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Mucuna pruriens – Wikipedia

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**Description of Mucuna Pruriens**:
– Mucuna pruriens is an annual climbing shrub with long vines.
– It has tripinnate leaves that are ovate, rhombus-shaped, or widely ovate.
Flower heads form axially arrayed panicles with white, lavender, or purple flowers.
– The fruit is a leguminous pod covered in orange hairs causing severe itchiness.
– Seeds are shiny black or brown drift seeds, flattened ellipsoids, and surrounded by a fleshy seed shell.

**Chemistry and Composition**:
– Seeds contain about 3.1–6.1% L-DOPA.
– M.pruriens var. pruriens has the highest L-DOPA content.
– Seeds show 52.11% degradation of L-DOPA into damaging quinones and reactive oxygen species.

**Taxonomy and Varieties**:
– Subspecies: Mucuna pruriens ssp. deeringiana (Bort) Hanelt.
– Subspecies: Mucuna pruriens ssp. pruriens.
– Varieties include Mucuna pruriens var. hirsuta, var. pruriens, var. sericophylla, and var. utilis.
– A non-stinging variety is grown in Honduras.

**Uses and Properties**:
– M. pruriens is used as forage, fallow, and green manure crop globally.
– It fixes nitrogen and fertilizes soil due to its legume nature.
– Beans are eaten in Indonesia and can be fermented into a tempeh-like food.
– Used as fodder in the tropics for animals.
– Contains high levels of L-DOPA, which can cause adverse effects in some individuals.
– Itch-inducing properties due to serotonin and mucunain in seed pod hairs.

**Medicinal and Research**:
– Research studies on levodopa content, effects of processing methods, and protective effects against snake venom.
– Medicinal uses in Parkinson’s disease.
– External links and additional resources for further information and research on Mucuna pruriens.

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