Always consult a doctor before undergoing treatment of any kind. The author of this article is not a doctor so if you decide to undertake the treatment described in this article, do so at your own risk.
Be aware that you may experience a number of relapses as you work with the medicines described below. Take notes on your experiences in a journal because your progress will be observable over time. As you get healthier and stronger, you may want to move on and use additional tools to get past your addiction.
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Mucuna pruriens is a bean that’s also known as Cowhage, Cowitch, Lacuna Bean, Lyon Bean, Velvet Bean, Nescafe, Kapikacchu, Monkey Tamarind, Bengal Velvet Bean, Florida Velvet Bean, Mauritius Velvet Bean, Yokohama Velvet Bean, and Atmagupta. 1 2
Mucuna pruriens is a Latin name for a climbing plant that grows in various parts of the world including India, Central America, Africa, and the Caribbean. It produces legumes or beans in a pod with a velvet coating that secretes serotonin. This velvet coating and the serotonin secretions on the seedpods (especially the young seedpods and foliage) can cause severe irritation and itching of the skin. In fact, the Sanskrit name “Kapikacchu” means “one who starts itching like a monkey”. The name Atmagupta, on the other hand, means “secret self” which alludes to the medicinal function of this herbal remedy for meth addiction. 1 2 6
Mucuna pruriens has been used for over 2,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of disorders including addiction. The seed is the most commonly used part of the plant, but there are traditional uses for the root as well as the trichomes (the itch-inducing hairs on the seed pods). It is possible to find and use M. pruriens as an at-home meth addiction treatment. 1 2
Mucuna Pruriens as a Food Source
There are two different seed varieties: white and black. The beans contains a variety of different dietary proteins and in some parts of the world, they are an important source of food. In India, for example, the mature Mucuna beans are consumed by the Kanikkars, a South Indian hill tribe. They repeatedly boil the beans to remove anti-nutritional factors like phenols and tannins before eating them (if they aren’t boiled first, the beans can cause stomach upset). In the 18th and 19th centuries, Mucuna was grown in the lower hills of the Himalayas and in Mauritius as a food source. The green pods along with the mature beans were boiled first and then eaten. In Mexico and Guatemala, M. pruriens is still roasted and ground for use as a coffee substitute. 1 2 6
There is a lot of confusion online about whether or not it’s safe to consume Mucuna beans regularly without taking time off from it. A lot of this confusion has happened because the Mucuna beans contain L-Dopa, a dopamine precursor. Unfortunately, a synthetic version of L-Dopa, called Levodopa is in wide use and this synthetic version of L-Dopa (which is very different chemically and in terms of its physical effects on the body) is also called LDopa in the medical community. Levodopa (also called LDopa) should not be taken for long periods of time and it can cause a variety of strange behaviors and other issues. Of course, it’s always possible that someone who takes Mucuna (which contains natural L-Dopa) could have an allergic reaction or a strange response to this herbal medicine. But the fact that this bean is eaten in certain cultures on a daily basis and these people don’t “dose” themselves with the bean or take time away from it is a clue to how it can be safely used by meth addicts or even people who are suffering from opioid addiction, cocaine addiction, or perhaps an addiction to Facebook or gambling!
Mucuna pruriens Extracts vs. Use of the Whole Bean
Mucuna pruriens products vary. Of course, because Mucuna is a plant, varieties of the plant contain differing proportions of L-Dopa. Indeed, even different plants that are growing in different locations under different climate and soil conditions will contain different levels of the psychoactive constituents responsible for aiding with symptom relief. But there are a number of products on the market that contain standardized amounts of L-Dopa along with other substances that help to increase serotonin levels in the brain and even a small amount of DMT. For best results doing meth addiction self-treatment, look for a Mucuna product that contains between 15% to 98% L-Dopa. 4
This Mucuna pruriens product is standardized at a minimum of 30% L-Dopa.
