Parkinson's disease Is a progressive disorder of the
central nervous system. It is a chronic, slowly
progressing and often debilitating disease which
ultimately affects the mind and personality Clinically,
the disease is characterized by a decrease in
spontaneous movements, gait difficulty, postural
instability, rigidity and tremor. Parkinson's disease
may be treated by drugs or by surgical therapies or by
both. Mind-body and nutritional therapies are useful as
supplemental therapies in managing Parkinson's disease.
Exercise is very important. It is important that the
patients be treated at the earliest possible time it was
suspected. If you suspect Parkinson’s
Disease, I recommend that you consult a Parkinson's
specialist immediately, preferably one well versed in
naturopathic and/or integrative medicine, and then use
the alternative therapies described here as integrative
therapies in maximizing the effectiveness of the
has been associated with mercury and other heavy metal
contamination, as well as continued exposure to many
chemical toxins. Often a good metal detox program
(including the replacement of amalgam fillings by a
qualified professional) or
product may work wonders, such as Jon Barron's
or cilantro and chlorella (which are the two ingredients of
Metal Magic, but used in a special proprietary blend and
process in the product). Another herb which helps
eliminate metal toxins from the body is parsley.
Colloidal gold and
turmeric may also be beneficial since they both help
improve cognitive ability.
Mucuna Pruriens has
been gaining attention for use against Parkinsons in
recent years. Also known as the velvet bean,
Mucuna Pruriens is a vining plant native to India,
Africa, the Pacific islands, the West Indies, and other
areas of the tropics. The name "Pruriens" in Latin means
"itching sensation," which results from touching the
exterior hairs found on the pods containing the seeds on
Mucuna Pruriens contains high concentrations of natural
L-dopa, as well as trace amounts of serotonin and
nicotine. It is gaining attention for the treatment of
Parkinson`s disease in conventional circles, most
notably because there are fewer side effects associated
with taking it than its synthetic counterpart. It has
also shown to slow the progression of symptoms of
Parkinson`s disease, such as tremors, rigidity, and
problems with balance.
Clinical studies have indicated that using Mucuna
Pruriens for a natural source of L-dopa induces a more
rapid onset of symptom relief compared to the synthetic
alternative. One of the criticisms of the synthetic
version of L-dopa is that it loses its effectiveness in
the long term. It should be noted that there are no long
term efficacy studies for use of natural L-dopa from
Caution: Mucuna Pruriens should not be used during
pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Consult a naturopath
or other qualified health practitioner before using this
product. Mucuna Pruriens may interact with prescription
medications, antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, or
Parkinson specific drugs.
Other items which
may be beneficial include:
Larkspur: 20 grams in
4 cups of boiling water; do not drink more than 3
cups a day, a mouthful at a time.
Lady's slipper is
good for tremors, especially in debilitated
conditions; it clears depression. Use a standard
decoction or 3-9 g; tincture, 10-30 drops. Take 3 or
4 times a day for maximum effectiveness.
with lady's slipper for broader action. Strengthens
the brain. Standard infusion or 3-9 g; tincture,
10-30 drops (Very often, instead of skullcap
germander is given as skullcap. Ask for the genuine
A combination of
herbs that include rhubarb, peony (paeonia),
licorice and magnolia bark are said to stop tremors
and relax stiff muscles. Consult a herbalist for
with Paeonia and Licorice Combination with magnolia
bark - for persons with irritability, debilitating
anxiety and insomnia.
Alcoholism is one of
the possible indirect causes of Parkinson's, and
herbal remedies which support the liver, pancreas
and adrenal glands help to alleviate symptoms.
hops, skullcap, passion flower and valerian root
help to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's. Prepare a
herbal tea using 1 tsp. of herbs in 1 cup of boiling
water and drink 3 cups daily.
