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Cowhage Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Functions

Discover the Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient Cowhage, or Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna pruriens – also known as cowhage, cowitch or velvet bean – is a plant that grows in tropic and sub-tropic regions. It is classified as a legume and has seed-producing pods. If the hairy outer covering of the pods touches human skin, it can cause contact dermatitis and severe itching; however, extracts from the plant have long been used in traditional medicine. Today, Mucuna pruriens is often used as an ingredient in health and bodybuilding supplements, such as HGH 30,000 Spray, Somatropinne HGH and Anapolan-MAX 50.

Functions of Cowhage

While Mucuna pruriens is technically classified as a vegetable, its extract is more commonly consumed in the form of medicine or supplements. Cowhage is a good natural source of levodopa, or L-dopa, which in the human body serves as a precursor for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Since L-dopa is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, cowhage has been widely studied for its potential in this area. In addition, cowhage extract is noted for its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties, which are also believed to be due to the presence of L-dopa. And because L-dopa has been shown to stimulate human growth hormone (HGH) secretion and synthesis, some experts believe that the L-dopa in cowhage may act as an HGH releaser.

Sources of Cowhage

Indigenous to southern China and eastern India, Mucuna pruriens is cultivated in Asia, Africa, and parts of North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. The plant is rich in protein and minerals; and in some cultures, cowhage pods and beans are prepared as food. In Mexico and Guatemala, the seeds are roasted and used as a coffee substitute known as “Nescafe” (though there is no relation to the trademarked coffee brand of the same name). However, in the United States, cowhage is most commonly used in extract form as an ingredient in medicines and dietary supplements.

Cowhage Benefits and Uses

As a natural source of L-dopa, cowhage has been most widely studied and used as a treatment for Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease. Evidence suggests it may also benefit other dopamine-related conditions, such as tardive dyskinesia. The plant’s L-dopa content has been shown to increase dopamine and testosterone levels in adult males while suppressing prolactin levels, which supports cowhage’s traditional use as an aphrodisiac and fertility enhancer. Studies have also shown it can reduce cortisol levels, which in turn may lower perceived stress levels and contribute to a sense of well-being. Because L-dopa has been shown to stimulate HGH levels, cowhage extract is frequently used as an ingredient in health and bodybuilding supplements, in which it is believed to promote muscle growth and act as a fat-burner.

Numerous other positive effects have been attributed to cowhage extract, including anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-epileptic, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Various studies have explored its potential for treating diabetes, skin diseases and other pathologies. Cowhage has also been successfully used as an anti-venom that counters the toxic effects of some snake bites, such as from cobras and other vipers.

Side Effects of Cowhage and Potential Interactions

Supplements containing Mucuna pruriens extract are generally considered safe for healthy adults. Some minor side effects have been reported, such as nausea and a bloated feeling in the abdomen; less common side effects include vomiting, headaches, jitteriness and insomnia. However, individuals with certain medical conditions or anyone taking medications contraindicated for L-dopa should exercise caution when taking supplements containing cowhage extract. L-dopa can cause low blood pressure, lightheadedness and fainting in patients with cardiovascular disease, and it may cause blood sugar levels to drop too low in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia. The L-dopa in cowhage may also worsen some conditions, such as liver disease, melanoma, gastrointestinal ulcers or mental illness. Cowhage supplements should not be taken in conjunction with monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants or when taking methyldopa for hypertension. Moderate interactions may occur with other antihypertensive drugs (guanethidine), insulin, diabetes medications, antipsychotic drugs, tricyclic antidepressants or anesthesia.

More detailed safety information on cowhage side effects and interactions can be found on healthcare websites such as WebMD. As with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking dietary supplements containing cowhage extract.

Cowhage Research and Studies

Numerous studies have examined the pharmacological effects of Mucuna pruriens extract, primarily in relation to its L-dopa content. A 2012 review published in Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine highlights the plant’s medicinal properties and related research findings, many of which are summarized above in the “Cowhage Benefits and Uses” section of this article. Research published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, and the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry have demonstrated the value of cowhage extract in treating the symptoms of Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, some studies suggest that cowhage extract may have advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations, such as reducing the risk of drug-induced dyskinesia (DID).

Research dating from the early 1970s to present has established that L-dopa has the potential to stimulate HGH secretion and synthesis, as documented in Clinical Interventions in Aging and in several studies published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. One study featured in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights specifically investigated the effects of a Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean) and Chlorophytum borivilianum blend supplement on serum growth hormone levels in exercise-trained men, and found that it produced an increase in circulating HGH levels.

Other studies have indicated that cowhage supplements may contribute to a wide range of health benefits, from treating male infertility to improving sleep quality. Animal studies also suggest that cowhage extract may help reduce blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids. However, further clinical studies are needed to definitively support these findings and their potential applications in humans.

