An assessment of potential nutritive and medicinal properties of Mucuna pruriens: a natural food legume

3 Biotech. 2020 Jun;10(6):261. doi: 10.1007/s13205-020-02253-x. Epub 2020 May 20.


Mucuna pruriens belongs to the Fabaceae family and is ordinarily known as velvet bean, in English cowitch and Hindi Kawaanch. The restorative quality of this bean makes it an excellent component in pharmaceutical and therapeutic applications. Apart from high protein and starch content, these beans contain (l-Dopa) 3, 4-dihydroxy-l-phenylalanine, which exhibits several medicinal properties. However, it is poisonous when ingested by ruminants. The obstruction to the advancement of Mucuna as nutrition or food is the nearness of antinutrients, which are high as opposed to other uncommon vegetables. Also, this legume is considered as a future restorative herb because of its anticholesterolemic, anti-Parkinson, antioxidant, antidiabetic, sexual enhancing, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antivenom activities. It also exhibits anticancer activities, but very few studies have been done. The seeds of Mucuna pruriens also contain a vast range of phytochemical constituents such as alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, reducing sugars, and tannins, which provide an avenue to explore it for wider applications. This review sheds light on the possible mechanism of action of Mucuna pruriens on some diseases (hypoglycemia, Parkinson's disease, microbial diseases and tumor). and also fills the gap in the studies of Mucuna pruriens. and Further more in vitro and in vivo studies should be done to explore the potential of these seeds against many diseases, its application as a food source, its antinutrient, and harmful properties as well as its nutraceutical perspective.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Mucuna pruriens; Nutraceutical; Parkinson’s ailment; Phytochemicals; l-Dopa.

Publication types

  • Review