Overview

Cowhage is a bean-like plant. It grows wild in the tropics, including India and the Bahamas, and its range may extend to southern Florida. The bean, seed, and hair of the bean pod are used to make medicine.

Cowhage has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine for Parkinson disease. Today, cowhage is still tried for Parkinson disease, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

How does it work ?

Cowhage contains levodopa (L-dopa), a medication that is used to treat Parkinson disease. Symptoms of Parkinson disease occur in patients due to low levels of dopamine in the brain. L-dopa is changed to dopamine in the brain. Unfortunately, most L-dopa is broken down in the body before it ever reaches the brain unless special chemicals are used. These chemicals are available as medication, but are not present in cowhage.

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