Parkinson’s Disease
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: December 29, 1998

I need to known more about herbs and how they can help with Parkinson’s disease, early stages?

Parkinson’s disease, with its symptoms of muscular rigidity, loss of reflexes, slowness of movement, trembling and shaking, is caused by degeneration of nerve cells within the brain, causing a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Along with your doctor’s care and with his support, you may want to investigate support for Parkinson’s with herbs that strengthen the brain and nervous system.

Gotu Kola is a central nervous system stimulant, generally helping to improve the nervous system.

Fava beans ( Vicia faba) contain levodopa, the precursor for dopamine, and have reportedly improved Parkinson’s symptoms. Levodopa is the usual prescription drug treatment for Parkinson’s. James Duke, in "The Green Pharmacy" ( St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010) figures that a 16 ounce can of Fava beans contains enough L-dopa to have a physiological effect. It is important that you discuss this with your doctor, especially if you are already taking the drug L-dopa.

Ginkgo increases blood circulation to the brain, delivering more L-dopa.

Evening Primrose Oil: James Duke states that it contains tryptophan, which improves the effect of L-dopa, and suggests 2 teaspoons a day.

Passionflower: Duke states that it contains two effective anti-Parkinson’s compounds, and suggests 10-30 drops, three times a day, of a standardized tincture containing 0.7% flavonoids. Passionflower is said to exert its effect in combination with L-dopa.

Vitamin E: Thomas Bartram, "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" (Grace Publishers, Mulberry Court, Stour Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1PS, England) suggests that 400 i.u per day may reduce rigidity, tremors and loss of balance. Anti-oxidants, including vitamins C & E may retard the onset of the disease, delaying the use of L-dopa drug for an average of two and a half years.

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