Parkinson’s Disease – Natural Treatment

brain-78440Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects movement. It is a progressive disease and eventually leads to a complete loss of voluntary movements and dementia. Patients with Parkinson’s disease often end up needing assisted living and should, therefore, start natural treatment immediately as it can be extremely effective in slowing down disease progression and improving symptoms.

This condition is characterized by a group of symptoms known as the “Parkinson’s triad“, which includes:

1. Bradykinesia (Slowed motion)parkinsons-triad
2. Rigidity (Of muscles)
3. Tremors (Involuntary shaking of the hands)

These symptoms worsen over time.

Other symptoms include:

-Impaired posture & Balance
-Speech problems
-Loss of certain involuntary movements (Blinking, smiling, swinging arms while walking)
-Dementia (In later stages)
-Small handwriting
-Cognitive issues

Why does this happen? According to modern medicine, the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown. However, there are several things that appear to contribute to the disease such as low levels or complete absence of neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Norepinephrine as well as the presence of “Lewy Bodies” within the brain. (Lewy bodies are unusual protein clumps that are seen in patients of Parkinson’s Disease)

Treatment:

Mucuna Pruriens

L-Dopa can be supplemented naturally with the herb “Mucuna Pruriens“. This herb contains a very large amount of L-Dopa which is the precursor of Dopamine. However, the metabolism of this herb is slightly different from that of standard pharmaceutical L-dopa. For example, the bio-availability of L-Dopa from Mucuna Pruriens is significantly higher. Mucuna Pruriens supplementation has been tested in patients with Parkinson’s disease and has proven to be highly effective (see study). Therefore, it is more easily absorbed. Keep in mind, that while L-dopa competes with amino acids for transportation to the brain, it still requires the expression of amino-acid transporters. Therefore, the consumption of protein during the course of the day is a good thing (in my opinion). Of course, you should not eat a protein-rich meal too close in proximity to the administration of Mucuna Pruriens, but I do recommend consuming protein in a prior meal (at least 2 hours before). The reason for this is that amino-acid transporter expression is increased in the presence of amino acids (protein).

However, in Ayurvedic Medicine, we aim to “treat the cause”. Therefore, the emphasis should be on far more than simply supplementing with L-dopa.

The real question should be why is there little or no Dopamine and Norepinephrine? This is because the brain is not producing it due to the death of dopamine-generating cells in a region of the midbrain known as the “Substantia nigra”. You see, Dopamine is made in the brain, and from it, Norepinephrine is made. So, the main goal in treatment is to support and boost brain function as well as provide the brain with the necessary nutrients to rebuild itself.

1. Nootropics (Evidence-Based)

These herbs improve the function of the brain and are known for relieving the symptoms of a wide range of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s. They nourish the brain and the entire central nervous system, which results in better functioning. Before doubting the benefits of these herbs, note that the research on these herbs are pretty outstanding and continue to prove the claims of their efficacy.

Ashwagandha (2)Ashwagandhafor example, has been proven to improve cognitive function, memory, hormone regulation, and has been seen to improve the symptoms of patients with Dementia. One of the chemical constituents known as “Withanolide A” is able to induce neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction, meaning it has the ability to reconstruct entire neuronal networks. Ashwagandha is able to induce the process of neurogenesis via multiple mechanisms including the stimulation of the production of BDNF – Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor. Studies have proven that Ashwagandha improves cognitive function, improves memory, reduces inflammation, reduces anxiety, and provides neuroprotection by inducing antioxidant enzymes.

Most importantly, keep in mind that Ashwagandha is never used on its own. In clinical trials, it is always used as part of an entire Ayurvedic protocol (see study). This is how Ayurvedic medicine works – herbs are always used as part of a protocol and not used as “supplements”. These protocols involve multiple treatments and herbal combinations – this has to be done by an Ayurvedic doctor holding the BAMS degree. If you simply use Ashwagandha as a supplement, the results will be only a fraction of what a whole treatment protocol can accomplish.

