MUCUNA, a genus of twining plants, belonging to the natural order Leguminosae, and natives of the tropics. M. prurient is popularly known as cowhage or cowitch, a corruption of the Hindu Kiwach. It is a tall annual climber with large dark purple pealike flowers, and golden-brown velvety pods recalling those of the sweet pea, the hairs or bristles on which often raise blisters on the skin. It is common in the tropical regions of India, Africa and America, and the hairs on the pod have long been used in medicine as a vermifuge.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)