Category Archives: fava beans

Booklet on Sprouting Fava Beans

 Greetings, can you please give me the title of your booklet on sprouting fava beans?

many thanks

Darrell 

This is a little handbook that has been written by Aunt Bean, It is available as a free download from the Parkinsons Recovery Fava Bean webiste here:

http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Robert Rodgers PhD
Jump Start to Recovery
http://www.jumpstart.parkinsonsrecovery.com

 

 

 

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Little Appetite Since Starting to Use Sinemet

I have had “diagnosed” Parkinson’s for about 5 years. I have been on Sinemet for about one year.  I have had trouble keeping weight on. In fact I have lost about 13 pounds, probably due to the fact that I have had little appetite since starting to use Sinemet.

Also, I often get “stomach aches” after eating and have to lie down. I can’t pinpoint any particular food that causes this distress. Have you come across this situation in your  very many conversations with people who have Parkinson?  

Thank you so much for your help.  

Sydelle

Response:

Everyone responds differently to medications. Each body is uniquely configured. That is what makes each person so very special.

Sinemet is certainly at the top of the list in terms of preferred medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s and it has been shown to help many people. My research reveals it is not necessarily a good solution for everyone.

You ask if I have come across a situation similar to yours in my research. Yes, some people are unable to tolerate Sinemet. It would be very advisable to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing with your neurologist as soon as possible. They are the experts on prescription medications that can be taken to address the various symptoms of Parkinsons.
And of course they are the individuals who are qualified and trained to help you solve this problem. Neurologists attended school for years to learn how to help people just like you who have experienced the side effects of medications.

Since the appetite and digestive issues began after starting the medication, my guess is that these symptoms are likely due to the medication. Your doctor could determine this for certain.

The FDA does a good job of identifying and publicizing all possible side effects from medications. Below is a short list of side effects from Sinemet which I extracted from a search on the internet. It is a good idea to do your own search as well:

Side effects of Sinemet

Confusion; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; taste changes; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; urinary tract infection; vomiting.

Gastrointestinal
Exacerbation of preexisting ulcer disease with severe upper gastrointestinal bleeding has been reported.

Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea and vomiting are the most common adverse gastrointestinal effects of levodopa. Anorexia and, rarely, gastrointestinal hemorrhage have been reported.

As you can see – the symptoms you currently experience are contained in the listing of some possible side effects. Your doctor is the best resource to solve this problem.

My research has revealed that some people supplement their prescription medications with natural sources of dopamine. One such source is discussed on the fava bean website:

www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com.

The host of this website – Aunt Bean – will be offering a workshop at the Parkinsons Recovery Summit in June where she will give detailed instructions on how to make your own dopamine from fava beans at home. This is precisely what Aunt Bean does to treat her own Parkinson’s symptoms very successfully.

In summary, it appears as though your body is telling you that this particular is not helpful. Discuss the problem with your doctor and explore other options with their assistance. If you decide to begin making a natural source of dopamine as Aunt Bean does, you will need to work very closely with your doctor. While fava beans and Mucuna are natural sources of dopamine, they are still medications which will influence the effectiveness of whatever other medications you may decide to take after consulting with your doctor.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery
http://www.pioneersofrecovery.com

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Instructions for Making Fava Tincture

Aunt Bean was a guest on my radio show last year.  She invented a tincture which she makes herself from fava beans she grows on her farm in Tennessee. Her tincture has provided her with sustained relief from the symptoms of Parkinsons that she currently experiences.

I have had a flurry of requests from people wanting to know her “secret” tincture recipe. Aunt Bean has now written up the instructions on how to make the tincture yourself.

You certainly cannot buy Aunt Bean’s fava bean tincture at your local health food store. It is not available on the the internet. If you want it you are going to have to grow your own fava beans and make the tincture yourself.

Here is a genuine self help program of recovery at its best: You have to do a little work to help yourself feel better but the payoff is well worth the trouble. Just ask Aunt Bean.

