Sunday, February 6, 2011

Groovy Mucuna

I just started using a little mucuna in my morning smoothies and I must say it's rather groovy (my word choice of groovy will be explained later!).  Mucuna is an amazing herbal adaptogen that's famous in Ayuvedic medicine for it's wide range of tonifying, strengthening and all around beneficial properties. It is best known as a potent herbal aphrodisiac - bow chica bow wow!  And no, the bow chica bow wow is not the groovy part.

Because mucuna helps maintain optimal levels of key hormones (including youth hormones such as testosterone) a  few of the touted benefits include:

  • increasing libido and fertility
  • increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat
  • reducing signs of aging such as wrinkles
  • increasing bone density
  • boosting overall energy levels
Scientifically, Mucuna pruriens contains 40mg/g of  L-DOPA which is a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine works as one of the best natural high releasers (human growth hormone) by stimulating the pituitary gland to increase it's production. High levels throughout life of the body's own natural growth hormone (not hormones from the synthetic injections) is known as a major key for human longevity.  The L-DOPA content has also made Mucuna a viable herb for those afflicted with Parkinson's when used in higher doses.  In fact, numerous studies have been published in the Journal of Neurology and Neurological Surgery documenting the potential success of Mucuna with Parkinson's patients. Give the L-DOPA content, you can expect:
  • increased quality of sleep
  • feelings of happiness (natural high)
  • central nervous system soothing
So where does groovy fit in?  If you are new to mucuna or using it for the first time bear in mind that less is more. Just like other herbs there is no recommended dose but most people use 15-30 grams a day.  Let's just say at the 30 gram marker I was feeling pretty darn good.  So good that I should have used 15 grams...........