Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mucuna Pruriens

General Description: Mucuna Pruriens is a bean producing plant
that has been used in Ayurveda (Indian medicine) for over 4500
years. This is one of the few known plants that naturally contains a
chemical called L-dopa. Although dopamine does not cross the blood
brain barrier, L-dopa does and it is the immediate precursor to
dopamine. This fact makes Mucuna Pruriens highly effective at
increasing dopamine levels within the brain. There are many of
reasons to supplement your diet with a little L-dopa even if you aren’t
interested in lucid dreaming. Dopamine is vitally important in
sustaining your motor skills and as we age our dopamine levels drop
significantly. Parkinson disease is an extreme case of this in which
movement is severely restricted due to the loss of proper dopamine
functionality. The first line of defense in Parkinson disease is L-dopa.
Supplementing your diet with L-dopa containing substances can help
keep you active and feeling young. In addition, dopamine makes you
feel good and plays a major role in developing confidence and
motivation. So even if lucid dreams aren’t your goal, L-dopa
containing supplements can probably do you some good. Of course
when it comes to dreaming, dopamine plays a major role in that it is
believed the dopamine network must be engaged for dreaming to
occur in the first place.
When it comes to lucid dreaming L-dopa (via Mucuna Pruriens)
boosts your ability to control the dream like no other substance I’ve
Mucuna Pruriens offers another benefit over the synthetic Ldopa
that is commonly prescribed in the US. Synthetic L-dopa must
be taken with a different chemical called Carbidopa. Carbidopa is
required to keep the L-dopa from being synthesized into dopamine
before it crosses the blood barrier. Since dopamine can not cross this
barrier, if the L-dopa is converted to dopamine too early it does not
make it into the brain and therefore does you no good. Furthermore,
the negative side effects of L-dopa are typically due to the dopamine
that is created in the gut rather than in the brain. Mucuna Pruriens
does not require Carbidopa for reasons that are not fully understood,
but there are numerous studies showing that Mucuna Pruriens is as
effective as the synthetic L-dopa / Carbidopa pair. This allows for
lower doses of L-dopa resulting in a lower chance of negative side
Mechanism of Action: Mucuna Pruriens naturally contains the
chemical L-dopa. L-dopa is the immediate precursor to dopamine.
Increasing the amount of L-dopa in the brain leads to an increase in
the production of dopamine.
Concentration Curve: Mucuna Pruriens is characterized by quick
absorption and a short elimination half-life. It reaches its peak plasma
levels just 90 minutes after you take it and is practically out of your
system after 12 hours.
Effect on Dreams: L-dopa in known to cause vivid dreams and so
does Mucuna Pruriens. In general however, the dose needs to be in
the therapeutic range for treating Parkinson’s disease before a major
impact on dreaming is observed. My own experiments have shown
that around 400 mg of L-dopa (via Mucuna Pruriens) are needed to
stimulate a dopamine dream. Dopamine dreams are fascinating and
are my personal favorite type of non-lucid dream. They are always
extremely action packed and fully participatory (meaning that the
dreamer is fully caught up in the action rather than just observing it).
There seems to a common theme to dopamine dreams: the dreamer
is put in some kind of threatening situation and must overcome some
type of adversary. On the outside, these dreams often sound like
nightmares, but on the inside they are usually characterized by a
strong feeling of confidence and a triumphant rush once the dreamer
has prevailed. I find these types of dreams thoroughly enjoyable
although they may not be for everybody.Effect on Lucid Dreams: The effect of Mucuna Pruriens on lucid
dreaming is indirect yet profound. Mucuna Pruriens does not act as a
lucid dream trigger. Furthermore if a large dose of Mucuna is taken
with Galantamine, the odds of becoming lucid seem to be somewhat
reduced. There are some studies that suggest that L-dopa can
actually suppress REM. However, if a small dose of Mucuna is taken
with Galantamine (or one of the other triggers) or if larger doses are
taken some time before the trigger, the results are almost
unbelievable. The dopamine boost that is caused by Mucuna
Pruriens leads to a significant increase in confidence level. This
increase in confidence leads to a total lack of fear and a profound
boost in the ability to control the dream.
There are no other supplements I have found that have this
effect. Advanced flying is possible, moving through walls or other
objects seems incredibly natural, and changing your dreamscape is
made much easier.
Side Effects: Mucuna Pruriens is new to the West but has been
used for centuries in other parts of the world. High doses of Mucuna
Pruriens can cause over stimulation, increased body
temperature, insomnia, and nausea. There are some studies that
suggest it may lead to an increased risk of birth defects so it should
not be taken when pregnant.
Dosage: There is no daily suggested dose for Mucuna Pruriens
although most companies list a suggested dose of 200-300 mg of Ldopa
per day (the corresponding Mucuna dosage depends on the %
standardization). There is an important rule of thumb that can be
used to define the maximum allowable dose. Parkinson disease
patients are often on massive doses of L-dopa and it is well known
that after several years of treatment they are subject to a condition
referred to as dyskinesias. Dyskinesias is a condition described by
sudden, involuntary, jerky movements. Most physicians now cap the
maximum dose of L-dopa at no more than 600 mg/day and if possible
keep the dose at 400 mg or lower over the first 3-5 years in order to
reduce the risk of dyskinesias. Typically I use 80-200 mg of L-dopa
(via Mucuna Pruriens) in combination with other supplements for the
purpose of lucid dream enhancement.
Special Notes: Mucuna Pruriens is available in seed form or as
standardized extracts. The seeds can vary substantially from seed to
seed as to the concentration of L-dopa so I don’t recommend using
them. The standardized extracts are available in 10%, 30%, and 50%
L-dopa concentrations. I strongly recommend the lower
concentrations. I have tried both the 10% and 50% forms and have
much better results with the 10% extract at equivalent L-dopa doses.
Remember that synthetic L-dopa is prescribed with Carbidopa in
order to keep the L-dopa from prematurely synthesizing into
dopamine. Mucuna Pruriens has proven to be effective without the
use of Carbidopa. As the concentration of L-dopa increases, the
concentration of the other compounds that mimic the Carbidopa
decrease and you are prone to more negative side effects and less
impact on dreaming. This knowledge is from personal experience. At
500 mg of L-dopa I have experienced vivid dreams and no side 
effects using the 10% form, but at the same dose using the 50% form
I suffered nausea and noticed no impact on dreaming.
Vitamin B6 should not be taken simultaneously with Mucuna
Pruriens (or any L-dopa containing substance). Vitamin B6 is the
ingredient necessary to synthesize L-dopa into dopamine. If there are
large amounts of B6 present in your digestive track when you take
Mucuna, the L-dopa may be converted too early and hence not be
able to cross the blood brain barrier.
Summary: Mucuna Pruriens does not act as a lucid dream trigger
but can greatly increase control when combined with Galantamine or
other lucid dream triggers. Superman style flying, moving through
objects, and changing the dreamscape all become much more
natural, straight forward and easy when 80-200 mg of L-dopa (via
Mucuna Pruriens) is taken with Galantamine (or 1 hour prior – see
chapter 19 for details). No other supplement that I have found has
made such a large impact on dream control as Mucuna Pruriens.
Source: Thomas Yuschak The Power of Supplements

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