Let me tell you a little secret. A lot of times when an herb has a reputation to boost libido or physical strength, a lot of supplement manufacturers quickly exaggerate this reputation and call that herb a testosterone booster. In truth though, not everything that makes you horny also boosts testosterone.
In this review, you’ll learn that Mucuna Pruriens is one of those seemingly uncommon instances where a plant does indeed boost libido, testosterone, and other aspects of male health. While research is still a bit early on this multi-tasking plant, it’s promise as a men’s health supplement is legit.
WHY TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE MUCUNA PRURIENS
Mucuna Pruriens is known by many names but a couple that I think suits it best are “cow itch” and “velvet bean” because it’s a bean that commonly grows in Africa and the tropical parts of Asia that has a velvet coating of hair that causes extreme itching when touched.
It’s also known as Atmagupta which means “secret self” in sanskrit and I also think this is quite fitting. You see, although the seedpod of Mucuna Pruriens is covered with a protective layer of irritating hair, the seed itself has multiple therapeutic benefits.
Mucuna Pruriens seed has anti-oxidant properties that may help counter the negative effects of free radicals. In traditional Indian Ayurveda, Mucuna Pruriens has been used for nervous system disorders including Parkinson’s disease because of its neuroprotective properties.
For men, Mucuna Pruriens seems to act both directly and indirectly on multiple aspects of male health including fertility (sperm), libido, and of course testosterone. The main compound in Mucuna Pruriens that seems responsible for it’s manly (and medicinal) properties seems to be L-Dopa or levodopa although it does have other constituents that seem to help. Let’s check out some research and find out how Mucuna Pruriens and L-Dopa does its magic.
STUDIES ON MUCUNA PRURIENS SUGGEST:
Before we get to the researches that demonstrate the theoretical biomechanisms of how Mucuna Pruriens benefits men’s health, I’d like to demonstrate through scientific evidence just how big of a factor L-Dopa is.
This research shows Mucuna Pruriens and L-Dopa significantly improving sperm parameters in rats. Mucuna Pruriens did a better job at doing so but L-Dopa wasn’t very far behind. This led the researchers of the study to conclude that “L-DOPA largely accounts for pro-spermatogenic properties of M. pruriens“.
Another research also demonstrates that the seed of Mucuna Pruriens contains the highest concentrations of L-Dopa at 4-7% so you might want to consider this when scanning through Mucuna Pruriens supplements. Now that we have this cleared, let’s move on to the research.
Improve sperm quality and quantity
This first research studied the mechanism of action of Mucuna pruriens in the treatment of male infertility. For their study, 150 men were equally separated into control (fertile) and experimental (infertile) groups. The infertile group was given Mucuna Pruriens seed powder (5 g/day for 3 months). Semen and blood samples were collected before and after experimentation. Check out the results:
- According to the results of the research, Mucuna Pruriens significantly improved testosterone, LH, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels while also reducing FSH and prolactin. Furthermore, sperm count and motility also rose significantly.
As the results suggest, Mucuna Pruriens can help not only in sperm quality and quantity, it also alters the hormonal balance in favor of testosterone by increasing test itself, LH, and dopamine while also reducing prolactin.
Fight against stress
This next research, similarly studied the effects of Mucuna Pruriens on infertile men. This time though, the men were under psychological stress. According to the research, these men were described to have:
- decreased sperm count and motility
- increased serum cortisol and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels
- decreased seminal plasma glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid levels
- reduced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activity
From the previous research, we already know that Mucuna Pruriens positively influences sperm. What we still don’t know, is how Mucuna Pruriens helps us handle stress. So for this part, I’m focusing solely on that topic. After 3 months supplementation of 5 g Mucuna Pruriens per day, these are the improvements to the infertile and psychologically stressed men:
- Significantly reduced cortisol and lipid peroxide levels
- Significantly increased catalase and SOD activity
- Significantly increased ascorbic acid and GSH levels
As you can see, Mucuna Pruriens effectively reversed parameters that were previously affected by psychological stress. With this, the researchers concluded that “M. pruriens not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defense system of infertile men but it also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality“.
