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Mucuna pruriens: A Natural, Effective Male Infertility Treatment and Female Fertility Enhancer
NOTE: Do not take Mucuna pruriens while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Mucuna has been known to cause miscarriages in pregnant women since it stimulates the uterus, and can reduce breastmilk production in lactating women.
Mucuna pruriens has been known for many years as an important plant in traditional medicine. It is a vining plant that produces an edible bean, commonly grown and used as food and medicine in Central America, India, and China. It is a popular remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of disorders.
Mucuna is a unique plant in that it is one of the only plants that naturally contains L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, pleasure, satisfaction, and more. Dopamine receptors are present not only in the brain, but also in the pancreas, kidneys, lungs, and blood vessels.
This bean has the power to treat infertility in both men and women in addition to treating female disorders such as lack of libido, painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), absent periods (amenorrhea), long and/or heavy menstruation (menorrhagia). Below I’ll discuss how Mucuna pruriens can be used to treat infertility in both men and women, as well as some other specific reproductive health problems that it can treat.
Mucuna pruriens is a unique female fertility booster in that when a woman is actively taking Mucuna, the plant acts as a contraceptive, while her fertility only actually increases after she stops taking the Mucuna after having taken it for a period of time. Women who are trying to conceive should note that Mucuna pruriens generally should not be used during pregnancy. In addition, please note that this particular method of fertility enhancement requires a bit of patience and awareness. Women who are breastfeeding should also avoid Mucuna because it can reduce breast milk production in some cases.
Some researchers agree that Mucuna can produce some estrogenic effects in the female body. Estrogen is necessary for the development and growth of egg follicles in the ovaries, and also for encouraging the release of those eggs when the time is right. Adequate levels of estrogen are also associated with vaginal lubrication and the maintenance of the mucus membranes that surround the uterus. Without adequate estrogen levels, a woman might experience symptoms such as menstrual problems (either periods that are too heavy, too light, nonexistent, or irregular, for example), fatigue, low libido, problems sleeping, hot flashes, more severe PMS symptoms, and other issues. Mucuna has traditionally been used to help balance these symptoms of having too little estrogen.
Mucuna pruriens is able to increase follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) on a dose-dependent basis. The L-dopa present in the Mucuna pruriens bean, and the neurotransmitter dopamine that it produces, are responsible for stimulating the hypothalamus and forebrain. This stimulation encourages the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH ultimately is able to stimulate the pituitary gland to release FSH and LH.
Luteinizing hormone increases significantly when a dose of 200mg per kilogram of bodyweight of Mucuna tincture is administered. Follicle stimulating hormone also increases along with luteinizing hormone. As mentioned before with estrogen, these two hormones specifically are necessary in order for a female’s body to develop and release an egg.
Mucuna can also reduce prolactin levels. In women, high prolactin levels are associated with infertility or difficulty conceiving.
These higher estrogen levels that the Mucuna can cause, however, are part of the mechanism by which it acts as a contraceptive. While this action can be balancing for a lot of women, again, women who are trying to conceive have to be aware that while they’re actually taking Mucuna, they will be less likely to be successful. The magic of Mucuna happens when a woman STOPS taking it. Specifically, Mucuna must be taken in accordance with a woman’s menstrual cycle in order to work effectively.
To use Mucuna pruriens to enhance fertility as a female, follow these instructions:
- Take Mucuna pruriens either in capsule or powder form for at least 1 month, starting with the beginning of your period. Take a dosage of 1-5 grams per day during this time. Do not try to conceive during this month.
- At the onset of your next period, stop taking the Mucuna pruriens. For the next month you may try to conceive again. Do not take the Mucuna while you’re trying to conceive.
- If you choose, you can take up to 3 months of treatment with Mucuna before trying to conceive again. This medicine is somewhat cumulative, so some women may need to take it for longer to actually experience its effects.
- Encourage your partner to take Mucuna too at the same time as you, since it will improve his fertility, too (more on this below).
