiny black, brown, or spotted white in color and round or flattened, uniform in shape and almost look like other legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, or soybeans.

They are covered with thick hairy pods. It is sweet, bitter in taste, hot in potency, and heavy to digest.

It is a healthy plant-based protein and is valued for its medicinal properties because of its rich nutritional value.

Dopa mucuna has impressive nutritional profiles of carbohydrates, fibers, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

It also has Vitamin C and E which helps to boost the immune system. Mucuna Pruriens seeds are used as a major source of dietary protein or as a medical product. In Ayurveda, it is used as an aphrodisiac (to increase sexual desire).

Morphology and Chemical Constituent of Dopa Mucuna

Mucuna Pruriens seeds are used in traditional medicine and as a food source. The seeds of Mucuna pruriens are a rich source of various bioactive compounds and nutrients.

Morphology of Mucuna Pruriens Seeds

The seeds of Mucuna pruriens are generally dark brown to black in color and are approximately 1-2 cm in length. The seed coat is hard and rough, and the seeds are kidney-shaped with a slightly flattened appearance. The seeds are covered with dense hairs that can cause severe itching and irritation when they come into contact with the skin.

Chemical Constituents of Mucuna Pruriens Seeds

L-Dopa: Mucuna pruriens is one of the richest natural sources of L-dopa, a precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has been found to be effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Proteins and Amino Acids: Mucuna pruriens seeds are a rich source of proteins and amino acids, including tryptophan, lysine, and arginine.

Flavonoids: Mucuna pruriens seeds contain various flavonoids, including quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Alkaloids: Mucuna pruriens seeds contain alkaloids, such as mucunine and mucunadine, which have been shown to have various pharmacological activities.

Sterols: Mucuna pruriens seeds contain various sterols, including β-sitosterol, which has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties.

Carbohydrates: Mucuna pruriens seeds contain carbohydrates, including starch and sugars.

Minerals: Mucuna pruriens seeds are a rich source of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Lipids: Mucuna pruriens seeds contain lipids, including fatty acids and phospholipids.

Nutritional Value of Dopa Mucuna

Mucuna pruriens seeds are a good source of nutrients and bioactive compounds. Here is a breakdown of their nutritional value per 100 grams of dried seeds:

  • Calories: 377 kcal
  • Protein: 20.86 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.38 g
  • Fiber: 20.4 g
  • Fat: 5.81 g
  • Minerals: calcium (215 mg), iron (5 mg), magnesium (251 mg), phosphorus (499 mg), potassium (1324 mg), sodium (29 mg), zinc (3.96 mg)
  • Vitamins: thiamin (0.56 mg), riboflavin (0.15 mg), niacin (2.54 mg), vitamin B6 (0.49 mg), folate (120 µg)
  • Amino acids: Mucuna pruriens seeds are particularly rich in the amino acid L-dopa, which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. They also contain other essential and non-essential amino acids, including tryptophan, lysine, and arginine.

In addition to the above, Mucuna pruriens seeds also contain various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, alkaloids, and sterols, which have been associated with various health benefits. Overall, Mucuna pruriens seeds are a nutritious food source with potential therapeutic properties.

What are the Benefits & Uses of Mucuna Pruriens?

Kaunch beej has antioxidants, aphrodisiac, and anti-inflammatory properties, balancing all three doshas (Kapha, Pitta, Vata). It is beneficial for immunity, strength, male infertility, and sexual desire.

Kaunch Beej

Here are some health benefits of Dopa Mucuna

For Diabetes & Blood Sugar

Mucuna Pruriens seeds have a strong ability to control diabetes and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Its plant chemical slows down the digestion process which lowers the high blood sugar, also it is easily and rapidly digested and contains rich fiber content. It is accelerating weight loss and managing other diseases like diabetes and obesity.

For Parkinson’s Disease

Mucuna Pruriens has excellent property to treat Parkinson’s Disease, it has alkaloids, unsaturated acids, gallic acid, bufotenin, and genistein, these all compounds possess nonproductive activities which are very helpful in Parkinson’s Disease.

