Don't miss out on this BRAIN BOOSTING superherb!
by Vickie Chin on Jul 26, 2019
Superfood Spotlight: Kapikacchu aka Mucuna Pruriens
Kapikacchu, more widely known as Mucuna pruriens, is a creeping vine that grows in India, the Caribbean and some areas in Africa. It’s a tropical plant prized for its seeds which are known for containing naturally occurring levodopa, aka L-dopa. Kapikacchu continues to be praised for its ability to support a healthy nervous system, owing much of this praise to the L-dopa found inside this plant.
What is L-dopa?
Levodopa aka L-dopa is an essential amino acid and precursor to dopamine - a neurotransmitter in the brain. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter that plays an important role in body movements and motor skills, learning, mood and motivation regulation, emotional responses, concentration and sleep. L-dopa is naturally produced in animals and in some plants.
L-dopa and Parkinson’s Disease:
Since the 1960’s, L-dopa has been used as a prime treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine, which is increased when L-dopa is taken, has been proven to provide relief for Parkinson’s symptoms due to dopamine’s key role in regulating bodily movements.
The benefits of L-dopa found in Kapikacchu go beyond Parkinson’s disease! Here are some other benefits of Kapikacchu:
1. Improved sexual function:
Kapikacchu has shown to improve sexual behaviour and increase libido. Also, it has shown to increase sexual activity specifically in me by increasing testosterone levels. Kapikacchu also appears to boost levels of testosterone specifically in men who struggle with infertility by improving testosterone, luteinizing hormone, dopamine and adrenaline.
2. Mood, motivation, mental alertness and cognitive function:
Dopamine plays a big role in motivation, emotional responses and the reward system in the brain. When we accomplish goals and encounter pleasurable experiences, our brains release dopamine. Certain behaviours and even substances can trigger a release of dopamine which can give us that ‘rush’ or mental ‘high’ feeling. When our dopamine system is out of whack these feelings are sometimes muted and can lead to low motivation and even symptoms of depression. Low mood, trouble sleeping, memory loss and the inability to concentrate and learn are often all symptoms of a dopamine deficiency.
Studies have shown that the naturally occurring L-dopa found in Kapikacchu may have the ability to improve motivation and cognitive function as well as many other emotional responses by increasing brain activity in the dopamine system. An increase of dopamine in the brain can often translate to an increase in focus, concentration, motivation, energy and pleasure and can even have a positive effect on sleep.
Our digestive systems are directly linked to our central nervous systems. Often, mental and emotional stress can manifest itself as digestive issues. Our digestive systems are extremely responsive to the state of our minds, therefore while Kapikacchu works to regulate your nervous system, it’s also simultaneously aiding your digestive system.
Kapikacchu as an all natural alternative to synthetic ADHD/ ADD medications:
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a common psychiatric disorder that is distinguished by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These disorders are often accompanied by learning disabilities as well as depression, anxiety and even behavioral disorders. Traditionally, to combat these disorders people are given synthetic stimulant medications which are meant to promote focus, concentration and control impulses. However, these stimulant medications are controlled substances, meaning there is a strong potential for physical as well as psychological dependence and abuse.
These medications work to stimulate the central nervous system by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters - one of these being dopamine. Individuals who consume these types of stimulant medications often experience feelings of excitement and euphoria while also feeling more energetic, focused and excited. These are all feelings caused by the release of large amounts of dopamine in the brain.
While these medications may temporarily resolve some of the issues stated above, they come with a handful of both common and serious side effects. These include, but are not limited to, lack of appetite, trouble sleeping, constipation, anxiety, high blood pressure, agitated and aggressive behaviour, insomnia, depression and heart damage. Many of these side effects are what deter people from continuing their usage or using them all together.
Kapikacchu delivers many of the same results, without the unwanted and even dangerous side effects!
While stimulant medications often result in increased anxiety and nervousness, Kapikacchu actuallys works to calm those responses while simultaneously promoting greater focus, energy and motivation - all thanks to that naturally occurring amino acid, L-dopa. The healthy levels of L-dopa, which converts to dopamine in the brain, can benefit you in the same way that these synthetic medications do, without the messy side effects.
Take 1 teaspoon of our organic Kapikacchu powder one to two times daily.
It's important to note that taste plays a very important role in the digestive process - after all, digestion begins the moment food enters your mouth and touches your tongue. Ayurvedic traditions typically recommend tasting your herbs in order to send a signal to your body to begin digestion. Traditionally Kapikacchu has been taken with warm water or milk with a spoon of ghee or honey. However, you can also add Kapikacchu to your morning coffee, tea, juice or smoothie.
Here’s a recipe for a brain boosting morning elixir to help elevate your mood and motivate you all day long. We’ve paired Kapikacchu with our raw organic cacao powder to have an even greater positive impact on your mood and energy levels. Cacao contains Phenylethylamine aka PEA which is a compound that studies have shown helps to stimulate the brain to release neurotransmitters and hormones - like dopamine and serotonin! The release of these hormones, promoted by both Kapikacchu AND cacao, help reduce stress and leave you feeling more calm and relaxed which can then help to improve focus and mental clarity.