To learn the step by step process (which is really not that cumbersome), visit the Parkinsons Recovery fava bean website. I posted  Aunt Bean’s instructions on how to make the fava bean tincture today.

http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
http://www.parkinsonsdisease.me

 

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Fava Bean Tincture

Could you please  send me the instructions to make fava beans tincture.  Thank you very much with a lot of respect

Yelena

Response:

I know the instructions involve using the tips of the fava bean plants and placing them in alcohol for about 6 weeks. The person who invented this approach is Aunt Bean who blogs on her fava bean website. I know she has been experimenting with various formulas.

I will forward your question to her and ask her to post the instructions on her fava bean blog for everyone to see. The address of the fava bean blog is:

http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
www.parkinsonsdisease.me

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About Fava Beans

Question:

I have very early symptoms and would to try fava beans before medication.  I found blanched and shelled beans but I don’t know if they have enough dopa to make them worthwhile or how to prepare them to retain the maximum dopa.

Can you give me some advice?

Thank you

Joe

Response:

Eating fava beans are a delicious, natural food in themselves that also happen to enhance dopamine in the body. For regular updates on fava beans be sure and become a regular visitor of the Parkinsons Recovery Fava Bean blog sponsored by Aunt Bean who has a four acre farm in Tennessee where she grows fava beans and mucuna.

http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

You will get the most mileage out of the value of fava beans if you sprout them first. Aunt Bean formulates a homemade tincture using the tips of the fava bean plants. Why not consider growing your own – as does Aunt Bean?

Keep in mind that ingesting fava beans in whatever form may have an effect on your medication, so be sure and consult with your doctor about any adjustments that may be required if you decide to add fava beans to your diet.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

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How to Prepare Fava Beans for Best Results

Question:

What is the best way to cook fava beans for relief of the symptoms of Parkinsons Disease?

Gino

Response:

I forwarded this question to Aunt Bean who is a resident expert on everything there is to know about fava beans and how they have the potential to offer relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. I post regular correspondence from Aunt Bean on the Fava Bean Website (http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com) sponsored by Parkinsons Recovery.

Dry Fava Beans do not have as much l-dopa as the sprouts.  Sprouts are the best way to get l-dopa supplementation.  They are easy to do.

You just soak the beans overnight  (about a 1/2 Cup in a bowl)  In the morning drain & rinse them well. Drain them well and cover with a paper towel to keep light out.  Rinse and drain well 3 times a day until they start to sprout. It only takes about 3 days. Then rinse well and let them stand in water about 15 minutes to soften the skins.

Drain & remove the skins.  Rinse well again. Then put into a steamer (beans not in water)     & steam covered for 6 minutes after the water starts boiling good.  Remove from steam  Rinse with cold water. Dry. Put on a plate or cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze.  Then after about 45 minutes put in a plastic freezer zip lock and freeze
until needed.

Experiment with eating 2 or 3 every couple of hours or/ just in the in between times when you are not taking meds…everyone is so different & so are the doses of meds & time schedules and activity levels…you will have to find your own dose amount and how often to take them.   Always start with a small amount as with any medicine…They are medicine…just a natural whole food medicine for us.

Also, remember to have a G6 PD blood test done to make sure you are ok to take them(having the right enzymes necessary , or they can hurt you!)  Also, ask your physician if you are on any MAOI’s…fava supplementing can cause a quick and dangerous rise in Blood Pressure when mixed with these drugs. Let your doctor know, so  they can work with you and be aware of your experimenting!

Goya Favas usually sprout well. If you wish to cook dry fava beans:  Soak them overnight to hydrate them. Then rinse well in the morning and put in clean water and cook til tender.  After they are coked, they taste great stir fried with garlic & onion.  YUM

God Bless!

Aunt Bean

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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How Do You Cook Fava Beans?

Question:

Can you tell me what is a possible way in cooking dry fava beans to treat Parkinson’s?

