Pukkapedia - Kapikacchu

Kapikacchu

Latin: Mucuna pruriens

This broad bean sized seed is a superb restorative to the reproductive system. Like many seeds it has the ability to potentiate the reproductive tissue as well as the nervous system. It is also used to treat tremors and spasms. The surface of the seed pods are 'velvety' like a monkey's skin. It is also an allergenic which causes an itch, hence the name 'one who scratches like a monkey'. Atmagupta means 'secret self' referring to its therapeutic seed concealed within the irritating bean pod.

Kapikachu Plant

Kapikachu Plant

Kapikachu (Mucuna pruriens) is a wild bean that grows in the tropics._x000D_

Kapikachu Leaves

Kapikachu Leaves

The leaves are tripinnate (grow in groups of three), covered in hairs when young, and without hairs when older.

Kapikachu Flowers

Kapikachu Flowers

The flowers hang in large white, lavender or purple 'panicles'. The photo here was taken in Chikmagalur in the Western Ghats (south-west India).

Kapikachu Pods

Kapikachu Pods

The seed pods are covered in small bristly hairs that can cause skin irritations. Kapikachu is also known as 'atmagupta', which means 'secret self', referring to its therapeutic seed concealed within the irritating bean pod.

Kapikachu Beans

Kapikachu Beans

Kapikachu seeds are similar in size to broad beans. They can either be white or black.

Dried Kapikachu Beans

Dried Kapikachu Beans

Fresh Kapikachu beans can be eaten if they are thoroughly soaked and boiled. For medicinal use they are normally dried and powdered for use in capsules.