Mulungu (scientific name Erythrina Verna) is an ornamental tree and medicinal plant native to Brazil and South America.
Herbalists have used the bark and root of the tree as a remedy for thousands of years across South America. More recently, it has made its way across the rest of the world and gained popularity in the U.S. in particular for its use in helping people relieve anxiety.
There is still a limited amount of scientific research and clinical studies into the health benefits of Mulungu. However, there is a body of anecdotal evidence and health benefits we do know from the limited amount of research available.
General Health and Wellness Benefits Associated with Mulungu
The primary health and wellness benefits of taking Mulungu may include:
- Reducing the symptoms of anxiety
- Reducing pain
- Supporting weight loss
- Inhibiting and reducing epilepsy-related seizures
- Supporting healthy sleeping patterns
People native to the areas where Mulungu grow have used the plant primarily as a sedative and sleep aid.
As you can see from the health benefits above that have come to light, Mulungu does this and more. Through some clinical studies on animals prove it’s a natural sedative.
Here are some of the ways this herb helps address these specific conditions:
As a Pain Reliever
People native to Brazil and Peru have been taking Mulungu to relieve pain for hundreds of years. It was one of the first benefits of taking the powder recognized by its users.
It’s become one of the herbal remedies used for this purpose across North America in recent years too.
In the pursuit of scientific evidence, there was a 2003 study that tested the effects of Mulungu and pain management in mice.
The conclusion was that it did act as an antinociceptive. This means components in Mulungu actively block the detection of painful stimuli.
Another study on a controlled group of humans tested the effectiveness of Mulungu in controlling both the physical pain and anxiety patients experience undergoing dental surgery.
This was a particularly interesting study because for a lot of people the thought of dental work causes a steep rise in anxiety, and this can inflate the pain of the treatment.
A group of people undergoing surgery to extract an impacted third molar tooth were split into two. One half received a 500 mg/single dose of Mulungu, and the other half a placebo.
The results showed the patients that took Mulungu experienced less anxiety, both on the day of the surgery and 7 days following. As well as lower blood pressure and a more regular heartbeat.
More studies into its pain relief for humans are required. There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence, though. As a supplement with few known side effects, people suffering from pain often try it as a solution.
As a Sleep Aid
Herbal practitioners use Mulungu to treat insomnia and promote healthy sleeping patterns.
It’s known to be a natural sedative. Compounds in the herb help to calm the nervous system to encourage deeper sleep and regular sleeping patterns.
An estimated 30% of the general population suffers from some form of sleeping disorder. Traditional medicines often carry unwanted side effects, so more people are turning to natural alternatives.
Mulungu is one of the natural herbal remedies to consider if you’re suffering from a sleeping disorder.
To Relieve Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression
The most powerful and effective use of Mulungu might be as an herbal formula for anxiety and depression.
Studies carried out on rodents have shown many positive results in the herb’s ability to reduce the effects of hysteria, panic, stress, trauma, and shock.
These are all reactions associated with a response from the central nervous system. The herb has a suppressive effect on the central nervous system, which decreases these responses.
All of which are associated with the symptoms of someone suffering from depression, anxiety, and several other associated mental disorders.
These studies show a clear connection between Mulungu and how it affects the brain in a similar way to traditional anxiety meds.
Medical professionals do not currently prescribe it, but herbal practitioners in the field do.
Possible Side Effects to Be Aware Of
The issue when trying to identify side effects is the lack of research surrounding the use of Mulungu, especially for long-term use.
With its strong relaxation properties, there are concerns that it can cause drowsiness. This can be hazardous for people driving, operating machinery, or doing any other jobs that require attention.
There are also concerns that it may be harmful to people with low blood pressure.
You should never take Mulungu in an attempt to treat a chronic health condition without consulting a medical professional. Additionally, if you experience any adverse effects, you should stop taking it immediately and seek professional medical advice.
Also, it’s safety for pregnant or nursing women has not been determined. That goes for children or anyone with existing medical conditions, too.
Mulungu is one of only a few herbal remedies that is known to:
- Provide anxiolytic effects
- Serve as a natural sedative, and
- Act as an anticonvulsant
If you’re suffering from any of the conditions covered in this article, speak to an herbal specialist or medical professional about using Mulungu.