Kapikacchu: Velvet beans with aphrodisiac properties


Kapikacchu botanically known as Mucuna pruriens belongs to the Fabaceae family and is very famous for its Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) properties. Kapikacchu is widely known as Velvet beans. In the eastern part of China and India, Kapikacchu is grown as a vegetable crop. In Ayurvedic classical texts, Kapikacchu is very famous for Kamp Vata (Parkinsonism disease) and Vajikarna (Aphrodisiac purpose). Recent studies revealed that Kapikacchu consists of various active ingredients like L-dopa, mucunine, mucunadine, prureinine, tryptamine, trichomes-proteinase mucunain, 5- hydroxy tryptamine, etc. Kapikacchu is the richest source of L- Dopa, which  is a drug of choice to treat Parkinsonism’s disease. Along with this Kapikacchu is the richest source of dietary fibers as compared to various other Shami Dhanya (pulses). Along with this due to above mentioned chemical constituents, Kapikacchu exhibits various pharmacological properties like antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-parkinsonism, hypoglycemic, hypotensive activity, etc. Kapikacchu increases the testosterone levels in the body and also increases sperm counts, that’s why it is known as an athlete’s friend. It enhances the body performance of athletes and also increases the muscle mass in the body.

Basonym of Kapikacchu

कपीनां कच्छू हेतुत्वात्‌ ।

Hairs on the fruit cause itching to the monkey.

Synonyms of Kapikacchu

  • According to habitat

वनशूकरी- वने जाता शूकरवद्‌ रोमशा च ।

The creeper grows in the forest and the fruit has hairs like that of a monkey.

प्रावृषायणी -प्रावृषी जातत्वात्‌ । 

Grows mainly in the rainy season.

  • According to morphology

कपिरोमफला- कपिरोमावद्‌ रोमाणि फलेष्वस्या: ।

Fruits are having firm hairs on their surface.

शूकशिम्बी – शूकयुक्ता शिम्बी अस्या: । 

Fruits have stiff hairs.

लांगली – मर्कट लांगलाकृति: रोमशा च शिम्बी ।

Fruits resemble the shape like that of the tail of a monkey and also have compact hairs.

मर्कटी – मर्कटवद्‌ रोमशा ।

Fruit is studded with stiff hairs like that of the  monkey.

आत्मगुप्ता- आत्मना स्वत राव रक्षिता रोमभि: ।

Fruits have dense hairs which induce intense itching and give protection to the plant.

दुरभिग्रहा- रोमशत्वात्‌ ग्रहीतुं दुःशका ।

Very difficult to pluck the fruit as it is covered by stiff hairs which cause itching.

अध्यण्डा- अण्डवत्‌ प्रकृष्ट बीजा ।

Seeds of Kapikacchu resemble testicles.

  • According to properties and actions

वृष्यबीजा- वृष्याणि बीजन्य यस्।  

Seeds of Kapikacchu are potent aphrodisiacs.

अजडा- जाड्य क्लैव्य॑ निवारयतीति ।

Kapikacchu seeds are strong aphrodisiacs and also stimulate the mind.

कण्डुरा- कण्डूं राति ददाति ।

When matured fruits with dried hairs come in contact with the skin causing intense itching.

Regional names of Kapikacchu

  • Cowhage, Cowitch (English)
  • Kiwach, Kebanch, Kaunch (Hindi)
  • Nasugunni, Namukunni (Kannada)
  • Nayikuruma, Nikorna (Malayalam)
  • Kuhili, Khujkuhili (Marathi)
  • Alkushi (Punjabi)
  • Kauncha, Kavach (Gujarati)
  • Punaik Kali (Tamil)
  • Piliyadugu (Telegu)
  • Baikhujni (Oriya)
  • Badjan Barri (Arabic)
  • Bardgan Barri (Persian)

Botanical Name

Mucuna pruriens Bak.

Mucuna is the name in the Brazillian language.

Pruriens is derived from prurita words which means producing itching.


Fabaceae/ Papilionaceae (Aprajita Kula)

Ayurveda reference for Kapikacchu (Mucuna pruriens Bak.)

Scientific classification of Kapikacchu

Class Dicotyledons 
Family Fabaceae/ Papilionaceae
Species pruriens

Classification of Kapikacchu as per Charaka and Sushruta

  • Charaka: Balya Mahakshaya, Purisha Viranjniya Mahakshaya. 
  • Sushruta: Vidarigandhadi Gana

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Svayamagupta

Charaka Shusruta Vagbhata (Ashtang Hridya)
C. S. Chi. 1. 1/ 56S. S. Chi. 26/ 33, 34A. H. Chi. 3/ 38, 95, 103, 127, 133
C. S. Chi. 2. 3/ 15S. S. Chi. 37/ 24A. H. Ka. 4/ 60
C. S. Chi. 9/ 49S. S. U. 17/ 7A. H. U. 18/ 56
C. S. Chi. 11/ 44S. S. U. 49/ 29A. H. U. 40/ 17, 22, 31
C. S. Chi. 18/ 39S. S. U. 58/ 53
C. S. Chi. 26/ 86
C. S. Si. 4/ 9

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Kakandola

It is an edible and cultivated variety of Atmagupta. A comparative study of Kakandola, Kakandaki, and Kakandaphala lead one to believe that all these refer to one plant. The repeated mention of Kakanda as an antidote to poison and the similarity in the name with Kakandola may also suggest that it is something allied to Atmagupta or Kakandola. Canavalia ensiformis (Linn.) DC. and C. virosa (Roxb.) W. & A., having somewhat poisonous properties may also be considered as a possible source or a substitute for Kakanda. Lastly, the view that by Kakanda the egg of Kaka (crow) may also have been intended.