Herbs also may be
used synergistically with the appropriate drugs used
to treat Parkinson's disease. For example, passion
flower was found to improve the effectiveness of the
drug L-dpa (levodopa). It reduces the passive tremor
when used with L-dopa. (more than when using L-dopa
alone.) However, passion flower only has minimal
effect if used alone. Take one-half teaspoonful of
passion flower tincture three times a day.
scavenges free radicals and boosts circulation to
the brain. Select a product containing at least 24
percent ginkgo heterosides (sometimes called
flavoglycosides) and start by taking 40 milligrams
three times daily. If you feel fine at that dosage,
you can gradually increase to as much as 80
milligrams three times daily.
is often facilitated by the accumulation of toxins
in the body. The following herbs have detoxifying
properties: Burdock root, dandelion root, ginger
root, and milk thistle detoxify the liver.
goldenseal, mullein, Siberian ginseng, and yarrow
stimulate the thymus and lymphatic system.
Caution: Do not take goidenseal internally on a daily
basis for more than one week at a time, do not use it
during pregnancy, and use it with caution if you are
allergic to ragweed. Do not use Siberian ginseng if you
have hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, or a heart
Caution: Do not use licorice on a daily basis for more
than seven days in a row. Avoid it completely if you
have high blood pressure.
Yellow dock cleanses
the blood and detoxifies the liver.
Black cohosh catnip,
lemon balm, passionflower, skullcap, and valerian
root have anti-stress properties and can help
nourish the nervous system.
Caution: Do not use black cohosh during pregnancy.
Carrot and Spinach
Carrot, beet, radish,
garlic, and cucumber daily
Seasonal raw fruit
Nutritional Supplements for Parkinson's Disease:
To prevent or correct
possible nutritional deficiencies, take a
high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement
daily. Choose a form that is easily digested, such
as a soft gel-cap.
acid (GABA) is an amino acid that acts as a
neurotransmitter. It helps both to strengthen and
relax the nervous system. Take 500 milligrams up to
three times daily for up to three months in a row.
bifidobacteria are friendly bacteria that ensure a
healthy gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are
especially helpful for preventing constipation,
which is often a problem for people with Parkinson's
disease. Take a probiotic supplement as recommended
on the product label. If you are allergic to milk,
select a dairy-free formula.
Alpha-lipoic acid is
an antioxidant that also helps to "recharge" other
antioxidants in the body. Take 50 to 100 milligrams
three times a day.
Calcium and magnesium
are imperative for maintaining a healthy nervous
system. Take a multimineral supplement that supplies
500 milligrams of calcium and 250 milligrams of
magnesium, as well as trace minerals, twice daily.
Coenzyme Q10 is an
oxygenating antioxidant that helps prevent
free-radical damage and important for cell renewal.
Take 30 milligrams two or three times daily.
Parkinson's disease often do not utilize nutrients
effectively. To insure complete digestion and
assimilation of the nutrients in the food you eat,
take a digestive-enzyme supplement with each meal.
Evening primrose oil
and flaxseed oil contain valuable essential fatty
acids (EFAs), which are often deficient in people
with Parkinson's disease. Take 1 tablespoonful (or
500 to 1,000 milligrams) of either or both twice
supplements supply chlorophyll and important trace
minerals. Take a green-foods supplement as directed
on the product label.
concentrate and N-acetylcysteine may help in the
process of chelating (binding to) heavy metals in
the body so that they can be excreted. If you or
your health-care provider suspects heavy metal
toxicity, take 500 milligrams of marine alginate
concentrate three times a day and 500 milligrams of
N-acetylcysteine twice daily.
dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH) is an enzyme that helps
to improve neurotransmitter function. Take 10 to 25
milligrams twice daily for beneficial effects in
patients with Parkinson's Disease. The most
noticeable results are found to occur after
intravenous rather than after intramuscular
a type of lipid important for normal brain function
and the effective transmission of nerve impulses.
Low levels of phosphatidylserine are associated with
Parkinson's disease. Take 50 milligrams of
phosphatidylserine three times daily.