For additional cowhage research, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

HGH.com Supplements With Cowhage

Athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts can harness the health benefits of cowhage through natural fitness and bodybuilding supplements from HGH.com:

HGH 30,000 Nanograms Spray – This convenient HGH spray features a proprietary blend of ingredients designed to stimulate HGH release. In addition to L-dopa from cowhage seed extract, other natural ingredients include GABA, deer antler velvet, long jack and L-group amino acids. HGH 30,000 Spray is formulated to support muscle growth, mass gain, fat burning and other health benefits.

Somatropinne HGH – Purity Select’s natural Somatropinne HGH capsules contain a proprietary blend of plant extracts, including cowhage seeds, maca, hawthorn berry and horny goat weed. As an over-the-counter HGH releaser, this supplement is intended to help athletes build lean muscle and gain increased energy, while also providing weight-loss and anti-aging benefits.

A-MAX 50 – Anapolan-MAX is formulated to support lean muscle gain while increasing HGH production and testosterone levels. In addition to cowhage extract, the proprietary blend of ingredients in A-MAX 50 includes Tribulus terrestris, shilajit, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and L-tyrosine.

References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):

Examine.com. “Mucuna Pruriens”; published under “Supplements”; accessed June 16, 2015.

Gonzalez, Adam. “Supplement Spotlight: Get Shredded With Fat Burners”; Muscle & Fitness; accessed June 16, 2015.

Men’s Fitness Editors. “Fat Burner Buyer’s Guide Q&A”; Men’s Fitness; accessed June 16, 2015.

University of Maryland Medical Center. “Mucuna Pruriens”; published under “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide”; last reviewed April 8, 2014; accessed June 16, 2015, 2015.

WebMD and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Cowhage”; published under “Vitamins & Supplements”; accessed June 16, 2015.

Research Sources:

Alleman, Rick J., Jr.; Robert E. Canale; et al. “A Blend of Chlorophytum Borivilianum and Velvet Bean Increases Serum Growth Hormone in Exercise-Trained Men”; Nutrition and Metabolic Insights; October 2, 2011.

Chihara, Kazuo; Yoichi Kashio; et al. “L-Dopa Stimulates Release of Hypothalamic Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone in Humans”; The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism; March 1986.

Dharmarajan, Satheesh Kumar and Kottai Muthu Arumugam. “Comparative Evaluation of Flavone From Mucuna Pruriens and Coumarin From Ionidium Suffruticosum for Hypolipidemic Activity in Rats Fed With High Fat Diet”; Lipids in Health and Disease; October 2012.

Kansal, Prakash C.; John Buse; et al. “The Effect of L-Dopa on Plasma Growth Hormone, Insulin, and Thyroxine”; The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism; January 1972.

Katzenschlager, Regina; Alan C. Evans; et al. “Mucuna Pruriens in Parkinson's Disease: A Double Blind Clinical and Pharmacological Study”; Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; December 2004.

Lampariello, Lucia Raffaella; Alessio Cortelazzo; et al. “The Magic Velvet Bean of Mucuna Pruriens”; Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine; October-December 2012.

Lieu, Christopher A.; Allen R. Kunselman; et al. “A Water extract of Mucuna Pruriens Provides Long-Term Amelioration of Parkinsonism With Reduced Risk for Dyskinesias”; Parkinsonism & Related Disorders; August 2010.
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2909380/>

Majekodunmi, Stephen O. Ademola A Oyagbemi; et al. “Evaluation of the Anti-Diabetic Properties of Mucuna Pruriens Seed Extract”; Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine; August 2011.

McCarthy, Cameron G.; Rick J. Alleman; et al. “A Dietary Supplement Containing Chlorophytum Borivilianum and Velvet Bean Improves Sleep Quality in Men and Women”; Integrative Medicine Insights; 2012.

Müller, Thomas; Reiner Hellwig; and Siegfried Muhlack. “Levodopa Induces Synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor and Growth Hormone in Patients With Parkinson Disease”; Clinical Neuropharmacology; May-June 2011.

Shukla, Kamla Kant; Abbas Ali Mahdi; et al. “Mucuna Pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men”; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; March 2010.

Tan, Nget Hong; Shin Yee Fung; et al. “The Protective Effect of Mucuna Pruriens Seeds Against Snake Venom Poisoning”; Journal of Ethnopharmacology; June 22, 2009.

Walker, Richard F. “Primary Locus Intervention: A Novel Approach to Treating Age-Associated Hormone Insufficiency”; Clinical Interventions in Aging; December 2007.






Testosterone Levels Impact Your Attitude and Motivation

Your testosterone levels determine your state of mind

Many strength trainers don't realize that their bodybuilding progress has just as much to do with their mind as it does their physical body. Without the proper frame of mind, it hard to perform the exercises included in your strength training program with the proper level of intensity. For some, it's even difficult to find the motivation to get into the weight room in the first place, especially when you're stressed and in a poor mood.