Thanks

Gino

Response:

I have forwarded your question to Aunt Bean who has a four acre farm in Tennessee where she grows fava beans and mucuna. She blogs her discoveries on the Parkinsons Recovery Fava Bean Website which you might want to visit:

http://www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Aunt Bean apparently gets a bigger result from using the tips of the fava bean plants to make a tincture which gives her remarkable relief from her own symptoms.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

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Fava Beans and Mucuna

Question:

Hi Robert

I have been subscribing on your newsletter for a short while and also purchased the pdf version of the book Pioneers of Recovery. I read it and found interesting the information about the Mucuna herb (the interview with Max). He said that at times he mainly takes Mucuna on not that much traditional medication (Sinemet).

I have tried to find some information about the Mucuna Pruriens herb on the internet and especially dosages and feel like the information about dosages is hard to find. I have purchaed Mucuna Pruriens powder but the information of how and how much to take it seems to be difficult to find. Is powder better than tablets etc. Does the powder lose effects if blended in warm water in with tea for example.

My mother was diagnosed some 10 years ago and I am trying to find alternative treatments for her.

I understand you get hundreds of emails regards PD but if you have the time, could you guide me in the direction of someone who can help with Mucuna dosages with powder or pills or is there something else.

I live in Northern Europe quite far from you.

also, I learned that yuor radio shows are archived Where can I go and listen to then.

with best regards

Kaj

Response:

On Mucuna:

It is clearly the case that Mucuna can be helpful to individuals currently experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Your question on the issue of the proper dosage is a very complicated. If you mother is also taking another medication like Sinemet – you will want to work closely with her doctor to ascertain the proper dosage.

If she uses both meditations – you are really using two drugs that are intended to have a similar effect. Mucuna is natural – but it is also a drug – just like Sinemet. You certainly do not want your Mom to overdo the dose – which can cause other unwanted side effects.

As I see it, the true challenge with using Mucuna to treat some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s  is finding a reliable source. I receive many inquires asking about a good source for mucuna. The truth is I really do not know of a reliable source at this time. People do not like to hear this answer – but it is the best I have at this time.

There are many companies that sell Mucuna – but it does not have the energetic charge you need. The energetic charge you need comes from growing Mucuna in the wild. Commercial growers do not typically harvest Mucuna that is growing in the wild.

I do have one great lead and suggestion for you to consider. I set up a website recently – www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com for Aunt Bean who has purchased a four acre farm in Tennessee this year to grow her own fava beans and Mucuna. Fava beans are also an  alternative source of dopamine. She writes about her harvests on the blog and is doing self guided research to determine the best way to grow and harvest both fava beans and Mucuna. Aunt Bean makes her own tincture from the tips of the fava bean plants which gives her remarkable relief from her own symptoms.

My suggestion is to contact Aunt Bean through the website and learn more about what she is doing. She has had wonderful success with growing fava beans and Mucuna plants on her farm (as have other persons) and is eager to help others get started with growing their own fava beans and Mucuna plants.

On Archives of the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Show

You can download any of the programs I have aired over the last several years for free by visiting  one of two sources. First, you can download them from the radio show page by visiting:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery.

Be sure and scroll back – there are now 83 shows that I have hosted. Alternatively, you can visit :

www.itunes.com

Once you land on the itunes website, type in “parkinsons recovery” in the search window. Then press the enter key on your keypad.  You will see a Parkinsons Recovery link that will list all 83 programs that have aired to date. Choose any you wish to download. All downloads are free.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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Mucuna as a Treatment for Parkinson’s

Question:


I enjoyed the book Pioneers of Recovery and am at present trying lots of different modalities and really feeling major changes are happening. What do you know about the Mucuna herb?

Is it available over the counter in Australia ?? or America ?  Hoping to hear from you.

Best wishes.

Shylie

Response:

Many people have reported back to me that Mucuna has provided sustained relief from their symptoms.  Some people use it in conjunction with Sinemet as a way of reducing the Sinemet they take. Of course, any such treatments must be carefully prescribed and followed by your doctor.

