The Science 
Behind Mulungu

What is Mulungu (Erythrina Mulungu)?

Mulungu, also known as the Coral Tree, is part of a family of trees in the genus erythrina. The bark of Erythrina Mulungu is the primary ingredient in our blends. It is native to South America and has been used medicinally for hundreds of years despite being relatively unheard of in North America. 

Mulungu has sedative, tranquilizing and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, traditionally made into tea. In Brazil, Mulungu also treats those suffering from seizures (2). Alongside Mulungu's calming effects, it has potent antibacterial and hepatoprotective properties (1,3). 

Anxiolytic and Sedative Properties

Mulungu is growing in popularity as a natural sedative-hypnotic with minimal side effects. Many users compare the anxiety relief from Mulungu to scheduled prescription anti-anxiety medications without the risk of severe withdrawal and side effects. 

Unlike typical over-the-counter anti-anxiety medications and supplements, Mulungu's effects are quickly noticeable and profound. For example, in a recent double-blind study, patients took Mulungu before undergoing a dental procedure. Mulungu showed a dramatic advantage over the placebo regarding patient anxiety and feelings of tranquility without impacting heart rate, blood oxygen, and other physiological parameters (4). 

The ability to ease anxiety without causing dangerous side effects such as slowed heart rate shows a dramatic advantage over other prescription anxiolytics notorious for their severe risk of central nervous system depression and hypoxia.

Although numerous botanicals offer some form of anxiety relief, many rely on passive methods that provide inadequate and mild effects. Although still being researched, the active alkaloids in Mulungu responsible for its sedating properties directly impact nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Typical anxiolytics rely on the modulation of GABA and glutamate, which is why they have a high risk of dependency and side effects. Mulungu's action method is incredibly unique and compelling and potentially offers a new and safe approach to managing chronic anxiety and sleep disorders. 

The receptors impacted with Mulungu differ from antihistamines like "Benadryl," which impact muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (5). The primary alkaloids responsible for Mulungu's most noticeable effects are (+)-erythravine and (+)-11á-hydroxyerythravine. In animal studies, these two alkaloids compare potency to the commonly prescribed drug Valium (diazepam) for anxiety management. (6,7) 

Antiepileptic, Cardioprotective, Cognitive, Pain Relief, and Other Benefits

Mulungu not only helps as a natural sleep aid and anxiolytic; it has also shown promise as a potential aid in seizure management. Mulungu has been administered in Brazil and surrounding areas to help patients suffering from epilepsy for hundreds of years. Mulungu helps with symptoms by lessening the severity and frequency of attacks. 

Alongside traditional usage, scientists have recently confirmed Mulungu's efficacy for seizure management in animal studies. For example, in one study, the alkaloids (+)-erythravine and (+)-11α-hydroxy-erythravine were shown to increase drug-induced seizure latency (the amount of time before seizing) by up to 300%(8). 

Post-seizure sleep duration also increased, showing potential action in the glycine system(9). With nearly 20-30% of patients with epilepsy unable to control their symptoms through conventional medication, the research on Mulungu could provide more insight into seizure management and potentially offer a natural treatment (10).

In addition, Mulungu has been shown to improve memory and learning performance in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (11). Another benefit of Mulungu is that despite its potent anxiolytic properties, it has not been shown to impact behavior, unlike other anxiety medications, negatively. This difference could benefit those who struggle with anxiety to perform their required tasks (studying, work) without worrying about the behavior-altering side effects of conventional anxiety prescriptions(12,13).

Mulungu may offer some benefits to those struggling with chronic pain. In a recent animal study, mice administered with a Mulungu extract had fewer stomach contractions and showed fewer pain markers than those treated with a placebo (14). 

Alongside Mulungu's pain-relieving aspects, it has also shown anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, drugs induced peritonitis and then treated with a Mulungu extract. The Mulungu extract dramatically inhibited inflammation by up to 56% regarding cell migration (15). Mulungu can achieve these analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects independent of opioid receptors. 

Animals pretreated with naloxone did not lose the analgesic benefits of Mulungu, showing that Mulungu is not reliant on the opioid system. Mulungu could offer a non-addictive natural alternative to opioid pain medication (16). 

Research on Mulungu is continuing, and new exciting data is constantly being made available such as the following:

  • Mulungu has recently been shown to be effective in treating some forms of asthma. Mulungu inhibits bronchial hyperresponsiveness and significantly reduces the number of leukocytes, eosinophils, and lymphocytes in asthma-prone individuals after exposure to allergens. Mulungu also reduced cellular inflammatory infiltration in the lung tissue (17). 

  • Mulungu has been used traditionally for cardiovascular ailments and shows some therapeutic benefits in reducing blood pressure. It has also been used for normalizing arrhythmias; however, more research is needed. (18)

  • Mulungu has been traditionally used as a hepatoprotective agent for those with liver disease. Studies have shown that Mulungu may help protect the liver and reduce inflammation by significantly increasing cellular glutathione levels(19). Glutathione is a key antioxidant and has many benefits, including:
    • Reduces oxidative stress(20)
    • May help with psoriasis (21)
    • Reduces cell damage in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease(22,23)
    • Improves insulin resistance (24)
    • Reduces symptoms of Parkinson's disease (25)
    • May aid against autoimmune disease (26)
    • May help with uncontrolled diabetes (27)
    • May help with respiratory disease symptoms (28)

Reduction in Nicotine Cravings

One study has shown that Mulungu dramatically reduces cravings for nicotine (29). Mulungu's action on nicotinic receptors may aid in the cessation of nicotine-containing products, including tobacco and vape products.

Our Mulungu is ethically sourced directly from Brazil. All supplements are packaged, measured, and mixed in the USA. Our Mulungu extract is created using only ethanol and water. 


Study Sources

1. (Garín-Aguilar et al., 2000)Garín-AguilarM. A.LunaJ. E. R.Soto-HernándezM.Valencia delToro. G.VásquezM. M.2000Effect of crude extracts of Erythrina Americana Mill. on aggressive behavior in rats. J. Ethnopharmacol; 69189196

2. VasconcelosS. M.LimaN. M.SalesG. T.CunhaG. M.AguiarL. M.SilveiraE. R.RodriguesA. C.MacedoD. S.FontelesM. M.SousaF. C.VianaG. S. 2007 Anticonvulsant activity of hydroalcoholic extracts from Erythrina velutina and Erythrina Mulungu. J Ethnopharmacol; 1102271274

3. Hepatoprotective activity of Erythrina × neillii leaf extract and characterization of its phytoconstituents

Riham O. Bakra,Marwa A.A. Fayedb,Ahmed M. Fayezc,Salma K. Gabra,Ahlam M. El-Fishawyd,Taha S.El-Alfy




























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