Potential benefits of mulungu
Most of mulungu’s potential health properties can be attributed to its key compounds (+)-erythravine and (+)-11α-hydroxyerythravine, which have been linked to pain relief and reduced anxiety and epileptic seizures.
May reduce feelings of anxiety
Mulungu has long been used in traditional medicine to treat anxiety.
Animal studies have found that mulungu’s compounds (+)-erythravine and (+)-11α-hydroxyerythravine may have strong anti-anxiety effects, similar to those of the prescription drug Valium (diazepam).
A small human study in 30 people undergoing dental surgery observed that taking 500 mg of mulungu prior to the procedure helped reduce anxiety more than a placebo.
Test-tube studies suggest that mulungu’s potential anti-anxiety properties likely come from its compounds’ ability to inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which play a role in regulating feelings of anxiety.
However, more human studies on mulungu and anxiety are needed before it should be recommended for this purpose.