Charaka Samhita: C. S. Su. 27/ 33

Vagbhata: A. H. Su. 6/ 22

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Kakandaki

A comparative study of Kakandola, Kakandaki, and Kakandaphala lead one to believe that all these refer to one plant.

Vagbhata: A. H. U. 24/ 35

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Kakanda, Kakandaka, Kakandphala

A comparative study of Kakandola, Kakandaki, and Kakandaphala lead one to believe that all these refer to one plant. Kakanda Phala of Susruta has been described by Dalhaga as a legume called Sukara Simbi resembling Atma- Gupta and similar in properties to Masha. Charaka has described the same under the name of Kakandola. The Kakanda of Charaka is a drug used entirely as an antidote to poisoning and is probably itself poisonous. It has been identified variously with Kakatinduka and Mahanimba etc. Kakatinduka is Diospyros montana Roxb. known as Visatendu or Nux vomica also known as Kakapilu, Vayasapilu, Kupilu.

Charaka Samhita: C. S. Chi. 3/ 266, C. S. Chi. 23/ 49, 51, 52, 216

Sushruta Samhita: S. S. Su. 46/ 36

Vagbhata: A. H. Chi. 5/ 20

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Languli

Sushruta Samhita: S. S. Su. 19/ 29

Kapikacchu’s description in Brihtrayi as Makati

  • Charaka Samhita: C. S. Chi. 9/ 52
  • Sushruta Samhita: S. S. U. 29/ 7, S. S. U. 33/ 7
  • Vagbhata: A. H. U. 6/ 34

Historical background of Kapikacchu

It is quoted with the name Adhyanda by Charaka (C. S. Ci. 3/ 266) while Sushruta mentioned the synonyms Kusimbivalli (S. S. Su. 46/ 46) and Languli (S. S. Su. 19/ 29). Similarly, Vagbhata introduced another name Kandukari (A. H. Su. 15/ 9). Even the name Kapikacchu is not used widely during the Samhita period. Susruta did not use this synonym at all. Brhattrayi has described this plant mainly with the names like Atmagupta and Svayamgupta. All three texts have mentioned the synonym Markati once each (C. S. Ci. 9/ 52, S. S. Ut. 29/ 7 & (also 33/ 7), A. H. U. 6/ 34).

Though we come across the mention of an herb by the name ‘Kacchura’ under the Purisha Virajaniya group of Charaka (C. S. Su. 4). Its identity with Kapikacchu is doubtful. Thakurji considers it may be even Duralabha. It is mainly known for its Balya, Vrishya, and Vatahara properties, and the seed powder is now used widely in the management of Parkinsonism.

Controversial Studies of Kapikacchu

Bapalalji reported that by mistake the term Langali or Languli is identified with M. Pruriens. Langali without any controversy identified as Gloriosa superba and there is no second opinion over this issue. Languli (S. S. Su. 19/ 29) may be the synonym of Kapikacchu according to Thakur Balvanth Singh. However, the name Langula (C. S. Su. 277) indicates a variety of rice (Shali Dhanya).

External morphology of Kapikacchu (Mucuna pruriens)

  • Habit- An annual twiner
  • Branches- Slender, Mare or less hairy at first, at length glabrescent.
  • Leaves- Leaves of Kapikacchu are trifoliate, compound, the petiole is 6-11 cm long, and stipules are lanceolate, 5 mm long. Leaflets are membranous, 7.5 to 12.5 cm long, and 5 to 7.5 car wide, terminal leaflet is slightly smaller, all leaflets are subacute, mucronate, pubescent above, densely clothed with silvery gray hairs beneath.
  • Inflorescence- 6-30 flowered raceme, 15-30 cm long.
  • Flowers- Solitary or 2-3 together along a slender silky rachis. Pedicels are 3 to 6 mm long hairy, bracts 1.2 cm long and lanceolate, calyx 1 cm long, silky and with a few irritant bristles outside, tube is campanulate. Petals are 2.5 to 4 cm long and purple-colored. The keel is slightly incurved Papilionaceous petals.
  • Fruit- Pod, 5 to 7.5 cm long and 1 cm wide turgid, with a longitudinal rib running the length of each valve, fascinately curved on both ends, somewhat like the letter ‘S’, densely clothed with persistent irritant bristles which are first pale brown, afterward steel gray. Have 5-6 seeds.
  • Seeds- Small brownish black, hilum is not half the length of the circumference of the seed.

Flowering and fruiting time

Colder months to hot months January-April. Climber grows during the rainy season and flowers in September- November, and fruiting afterward, in January-April.

Distribution of Kapikacchu

The plant is occurring throughout tropical regions in India. It is found throughout the country from the Himalayas to Ceylon and Burma plain regions in the wild state. The plant is also cultivated.

Varieties of Kapikacchu

Though there are no varieties mentioned in the classical literature Zandu pharmaceuticals have developed several varieties (chemotypes) for their research on Kapikacchu in parkinsonism. Another species M. monosperma D.C. is. also widely used.

The useful part of Kapikacchu

Seeds, roots, pod- hairs. 

