|MUCUNA PRURIENS - COWITCH.|
Cowhage, cowitch, kaw ai, kratzbohnen, nescafe, ojo de venado, sea beans, true sea-bean,
Fabaceae / Legume family.
Nescafe is a climbing woody
vine (liana) from
the rainforest in Suriname with purple flowers.
The species Mucuna sloanei (horse eyes - or hamburger
bean), has beautiful yellow flowers and is almost identical with Mucuna pruriens.
These flowers are
pollinated by bats.
The seed pods, about 4 inches long, are covered with very small velvety hairs that
can be very painful on contact with the skin. The seeds resemble the eye of a bull; they are often collected
and made into lovely necklaces and bracelets.
The seeds in the pods are rich in amino acid L dopa. This is precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
It is applied to patients suffering from Parkinson disease.
L Dopa stimulates human growth hormone (HGH) released by the pituitary gland. Mucuna pruriens increases testosterone
levels. Nescafe is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and also used as an aphrodisiac. It increases libido and boost testosterone release in both men and women.
The toasted ground seeds are used as a coffee substitute in Brazil; the young pods are cooked and eaten
Suriname's traditional medicine
The burned seeds are used as an ointment against swollen glands.
USDA zone 9B - 11.
Full sun / light shade, needs high humidity.