Ayurvedic, ancient Indian medical system, medicine is one of the oldest recorded medical systems and it remains one of India’s main health care systems today with 3,000 years of experience. This traditional Indian medicine is based on ancient writings and relies on a natural and holistic approach to both physical and mental health using a combination of products (mostly plants), diet, exercise, and lifestyle. It aims at preserving health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance.
Mucuna pruriens is a powerful Ayurvedic herb that has high levels of naturally occurring L-Dopa. For the past 30 years, the Mucuna herbal extract has been the world’s most extensively researched amino acid. The Mucuna plant has the capacity to provide the raw material for the body to convert into dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that affects emotions. This is a hormone our body needs, it plays a role in the formation of thyroid hormones, regulates motor control, sex drive, immune function, fat gain and loss, lean muscle gain, bone density, energy levels, and the ability to sleep soundly.
When our dopamine increases the hormone prolactin decreases. Prolactin is a hormone that enhances female traits. It also reduces male masculinity, testosterone, and libido. Reducing prolactin is especially important for improving symptoms for those that are suffering from low thyroid function, low testosterone, cortisol/insulin imbalance, and immunologic dysfunctions ranging from low immunity to autoimmune disorders. Prolactin is a protein hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It plays a role in regulating many body functions including ovulation, metabolism, and immunity. Its primary purpose is signaling the mammary glands to produce milk after childbirth, therefore mucuna and any L-Dopa products are not recommended for women that are pregnant, lactating, or trying to conceive.
The traditional uses of Mucuna pruriens, L-Dopa:
- Nervous disorders
- Sleep issues
- Parasite infections
- Fertility issues
- Hormone balancing
- Skin issues
- Mood elevator
- Snakebite and scorpion sting remedy in Africa
- Enhance cortisol metabolism
- Growth hormone release
Mucuna pruriens carries some magnificent healing and therapeutic benefits. To understand both L-Dopa and Mucuna pruriens we will look at both of them individually.
First, the amazing L-Dopa, aka levodopa, is naturally derived from the Mucuna pruriens plant. It is also known as the “velvet bean” and is an annual plant that grows in India, the Caribbean, and tropical areas of Africa. It is high in protein and contains the highest amount of naturally occurring L-Dopa. The beautiful plant has long bunches of purple flowers on each branch of the vine. The term “pruriens” refers to the hairy pods on the plant and are known for causing extreme itchiness if you touch them.
Now the L-dopa component. You may have heard of L-dopa before, it’s a popular treatment for Parkinson’s Disease and other brain diseases. The amino acid antioxidant duo has many benefits, one being a positive impact on stress management and as an overall brain booster. L-dopa (also known in Western medicine in synthetic form as levodopa) is a precursor of dopamine, but it also plays a role in epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are better known as adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands when one is excited, stressed, or angry.
L-dopa is converted into dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter, in our bodies and our nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. Dopamine is a very powerful neurotransmitter that stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary, primary endocrine glands of the body, to release growth hormones. Dopamine governs how we feel pleasure and plays a huge role in our uniquely human ability to think and plan. When we are depleted or do not metabolize it correctly we often suffer from depression and lack of energy. Dopamine plays a role in the formation of thyroid hormones and also regulates motor control, sex drive, immune function, fat gain and loss, lean muscle gain, bone density, energy levels, and the ability to sleep soundly.
L-dopa supports our nervous system when it converts into dopamine, our feel-good hormone, by ways of improving communication between our nerve cells. Miscommunication within these cells can be the main cause of many diseases, including dopamine deficiency Parkinson's disease. L-dopa is also known to enhance the release of growth hormone, which is particularly important for staying healthy and young!
Unlike dopamine, L-dopa has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and this is how it increases dopamine in the brain. Did you know, the blood-brain barrier acts as a filter and will allow some substances in while keeping others out? Once L-dopa passes this barrier, it’s taken up by dopaminergic neurons that convert it to dopamine and increase these neurons’ levels of dopamine and storage. This is why it helps in treating Parkinson’s Disease and other brain diseases and disorders.
Supplementing with Mucuna Pruriens, L-Dopa, Can Change Your Life
Many Doctors worldwide including Dr. Nuzum, have used L-dopa for improving concentration, enhancing memory, reducing cortisol levels, and promoting mental clarity. L-dopa is known for improving learning, naturally increasing calmness, male infertility, low libido, and reducing anxiety. It has also shown to have the ability to improve the cognitive function of healthy individuals.
With the stress of everyday life, it can be challenging to manage decompressing from long days that seem to run into the next. There is a way we can get some relief with the help of the amazing L-dopa naturally derived from Mucuna pruriens. Learn more about Brain Health today.
In some cases, Mucuna pruriens-L-dopa may affect the individual with the following conditions and could have interactions with medications used to treat these conditions. As always, please consult your health care provider before taking any nutritional supplements.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Mental illness
- Peptic ulcer disease
Note: Since Mucuna pruriens, L-dopa, may lower blood sugar levels, you should stop taking it at least two weeks before any surgery.
Note: The following should never be taken in combination with Mucuna pruriens:
- Methyldopa (Aldomet)
- Medications for depression (MAOIs) such as (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate), for example.
Other drugs known to moderately interact with Mucuna pruriens include Guanethidine (Ismelin), anesthesia, antidiabetic drugs, antipsychotic drugs, and tricyclic antidepressants.