Seeds are kidney-shaped, up to 1.5 cm long, and 0.5 to 1 cm broad. The seed coat is hard, glossy with brown color, and mottled with black. The hilum is conspicuous with funicular growth. The embryo consists of two hard dusky brown cotyledons. It has not got any odor. Seeds are matured, blackish white or black (mottled with black) abruptly hooked at the tip and smooth which are obtained from ripe or matured pods. The collection of pods for procurement of seeds is a tedious job that requires careful precaution consequent to the intense irritating nature of pods. The certain traditional method of plucking the pods from hanging (rather in the drying stage) on trees and shrubs and further eliminating seeds from pod-covers is followed by the plant drug collectors (handling them with trained skill and practice) to avoid contact of skin with the pod. Pods are covered with dense-pale brown bristles, clothed with very pungently irritating sub-persistent pale-brown or gray bristles hairs.

Hairy bristles 1 mm. or (up to) 2.5 mm. long, pointy, sharply, 60-100 mm. diameter.

Important phytoconstituent of Kapikacchu

Seeds contain a humidity of 9.1 %, protein of 25.03 %, and minerals of 6.95 %. The seed also contains 0.16, phosphorus 0.47, iron 0.02 percent, Sulphur, and manganese. Seeds yield Dopa (1.5%), glutathione, lecithin, gallic acid, a glucoside, several alkaloids (total 0.53%), nicotine, prurience, prurianidine, and other substances. Seeds Kernel yields a viscid white oil.

Serotonin is present in the trichomes of pods.

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Recent research on Mucuna pruriens

  • A comparative study on the production of 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) was carried out in cell cultures of two Mucuna species by elicitor treatment and precursor feeding. The efficacy of L-DOPA production was found to be higher for suspension cultures of M. Pruriens compared to M. pruriens in all treatments. Raghavendra S, Kumar V, Ramesh CK, Khan MH. Enhanced production of L-DOPA in cell cultures of Mucuna pruriens L. and Mucuna pruriens H. Nat Prod Res. 2012; 26 (9): 792- 801. doi: 10. 1080/ 14786419. 2011. 553721. Epub 2011 Oct 14.
  • To explore the antidiabetic properties of Mucuna pruriens (M. purines). The study supports the traditional use of M. pruriens for the treatment of an anti-diabetic drug. Majekodunmi SO, Oyagbemi A A, Umukoro S, Odeku OA. Evaluation of the antidiabetic properties of Mucuna pruriens seed extract. Asian Pac J. Trop Med. 2011 Aug; 4 (8): 632- 6. doi: 10. 1016/ S 1995- 7645 (11) 601611- 2.
  • Verma, Dr. Subash. (2014). A review on phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of parts of Mucuna pruriens used as Ayurvedic medicine. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 3. 138-158. Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. belongs to the family Fabaceae and is commonly known as Velvet bean, Cowitch, Cowhage in English and Kawaanch, Kavach in Hindi. It is mainly distributed in Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands, and the United States. M. pruriens has been of keen interest in phytochemical and Ayurvedic research due to its excellent medicinal value. Traditionally it is used in treating diseases such as arthritis, anxiety, cancer, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, dysmenorrhea, delirium, gonorrhea, gout, impotency, and sexual debility, muscular pain, parasitic infections, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatic disorders as an analgesic and antipyretic, to induce vomiting, to treat snakebite and scorpion stings, sterility, tuberculosis, etc. The plant exhibits a wide array of phytoconstituents like alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic compounds which are responsible for varied potent physiological and pharmacological activities. 
  • Ahmed, Salman & Qureshi, Burhan & Hasan, Mohtasheem & Ahmed, Syed & Azhar, Iqbal. (2011). Toxicity assessment of Mucuna pruriens Linn seeds. International Research Journal of Pharmacy. 2. 133- 135. Plants have been used as medicine for the treatment of diseases for thousands of years. These herbal remedies, although natural, can cause some serious damaging effects on the vital organs of the body due to inadequacy in standardization and safety regulations. Mucuna pruriens Linn. belongs to the family Fabaceae and is used traditionally in various ailments. The present study reports the acute systemic toxicity and topical toxicity of methanolic extract of Mucuna pruriens (seeds) on albino mice and rabbits respectively. The test solution was injected intravenously into the tail as 1 ml/ 20 gm of the mice’s body weight. The observation was made immediately and after 1/2, 1, 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours of drug administration. Mice showed normal activity till 72 hours. The intracutaneous test is designed to evaluate local responses to the extracts of materials under test following intracutaneous injection into rabbits. The toxicological investigations of Mucuna pruriens with particular reference to intracutaneous toxicity in experimental animals displayed that it showed slight edema.
  • To assess the anti cataleptic and antiepileptic activity of leaves of Mucuna pruriens in albino rats. M. Pruriens extract has the potential to be an anticataleptic and antiepileptic drug. Dopamine and 5-HT may have a role in such activity. Champatisingh D, Sahu PK, Pal A, Nanda GS. Anti Cataleptic and antiepileptic activity of ethanolic extract of leaves of Mucuna pruriens A study on the role of the dopaminergic system in epilepsy in albino rats. Indian J. Pharmacology 2011 Apr; 43 (2): 197- 9. doi: 10. 4103/ 02537613. 77368.
  • The objective of the present study was to analyze the efficacy of M. pruriens on male sexual behavior and sperm parameters in long-term hyperglycemic male rats. The present work reveals the potential efficacy of ethanolic seed extract of M. pruriens to improve male sexual behavior with androgenic and anti-diabetic effects on the STZ- induced diabetic male rats. Suresh S, Prakash S. Effect of Mucuna pruriens (L inn). on sexual behavior and sperm parameters in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rat. J. Sex Med. 2012 Dec; 9 (12): 3066- 78. doi: 10. 1111/. 1743- 6109. 2010. 01831x. Epub 2010 Apr 26.
  • The present investigation was undertaken to assess the role of Mucuna pruriens in infertile men who were under psychological stress. Based on the results of the present study, it may be concluded that M. pruriens not only reactivates the antioxidant defense system of infertile men but also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality. Shukla KK, Mahdi, AA, Ahmad MK, Jaiswar SP, Shankwar SN, Tiwari SC. Mucuna pruriens reduces stress and improves the quality of Semen in infertile Men. Evid Based Complement Alternative Med. 2010 Mar; 7 (1): 134- 44. doi: 10. 1093/exam/ nem 171. Epub 2007 Dec 18.
  • Total alkaloids of seeds showed weak neuro-muscular blocking effects on frog rectus abdominis (Bhattacharya & Sanyal, 1969).
  • Indolic bases derived from M. pruriens showed antispasmodic action on smooth muscle preparations against spasms induced by acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
  • Neuromuscular blocking activity of the d-tubocurarine type was observed by 5- methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine, and an unidentified 5-oxy-indole-3-alkylamine, whereas the unidentified – carboline only potentiated the acetylcholine response on frog rectus abdominis (Ghosal et al., 1970, 1971).
  • Bufotenine showed both in vitro and in vivo anticholinesterase activity similar to but 20-30 times weaker than that of physostigmine (Bhattacharya & Sanyal, 1971).
  • The total indole alkylamines produced marked behavioral changes including excitation, tremors, piloerection, etc. (Bhattacharya et al., 1971a).
  • The powdered seed extract showed hypotensive activity in dogs and spasmodic action in guinea pig preparation (Ramaswamy et al., 1979).
  • The seed extract showed a potent antiparkinsonian effect which was not, however, entirely due to L-dopa. The L-dopa-free fraction of the seed showed significant antiparkinsonian activity at a dose of 200 mg/ kg i. p. (Nath et al., 1981).
  • M. pruriens seed diet produced a hypoglycemic effect in normal rats (Pant et al., 1968).
  • The seed diet showed a hypocholesterolemia effect in rats (Pant et al., 1968).
  • The protein isolated from the seeds in the diet led to a reduction in the cholesterol content of the liver and blood in rats (Singh et al., 1968).
  • In 15 psychiatric patients, M. pruriens (15g of crude seed powder) was found to significantly inhibit the prolactin response to chlorpromazine injection, as effectively as 0.5g of L-dopa (Vaidya et al., 1978a).