Consider trying several brands with different levels of standardized L-Dopa proportions to determine which percentage works best for you. For some people, it’s best to have a lower proportion of L-Dopa in the bean because the other components of the bean that boost serotonin levels may help to balance brain chemistry more effectively than a higher proportion. Take the recommended dose for meth addiction self-treatment, but switch to a brand with a higher standardized L-Dopa percentage if you feel like you need to do that.
This Mucuna pruriens product is standardized at a minimum of 15% L-Dopa.
One of the advantages of taking a whole bean product is that it contains a balance of different elements that can help balance brain chemistry as meth users go through withdrawals. Balance is ESSENTIAL if you’re doing your meth addiction treatment at home. Read this article about other herbal and nutritional supplements that work well with M. pruriens to help with this biochemical balance.
This Mucuna pruriens product is standardized at a minimum of 40% L-Dopa.
In addition to variability from species-to-species and plant-to-plant, Mucuna pruriens preparations also vary depending on whether they are made up of components of the whole plant (e.g. processed beans that have been crushed and put into a pill form) or extracts of Mucuna pruriens. Mucuna pruriens extracts may be taken as oils from the cotyledons which would theoretically contain a balance of the various psychoactive components in the plant as a whole. Extracts of Mucuna pruriens that are taken in this way are able to diminish the volume of medicine that a given patient needs to take in order to alleviate symptoms. For meth addiction self-treatment, the volume of Mucuna can be pretty high in the initial stages (about 5 to 6 months). Some people may be taking 12 to 20 pills per day depending on the dose of the pill and the proportion of L-Dopa in product as a whole. 4
Other extraction methods include the use of volatile organic solvents such as methanol, chloroform, and hexane. Aqueous eutectic solvents can also be used to recover up to 87% L-Dopa at high purity. 4
An n-propanol extract of Mucuna has shown a high neuroprotective response rate in regard to the growth and survival of dopamine neurons in culture, but this type of extract has only a negligible amount of L-Dopa in it. Scientists have speculated that the whole extract of M. Pruriens might be superior to L-Dopa, particularly in regard to meth addiction treatment at home. 6
Mucuna Whole Bean or Whole Plant Supplements
Every part of the Mucuna plant has medicinal properties.
When the whole bean is used as a supplement is must be properly processed (boiled and then crushed) according to a specific protocol. At the end of this process, a whole bean Mucuna supplement contains somewhere between 0.5 to 7% L-Dopa along with other constituents such as:
- Dietary proteins and essential amino acids
- Fatty acids including linoleica cid
- 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5 HTP – a serotonin precursor)
- N, N-dimethyl tryptamine (N-DMT)
- D-chiro-inositol (a plant constituent that can help with PCOS and diabetes)
- Neuroprotective substances. 5 6 7 8
These other constituents act to balance the production of dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in the body. 7
Mucuna Pruriens Medicinal Properties
Mucuna has been used to successfully treat a variety of diseases and disorders including the following:
- Nervous Disorders
- Male Infertility
- Mucuna can enhance female fertility as well, but it can cause miscarriages if taken during pregnancy. Women can take Mucuna up until the menses before they’d like to conceive, but should stop taking Mucuna after that, before attempting to conceive.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Lewy Body Disease
- Certain sexual dysfunctions
- Anti-oxidant (Studies have shown that M. pruriens decreases oxidative stress in the brain.)
- Snake Bite anti-venom (The Mucuna bean is prescribed as an oral prophylactic against snake bites and also as a snake-bite remedy by traditional practitioners in Plateau State, Nigeria. The seeds are swallowed whole and said to protect the patient for up to 1 year against snake bites.)
- Cancer (Mucuna shows anti-neoplastic activity)
- A paste of Mucuna can be put on scorpion stings to draw out the poison.
- Neuroprotective (M. pruriens has demonstrated neuroprotective effects superior to estrogen. Estrogen is a neuroprotective agent commonly used for treating Parkinson’s Disease.)