Choline is a vital
building block for acetylcholine. Take 3 tbsp. three
grape-seed extracts fight free-radical damage and
have anti-inflammatory properties. Many people
consider Parkinson's disease to be a consequence of
degeneration of nerve cells due to free-radical
damage. Take 25 to 50 milligrams of either three
The B vitamins are
very important for brain and nerve function. Take a
B-complex supplement so that you are getting 25
milligrams of each of the major B vitamins three
times a day from all sources. In addition, take 50
milligrams of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and
pantothenic acid three times daily, between meals,
plus 100 milligrams of niacinamide twice daily
(morning and evening).
Note: If you are taking L-dopa, talk to your physician
before taking any supplemental B vitamins, and do not
take additional vitamin B6, as this vitamin interferes
with the action of L-dopa.
Vitamin C and the
bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants that fight
free radicals. Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C
with bioflavonoids three times daily for one month.
Then gradually increase your intake to the highest
level you can tolerate. Vitamin C may help "on-off
attacks" (two to five years on levadopa results in
shortened positive response time to treatment) and
other side effects of levadopa.
Vitamin E is a
powerful antioxidant that prevents free- radical
damage. Choose a product containing mixed
tocopherols and start by taking 200 international
units daily, then gradually increase the dosage
until you are taking 400 international units in the
morning and another 400 international units in the
evening. Recent clinical trials have put a big
question mark on the usefulness of Vitamin E for
treating Parkinson's Disease. But many experts
suggest taking Vitamin E for its other benefits even
if it does not affect Parkinson's Disease directly.
Note: If you have high blood pressure, limit your intake
of supplemental vitamin E to a total of 400
international units daily. If you are taking an
anticoagulant (blood thinner), consult your physician
before taking supplemental vitamin E.
Selenium is an
antioxidant that works with vitamin E. It also helps
to increase circulation and tissue oxygenation,
thereby limiting damage to nerve cells. Take 200
micrograms of selenium daily.
A study with four
patients with Parkinson's disease who were given
injections of 100 mg. of neotrophin 1 (complex
glycoproteins, derived from snake venom) resulted in
dramatic improvement after a period of six to eight
Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet can be
beneficial for anybody. A high protein diet, however,
may limit levodopa's effectiveness.
Foods to Eat:
Spelt (made as
congee) - Spelt has been used as an adjunct in the
treatment of many disorders, including Parkinson's.
(especially leafy greens)
Raw seeds (such as
sunflower and pumpkin)
Foods to Avoid
Eat a well-balanced,
high-fiber diet. Maximize your intake of fresh green
vegetables. Green leafy vegetables, rutabagas,
sesame seeds, and sesame butter are good.
As much as possible,
buy organic fruits, vegetables, and grains to
minimize your exposure to pesticide residues.
Limit your intake of
high-protein foods to no more than six ounces per
day, taken mostly at dinner.
(pyridoxine), found in bananas, beef, fish, liver,
oatmeal, peanuts, potatoes, and whole grains,
interferes with the action of L-dopa. If you are
taking L-dopa, take these foods only in moderation,
if at all. (If you are taking a combination Levadopa
and cardidopa such as Sinemet, you need not have to
avoid the intake of Vitamin B6.)
Fava beans, also
called broad beans, are a natural source of levodopa.
One-half cup contains 250 mg, or the same amount as
one pill. But don't substitute beans for pills
without first consulting your doctor.
Patients attempt to
relieve the constipation that often accompanies
Parkinson's by eating bran. But recent research
shows that bran is high in vitamin B-6, which
interferes with the effectiveness of levodopa when
the drug is taken alone. Prune juice, grains, and
fiber laxatives should be substituted instead.
Foods seasoned with
hot spices have been known to cause uncontrollable
physical movement in some people with Parkinson's.
Avoid such foods.
Avoid all alcohol,
caffeine, and sugar. All these substances create an
acidic internal environment and are over-
stimulating to a stressed nervous system.
Drink at least six to
eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily to help
flush toxins from your body.
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