Rasa Panchaka of Kapikacchu

Rasa (Taste)Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (Virtue)Guru (heavy), Snigdha (oily)
Virya (potency)Ushana (hot potency)
Vipaka (post-digestion)Madhura (sweet)

Dosha Karma of Kapikacchu

Tridosha Shamaka.

Vata Shamaka because of Ushana Virya, Madhura Rasa, and Madhura Vipaka. Pitta Hara due to Madhura Rasa and Madhura Vipaka. Kapha Hara because of Ushana Virya.

Karma (Actions) of Kapikacchu

Vrishya, Brihana, Vrna Nashaka, Balya, Nadi Balya, Yoni Sankochaka, Vrana Vishodhana, Garbha Dharaka, Krimighana, Mutrala, etc.

Dadhi Pushpi Kapikacchu Vishesha is famous for its Ranjana Karma.

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Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic indication) of Kapikacchu

Dourbalya, Dusta Vrna, Klaibya, Krishta, Shukra Kshaya, Kama Shaitya, Vrikka Roga, Atisara, Rakta Pitta, Dusta Vrana.

Aamyik Paryog (Therapeutic uses) of Kapikacchu

Vajikarana (As aphrodisiac): Wheat flour is mixed with (the powder of) Kapikacchu seeds and cooked with milk. Then it is mixed with ghee and eaten followed by an intake of milk. (Sushruta Samhita Chikitsa Sthana. 26/ 30)

One who takes Kapikacchu and Iksuraka mixed with sugar along with milk- warm milk does not suffer from deficiency of semen. (Sushruta Samhita Chikitsa Sthana. 26/ 33)

Vanari Vatika (Bhava Parkasha Chikitsa. 72/ 71- 75)

Krimi Roga (Worms): The hairs on the fruit of Kapikachhu are put within the pulp of jaggery and swallowed twice or thrice after anointing the lips and mouth with ghee. It is useful in worms, gastroenteritis, and hematemesis. (Siddha Bhaishjya Mannimala. 4/ 280)

Vata Vyadhi (Vataja disorder): By taking decoction of (the seeds of) kapikacchu for a month one regains strength in arms. (Chakra Dutta. 22/ 27)

