Seed and coat of Mucuna pruriens, known as velvet beans or cowitch has scientific classification as shown below;
Velvet bans (Mucuna pruriens) is an excellent cover crop and soil improver[1,2]. In addition, it commonly produces 200 to 600kg of seeds per hectare which are very rich in protein. However, the regular use of velvet beans ,for soil fertility enhancement is hampered by the lack of appropriate processing techniques of the seeds.
Velvet beans has a long history of traditional use in Brazil and India as an aphrodisiac. Clinical studies in India have validated that the plant does indeed have aphrodisiac activities. Velvet beans is an annual climbing vine that grows 3-18m in height. It is indigenous to tropical regions, especially African, Indian and the West Indies. Its flowers are white to dark purple and hang in long clusters. The plant also produces clusters of pods which contain seeds known as Mucuna beans. The seed pods are covered with reddish orange hairs that are readily dislodged and can cause intense irritation to the skin. The species name “pruriens” (from the latin,’ itching sensation”) refers to the result of itching when someone comes in contact with seed pod hairs.
Velvet beans has been gaining in popularity over the last few years in the natural product market especially the sports nutrition industries. With its documented ability to increase testosterone and stimulate growth hormone (thereby increasing muscles mass). Several companies have launched new products using mucuna beans including several which are standardized to the L-poda content. It is also showing up as an ingredient in various weight loss, libido, brain/memory, anti-aging and body builder formulars.
Baphina Nutida belongs to the family of Leguminosae-papilonaceae, Common name – camwood.
The seed is very nutritious for man consumption, a part from its nutritive contents, the roots of Baphina nitida yields a red dye that was used locally untill recently, to dye raffia and cotton textiles.
The name camwood is derived from Serra Leone Tamne. It was exported on a large scale to Europe from the 17th century and to North America from the 18th century as one of the main “red wood” dyes for wood cotton and silk. Basically, the total dry matter content of leaves in Nigeria has nutrients such as crude protein, ether extract ash, crude fibre, lignin cellulose.
More recently, the tree is used as an interesting timber and often serve as an ornamental shade tree or as fense or hedge.
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