helplinedonate
  • Announcements

    • ForumAdmin

      Frequently Asked Questions - Step by step guides

      Do you need assistance registering, logging in, posting, etc? Please visit the all new Frequently Asked Question Forum for step-by-step guides. Click the link below to access these helpful guides. Frequently Asked Questions
    • ForumAdmin

      Recursos Nuevos en Español

      http://www.parkinson.org/ayuda   http://www.parkinson.org/espanol    
    • ForumAdmin

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636   ¿Qué es la línea de ayuda 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) de la Fundación Nacional de Parkinson? Es un número de teléfono gratuito que ayuda a las personas con la enfermedad de Parkinson, sus familiares, amigos y profesionales de salud, a solucionar diferentes inquietudes.   La línea de ayuda ofrece: Información actualizada Apoyo emocional Referidos a profesionales de salud Recursos comunitarios Amplia variedad de publicaciones gratis    
Gautam

Mucuna Puriens - A Herbal Alternative

35 posts in this topic

This item from Welcome to The National Parkinson Foundation has been forwarded to you by Gautam Hosangadi.

 

Source:

 

http://www.parkinson.org/site/pp.aspx?c=9dJFJLPwB&b=184301

 

**If you are unable to view the HTML content below, refer to the URL provided above.**

 

Beans (Mucuna Pruriens) For Parkinson’s Disease:

An Herbal Alternative

 

Bala V. Manyam, M.D., NPF Center of Excellence Plummer Movement Disorders Center Department of Neurology

Glenn R. Cryer, Scientific Publications and Biomedical Communications

Scott & White Clinic and Texas A&M University Health Science System College of Medicine Temple, Texas

 

Parkinson’s disease drugs like most other drugs used today, are chemicals synthesised in the laboratory and then manufactured. Making drugs in the laboratory is a slow, expensive and tedious process. This is one reason why drugs are expensive. Large numbers of chemicals exist in plants and other natural sources but only five percent of them have been explored to-date. Plant based drugs for Parkinson’s disease, include L-DOPA containing sources such as the seeds of Mucuna pruriens (Figure 1 : Mucuna pruriens plant showing pods) and Vincia faba, the same chemical compound that has been used for Parkinson’s disease in the last 30 years. Seeds of Datura stramonium have an anticholinergic effect, similar to Artane and Cogentin. Banisterine from Banisteria caapi and Nicotiana tabacum has monoamine oxidase inhibitor that is similar to selegiline (deprenyl). In this article, we will discuss more about Mucuna pruriens.

 

Before explaining how the powder from the Mucuna pruriens plant is being used as an alternative therapy, it should be noted that Parkinson’s disease affects more than one million people in the U.S. alone, and new and effective treatments for this particular disease are goals of many researchers. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disease that primarily impacts the part of the brain that produces dopamine, a chemical substance that allows neurologic impulses to be sent from one terminal end of a nerve cell to the beginning of another nerve cell terminal. In Parkinson’s disease, however, there is not enough dopamine produced by the brain for its needs. The simple act of walking may not be so simple. The disease can effect the body in many ways. The most common symptoms of the disease include trembling (shaking), stooped posture, muscular stiffness, short shuffling steps, speaking softly and rapidly, poor balance, poor handwriting, and of cou rse, slowness of body movements. The cause of the disease is not known, however, a variety of medications can control the symptoms.

 