Benefits of Kapikacchu

  • The decoction of seeds of kapikacchu (seeds of Mucuna pruriens Hook.) is prescribed to use orally for a month for regaining strength in arms (Vatavyadhi, Cakradatta, 22- 27), Masabaladi kvatha is also indicated in these group of disorder. Being an excellent aphrodisiac drug, kapikacchu is frequently used in different forms as a single drug as well as a major ingredient of compounds. 
  • Vanari Vatika is an important classical formulation esteemed as an aphrodisiac (Vajikarana rativardhana yoga mentioned in Bhavaprakasa, Cikitsa. 72/ 71- 75 with the method of preparation and administration). 
  • The powder of kapikacchu and Iksuraka (Astercantha longifolia Nees.) mixed with sugar, is taken along with milch-warm milk (dharosna dugdha) by a person suffering from deficiency of semen (sukravardhana yoga) as prescribed in the medical text (Susruta Samhita, Chikitsa, 26- 30). 
  • The wheat flour (godhuma curna) is mixed with powder of Kapikacchu seeds and cooked with milk which is also mixed with ghee (practically fried). This preparation is eaten followed by intake of milk, for good effects as aphrodisiac medicine.
  • The hairs or irritating bristles on the pod or fruit (simbi roma) are put within the pulps and mouth with ghee. This recipe is useful in worms, gastroenteritis, and hematemesis (Siddha Bhaisajya Manimala, 4-280). 
  • Precaution is desirable while collecting and using pods hairs which are good anthelmintic (Krmighna). The root of the plant drug is useful as Yoni Sankocaka (vaginal contractive medicine).
  • Yoni Sankirna yoga as a single drug application is given (by Bhavaprakasa) which recommends external use of a decoction of the root of the drug.
  • For treatment of Vatavyadhi, Masabaladi kwatha containing Kapikacchu is prescribed. 
  • The paste of kapikacchu root is taken in diarrhea (pakvatisara). 
  • Dietary articles processed with the root of Kapikacchu are also suggested to the patient of diarrhea. 
  • Seeds of the drug are useful in Raktapitta. Atmagupta bija tailam is mentioned with medicinal utility in the text of materia medica.
  • In the case of Unmada (insanity), Vanari or kapikacchu is suggested to be used externally as a rubbing measure (gharsanam). 
  • Svayamguptadi churnam (Cakradatta, 33/ 17-18) is prescribed for dysuria. 
  • The root of kapikacchu is recommended for use to conceive a male child (Bhavaprakasa, 70- 31). 
  • Traditional use of the root of kapikacchu as an effective aphrodisiac is practiced in tribal medicine. A piece of root is kept in the mouth during coitus by the male partner enjoying delayed ejaculation.

Benefits of Kapikacchu on different systems of bodies

  • Nervous system: The roots and seeds are tonics for the neurons. The Mula (root) is useful in Ardita (facial palsy). The seed – powder is useful for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Digestive system: The trichomes on the legumes are anthelmintic for roundworms. Trichomes 0.25 – 0.5 gm. are given mixed with butter, jaggery, or honey. The next day a laxative is given. The roundworms are killed and expelled.
  • Reproductive system: The seeds are very useful in oligospermia and impotence. A pessary soaked in the root extract relieves vaginal laxity. The roots are also used to expedite labor. The oil from seeds is useful in leucorrhea.
  • Urinary System: The root has diuretic properties. It is used in oliguria and renal dysfunction.
  • Satmikaran: It promotes muscle mass and body weight, Shukra Vardhak- improves the quality of semen. Hence it is very useful in Napunsakta (impotency) and Alpa Shukra (oligospermia). The seeds have a high nutritional properties.

Matra (Therapeutic administration and dosage) of Kapikacchu

  • Churna (powder)- 3- 6 grams
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Classical reference of Kapikacchu

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga- 129- 130


कपिकच्छरात्मगुप्ता वृष्या प्रोक्ता च मर्कटी ।

अजडा कण्डुरा व्यंगा दुःस्पर्शा प्रावृष्यायणी ।।

लांगली शूकशिम्बी च सैव प्रोक्ता महर्षिभि: ।

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga- 130- 131

Properties and actions

कपिकच्चू भृंश वृष्या मधुरा बृंहणी गुरु: ।

तिक्ता वातहरी बल्या कफपित्तास्रनाशिनी ।।

त्तद्वीज॑ वातशमनं स्मृत॑ वाजीकरं परम्‌ ।

Dhanwantri Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga- 248

Properties and actions

कपिकच्छू: रसे स्वादुस्तिक्ता शीता अनिलापहा ।

वृष्य पित्तास्रहत्नी च दुष्ट व्रणविनाशिनी।। 

Dhanwantri Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga- 150

दधिपुष्पी (कपिकच्छूविशेष)

