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Parkinson’s Disease

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 treatment.

 

Parkinson's Disease 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 Metal Magic 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 the plant.

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 Mucuna Pruriens.

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.

  • Skullcap: Combine 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 herb.)

  • 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 proper dosage.

  • Bupleurum Formula 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.

  • Ginseng, horsetail, 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.

  • Ginkgo biloba 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.

  • Degenerative disease 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.

  • Cayenne (capsicum), 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 disorder.

  • Hawthorn, licorice, red clover, and sarsaparilla cleanse the blood.

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. 

 Juice Therapy:

  • Carrot and Spinach Juice daily

  • Carrot, beet, radish, garlic, and cucumber daily

  • Seasonal raw fruit and vegetables

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.

  • Gamma-aminobutyric 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.

  • Acidophilus and 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.

  • People with 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 daily.

  • Green-foods supplements supply chlorophyll and important trace minerals. Take a green-foods supplement as directed on the product label.

  • Marine alginate 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.

  • Nicotinamide adenine 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 administration.

  • Phosphatidylserine is 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 times daily.

  • Pine-bark and 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 times daily.

  • 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 weeks.

Dietary Guidelines:

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.

  • Fruit

  • Vegetables (especially leafy greens)

  • Vegetable juice (especially carrot)

  • Seaweeds

  • Sprouted grains

  • Raw seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin)

Foods to Avoid

  • Chemicalized and processed food

  • Coffee

  • Caffeinated tea

  • Sugar

  • Tobacco

 Dietary Recommendations:

  • 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.

  • Vitamin B6 (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.

Click here to visit our CureZone Health Forum: Ask Tony Isaacs: Featuring Luella May – Natural Health, Cancer, Longevity and Home & Herbal Remedies.

         

    Heidi D Con

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