It has been found that Mucuna Pruriens could actually enhance one's cognitive functions and boost brain power. This is then attributed by two mechanisms. Firstly, through an increase in blood circulation, because our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to our brain cells it provides a source nourishment, keeping our brain running at peak performance.
Moreover, the oxygen gives the cells glucose as a fuel for energy and so with an increase in blood circulation, there will be an increased supply of energy. As a result there is an improvement in mental clarity, attention, memory, focus and concentration.(3)
Another mechanism through which Mucuna Pruriens boosts brain power is through the stimulation of Epinephrine and Norepinephrine. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is the neurotransmitter involved in our body's "fight or flight" response. It provides our muscles the energy to respond quickly and more effectively when faced in a threat (4). Meanwhile, norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter also referred to as the stress hormone.
As the name implies, it is responsible for our body's ability to respond to stress and is also involved in the "fight or flight" response. Norepinephrine increases a person's breathing and heart rate, thus, increasing blood circulation and with an increase in blood flow, there will be more glucose and oxygen delivered to our working muscles as well as to neurons in the brain (5). With Mucuna Prurien's influence on the two neurotransmitters, there is a boost in brain power and physical energy as well as an increase in metabolism and faster neuronal communication. (3)
Mucuna Prurien's effects on an individual's mood may be solely attributed to the presence of Levodopa or L-Dopa in Mucuna Pruriens extract. This is because L-Dopa is a precursor to Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for an individual's memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behavior and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (2). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one's mood and sleeping patterns.
Once you develop a better response to stress when faced with difficult situations, it will translate into a general feeling of wellness and a positive attitude in doing both mental and physical activities. Because of this mechanism, it will also be beneficial for those that constantly experience stress, depression or anxiety. Another neurotransmitter that is influenced positively by Mucuna Pruriens is Serotonin (5-HT). It is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual's attention, mood, perception of hunger, satiety and gastrointestinal functions (6). Both of these together help us stabilize our mood, which leads to improved focus, as a nootropic it may not provide 'direct' benefits but feeling 'well' overall contributes significantly to performing optimally and Mucuna helps us with this.
It has been found that Mucuna Pruriens promotes sexual health and improving libido. This is because it increases testosterone levels in men and in females it increases sexual sensitivity. (3)
Mucunna has antioxidant properties; it acts by preventing and removing toxins and harmful chemicals that may damage our brain.
It is generally recommended that Mucuna Pruriens be taken at a dose between 200mg to 500mg daily and should not exceed a dose of 1g. This is because doses higher than 1g may lead to unwanted side effects or even neurotoxicity. (1)
Mucuna Pruriens is readily available in powder, tablet and capsule form. When taking the powder form, you may mix it with other beverages and should be taken with food to ensure a more efficient absorption. When starting with any new drug or supplement, it would be best to start off with the lowest possible dose to see how you respond and then gradually increasing it over time.
Just like in the case of Mucuna Pruriens, it would be best to start with a minimum dose of 100 mg per day. You might also want to consider consulting your doctor or healthcare provider first since a person's condition and health status may play a role in its efficacy.
To yield more positive effects, to synergize each other, or to eliminate or minimize the side effects consider stacking mucuna. If you want a more powerful anxiolytic and mood-enhancing stack, then Mucuna Pruriens on its own, add L-Theanine. This is because L-Theanine promotes relaxation and improves mood as well, hopefully it does not become to sedative for you. With these two supplements working hand on hand, they will synergize and potentiate each other's effects thus yielding greater and faster benefits.
On the other hand many people consume mucuna as a tea or a shake, it doesn't have a bad taste but it certainly isn't that great either. Consider taking Mucuna powder and mixing it with Cacao or mixing it with any additional tea. You may even want to do a Mucuna shot whereas you can add a nootropic like Chaga, or Racetam to be focused and ready to work!
Generally Mucuna Pruriens is safe to use and is well tolerated (having also been in use for over 2500 years in India). However, some people may respond differently especially when taken at higher doses. Although very uncommon, some side effects of Mucuna Pruriens may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, sweating, and increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
You can purchase Mucuna Pruriens online. It is readily available in pills, capsule, or powder form. You can buy it over the counter and thus, does not require a prescription from a doctor. You may be able to find it at GNC, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe (or any bodybuilding store generally), however we advise that you buy from our link here and select from the list provided as the rates are usually highly competitive, there are hundreds of user reviews and it provides the safest and most reliable place to buy from online.
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