We know that mucuna helps some people with the symptoms of Parkinsons. We know that Sinemet helps some people. We also know that combinations of the two help some people. Of course – results depend on the person.  Much of what I know about Mucuna is documented in my recent book, Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease which is available as a download from the member website or as a print book.

The problem with mucuna is finding a reliable source. Various companies sell mucuna on the internet. Just when I think I may have found a company that provides a high quality source of mucuna, I get a report from someone that reports they just received a batch that fizzled.

Here is the real deal. If you decide to use any herb as a treatment modality, you want to find a source that harvests their herbs in the wild. This is what gives the herb the “punch” you need. Most companies do not harvest their herbs in the wild. They grow them commercially.

In some cases, a person may have tried Mucuna they purchased from a commercial source and it did nothing for them. This is probably because the source was from a commercial growing field which stripped the Mucuna of the energy (or punch) that is needed. Manufacture of Sinemet (which is a synthetic) seems to be more standardized but because it is a synthetic, side effects are involved.

I know of some herbalists who do not prescribe Mucuna for their patients because they cannot find a quality source of it anywhere. If anyone out there has found a reliable source, please comment here!

There is another herb some people are using with wonderful results which is derived from fava beans. You can see updates from a farm that grows fava beans by visiting :

www.favabeans.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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Sinemet Alternatives

Question:

Hi Robert

First of a million congratulations for creating such a fantastically interesting radio show [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery] which to me is a lifeline of hope. I wish I could nominate you for the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

A question on the fava beans issue: What’s the bottom line? Is it that fava’s are cheaper than Sinemet, which is not an problem in London since we have free prescriptions. Or more excitingly do fava’s lead to less risk of addiction???  Having ploughed through the majority of Janice Walton-Hadlock’s treatise on the horrific risks one can run in giving up L Dopa, addiction is my number one fear if I put myself on the fava road to Recovery.

Robert


Response:

Thanks for your kind words about my radio program. I love doing it every week. It gives me a chance to talk with such interesting people and a fantastic way to get the word out that there are many people out there who are on the road to recovery from Parkinson’s Disease.

What a high honor to be thought of as a recipient of a Nobel prize! Once we have 5,000 cases of documented recovery, I would like to nominate all 5,000 pioneers for a Nobel prize in medicine. I am just documenting the discoveries that others with the symptoms of Parkinson’s are making!

As for the choice between taking fava beans or Sinemet … What is best? Of course, the decision depends on the individual in all cases. Some people have told me that Sinemet has saved their lives and given them hope. Others have said the same thing about fava beans and mucuna.

As you note, a challenge with any prescription medication is of course the side effects. There is also the long term possibility that the body will become addicted to a prescription medication. Once you start taking it, it is very difficult to stop.

As Sandra points out in my radio show interview with her, fava beans are also not exempt from risks. Some people are allergic to them. There is also a contra-indication for anyone who is taking an MAOI inhibitor (usually for depression). It would be a good idea if anyone is contemplating taking fava beans as a source of dopamine for their bodies to listen to my radio interview with Sandra from Tennessee. She grows her own fava beans and makes a tincture that is giving her sustained relief from her own symptoms.

Clearly, it is not the case that one choice is obviously better than another. It depends on a number of factors that can interact in very complicated ways.

There is an energetic difference between fava beans and Sinemet. When grown in a natural environment, the energetic charge of fava beans (or any food for that matter) can exude a very high frequency, giving your body quite a “charge” so to speak (unless you are allergic to the fava beans of course). Because fava beans are a natural food, the body is less likely to react negatively with side effects.

Any prescription drug is a synthetic. Medications usually convey a combination of frequencies to the tissues of the body that transmit conflicting signals. This of course is why side effects are experienced by some people.

My personal preference is always to try the natural therapies first. If they fail, then resort to the synthetic alternatives. There is a good chance the body will be better able to assimilate the therapy if it is natural.