कफपित्तहरा गुर्वी रजनी वातनाशिनी ।

उष्णवीर्या स्वादुरसा काकाण्डी माषवद्ध वेत।  

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 608- 609

कफिकच्छू: स्वादुतिक्ता वातपित्तकफास्रजित। 

शीतल बृंहणं वृष्य॑ माषतुल्य॑ तयो: फलम ।।

कफिकच्छूफलं वृष्य॑ शीतं स्वादुरसं गुरु ।

रक्तपित्तानिलहरं दुष्ट व्रण विशोधनम्‌ ।।

Shodhala Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga, 53

कपिकच्छू: स्वादुरसा वृष्या वातक्षयापहा ।

शीतपित्तास्रहन्त्री च विकृता व्रण नाशिनी ।।

Priya Nighantu, Pipplyadi Varga, 49- 50

कपिकच्छू भृंश वृष्या मधुरा बृहणी गुरु: ।

तिक्ता वातहरी बल्या तद्बीजं हिप्रयुज्यते ।।

चूर्णरूपेण बहुधा पाकरूपेण चाथवा ।।

मर्कटकच्छुबीजं भुक्त॑ कच्छूं करोति कामस्य ।

या न प्रशाम्यति यावद्‌ भुड्कते न शत हि नारीणाम।। 

Bhava Parkasha

योनि: संकीर्णता करणे

कपि कच्छू भवं मूलं क्वाथ्ये द्विविधना भिषक।

योनि: संकीर्णता याति क्वाथं अनेन धारयेत। 

Chakra Dutta, 22- 24

वात व्याधौ

माषबलादि क्वाथे।  

तथा आत्मगुप्तास्वरसं पिबेद्वा।।

Chakra Dutta, Vata Vyadhi chikitsa, 22- 27

मासाद भवेद वज्र समान बाहु: । 

Sushruta Samhita Chikitsa Sthana, 26- 30


क्षीर॑ पक्कास्तु गोधूमानात्मगुप्ताफलै: सह।

शीतान्‌ कृतयुगान्‌ खादेत्तत: पश्चात्पिबेत्यय:।। 

Bhava Parkasha, Yoni Roga Adhika, 70- 31

पुत्रजन्मार्थम्‌ (गर्भधारणार्थम्‌ ) 

शूकरशिम्बी मूलं मध्यं वा दधिफलस्य सपयस्कम। 

पीत्वा अथ्थो भव लिंगी बीज॑ कन्यां न सूते स्त्री।। 

Sushruta Samhita Uttara Tantra, 40- 74


कच्छुरा मूल  कलकं   ह्यादुम्बरफलोपमम्‌ ।

……..पक्कातिसार॑योगो अयं जयेत्पीत: सशोणितम्‌।। 

Sushruta Samhita Uttara Tantra, 40- 110

भोजने च हित॑ कच्छूरामूलसाधितम्‌।

Ashtanga Hridya Chikitsa Sthana. 2

शूकशिम्बिभवं धान्य॑ रक्ते शाक॑ च शस्यते।

Charaka Samhita Sutra Sthana, 27- 32

काकाण्डोला आत्म गुप्तानां माष वत फलं आदिशेत।  

Dhanwantri Nighantu

आत्म गुप्त बीज तैलं 

गुरु उष्ण स्निग्ध मधुरं कषायमात्म गुप्तजम्‌। 

Bhava Parkasha Unmada Adhikara, 22- 39

उन्मादे वानरीघर्षणम्‌

कपिकच्छ्वा अथ वा तपते लोह तैल जलै: स्पृशेत्‌ ।

Bhava Parkasha Vajikarana Adhikara, 72/ 71- 75

रतिवर्द्धनार्थ वानरी वाटिका  

न बीजानि तु कपिकच्छवा: कुडवमितानि च स्वेदयेच्छनकै: ।

प्रस्थे गोभवदुग्धे तावद्‌ यावद भवेद गाढम्‌।। 

त्व ग्रहितानि च कृत्वा सूक्ष्मसम्पेषयेत्तानि।

पिष्टिकया लघुवाटिका: कृत्वा गव्ये पचेदाज्ये।। 

द्विगुणितशर्करया ता वटिका: सम्पक्का लेप्या: ।

वटिका माक्षिकमध्ये मज्जनयोग्ये अखिला याप्या: ।। 

Chakra Dutta, Mutraghata Chikitsa, 33/ 17- 18

मूत्राघातचिकित्सायां स्वगुप्तादिचूर्णम्‌

Chakra Dutta Vrishya Adhikara, 66- 6, Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa, 26- 33

वाजीकरणार्थ स्वयं गुप्तादि चूर्णम्‌

स्वय गुप्तेक्षुरकयोर्बीजचूर्ण (फलचूर्ण) सशर्करम्‌।

धारोष्णेन नर: पीत्वा पयसा न क्षय॑ ब्रजेत।।

Siddha Bhaishjya Manni Mala, 4/ 280


गर्भे गुडस्य पिहितानि तनुत्र शिम्ब्यो रोमाणि वक्त्रमभितो हविषा विलिप्य।

द्विखिर्गिलेतक्रिमिजरुक्षु विसूचिकायामुद्रिक्तरक्तचमथावपि शर्मकाम: ।।

Specific Formulation of Kapikacchu

  • Vanari Gutika for Dhwaja Bhanga
  • Gokshuradi Modaka for Vajikarnartha
  • Brihat Shatavari Modaka for Dourbalya and Alpa Retas
  • Arjakadi Vati for Vrishya, Virya Stambnartha

Contraindication and side effects of Kapikacchu

  • The active ingredient of Kapikacchu is L- Dopa, which may lower blood pressure and result in dizziness, fainting, etc. Kapikacchu may result in an irregular heartbeat. So patients with cardiovascular diseases should take it under medical supervision in low amounts.
  • People should take caution about the hairs of the pod of Kapikacchu, as it may result in itching, swelling, burning sensation, etc.
  • Kapikacchu may result in great fluctuation in Blood sugar levels. So patients suffering from diabetes and even people with normal sugar should take it under medical supervision.
  • High L- Dopa worsens liver diseases. So, people suffering from hepatic disorder should take Kapikacchu with caution. 
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers avoid Kapikacchu.  

