Sexual dysfunctions are characterized by disturbance in sexual desire and in the psycho-physiological changes that comprise sexual response cycle. Such disturbances can cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty in enjoying sexual intercourse. The sexual response cycle can be divided into the following phases:

(1) Desire: This phase consists of fantasies about sexual activity and the desire to have sexual activity.

(2) Excitement: This phase consists of a subjective sense of sexual pleasure and accompanying physiological changes. The major changes in the male consist of penile tumescence and erection. The major changes in the female consist of vasodilatation in the pelvis, vaginal lubrication and expansion and swelling of the external genitalia.

(3) Orgasm: This phase consists of a peaking of sexual pleasure, with release of sexual tension and rhythmic contraction of the perineal muscles and reproductive organs. In the male, there is a sensation of ejaculatory inevitability, which is followed by ejaculation of semen. In the female there are contractions (not always subjectively experienced as such) of the wall of the outer third of the vagina. In both genders, the anal sphincter rhythmically contracts.

(4) Resolution: This phase consists of a sense of muscular relaxation and general well being. During this phase, males are physiologically refractory to further erection and orgasm for a variable period of time. In contrast, females may be able to respond to additional stimulation almost immediately.

The sexual dysfunctions include:

  • Sexual desire disorders: hypoactive sexual desire disorder,
    sexual aversion disorder;
  • Sexual arousal disorders: female sexual arousal disorder, male
    erectile disorder;
  • Orgasmic disorders like female orgasmic disorder, male orgasmic
    disorder, premature ejaculation;
  • Sexual pain disorders like dyspareunia, and vaginismus.

The sexual dysfunction may be lifelong when it is present since the onset of sexual functioning. Acquired type of sexual dysfunction develops only after a period of normal functioning. Psychological factors play a major role in the onset, severity, exacerbation, or maintenance of the sexual dysfunction.

Kapikacchu is one of the famous herbal drugs mentioned in Ayurvedic classics for various types of sexual disorders.

Kapikacchu [Mucuna pruriens ]
Kapikacchu is an herbaceous, and twinning annual climber found throughout India in the hills ranging up to 3000 ft. height. Hairs on the pods of this climber are similar to that of monkey, that’s why synonyms like Kapikacchu, Kapiloma, Kapi, Markati and Vaanari are used for it. Most of the Ayurvedic remedies described in literature for treating sexual dysfunctions and infertility contain Kapikacchu seeds as one of the ingredients. Two types of Kapikacchu seeds are described – wild and cultivated. The wild variety has better utility in clinical practice than the cultivated one and black seeds are considered better than white ones.

Main chemical constituents
Mucuna pruriens is a good source of L-dopa, it also contains a number of amino acids.

Method of preparation 

  • Clean the dried seeds of  Kapikacchu by removing dust and other foreign particles and grind them into a fine powder.
  • Filter the powder through 85 mesh sieve and store in an air-
    tight glass or plastic food container, away from direct sunlight and in a cool place.
  • The potency of  Kapikacchu powder is best retained up to four months after preparation.

Dosage form
Light-brownish powder.

Therapeutic properties
Kapikacchu powder has aphrodisiac, nervine tonic, anti-parkinsonism, anti-inflammatory, and hypocholesterolaemic properties.

Dose and mode of administration
Seed powder in the dose of 3 to 5 grams once a day with warm milk at night.

Precautions and safety aspects

-The use of  Mucuna pruriens for a prolonged period causes weight loss.

-The protein fraction is said to be responsible for this effect.

-Judicious use in recommended dose is well tolerated.

-Persons consuming  Kapikacchu may suffer from diarrhoea which if not controlled with dietery changes and normal medication may require discontinuation of Kapikacchu intake.

-Spicy, dry, sour and stimulant food items and emotional outbursts
should be avoided during medication with Kapikacchu.

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