Physicians in ancient India first used Mucuna seeds in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease over 4500 years ago. The Indian medical system is called Ayurveda, which is the world’s oldest system of medicine based on scientific principles. Ayurveda is founded on scientific principles. It has a long history of use of herbal remedies and has documented data on mechanism of action, specific action, short-term and long-term toxic effects, drug-drug and drug-diet interaction with a long history of use in humans. As per historical evidence, Parkinson’s disease existed in ancient India and was called Kampavata. This was over 4500 years ago even though the disease acquired its present name from James Parkinson who redescribed the disease in 1817 A.D. In the Ayurvedic system, powder of Mucuna is used for treating Parkinson’s disease and is subjected to special processing. The English name "cowage" plant (Mucuna pruriens) is derived from Hindi Kiwach. In Sanskrit, it is called Atmagupta. Mucuna is a twiner with trifoliate leaves, purple flowers, and turgid S-shaped pods covered with hairs that cause intense itching on contact with the skin. The plant belongs to the family Leguminosae, which is indigenous to India and has long been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Overdose effects of Mucuna were also recognized in Ayurveda. These included headache, dystonia, fatigue, tremor, syncope, and thirst. Many of these could also occur from synthetic L-DOPA. In the modern times, two Indian scientists isolated L-DOPA from Mucuna in 1936 and published their results. However, at that time the role of L-DOPA in Parkinson’s was not known, hence not much attention was given to the discovery. Subsequently, when dopamine deficiency was linked to Parkinson’s disease in the 1960’s, scientists got interested in finding a source of L-DOPA for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Because, the presence of L-DOPA was known to be present in the legume, initial attention was paid to extract levodopa from various Mucuna seeds and in fact, over a thousand plants were screened for the high content of L-DOPA. As L-DOPA was synthesized, further work on extraction of L-DOPA from beans was abandoned.

 

The amount of Mucuna powder used by Ayurvedic physicians was small compared to the amount of synthetic L-DOPA used to produce the same benefit; if one looks at the amount of L-DOPA alone. This is what led to one of the authors (BVM) to further study how such a small quantity of levodopa in Mucuna could have helped and thought possibly that there could be other undiscovered drugs in Mucuna that may enhance either the activity of L-DOPA such as carbidopa as seen in Sinemet or there may be an independent compound in Mucuna that may have a direct effect on symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This idea led to collaboration between Drs. Manyam with Dr. K. M. Parikh, President of the Zandu Pharmaceutical Works, a leading Ayurvedic manufacturing company located in Bombay, India. Their team conducted a series of experiments to establish and to develop a drug for Parkinson’s disease from Mucuna (Figure 2 : Mucuna beans with skin (left), beans with skin removed (right) and powder). The initial work required making the drug from Mucuna palatable. They developed a preparation and named it HP200, which is a powder form and has to be mixed with water just before administration. This is the first "liquid levodopa" preparation ever made. They also established that when mixed with water the preparation remained stable for several hours. The powder was also tested so that there was no loss of active compounds during storage.

 

Despite the fact Mucuna was used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in ancient times, it is still important today to establish that the drug dose not have adverse effects on various vital organs. This was accomplished by administering low to very high doses of the drug in rats and rabbits and testing the effect of Mucuna on blood chemistry and blood count (such as the one that many physicians perform in their offices and the hospitals) and various organs. Some of the tests were done for as long as one year and the results indicated no adverse effects were present from Mucuna preparations.

 

To establish how Mucuna would compare to synthetic L-DOPA, experiments were undertaken in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Two different doses of synthetic L-DOPA and two different doses of Mucuna were administered making sure that the amount of L-DOPA present is the same in Mucuna as was the doses of synthetic L-DOPA. The effects of the drugs were tested using a specially designed instrument called "Rotometer." Dose for dose, Mucuna was two to three times more effective than equivalent amounts of synthetic L-DOPA. This suggests that Mucuna may contain compounds that make L-DOPA function better such as carbidopa, tolcapone (Tasmar), or entacapone (COMTan). It may also suggest that Mucuna independently improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Although quite encouraging, more research is needed to confirm these findings. This work was done at the time when the United States Congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine in the National Institute of Health and the work was one of the first to receive funding for alternative medicine.

 

Additional studies in India were undertaken to establish the benefit of HP200 in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Four medical centers were selected involving sixty patients and several neurologists. The studies were conducted for three months. During that time, the patients received HP200 while no concomitant L-DOPA preparations were administered. Trained neurologists monitored changes in the degree of patent’s symptoms and any side effects. At the end of the study, it was determined that the HP200 was highly beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The side effects were minimal. HP200 was approved by the Indian Food and Drug Administration and is available in India under the brand name Zandopa. Further, the cost of the drug was much cheaper compared to the synthetic drugs; thus it became more affordable to the patients. The United States Food and Drug Administration approve the drug for clinical studies, however, it is not available from th e pharmacist.