Suggestive reading regarding Mucuna pruriens

  • Chinnasamy, Kavitha & Thangamani, C. (2014). Amazing bean Mucuna pruriens A comprehensive review. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 8. 138- 143. 10. 5897/ JMPR2013. 5036.
  • Ahmed, Salman & Qureshi, Burhan & Hasan, Mohtasheem & Ahmed, Syed & Azhar, Iqbal. (2011). Toxicity assessment of Mucuna pruriens Linn seeds. International Research Journal of Pharmacy. 2. 133- 135.
  • Natarajan, K. & Narayanan, N. & Natesan, Ravichandran. (2012). Review on “Mucuna” – The wonder plant. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research. 17. 86- 93.
  • Divya, Bj & Bukke, Suman & Venkataswamy, M. & K, Thyagaraju. (2017). THE TRADITIONAL USES AND PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF MUCUNA PRURIENS (L)DC: A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW. Indo-American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.
  • YADAV, MUKESH & Upadhyay, Prabhat & Purohit, Priyanka & Pandey, Bina & Shah, Harish. (2017). Phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of Mucuna pruriens A review. International Journal of Green Pharmacy. 11. 69- 73. 10. 22377/jpg. v11i02.916.
  • PLOS ONE Editors. Expression of Concern: Mucuna pruriens (Velvet bean) Rescues Motor, Olfactory, Mitochondrial and Synaptic Impairment in PINK1B9 Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Model of Parkinson’s Disease. PLoS One. 2020 Apr 1; 15 (4): e0231371. doi: 10. 1371/ journal. pone. 0231371. PMID: 32236149; PMCID: PMC7112219.
  • Johnson SL, Park HY, DaSilva NA, Vattem DA, Ma H, Seeram NP. Levodopa-Reduced Mucuna pruriens Seed Extract Shows Neuroprotective Effects against Parkinson’s Disease in Murine Microglia and Human Neuroblastoma Cells, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila melanogaster. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 22; 10 (9): 1139. doi: 10. 3390/ nu10091139. PMID: 30131460; PMCID: PMC 6164394.
  • Raina AP, Khatri R. Quantitative Determination of L-DOPA in Seeds of Mucuna Pruriens Germplasm by High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jul; 73 (4): 459- 62. doi: 10. 4103/ 0250- 474X. 95651. PMID: 22707835; PMCID: PMC 3374567.
  • Rai SN, Chaturvedi VK, Singh P, Singh BK, Singh MP. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s and some other diseases: recent advancement and future prospective. 3 Biotech. 2020 Dec; 10 (12): 522. doi: 10. 1007/ s13205- 020- 02532-7. Epub 2020 Nov 10. PMID: 33194526; PMCID: PMC 7655893.
  • Rana DG, Galani VJ. The dopamine-mediated antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression. Ayu. 2014 Jan; 35(1): 90- 7. doi: 10. 4103/ 0974- 8520. 141949. PMID: 25364207; PMCID: PMC 4213977.
  • Rai SN, Birla H, Singh SS, Zahra W, Patil RR, Jadhav JP, Gedda MR, Singh SP. Mucuna pruriens Protects against MPTP Intoxicated Neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s Disease through NF-κB/Akt Signaling Pathways. Front Aging Neurosci. 2017 Dec 19; 9: 421. doi: 10. 3389/ fnagi. 2017. 00421. PMID: 29311905; PMCID: PMC 5742110.
  • Konishi F, Furusho T, Soeda Y, Yamauchi J, Kobayashi S, Ito M, Araki T, Kogure S, Takashima A, Takekoshi S. Administration of mucuna beans (Mucuna pruriences (L.) DC. var. utilize) improves cognition and neuropathology of 3 × Tg-AD mice. Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 19; 12 (1): 996. doi: 10. 1038/ s41598- 022- 04777- z. PMID: 35046433; PMCID: PMC 8770455.
  • Poddighe S, De Rose F, Marotta R, Ruffilli R, Fanti M, Secci PP, Mostallino MC, Setzu MD, Zuncheddu MA, Collu I, Solla P, Marrosu F, Kasture S, Acquas E, Liscia A. Mucuna pruriens (Velvet bean) rescues motor, olfactory, mitochondrial and synaptic impairment in PINK1B9 Drosophila melanogaster genetic model of Parkinson’s disease. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 23; 9(10): e110802. doi: 10. 1371/ journal. pone. 0110802. PMID: 25340511; PMCID: PMC 4207759.
  • Lampariello, Lucia & Cortelazzo, Alessio & Guerranti, Roberto & Sticozzi, Claudia & Valacchi, Giuseppe. (2012). The Magic Velvet Bean of Mucuna pruriens. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. 2. 331- 339. 10. 1016/ S2225-4110 (16) 30119- 5.
  • Cilia R, Laguna J, Cassani E, Cereda E, Pozzi NG, Isaias IU, Contin M, Barichella M, Pezzoli G. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson disease: A double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1; 89 (5): 432- 438. doi: 10. 1212/ WNL. 0000000000004175. Epub 2017 Jul 5. PMID: 28679598; PMCID: PMC 5539737.
  • Lieu CA, Kunselman AR, Manyam BV, Venkiteswaran K, Subramanian T. A water extract of Mucuna pruriens provides long-term amelioration of parkinsonism with reduced risk for dyskinesias. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2010 Aug; 16 (7): 458- 65. doi: 10.1016/ j. parkreldis. 2010. 04. 015. Epub 2010 May 31. PMID: 20570206; PMCID: PMC 2909380.
  • Tavares RL, Vasconcelos MHA, Dutra MLDV, D’Oliveira AB, Lima MDS, Salvadori MGDSS, Pereira RA, Alves AF, Nascimento YMD, Tavares JF, Guzman-Quevedo O, Aquino JS. Mucuna pruriens Administration Minimizes Neuroinflammation and Shows Anxiolytic, Antidepressant and Slimming Effects in Obese Rats. Molecules. 2020 Nov 26; 25 (23): 5559. doi: 10. 3390/ molecules 25235559. PMID: 33256223; PMCID: PMC 7730813.
