Home Herbs A to Z Kapikacchu (Mucunapruriens)

Kapikacchu (Mucunapruriens)

Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

Kapikacchu, commonly known as ‘Cowhage’ is an annual hairy pea-like climber (twining herb) on shrubs and trees, found throughout tropical regions in India. The name ‘Kapikacchu’ indicates that the hairs on it’s fruit causes itching to monkeys. The word ‘Mucuna’ is a name in Brazilian language and ‘pruriens’ means that which produce itching. Kapikacchu possess aphrodisiac properties and can pacify all three doshas ie; Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

 

Dr.Gupta’s IAFA conducted various studies in Cowhage to find out the therapeutic actions of the herb. Our experts have successfully proven the Aphrodisiac, Anthelmintic, Nervine tonic, Astringent, Diuretic, Antiallergic, Antidiabetic, Antiepileptic and Antioxidant activities of Kapikacchu. It has been also  found out that the seed extract of Cowhage shows effective antidiabetic activity. Ethanolic extract of leaves of Kapikacchu have antiepileptic and anticataleptic actions. The ethanolic extract of seeds of this plant is found to be effective in enhancing sexual behavior and sperm parameters in males. In infertile men Cowhage seeds reactivates the antioxidant defense system, reduces stress and improves semen quality. 

Action of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriensin Allergies

IAFA experts are putting continuous efforts to prove the antiallergic property of Cowhage. The plant contains phytoconstituents like mucuadine, mucuadinine, mucuadininine, prurienidine, L-dopa, glutarthione, lecithin, gallic acid, amino acids like histidine, lysine, tyrosine and valine.These phytoconstituents contribute to its actions like antiallergic and anthelmintic. It also pacifies Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. It is a widely used medicinal plant and it’s seed powder can be used in allergic reactions.

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical NameMucunapruriens
FamilyPapilionaceae
Native Names
Sanskrit NameKapikacchu,
Guptapala, Svagupta, Atmagupta,
Markati, Kandura, Shukashimbi
Hindi NameKiwach
English NameCowhage 
Malayalam NameNayikuruna
Kannada NameNasugunni
Marathi nameKuhili

Ayurveda reference of Kapikacchu – Mucunapruriens

Morphology of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

  • Annual hairy pea-like climber (twining herb) on shrubs and trees.
  • Branches tomentose when young.
  • Leaflets are long and leaflets grows up to 19 x 16 cm.
  • Pods sigmoid, 5-8 cm long, 5-6 seeded; irritating bristles caduceus.
  • Seeds are matured, blackish white or black.

Geographical distribution of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

Plant is occurring throughout tropical regions in India. It is found throughout country from Himalaya to Ceylon and Burma plain regions in wild state. Plant is also cultivated.

Phytoconstituents of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

The plant contains phytoconstituents like mucuadine, mucuadinine, mucuadininine, prurienidine, L-dopa, glutarthione, lecithin, gallic acid, amino acids like histidine, lysine, tyrosine and valine.

Parts used of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

  • Seeds

Dosage of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

  • Powder(churna)- 3-6 g

Medicinal Properties of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

  • Pramehahara – cures diabetes 
  • Balya – promote body strength 
  • Bramhana – nourishing body
  • Vrnanasaka – useful in wounds
  • Vajikarana – aphrodisiac 
  • Sukrakara – promote semen production 
  • Vrisya – promote sexual potency

Home remedies of Kapikacchu - Mucunapruriens

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine widely used all over India. Kapikacchu is a commonly seen drug in India, and can be used as different home remedies. Some of them are, 

  • In Paralysis of brachial plexus (Apabahuka) – The juice of Kapikacchu seeds are taken in brachial plexus paralysis.
  • As an Aphrodisiac (Vajikarana) – Powder of Kapikacchu is mixed with powder of Wheat and processed with milk. It is then taken with milk.
  • Intheconditionof decreased semen (Sukrakshayam) – Kapikacchu and Asteracanthalongifolia are mixed with sugar and taken with warm milk.
  • In Emaciation (Karsya) – The powder of Kapikacchu is processed with milk and taken.
  • In loss of Strength (Dourbalya) – Kapikacchu seed powder is processed with ghee and taken.
  • In Non healing ulcers (Dustavrna) – Kapikacchu seed powder is mixed with honey and applied over ulcer area.
  • In Impotency (Klaibya) – Seed powder of Kapikacchu is mixed with honey and taken to cure impotency. 

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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