Introducing Kapikacchu: Benefits and Dangers

The Kapikacchu plant also goes by the names Macuna Pruriens in Latin and Kaunch in sanskrit. Alternatively, people call this the velvet bean or cowhage in English. It contains a holistic composition – namely that of crude protein (11-23%) and crude fibre (35-40%). In this manner, it brings balance to the body’s endocrine, reproductive, and nervous systems. Thus, this plant is one of the hidden gems of Ayurveda.

This also contains it contains a range of agricultural and medicinal properties. Namely, it can treat sexual dysfunction, neurodegenerative disorders, and sleep disorders. Further, it can raise dopamine levels and naturally elevate your mood levels. Most importantly, maintains tridoshic balance – by reducing vata, while increasing pitta and kapha doshas.

This herb has five main medicinal properties or doshic effects. First, amongst the gunas or qualities, it embodies guru (heaviness in digestion) and snigdha (unctuousness or oiliness). Second, regarding rasa or taste, it is madhur (sweet) and tikta (bitter).

Curing Ailments and Means of Preparation

The velvet bean houses an array of benefits by tackling the root cause of dosha imbalances. As a result, with regular use of this herb in the correct dosage, you can witness manifold benefits to your body. Above all, this is a versatile and delicious herb to use. Thus, you can incorporate it into a number of means for a healthy diet. Here are some such methods of preparation for the associated ailments.

Sexual Fatigue and Tiredness

Measure out 3-5 grams of kapikacchu powder using a spoon. Then, mix this into a cup of warm milk or water. Make sure to consume it twice a day prior to your meals – this can improve sexual prowess, premature ejaculation, fatigue and lethargy.

Bodily aches and Pains

Kapikacchu, Shatavari, and Gokshura are three herbs which multiply in their effects if you consume it together. Measure out 1 teaspoon of each herb powder into two cups of boiled water. Following this, filter the concoction. Doctors recommend drinking this at a dose of 50 ml 1-2 times a day. This can effectively treat neuralgia, fatigue, body aches and back pains.

Similarly, you may mix solely kapikacchu in a cow’s milk with ghee (one teaspoon) and sugar (half a teaspoon). This can eventually treat back pains and senility.

Healthy Weight Gain

Rapid weight loss may be due to hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, underrating or inadequate nutrition. Further, this can accompany weakness and irritability. You can tackle this issue through a simple kapikacchu sweet for weight gain and body stability.

Simply cook 2 teaspoons of its herbal powder with one cup of milk, until it turns to a semisolid mass. Next, fry this with a teaspoon of ghee. Keep stirring the mixture till it turns to a semisolid form. Further, you can add cardamom, saffron, or clove to enhance taste, and place it on a plate smeared wth ghee. Finally, you may store it in an airtight container once the sweet is completely cool.


Use this herb in doses of 40-50 ml as a seed decoction. There is a simple way to prepare this – simply let the seeds rest in a container of water overnight. Next, strain out the seeds and drink the water. This helps to relieve disorientation and irritation. Further, consuming this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can boost digestive health as well.

Side Effects and Possible Dangers

Most doctors recommend consuming HP-200 as a medicine or general medicine. In most cases, it is safe to take consume this orally. However, common side effects which accompany this include nausea, abdominal bloating, vomiting, and insomnia. Further, it may cause headaches, pounding heartbeats, and certain psychological symptoms such as agitation, confusion, and in more serious cases, hallucinations or delusions.

Another precaution to note is that the hair of the bean pod is more likely to be unsafe. For instance, it may cause itching, burning, and swelling. In addition, there are certain specific condition which can increase its risk. Some examples of these are as follows.

Cardiovascular health

Kapikacchu holds levodopa (L-dopa) which can cause dizziness, fainting, and lower blood pressure. It may also cause pounding or irregular heartbeat. Thus, those with a history of cardiovascular ailments should consume this with caution. However, it may be safe in small doses (or in a mixed form) with consultation.

Blood Sugar Fluctuations

Many studies show that this herb can cause a rapid fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Thus, if you do require this as a medicine or supplement, consume it with caution. For instance, be sure to track your blood sugar levels and follow the correct dosage. Likewise, if you have low blood sugar, consume regular supplements alongside to avoid blood sugar levels from plummeting.

Further, even if you have stable blood sugar levels, this tends to be most vulnerable during and after surgeries. Hence, avoid or cease kapikacchu combustion for at least 2 weeks, both prior to and following a surgery.

Liver Health

High levodopa (L-Dopa) levels can influence biochemical activity concerning liver health. Thus, it may worsen liver diseases. Similarly, doctors recommend against kapikacchu even if you have a history of poor liver health or damage.

Skin Cancer or Melanoma

The Levodopa (L-Dopa) presence in kapikacchu makes up melanin (skin pigmentation). Thus, excessive or even regular kapikacchu consumption can supply extra melanin. In this manner, it may worsen melanoma levels. Therefore, you are best off avoiding this herb in case of a history of melanoma or similar skin conditions.

Gastrointestinal Health

Research indicates that levodopa can worsen gastrointestinal conditions in those with ulcers. As a result, high or even moderate levels of kapikacchu consumption   can adversely affect those with stomach or intestinal ulcers. In fact, those with the peptic ulcer disease should avoid this entirely.


Kapikacchu can serve as both a boon and a bane. On one hand, it can relieve sexual fatigue., bodily aches, irritation, and enable healthy weight gain. However, you will need to proceed with caution if you face cardiovascular, liver, or gastrointestinal health, as blood sugar fluctuations or skin cancer. Thus, make sure to consume this herb only under consultation, with the right dosage and schedule.

Check out some tridoshic sattvik meal plans here. 

Check out one of our Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala here. 

Article By:

Dr. Muneesh

Dr. Muneesh S

Ayurveda Doctor

Dr. Maneesh S is an authority in the field of traditional style of Ayurvedic treatment. With over 10 years of expertise and a proven track record of classical style of treatment his work has immensely benefited several people all over India and the world. He mastered the Ayurvedic method of treatment from the renowned Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical College, Trivandrum. His experience includes working with Somatheeram Resorts, Club Mahindra Resorts and as a Dubai Healthcare City licensed Consultant Physician. He has also traveled extensively across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent collecting medicinal plants to replenish his extensive organic infusions. He has treated patients with chronic and complicated diseases as well as delivered lectures on Ayurveda, partaken in discussions and seminars pertaining to the propagation of various treatment modalities cited in the Ayurveda texts. With his extensive knowledge on various subjects like Sanskrit, Vedas, Mythology, ancient Indian Culture and Classical arts etc., he is considered to be one of the best in the industry.

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