Latin: Mucuna pruriens
Parts Used: Seeds
Taste/Energetics: Sweet, bitter, heating
Properties: Adaptogen, anxiolytic, Nervous system tonic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac
Actions: Mucuna has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as an herb to help calm nervousness and manic anxiety as well as improve libido in both men and women and decrease erectile dysfunction in men. Mucuna is thought of as a rasayana, a supreme tonic in Ayurvedic medicine with a specific tonic effect on the nervous and reproductive systems.
In terms of mental health, this is a lovely and underused herb that can be of significant effect for those who are looking for something to strengthen their nervous system and bring a sense of steady calm. In Ayurveda, this herb would be said to “pacify vata”. Vata is a term for the constitution of someone who tends to be wired, excitable, talkative, interactive, light and airy. While calming it also tends to have an antidepressant mood boosting effect as well.
Dosage: 1-2 tsp in powder, capsule or tea form to 2x/day.
Contraindications: Avoid in pregnancy