- Nematicide (anti-parasitic)
Common nematodes that infect humans include roundworms, hookworms, trichuriasis, enterobiasis, strongyloidiasis, filariasis, trichinosis, dirofilariasis, and angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease), flatworms, flukes, and more. 5 6 9
Significantly, Mucuna pruriens diminishes nitric oxide production, it quells inflammation in the brain, increases nueronal and glial cross-talk, and downregulates microglial activation, all of which contribute to a its neuroprotective effects. As such, it is an effective and valuable treatment not only for neurodegenerative diseases, but also mental health issues, and meth addiction. 9
Mucuna pruriens Used with Other Herbs and Supplements
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – The neurotransmitters that are most impacted by meth addiction are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and glutamate. While Mucuna can help balance dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and to some extent serotonin levels, NAC can help rebalance and modulate the glutaminergic system of the brain. The glutaminergic system controls cravings and relapse, so it’s important to include NAC in any meth addiction at home treatment regimen. Read more about NAC for meth addiction self-treatment here.
5 HTP – 5 HTP may have a balancing effect on M. pruriens when they are used together. But while Mucuna pruriens can be used in the initial stages of detox and withdrawal when relapses are possible, 5-HTP can be a dangerous substance to take during meth withdrawals. Read more about how to use 5-HTP with Mucuna here.
Melatonin – It is safe to take melatonin with M. pruriens. Melatonin is neuroprotective and it can help preserve serotonin stores in the brain. One of the biggest problems that meth addicts face is the ability to sleep because meth disrupts circadian rhythms in a manner similar to extreme jet lag. So taking melatonin can help newly abstinent meth users to sleep while also protecting the brain from oxidative damage should the user relapse. Read more about how to use melatonin as part of an at home treatment for meth addiction here.
Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 will aid in the absorption of M. pruriens and other essential amino acids that can help meth addicts to kick the habit. Vitamin B6 works in tandem with M. pruriens.
Magnesium — Magnesium helps the body use M. pruriens properly but high doses of magnesium (think Epsom salts baths, magnesium oils, and a high dose of oral magnesium) will also help reduce the problem of restless and promote sleep (particularly when taken in the evening).
Ayahuasca – Individuals who are taking M. pruriens should abstain for at least 48 hours before taking Ayahuasca. While Ayahuasca is a fabulous meth addiction self-treatment option that can give meth users insight into their addiction patterns along with assistance at quitting once and for all, it is important for meth users to be able to abstain from taking other herbal and over-the-counter medications before taking it. So doing meth addiction treatment at home first may be ideal for the first few months before signing up for an Ayahuasca ceremony. Read more about Ayahuasca and other indigenous herbal medicines that can be taken as a meth addiction self-treatment here.
Other Important Links:
 Wikipedia (2020). Mucuna pruriens. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucuna_pruriens
 Pole, S. (2006). Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice.
 Wikipedia (2020). Dopamine. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine
 Benfica, J., Miranda, J. S., Morais, E. S., Freire, M. G., Coutinho, J. A. P., Cassia Superbi de Sousa, R. (2020) Enhanced Extraction of Levodopa from Mucuna pruriens Seeds Using Aqueous Solutions of Eutectic Solvents. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c00196
 Aleksic, A. (2020). 12 Potential Mucuna Pruriens Benefits + Dosage, Side Effects. Retrieved August 11, 2020 https://selfhacked.com/blog/mucuna-pruriens-top-6-health-benefits-legume/
 Lampariello, L. R., Cortelazzo, A., Guerranti, R., Sticozzi, C., Valacchi, G. (2014). The Magic Velvet Bean of Mucuna pruriens.
 Alrashedy, N. A., Molina, J. (2016). The ethnobotany of psychoactive plant use. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068365/
 Rai, S. N., Birla, H., Singh, S. S:, Zahra, W., Patil, R. R., Jadhav, J. P., Gedda, M. R., Singh, S. P. (2017). Mucuna pruriensProtects against MPTP Intoxicated Neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s Disease through NF-KB/pAKT Signaling Pathways. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5742110/
 Yadav, S. K., Prakash, J., Chouhan, S., Westfall, S., Verman, M., Singh, T. D., Singh, S. P. (2013). Comparison of the neuroprotective potential of Mucuna pruriens seed extract with estrogen in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mice model. Retrieved August 12, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24333323/