  • Singh AP, Sarkar S, Tripathi M, Rajender S. Mucuna pruriens and its major constituent L-DOPA recover the spermatogenic loss by combating ROS, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and apoptosis. PLoS One. 2013; 8 (1): e54655. doi: 10. 1371/ journal. pone. 0054655. Epub 2013 Jan 22. PMID: 23349947; PMCID: PMC 3551850.
  • Kamkaen N, Chittasupho C, Vorarat S, Tadtong S, Phrompittayarat W, Okonogi S, Kwankhao P. Mucuna pruriens Seed Aqueous Extract Improved Neuroprotective and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Effects Compared with Synthetic L-Dopa. Molecules. 2022 May 13; 27 (10): 3131. doi: 10. 3390/ molecules 27103131. PMID: 35630617; PMCID: PMC 9145663.
  • Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Dec; 75 (12): 1672- 7. doi: 10. 1136/ jnnp. 2003. 028761. PMID: 15548480; PMCID: PMC 1738871.
  • Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ. Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson’s disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Dec; 75 (12): 1672- 7. doi: 10. 1136/ jnnp. 2003. 028761. PMID: 15548480; PMCID: PMC 1738871.
  • Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Jaiswar SP, Shankwar SN, Tiwari SC. Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2010 Mar; 7 (1): 137- 44. doi: 10. 1093/ ecam/ nem171. Epub 2007 Dec 18. PMID: 18955292; PMCID: PMC 2816389.
  • Sinduja, Palati, S. Rajeshkumar, R. Priyadharshini, and S. Divyashri. “Comparative Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Hexane and Aqueous Extract of Mucuna pruriens.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International (2021): 1156- 1166.
  • Pulikkalpura H, Kurup R, Mathew PJ, Baby S. Levodopa in Mucuna pruriens and its degradation. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 9; 5: 11078. doi: 10. 1038/ srep11078. PMID: 26058043; PMCID: PMC 4460905.
  • Boateng, S. K., and R. Tetteh. “The effect of leguminous cover crops on growth and yield of garden eggs.” (2020).
  • Choowong-In P, Sattayasai J, Boonchoong P, Poodendaen C, Wu AT, Tangsrisakda N, Sawatpanich T, Arun S, Uabundit N, Iamsaard S. Protective effects of Thai Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. pruriens seeds on sexual behaviors and essential reproductive markers in chronic unpredictable mild stress mice. J Tradit Complement Med. 2021 Dec 15; 12 (4): 402- 413. doi: 10. 1016/ j. jtcme. 2021. 12. 001. PMID: 35747354; PMCID: PMC 9209868.
  • Fung SY, Tan NH, Sim SM, Aguiyi JC. Effect of Mucuna pruriens Seed Extract Pretreatment on the Responses of Spontaneously Beating Rat Atria and Aortic Ring to Naja sputatrix (Javan Spitting Cobra) Venom. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 486390. Doi: 10. 1155/ 2012/ 486390. Epub 2011 Jul 11. PMID: 21785646; PMCID: PMC 3137961.
  • Pathania R, Chawla P, Khan H, Kaushik R, Khan MA. An assessment of potential nutritive and medicinal properties of Mucuna pruriens a natural food legume. 3 Biotech. 2020 Jun;10 (6): 261. doi: 10.1007/ s13205- 020- 02253- x. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID: 32477848; PMCID: PMC7239958.
  • Soumyanath A, Denne T, Hiller A, Ramachandran S, Shinto L. Analysis of Levodopa Content in Commercial Mucuna pruriens Products Using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence Detection. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Feb; 24 (2):182- 186. doi: 10.1089/ acm. 2017. 0054. Epub 2017 Sep 18. PMID: 28922612; PMCID: PMC 5808387.
  • Puspendra, Kumar, Jha Shivesh, and Naved Tanveer. “Determination of essential and potentially toxic elements by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry and in vitro antioxidant evaluation of shatavaryadi churna: an Ayurvedic formulation.” International Journal of Drug Development and Research 7, no. 1 (2015): 0- 0.
  • Verma, Dr. Subash. (2014). A review on phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of parts of Mucuna pruriens used as Ayurvedic medicine. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 3. 138- 158.
  • K, Thyagaraja. (2017). THE TRADITIONAL USES AND PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF MUCUNA PRURIENS (L)DC: A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW. Indo-American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 7. 7516.
  • Lim, Dr. (2012). Mucuna pruriens. 10. 1007/ 978- 94- 007- 1764- 0- 89.


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  • P.V. Sharma, Priya Nighantu, Pipplyadi Varga, Chaukhamba Krishnadas Academy; Varanasi.
  • Shodhala Nighantu, Guduchyadi Varga
  • Dr. Gyanendra Pandey, Dravyaguna Vigyana, reprint 2012, Chawkhamba Krishnadas Academy
  • K. Niteshwar Dravyaguna Vigyan, reprint 2017.
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Ayurveda is an Indian system of medicine that is popular since ancient times. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA® has been conducting research studies to find out different phytoconstituents of herbs and their action in the body. Such knowledge acquired by our experts is used in the preparation of medicines and providing the treatment facilities safely and effectively. IAFA® is the provider of safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, mainly allergic diseases all based on Ayurveda.

Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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