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The Dopamine Bean
Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume also known as velvet bean. In herbal medicine and Ayurveda, Mucuna has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for male infertility, nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and as an aphrodisiac.
Like Jack’s magic beans in the fairytale, mucuna beans are sometimes called “magical velvet beans.” For researchers, this “magic” refers to mucuna’s potential to improve brain health. For users, this bean’s “magical properties” span from its alleged aphrodisiac effects, while others yet allude to the plant’s subjective simultaneously relaxant and stimulating effects.
Mucuna is also known as the “dopamine bean” since it is a good source of L-Dopa (4 – 7%), from which dopamine is made in the body.
The high L-dopa content offers additional benefits to the plant itself: it protects the seeds from insects and pests. Mucuna seeds are also a major source for commercially extracting pure L-dopa, which is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Mucuna is a tropical legume traditionally used in Ayurveda. The beans are relatively high in L-Dopa.
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