The plant Mucuna is an annual climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over fifteen meters in length. About 100–150 Mucuna species are found in the tropic and subtropic regions of both hemispheres of the earth. The genus Mucuna belongs to the family Leguminosae. It is commonly known as Kewanch, velvet bean, cowhage and kappikachhu and is found widely in India as a hardy, herbaceous, vigorous, twining annual plant. The size and dimension of the Mucuna seeds, pods, platelets and leaves change from species to species. The hair present on pods is anthelmintic, which causes itching. People are seeking great attention towards Mucuna due to its several medicinal properties, including L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) along with supplementary antioxidants that are used for treating Parkinson’s disease and many neurodegenerative diseases. Thus it is being used in about 200 medicinal formulations. The current chapter outlines the work that determines the influence of different nutritional, anti-nutritional and medicinal values and bioactive agents from different parts of the Mucuna species present in India and its importance in medicine.
Part of the book: Legume Crops
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease, which is common all over the world. Various aspect like damages of reactive oxygen species, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation-facilitated cell damages are included in the etiology of disease. Good-balanced nutrition is an important part involved in the body health maintenance and reduction in the risk of chronic diseases. Genus Mucuna falls under family Fabaceae, containing high contents of L-DOPA (commonly used as an anti-Parkinson drug). Plant-based medicines are the superfluous source of polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidants (ROS and RNS), terpenoids, isoflavonoids, and other biologically active phytochemicals. All these molecules have health beneficial effects with superlative pharmaceutical values. The existing chapter summaries to determine the influence of different nutritional, anti-nutritional, and medicinal potential of the Mucuna species present in India and its significance in the management of Parkinson’s disease (Shaking Palsy) as well as other medicinal values. It also covers various treatment models used in studying the Parkinson’s disease like Drosophila melanogaster, zebrafish, mice, rat, and humans. This chapter also focuses light on the neurosurgical treatments used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. This study concluded that the use of Mucuna seeds for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is the best choice besides chemical drugs and other therapies.
Part of the book: Bioethics in Medicine and Society