 

Work on the Mucuna for Parkinson’s disease is being continued. The importance of this particular study is not that Mucuna is an alternative to L-DOPA, rather it is that compounds occurring naturally in plants for example, may contain biologically active components that can be isolated, tested, and used to provide safer and better treatments for Parkinson’s

Edited by Gautam
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gautama, thank you for this article!!! Very interesting...!!!! Thank you for your contributions to the forum!!!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you folks. But I cannot take credit for the article or for typing it !  The credit for it goes to the NPF, who published this paper in 2005. I had picked it up and circulated it among my friends  in this forum!!

 

I was cleaning up my mailbox and rediscovered the article and felt that it might be of interest to my new friends here.

I have been  taking Zandopa since the the past 9 years, replacing 3 of my Sinemet generic doses and find that it kicks ON extremely fast and it does not have the chemical after taste that the t ablet has.

 

Thanks again !!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gautam, Before deciding to take Sinemet I considered Mucuna Pruriens.  The neurologist  stated I needed levodopa and Mucuna Pruriens could provide this but, the dosage is the tricky part. Quality control for levodopa concentration in Mucuna Pruriens is imprecise; this would require a lot of experimentation for the proper titration to be achieved. He stated that Sinemet provides levodopa and is easy to monitor for proper concentration. Maybe you could explain how you have managed to determine the appropriate dosage to be used for you.  Also, do you know if it can be used in addition to Sinemet to cover off times or times when we know we might need a bit more (heavy exercise, stress etc)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, do you know if it can be used in addition to Sinemet to cover off times or times when we know we might need a bit more (heavy exercise, stress etc)[/size]

As long as we realize that adding mucuna to our sinemet is not much different than adding sinemet to sinemet. Medicinal plants and herbs have their own share of interactions, contraindications and side effects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest issue I see with using Mucuna Pruriens, is that there is no accurate way to control the dosage, compared to using Sinemet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the herbal companies are GMP certified and have guaranteed levels of L-dopa.  For example, the Mucuna from Green Packs has 60 mg of L-dopa per capsule.  Therefore, it is very easy to take the amount of L-dopa that is needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another issue with mucuna is that it doesn't contain carbidopa. Meaning that -theoretically- higher doses of levodopa are needed- as compared to sinemet- for the same effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys,

 

I use Zandopa, the MP beans in powder form, since the last 7-8 years. I have NOT stopped the generic Sinemet 100/25 and have substituted 2 - 3 doses with Zandopa.

 

The company brochure recommends replacing one tablet of Sinemet with 7.5 gms of MP.However, I found that it was too high and it caused massive dyskenesia. I tritrated the dosage, starting with 1.5gms and finally finding that my body was comfortable with 3 - 3.5 gms per dose.

I should also caution you that MP does not go with MAO Inhibitors as it might cause high blood pressure.

I shall continue to take Zandopa as I do feel that too many chemical drugs cause other side effects and I would like to convert to a natural product, if available.

 

Have a great day,and good nightfromme as it's 8.20 pm here.

Edited by Gautam
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I switched Sinemet and Selegiline for Mucuna 3 weeks ago.

I made the move because I was getting dyskinesia.

The Mucuna concentration I am using is 40%  in a powder form. For every 100mg Sinemet I multiply by 12.5 to find out how much powder to take. I was taking 6 Sinemets a day and that came to 7.5g (600mg x 12.5) of powder. It did not account for taking out Selegiline. So I am titrating up every week.  I am now taking 8.4g and it is still not enough to control the tremors all the time.  4 days after stopping Sinemet I stopped having dyskinesia. the trick to being on Mucuna is to make sure amino acids are in balance, otherwise nausea may be present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hercules,

What brand mucuna powder do you use?

I have Dopatropics. When I take a small tea spoon I dont notice any effect. On a few occasions I tried more but it made me nauseous. What do you mean by having amino acids in balance?

