Research has shown devil’s bean to be high in calcium, which is a mineral needed for the growth and maintenance of bones, teeth and muscles.
The devil’s bean (Mucuna), commonly known as velvet bean, agbara (Igbo), werepe (Yoruba) is so named because its notorious spiky-stinging hairs on the mature pods readily dislodge, causing severe skin irritation to the skin or eyes. A perennial climber, widespread in nature throughout the tropics and grows up 12 meters in length. The leaves are greenish and trifoliate with leaflets broadly ovate, elliptic and unequal at the base. The flowers are creamy white or yellowish, subtended by grey-hairy bracts. The fruit is a pod-covered with stinging hairs, which make the specie a lot difficult to handle and as a result, termed the farmers enemy.
The devil’s bean is used for fiber, food, medicines and also in clothing and textile as dye. Part used: root, leaves and seeds.
The medicinal importance of this specie derives from many of its active principles, including (physostigmine) among others, which are able to cure human suffering from difficult illnesses. Proximate studies show substantial amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium, copper, potassium, which attribute to its carminative, hypotensive, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, anti tumor, anti oxidants, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and blood boosting properties.
A review of this plant shows that the leaves and seeds are used in the treatment of anaemia, constipation, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, elephantiasis, dropsy, inflammations, infertility, neuropathy, ulcers, fevers and general debility.
Here are some of the known Mucuna benefits:
Balances hormones: This herb popularly used to boost bloods levels has been documented to enhance fertility in women. For high prolactin, take half teaspoon of the powdered seeds and leaves daily with honey or 400mg of the capsule as a daily dose. It will also benefit those having one form of menstrual disorder or another-dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, among others.
For menorrhagia, menstrual pain, the roots are boiled for 45 minutes and taken 2 tumblers 3 x daily. It also normalises unusually shortened menstrual period. The roots are administered during labour.
Promotes healthy iron levels: In the eastern part of this country the leaves are commonly squeezed in water and taken orally to boost blood level. The herb is highly effective for all forms of anemia, relieving many of its symptoms, such as fatigue, pain. Weakness and dizziness, lack of vitality and shortness of breath. If you are anemic, fresh juice from the leaves taken 2 X daily would be greatly revitalising.
Promotes strong bones: Research has shown devil’s bean to be high in calcium, which is a mineral needed for the growth and maintenance of bones, teeth and muscles. Also it’s phosphorus content help control the amount of calcium in the body and urine. It has been shown that calcium needs phosphorous to maximise its bone strengthening benefits. If your bone is weak, taking a lot of calcium supplements without enough phosphorus could be a waste of money. Thankfully, both calcium and phosphorus are found naturally in this wonderful herb. Do not let your bones become brittle, take a cup of Mucuna 2-3 X daily.
Relieves painful hemorrhoids:
Lack of sufficient intake of bulky foods or fluids would respectively keep the material in the intestine unpliable and dry, characteristics leading to constipation/hemorrhoid. Add this chlorophyll-rich vegetable to your diet every day. Mucuna is high in natural fiber, which adds bulk to the intestines and creates well-formed stools that are easier to pass thereby restoring normal bowel function.
High in dietary fiber: Studies suggest that increased fiber consumption may contribute to a reduction in the incidence of certain diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease, colon cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and various digestive disorders. Dietary fibers alter the colonic environment in such a way as to protect against colorectal diseases. It provides protection by increasing fecal bulk, which dilutes the chronic bile acid concentrations that occur with a high fat-diet. To derive the benefit of its high fiber content, the plant parts are dried and ground to powder and consumed a minimum of 2 X daily. Be sure to wash off sand and dirt before drying.
Sperm enhancer: This specie besides its antioxidant properties contains L-Dopa, which is used by the body to make dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood and sexuality· A dosage of 15 grams of ground seeds of Mucuna mixed with tiger nut milk increases libido and serves as aphrodisiac. Fresh water extracts of the leaf is also said to exhibit aphrodisiac properties, helpful for both men and women.
Controls blood pressure: A diet high in sodium and low in potassium increases the risk of death from heart disease. Thankfully, the leaves contain both sodium and potassium inadequate ratios for maintaining normal blood pressure. Even if your blood pressure is elevated, take advantage of the high potassium contain of Mucuna – 1 tumbler of the fresh leaf extract 2-3 X daily.
Clears infections and heals wound: If you suffer from affliction that seems incurable, then make this herb your new best friend!
Though benefits of the various parts Mucuna are highlighted above, I don’t think you’ll want to get close to seeds! And if you must, please handle with extreme care and be sure to avoid contact, especially with the eyes.