Science has revealed that a man's state of mind is directly tied to his testosterone levels. When men reach the age of 30, their testosterone levels begin to drop. Testosterone levels drop even faster for men who undergo chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, have a thyroid or pituitary gland condition, or who take certain medications.

Good news however, taking testosterone supplements can reverse this decline and improve your state of mind in the process.

Sudden vs. Gradual Drops in Testosterone

Testosterone levels fluctuate on a daily basis for all men. This may play a role in why you feel great one day and miserable the next, sometimes for no apparent reason. For most men, testosterone levels drop gradually. With a gradual decline in testosterone, shifts in mood and confidence are often difficult to detect.
For other men, the drop in testosterone is rapid. This rapid decline in testosterone usually occurs as a result of external forces, such as side effects of chemotherapy or prescription medications. Men who experience such a drop in testosterone levels usually find this process very challenging, both emotionally and physically. The sex drive diminishes, and men who were able to maintain an erection yesterday may not be able to do so today. In fact, the man's appetite for sexual activity may disappear completely in the absence of normal testosterone levels, and even medications such as Viagra may not help in many cases.

Other Mental Effects of Low Testosterone

A reduction in sex drive is far from the only effect of a declining testosterone level. Many men with low testosterone also report symptoms of depression and irritability. Still, others report a decreased ability to concentrate on daily tasks. Some or all of these effects may be directly due to the man's diminishing sex drive, but most experts agree that things like depression, irritability and diminished concentration are unique effects of low testosterone that stand on their own.

Testosterone Boosters Improve State of Mind

 
The good news is that taking testosterone supplements, in combination with a healthy diet and exercise, can greatly improve your state of mind if you currently have low testosterone. Men who take testosterone supplements, even after having very low testosterone for years as a result of a medical condition, medication or simply age, report improved libido, concentration and overall mood.

Our Testosterone Supplement, "HGH Testosterone 1500" has proven ingredients that are known to increase your testosterone levels safely and naturally. Our formula is proprietary to HGH.com and at a very competative $65 price point is unbeatable.

To view our Testosterone supplement or view it's ingredients, please visit http://www.hgh.com/hgh-testosterone.aspx

 

 




Can Testosterone Pills Cure Your Depression?

 
 
 

Do you suspect that your depression is from testosterone deficiency?

Life is hard on modern men. Men are expected to provide for their families, be successful in their careers, tend to the needs of their spouses and maintain good health, all while attempting to maintain some semblance of sanity. For many men, this results in temporary bouts or long-term battles with depression.

All of this becomes even more difficult when men reach the age of 30, which is when their natural testosterone levels begin to decline. As a result, their sex drives diminish, they lose the motivation to do things they'd normally love to do, they become irritable, and in some cases, fall into depression.

A Brief History of Testosterone Replacement Treatments

Science has long understood the deep connection between testosterone levels and overall mood and happiness in men. In fact, approximately 50 years ago, testosterone supplements were commonly prescribed to men who reported symptoms of anxiety and depression to their doctors, particularly if their age indicated that their testosterone levels may be low.

For whatever reason, the medical community changed its mind about the efficacy of testosterone treatments for depressed men in more recent decades, when antidepressants became more popular in the pharmaceutical drug industry. While antidepressants certainly treat the symptoms of depression in many people, they do not treat the root cause of depression. In many older men, depression is caused directly by low levels of testosterone. As such, many modern scientists are beginning to realize that the doctors prescribing testosterone supplements for depression 50+ years ago were actually on to something.

Harvard Study Links Testosterone Supplements with Depression Recovery

In a 2003 Harvard Medical School study, it was found that over half of the men in the study who failed to respond to antidepressants had below-normal testosterone levels. Several of these men improved in their depression significantly when they were given testosterone replacement supplements along with their antidepressants.

Signs that Your Depression May be Linked to Low Testosterone

If you display any of the following signs, there's a good chance that your symptoms of depression may be a direct result of decreased testosterone levels:
  1. Your depression is accompanied by a significant drop in your sex drive.
  2. You're over the age of 30. (Age becomes more of a factor in testosterone-related depression as you get older, since your testosterone levels continue to drop naturally with age.)
  3. You're having difficulty pinpointing any apparent causes of your depression, such as a change in your employment or relationship status.
  4. You've been prescribed conventional antidepressants by your doctor, but they don't seem to have any significant effect on your depression.
If you're displaying the signs listed above, it's important to talk to your doctor and ask about having your testosterone levels checked. Low testosterone is difficult to confirm in a single test because testosterone levels fluctuate daily.

Testosterone Supplements

Testosterone Supplements are not new - but the science behind them is always changing. Our top selling testosterone supplement called HGH Testosterone 1500 has a new formula since 2011 and includes newer ingredients scientifically proven to increase your testosterone naturally. You are not taking testosterone, instead you're taking a supplement that tells your body to increase your testosterone naturally.
 
HGH Testosterone 1500 is the best supplement to increase your testosterone naturally. Try it today and feel better! http://www.hgh.com/hgh-testosterone.aspx

 







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