Research on Mucuna

 2019 Mar 7. doi: 10.3233/JPD-181500. [Epub ahead of print]

Mucuna Pruriens Combined with Carbidopa in Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Report.


We present a 48-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease in whom carbidopa was added to Mucuna pruriens, resulting in marked motor improvement (documented on video and using MDS-UPDRS motor scores). This case report shows that adding a dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor (DDCI) to Mucuna pruriens coud fit well in a personalized approach for patients who are reluctant to start levodopa. Meanwhile, larger trials with a longer follow-up are needed to establish the true effects and tolerability of Mucuna pruriens plus a DDCI.

 2018 Oct 30;5:95. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00095. eCollection 2018.

Forestalling the Epidemics of Parkinson’s Disease Through Plant-Based Remedies.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) as the second leading neurodegenerative disease, imposes a heavy burden among individuals as well as economies worldwide. The main characteristics of PD is a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons resulting in the loss of motor function, the occurrence of non-motor symptoms, and cognitive decline. Similar to many other chronic diseases, complementary and alternative therapies (CAT) are very popular for the treatment of this disease. This review evaluates six plants, three each from European and Asian traditional medicinal systems: (1) Atropa belladonna, (2) Hyoscyamus niger, (3) Lepidium meyenii, (4) Aspargus racemosus, (5) Mucunapruriens L., and (6) Gingko bilobaAtropa belladonna, and Hyoscyamus niger in particular, are better known for their poisonous and narcotic effects than as potentially effective plants for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Ginkgo biloba is one of the most widely cultured plants in Traditional Chinese Medicine with high antioxidant potential which contributes to its neuroprotective/ anti-apoptotic activity. The bioactive compounds, anti-neurodegenerative effects and other neuroprotective effects of all six plants are discussed herein.

 2018 Jan-Feb;169(1):e23-e33. doi: 10.7417/T.2018.2050.

The potential role of herbal products in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a multifactorial disorder of the nervous system in which there is a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. There is a disturbance in the movement in PD and these include resting tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia or akinesia, disturbance, posture and freezing (motor block). The substantia nigra and other parts of the brain are commonly affected. The disorder could be related to oxidative stress and there is an important role of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A number of herbal products contain active components which are known to possess antioxidant action. Hence, the potential role of herbal products in treating PD cannot be undermined. In the present narrative review, the main aim is to discuss the pathogenesis of PD, define the role of different potential herbal extracts on its pathogenesis which may form the basis of treatment. We also discuss in detail the active chemical compounds present each herb which are effective in the treatment of PD. These herbs include Baicalei, Erythrina velutin, Resveratrol, Peganum Harmal, Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae), Carthamus tinctorius L. (Safflower), Pueraria lobate, Juglandis Semen (Walnut), Tianma Gouteng Yin (TGY), Lycium barbarum L fruit, Mucuna pruriens (Velvet bean), Chunghyuldan (CHD), Paeoniae Alba Radix. The present review may be beneficial for designing future drugs for effective treatment of PD.

 2018 Apr;49:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.01.014. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Daily intake of Mucuna pruriens in advanced Parkinson’s disease: A 16-week, noninferiority, randomized, crossover, pilot study.



Thousands of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in low-income countries have limited access to marketed levodopa preparations. Mucuna pruriens (MP), a levodopa-containing leguminous plant growing in tropical areas, may be a sustainable alternative therapy for indigent patients. Single-dose intake of MP proved noninferior to marketed levodopa preparations.


Fourteen PD patients with motor fluctuations and dyskinesias received MP powder (obtained from roasted seeds) and marketed levodopa/carbidopa (LD/CD) in a randomized order and crossover design over a 16-week period. Efficacy measures were changes in quality of life, motor and non-motor symptoms, and time with good mobility without troublesome dyskinesias. Safety measures included tolerability, frequency of adverse events, changes in laboratory indices and electrocardiogram.


Daily intake of MP was associated with a variable clinical response, especially in terms of tolerability. Seven patients (50%) discontinued MP prematurely due to either gastrointestinal side-effects (n = 4) or progressive worsening of motor performance (n = 3), while nobody discontinued during the LD/CD phase. In those who tolerated MP, clinical response to MP was similar to LD/CD on all efficacy outcome measures. Patients who dropped out entered a study extension using MP supernatant water (median[IQR], 16 [7-20] weeks), which was well tolerated.


The overall benefit provided by MP on the clinical outcome was limited by tolerability issues, as one could expect by the relatively rapid switch from LD/CD to levodopa alone in advanced PD. Larger parallel-group studies are needed to identify appropriate MP formulation (e.g. supernatant water), titration scheme and maintenance dose to minimize side-effects in the long-term. CLINICAL TRIALS.

 2017 Aug 1;89(5):432-438. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004175. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson disease: A double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study.



To investigate whether Mucuna pruriens (MP), a levodopa-containing leguminous plant growing in all tropical areas worldwide, may be used as alternative source of levodopa for indigent individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) who cannot afford long-term therapy with marketed levodopa preparations.


We investigated efficacy and safety of single-dose intake of MP powder from roasted seeds obtained without any pharmacologic processing. Eighteen patients with advanced PD received the following treatments, whose sequence was randomized: (1) dispersible levodopa at 3.5 mg/kg combined with the dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor benserazide (LD+DDCI; the reference treatment); (2) high-dose MP (MP-Hd; 17.5 mg/kg); (3) low-dose MP (MP-Ld; 12.5 mg/kg); (4) pharmaceutical preparation of LD without DDCI (LD-DDCI; 17.5 mg/kg); (5) MP plus benserazide (MP+DDCI; 3.5 mg/kg); (6) placebo. Efficacy outcomes were the change in motor response at 90 and 180 minutes and the duration of on state. Safety measures included any adverse event (AE), changes in blood pressure and heart rate, and the severity of dyskinesias.


When compared to LD+DDCI, MP-Ld showed similar motor response with fewer dyskinesias and AEs, while MP-Hd induced greater motor improvement at 90 and 180 minutes, longer ON duration, and fewer dyskinesias. MP-Hd induced less AEs than LD+DDCI and LD-DDCI. No differences in cardiovascular response were recorded.


Single-dose MP intake met all noninferiority efficacy and safety outcome measures in comparison to dispersible levodopa/benserazide. Clinical effects of high-dose MP were similar to levodopa alone at the same dose, with a more favorable tolerability profile.