Obviously, testosterone is important to gaining muscle and bodybuilding. However, what you might not have known is that in the intense exercise needed to build muscle, you also raise levels of stress which your body translates to an increase in cortisol.
Over time, high levels of cortisol leads to lower levels of testosterone which leads to a harder time maintaining or gaining muscle. This is a huge problem for all of you meat-heads out there. Thankfully though, Mucuna Pruriens looks to also regulate cortisol and stress which could indirectly help you get lean gains, too.
Hold on. We’re not done with this research yet. Although this research didn’t specifically measure testosterone, it did provide a gem that explains how L-Dopa may increase it.
- As the study states, “L-DOPA and its metabolite dopamine stimulate the hypothalamus and forebrain to secrete gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This, in turn, upregulates the anterior pituitary gland to secrete follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) causing increased synthesis of testosterone by Leydig cells of the testis“.
Increase testosterone and libido
The previous researches were similar in the sense that their experiments were conducted on infertile patients who had already compromised levels of sperm and testosterone. To that, I ask “will Mucuna Pruriens have the same effect on us healthy men?”
To help answer the question, I present to you a couple of studies that were done on healthy, male subjects. On this first research, Mucuna Pruriens at a dosage of 200 mg/kg “produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats“.
On this next research, they tested for the androgenic activity of Mucuna Pruriens. As the researchers concluded, “the methanolic extracts of M. pruriens possess androgenic activity” which included boosts in testosterone levels.
How Do I Take MUCUNA PRURIENS?
The rat research that successfully showed benefits on healthy male rats used 200 mg/kg. Translating that to a human appropriate dose, it would still fall in line with the dosages used in the human research at about 5 g.
However, what’s really important is the amount of L-Dopa. As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s considered as the primary compound that gives Mucuna Pruriens it’s manly benefits. That said, I suggest you choose one that’s standardized to contain around 10-15% L-Dopa. This much should be enough as compromising the other constituents in Mucuna Pruriens may not necessarily lead to better results.
If you found yourself a Mucuna Pruriens supplement that’s standardized to 10-15% L-Dopa, I believe 1000 mg should be enough. If it’s just plain powder or standardized to a lower percentage though, you’re most probably going to need more.
All in all, Mucuna Pruriens influences a whole lot of masculine parameters that go way beyond boosting testosterone and these benefits are largely hinged to L-Dopa.
I know you’re here for the potential testosterone boosts though so I won’t take too much of your time on those other benefits. On increasing testosterone, Mucuna Pruriens seems to do so by influencing a chain reaction that science calls as the “hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis”. Let me give you a run down on how this axis works:
- Through L-Dopa, Mucuna Pruriens increases dopamine in the hypothalamus
- The increase in dopamine then triggers the release of GnRH
- GnRH then stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete LH and FSH
- LH, in turn, stimulates the testis to synthesize more testosterone
- FSH stimulates the production of an androgen-binding protein that’s vital to healthy sperm
Additionally, the HPG axis is disrupted by cortisol and prolactin. Thankfully, research suggests that Mucuna Pruriens also helps regulate both of these hormones.
To me personally, Mucuna Pruriens is one of the most promising natural testosterone boosters out there because although research is still in its early stages, it already seems pretty solid. It also works on different aspects of male health which to me, adds more cool points to its sheet. My recommendation? Go for it.
TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE MUCUNA PRURIENS
- Quantum T – With Mucuna Pruriens standardized to 98% L-Dopa, this stack is definitely potent
- Test1fy – With Mucuna Pruriens standardized to an even higher 99% L-Dopa, Test1fy aims to transform mortals to demigods
- Activate Xtreme – A decent well-rounded testosterone booster that uses LevoTest® – a branded form of Mucuna Pruriens
- Nugenix Ultimate – one of the best testosterone boosters in the market using Mucuna Pruriens standardized to 40% L-Dopa
- SPARTN – A strong bodybuilding testosterone booster that uses powerful ingredients, including Mucuna Pruriens standardized to 40% L-Dopa