Mucuna Pruriens Seed

OTHER NAME : Velvet Bean, Cowhage, Cow-itch, Buffalo bean, Kaunch Seed, Konch
BOTANICAL NAME : Mucuna Pruriens
SYNONYMS : Mucuna prurita Wight, Mucuna prurita (L.)Hook, Mucuna axillaris Baker, Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens, Mucuna nivea (Roxb.) DC, Mucuna minima Haines, Dolichos pruriens L.


Globally this species is widely distributed in the tropical regions of Asia. Within India it is founds in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kaunch is a slender extensive climbing plant. Seed are ovoid, slightly laterally compressed, with a persistent oblong, funicular hilum, dark brown with spots; usually 1.2-1.8 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide, hard, smooth to touch, not easily breakable; odour is not distinct and sweetish-bitter taste.

The seeds contain high amounts of L-DOPA that is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It also contains lecithin, a glucoside and a number of alkaloids including nicotine, prurienine, pruriedine, the seed kernel contain fatty oil.

Kaunch seeds are used in night dreams, impotency and promote fertility. Seeds are used as tonic, aphrodisiac and the in treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The decoction of the seeds is used in rheumatic ailments.