NOTE: Women who have problems with high testosterone levels must consider that Mucuna pruriens can increase testosterone levels while they’re taking the plant. While this is okay for many women (and even sometimes beneficial), women who specifically struggle with higher-than-normal testosterone levels (such as women with PCOS) ought to start with a lower dosage of Mucuna or only take it for one month before assessing their health and hormonal status. Some women may benefit from Mucuna while others may have a symptom flare-up. Though there isn’t an abundance of scientific evidence to support this theory one way or another, I believe that it’s important to point this out so that women can be aware of all of the potential effects that Mucuan may have on their hormones.
Other Sexual Health Benefits of Mucuna for Women
Mucuna pruriens has many, many benefits for health besides its effects on sexual health, but since this article is focusing on sexual and reproductive health in particular, the list below will focus on only the other reproductive and sexual health benefits for women. In India (and other countries), Mucuna may be used in these ways:
- To treat menstrual difficulties and disorders, including
- To manage problems with staying pregnant (and with getting pregnant in the first place)
- Low libido
- To stimulate the uterus
- To increase uterine weight
In men, Mucuna pruriens can help improve sperm quality and reduce psychological stress that may be causing unexplained infertility. In one study, 5 grams of M. pruriens powder was administered orally every day for three months in combination with a cup of skimmed milk. Over the course of these three months, the men in the study described having notably lower psychological stress levels in addition to showing decreased levels of cortisol. The men also showed improved sperm count and motility after taking Mucuna during this time. This study noted that the increased dopamine and testosterone levels that Mucuna pruriens can cause in the brain and body may also play a role in treating male infertility, since these two hormones can encourage increased sexual activity and proper functioning of all parts and actions of the male reproductive system.
Dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, all of which can ultimately be produced from the L-dopa in the Mucuna pruriens bean, play an important role in male fertility and sexual function as well.
In addition to improving male fertility, Mucuna may also have the following effects on male sexual and reproductive health:
- Treats erectile dysfunction
- Increases libido
- Improves erection strength
- Treats premature ejaculation
- Alleviates penile tissue damage caused by diabetes
According to a traditional Ayurvedic remedy, men and/or women should take 3-5 grams of Mucuna pruriens powder in a cup of warm milk (use vegan milk if you so choose, ideally one with a reasonable amount of fat and protein) twice a day before a meal or snack. This remedy has been used to treat premature ejaculation in men, and to increase sexual power, reduce lethargy, and reduce fatigue in both men and women.
 Shukla, Kamla Kant, et. al. (2010). Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves Quality of Semen in Infertile Men. Retrieved February 3, 2022 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816389/
 Nichols, Hannah (2020). Everything you need to know about estrogen. Retrieved April 17, 2022 from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277177#food-sources
 Deka, Manalisha and Kalita, Jogen Chandra (2013). Effect of Mucuna Pruriens Seed Extract on Uterus of Ovariectomized Mice. Retrieved February 3, 2022 from: https://www.worldwidejournals.com/paripex/recent_issues_pdf/2013/August/effect-of-mucuna-pruriens-seed-extract-on-uterus-of-ovariectomized-mice_August_2013_0947110716_8900548.pdf
 Asmidev (n.d). Mucuna pruriens: Your Wonder Herb for Libido, Fertility, and Great Sexual Health! Retrieved April 17, 2022 from: https://asmidev.com/mucuna-pruriens/
 Noah, Ojo Temitope, et. al. (2014). Fertility Enhancing Potential of Mucuna pruriens Seeds in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats. Retrieved April 17, 2022 from: https://pesquisa.bvsalud.org/portal/resource/pt/sea-175244
 N.A. (n.d). Kapikacchu – Mucuna pruriens Benefits, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda. Retrieved April 17, 2022 from: https://www.easyayurveda.com/2012/12/26/kapikacchu-mucuna-pruriens-benefits-dose-side-effects-ayurveda/