L-Methionine – This is an amino acid that is known for its ability to support angiogenesis. It is well known that amino acids can play a significant role in treating Parkinson’s given that L-Dopa is formed from Tyrosine & Phenylalanine. However, most people are unaware of the fact that Methionine has been proven to reduce tremors in Parkinson’s disease patients (see study).

Bacopa Mennieri improves cognitive function and formation of Acetylcholine, increases Serotonin levels, regulates Dopamine levels, reduces neuroinflammation and has neuroprotective effects. Bacopa has been seen in studies to improve a wide range of neurological and psychiatric illness, including memory loss, depression, and ADHD. It dramatically improves memory and is commonly given to children in India to enhance their ability to think and memorize. Barcopa is also a well-tolerated herb and shows little or no side-effects. Bacopa improves overall brain function and promotes neurological health.

(Make sure to use these herbs under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor, as they can be dangerous if improperly used.)

2. High Fat Diet

appetite-1238256_1920The brain is made up of fatty material. The entire body is a product of all that we eat. Our cells are nourished by our food and are only able to carry out their functions properly when given the right nutrition. In recent times, people have turned to a low-fat or fat-free diet. Most people believe that fats make us fat and unhealthy therefore they must be avoided. However, most people are completely unaware that is quite untrue. Refined carbohydrates is what makes us fat and sick. Sugars and carbs, as well as hormonal issues, cause weight gain.

Fat is essential for the brain because fats are the building blocks for brain tissue. How can the brain rebuild itself after all the wear and tear if it’s not given the proper nourishment? If you don’t give a person adequate protein, their muscles waste away, not enough vitamins and various conditions arise, not enough water and we get dehydrated. So what about “fat”? In order to obtain/maintain proper neurological function, the brain must have its proper nutrition, which happens to be “fats”. Carbs may give the brain fuel, but it does not give it the building blocks to rebuild itself. Consume healthy fats such as:

fats

3. Vitamins, Minerals, etc.

egg-2189986_1920These specifically boost the brain and are needed for the formation of Neurotransmitters like Dopamine, etc. Including these foods in the diet of a patient suffering from Parkinson’s is essential. (As always, I recommend getting these minerals from actual foods rather than supplements.)

B-Vitamins (Eggs, meat, poultry, fish)
Omega 3s (Almonds, Flax seeds, Chia seeds, fish)
Choline (Eggs, Meat, Poultry, Withania Somnifera {mentioned above})
Tryptophan (Lentils, Beans, Oats, eggs, fish, cheese, turkey)
Magnesium (Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocado, dark chocolate)
L-Dopa (Fava Beans, Beef, Fish, Lamb, Eggs, Dairy, Nuts, Soybeans)

(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
For more information contact me at doctornishal@gmail.com
To schedule a consultation with me, Click Here.

by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2016

DISCLAIMER: The information presented at this page is for information purposes only is not intended to replace the services of a doctor or healthcare practitioner licensed in the diagnosis or treatment of illness or disease. Any application of the material in this text is at the reader’s discretion and sole responsibility. If you have a persistent medical condition or your symptoms are severe please consult a physician. Statements on this web site about health conditions and remedies have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The entire contents of this website are not intended for providing specific medical advice, but rather for the purpose of disseminating information. The information provided has not been evaluated by the FDA, and neither is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder in any way or form.

6 thoughts on “Parkinson’s Disease – Natural Treatment

  1. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s 4.5 yrs.
    I have severe tremor, especially when nervous.
    Can u help with the anxiety?

  2. Hi, I am wondering where and what brand of Mucuna Pruriens to buy? Also how do I know how much to have my husband take.
    How much is a consultation? Maybe best to talk to you to let you know what my husband is on and what we might add to help him with his Parkinson’s.

  3. Dear Dr Nishal, My father 78yrs old has PD.

    I came across a product from Pure Science Supplements with 95% L-DOPA content, 380mg of L-DOPA per vegetarian capsule.

    Is this a sufficient dosage to treat PD?

    Please advise?

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