Edited by hans55

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI Hans, you need to take a lot of powder, Mucuna Pruriens 40%, mine comes form a company in Halifax Canada. Carbidopa is added to Levadopa to control nausea.  The protocol I follow increases serotonin to fight nausea. The product you are using is not very concentrated, you need a lot more to replace Sinemet, I am up to 10g a day now.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hervcules

How did you know how much mucuna puriens to take to replace your sinemet? Are you on sinemet only no rytary? Did you say that it doesnt cause dyskenisa?

Did you do discuss this with your MD. I have an appt next week and will discuss with MD. 

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Noah. I wrote about the equivalency in an earlier post to this topic, scroll up  a bit. Mucuna is the pure form of levodopa. In my case, sinemet was causing me dyskinesia Actually, peer reviewed studies I read suggest that it is carbidopa that causes dyskinesia. I stopped Sinemet and it took 4 days for the dyskinesia to subside. Yes my neurologist is informed, He does not know what to think of this because it is an unconventional way to treat PD. He assessed me to be undermedicated at the time, so i have been progressively increasing the Mucuna and the symptoms are more and more controlled. It has only been 3 weeks. The following reference refers to my treatment protocol without carbidopa.

https://neurosupport.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/22-parkinson-unification-published-version.pdf

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Noah. I wrote about the equivalency in an earlier post to this topic, scroll up  a bit. Mucuna is the pure form of levodopa. In my case, sinemet was causing me dyskinesia Actually, peer reviewed studies I read suggest that it is carbidopa that causes dyskinesia. I stopped Sinemet and it took 4 days for the dyskinesia to subside. Yes my neurologist is informed, He does not know what to think of this because it is an unconventional way to treat PD. He assessed me to be undermedicated at the time, so i have been progressively increasing the Mucuna and the symptoms are more and more controlled. It has only been 3 weeks. The following reference refers to my treatment protocol without carbidopa.

https://neurosupport.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/22-parkinson-unification-published-version.pdf

 

Hi, Hercules.  I found this of great interest--Thanks for posting.  I've forwarded it on to my DBS for his thoughts.  I'd love to try it, but I want to get his opinion first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Linda, we are all so different, what works for one does not work for another. I advise changes of protocol only when unhappy with present treatments. For me dyskinesia was getting very annoying and progressing. I am relatively young and the prospect of increased dyskinesia for years to come was not acceptable. i am still titrating up with the Mucuna and will find the sweet spot soon. Now at 10 g / day (taken 1/4 4 t/d)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried 

NOW Foods Dopa Mucuna 15% L-Dopa, 90 Vcaps

sold on Amazon and made by NOW in Illinois?

I would also like to ask Dr Okun and K Holder about this


NOW Foods Dopa Mucuna 15% L-Dopa, 90 Vcaps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ducks, I like NOW company, good products.

For mono Mucuna therapy you need a lot of it.  I am taking 10 g of Mucuna 40% a day and I expect I will increase until 14 g to get all the symptoms under control.

The NOW product is 15% concentration and 2 tablets contain 800 mg of Mucuna. You would need about 17 tablets a day to get 14 g of Mucuna. You would go through a bottle quickly ad get really tired of popping large capsules.   I take it from a powder form. I dissolve the amount in a 16 oz jar and drink 4 oz 4 t/d.

 

Using Mucuna as an add-on to Sinemet is not calibrated. It should not be used with MAO inhibitors like Selegiline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hercules

This sounds promising for our dyskinesia and myoclonus.I have found if I reduced my sinemet in dosage I could get rid of most of the myoclonus.The only problem was i didnt feel well and had to keep pushing my self to complete work.No jerks but no drive.lol

I will look into this soon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johnnys, it is not yet an exact science, Mixing Mucuna and Sinemet is trial and error.  All I know so far is that we seem to be able to replace 100 mg Sinemet with 1.25 g of Mucuna powder concentrated at 40%  It seems logical that replacing some Sinemet tablets with Mucuna, in the right dose, would reduce Levodopa/Carbidopa induced dyskinesia.  I have not read about Mucuna and myoclonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now