For Nervous System

Kaunch beej is beneficial to treat anxiety, insomnia, and sleep disorder, it maintains mood and promotes sound sleep, learning, and working memory. It helps to activate the memory center in the brain and relaxes the mind.

For Sexual Wellness

Kaunch beej antioxidants remarkably treat sexual problems and bolster sexual performance and stamina.

It balances the level of the hormone (dopamine, adrenaline, testosterone), promotes blood circulation to the reproductive organs, and maintains the health of Ova and Sperm. Kaunch seeds are an aphrodisiac that maintains sexual energy and libido.

For Weight Loss

Kaunch beej is organically gluten-free and can easily fit on your dieting menu, its dietary supplements control the symptoms of obesity and weight loss.

You can use it in your cooking menu and can make healthy dishes. Some are shared in this post.

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How to use Velvet Beans?

  • You can use dry seed powder which is readily available in the market, or you can grind the seed at home with the help of a mortar and pestle.
  • Some medical preparations are also available in the market, you can also try that.
  • Seed powder decoction with milk or water can be used.
  • You can also cook seed directly and include it in your cooking menu.

Dopa Mucuna Seed Recipes – 2022

You can add mucuna pruriens seed to your cooking menu and make tasty dishes, some recipes we have shared, try these recipes.  

Dopa Mucuna Seed Salad

Mucuna Pruriens Seed Salad

Yield – 2


  • Mucuna Pruriens Seed (Overnight soaked and boiled) – 1 ½ cup
  • Tomato - diced – 1 large
  • Zucchini – diced – 1 medium
  • Carrot – coarsely grated – 2
  • Yellow & Red capsicum – 1 each
  • Spring Onions – chopped - 2 stalks
  • Avocado – ripped – 1 small
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Oregano – 3 pinches
  • Parsley – 2 pinches
  • Parmesan cheese – grated – 1tsp
  • Black pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic – finely chopped – 1tsp
  • Seasoned Salt  – ½ tsp or as per taste
  • Lemon Juice – ½ tsp

Method of making Dopa Mucuna Seed Salad

  1. Heat a pan on low flame, and add olive oil and garlic. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes and take off the pan from heat.
  2. Take a bowl mixing bowl, add all ingredients except parmesan cheese and it well, add garlic and olive oil, and mix it again.
  3. Transfer this salad to a serving plate and garnish it with parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve with toasted garlic bread, you can also add the boiled pasta.

Mucuna Pruriens Seed Curry

Mucuna Pruriens Seed Curry

Yield - 2


  • Mucuna Pruriens Seed (Overnight soaked and boiled) – 1 ½ cup
  • Tomato - diced – 1 large
  • Boiled Potato – 1 large (optional)
  • Ginger, Garlic, Green Chili Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Onion Paste – 1 tsp
  • Curry Powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala – ½ tsp
  • Low fat cream – ½ tsp
  • Salt – 1tsp (or according to the taste)
  • Fresh Chopped Coriander – 1 tsp
  • Cooking Oil – 1tbsp
  • Lemon Juice – ½ tsp
  • Water – 1 ½ cup

Method of making Mucuna Pruriens Seed Curry

  1. Take a wok (any), put it on the heat on medium flame, add ginger, garlic, and green chili paste and stir for 3 minutes.
  2. Add onion paste and cook for 32 minutes, then add tomato and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder and mix with tomatoes. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add mucuna pruriens seed and boiled potatoes, mix it well with gravy and cook for 2 minutes. Then add water, stir, and cover the lid for 5 minutes on low flame, Stir occasionally.
  5. Now curry is done, turn off the gas. Add cream stir and then add lemon juice, stir it again.
  6. Put this curry in a serving bowl and garnish it with fresh coriander.
  7. You can eat this curry with boiled rice, bread, pasta, and stir-fried noodles.

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Frequently Asked Question

Q - What is Kaunch BEEJ used for?

Kaunch beej is used for many health benefits like sexual and reproductive health, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety and maintain physical balance, promotes sperm count in men and ovulation in women, and it enriches skin texture and hair growth.

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