If you’re looking for a natural testosterone booster that will raise your sense of well-being and give you extra energy… velvet beans are the answer.
Why Velvet Beans?
Velvet beans not only boost testosterone, however; they also raise dopamine levels and make you feel better about life in general.
Velvet beans (known in Latin as Mucuna pruriens) are becoming a hot commodity. The seeds are rather expensive now that they’re becoming better known as a health supplement. For a crazy amount of information on the health benefits of velvet beans, check out this article. They’re well-known as a natural aphrodisiac among other pleasant benefits.
Fortunately, once you have seeds you can grow lots and lots of them provided you have a long enough season. Here in North Florida velvet beans grow like weeds. Here they are eating one of my oak trees:
Growing Velvet Beans
Growing velvet beans is easier than easy.
Plant velvet beans in spring after all danger of frost and give them something they can climb – just be aware that they will completely cover small trees and shrubs. Even moderately large trees can get overwhelmed with their strong, twisting vines.
In other words, don’t plant velvet beans next to your award-winning camellias.
They can tolerate some shade but do best in full sun. Poor soil isn’t a big deal – they can handle it, thanks to their nitrogen-fixing ability.
Give them hot weather and lots of rainfall and they grow wonderfully. If it’s not rainy, irrigation will get them growing faster; however, I plant mine in half-wild parts of the yard and never water… and I still get plenty of beans.
I’ve even guerrilla planted them in empty lots around my neighborhood and had them grow pretty well. If the soil were good enough, I think they’d naturalize (they’ve almost done so in my food forest – I always have a few plants every year even without planting new ones).
NOTE: There are wilder forms of velvet beans that are covered with stinging hairs, giving them the name “madness bean.” The ones I grow have mostly had that trait bred out of them, though handling the fuzzy velvet pods can make you a little bit itchy, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Harvesting Velvet Beans
Velvet bean pods are ready for the table when the beans inside have filled out nicely but the pods haven’t dried out. If you want velvet bean seeds you need to let them dry on the vine until the pods are nice and hard. The seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, though they unfortunately lack caffeine. The dry beans are also used as a health supplement, though I have stuck to the tasty green beans instead.
Preparing and Cooking Velvet Beans
Velvet beans are powerful medicine and contain a wide range of bioactive compounds. A friend of mine ate quite a few of them on a daily basis and ended up with migraines. A few is good enough – though they taste so good cooked that you’ll want to eat lots and lots.
You don’t want to end up dealing with both a sexual harassment lawsuit AND a migraine, do you? I didn’t think so.
I pick the beans when they’re filled out and green, put them in a pot, cover with water, add lots of sea salt, then boil until they soften and start to split open revealing the tasty beans inside.
The pods themselves are tough and inedible, but the seeds inside taste like really good boiled green peanuts.
Once I’ve cooked my green velvet beans, I shell them, dry the green beans off and then freeze them so I can ration out beans through the year. The pods are only produced in the late summer and fall so you need to plan ahead.
I eat five velvet beans a day for a few weeks, then quit for a week, then do it again. John Starnes’ video on velvet beans introduced me to the on-and-off approach and it’s supposed to help keep your body from getting too used to the dopamine and testosterone effects. Seems to work well!
So – there you have it – a natural testosterone booster you can grow in your garden.
To see what they look like growing on the vine and how I cook them, check out my new video on velvet beans:
Start growing velvet beans next spring and have fun. If you work out or need more pep (or a natural aphrodisiac) velvet beans are for you.