Parkinson's disease

Treatment

So far it has not been possible to find a cure for Parkinson's disease. Symptoms can be alleviated by medication, thus allowing the patient to lead a fairly normal life. This usually entails long term treatment with synthetic drugs that cause a variety of side effects on movement, gastro-intestinal tract, cardiovascular system and psyche.

In a search for alternative ways of treatment, various plants have been scrutinized as to their use against Parkinson´s disease. Herbal drugs and their extracts are often tolerated much better than comparable synthetic drugs. The most popular example of a herbal medicine against Parkinson´s disease is the pharmaceutical preparation from the bean of Mucuna pruriens.

New scientific evidence has increased the knowledge about Mucuna beans. The use of the bean originally comes from the holistic Indian medicine Ayurveda. The powder made from the beans contains a relatively high amount of L-dopa. L-dopa is a precursor of dopamine, a neurotransmitter required by the central nervous system. Other substances contained in the bean are believed to have an additional positive effect in decreasing side effects.

One of the few side effects known for the Mucuna bean powder is flatulence, which is common for beans in general. The associated moderate laxative effect may be advantageous with patients that suffer from constipation. Furthermore an aphrodisiac effect has been reported as helpful in improving the mood in general.

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