Of all the Parkinson’s drugs, my interviews suggest that Sinemet seems to prove the most useful to people. There is certainly no reason to rule out any option that is available!

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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Is Sinemet Necessary for Recovery from Parkinson’s

Question:

John Coleman, ND mentioned in his book Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’ that Aqua Hydration Formulas (www.aquas.us) comprise 60% of the therapy, while Bowen therapy 25%.

What makes up the remaining 15%? Does Sinemet (or herbal like Mucuna) fit into it? If so, does it go to say that we cannot recover from Parkinson’s without including Sinemet in the regime?

Thank you,

Arsenio

Response:

Dr. John Coleman has offered the fascinating estimates you note above based on his personal experience with recovery and with treating others with Parkinsons in his capacity as a naturopath doctor. Simply summarized, his experience is that when the body is properly hydrated and trauma is released using Bowen therapy, the body is in a position to heal itself. Better hydration is of course also plays a critical role in detoxing heavy metals and pesticides from the tissues of the body which have a clear and direct impact on symptoms.

In my conversations with many people who are on the road to recovery, some have an immediate, positive response  from beginning to take the Aquas homeopathic remedy designed to hydrate the body. Other people must continue taking Aquas for several months before relief is detected. Others see improvement, but not in the range of the 60% that John reports. And of course a few do not observe any detectable result.

The bottom line for all therapies is this: They work beautifully and profoundly for some people, but not others. I believe the underlying factors that cause the symptoms and multifaceted and vary considerably from person to person.

Permit me to extend my explanation further by reference to Sinemet (which must be prescribed by a neurologist) or mucuna or fava beans which are natural sources of dopamine and do not require a doctor’s prescription. Some people report that the quality of their lives improves markedly after taking either Sinemet or fava beans or mucuna. Other people report trying them but see no positive impact. Some people who take Sinemet feel worse from the side effects.

In the end, it depends on the underlying reasons for the person’s symptoms and on the body’s response to whatever treatment is being tendered.

In specific response to your question,

“Does it go to say that we cannot recover from Parkinson’s without including Sinemet in the regime?”

The answer for some people is no and for other people it is yes. Believe me when I say I do not mean to waffle here. It is the simple truth. I interviewed people in Pioneers of Recovery who took no Sinemet but are symptom free today. Other people take dopamine supplements of one form or another and do better on them than off.

The good news of the day is that anything is possible. As I document on this blog and in my books such as Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease, there are many therapies that help people get sustained relief from their symptoms. Sinemet and the other dopamine enhancing supplements provide a source of relief, but they are only one among many other options.

In conclusion, the factors that contribute to the symptoms are extremely complex. If you hold the belief that a rigid formula will help you recover, I suspect the chances are pretty good that you will be disappointed with the outcome.  There are certainly some people who might lead high quality lives from taking [Aquas + Bowen therapy + Sinemet], but that happens to be the solution set that works well for them. It may do little for you.

Dr. Coleman, ND never actually took Sinemet himself, but is symptom free today. Depending on personal circumstances, he does prescribe Sinemet to some of his patients.

I believe Parkinson’s is the most complex and multidimensional illness that exists in our world today. It all depends. Commit to a personal path of recovery and you will begin to feel better with each passing day. Chances are good that your solution set will be unique to your needs and the requirements of your body.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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Fava Beans for Parkinson’s

The following are questions I asked Sandra who grows her own fava beans and harvests them herself to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Can fava beans be used in conjunction with other medications?

They do not appear to conflict with sinemet, but there is a fine balance between not enough l-dopa and too much.  If my friend eats too many beans with her sinemet dose..she appears to be drunk and tends to fall.

It would be great if each person’s body metabolism were the same and a clear dose could be established, but it doesn’t work that way. It has been our experience that most doctors are not familiar with fava beans and other natural remedies, and will likely advise sinemet or other PD meds.    I have chosen to stay away from synthetic l-dopa & stick with what I know and consider natural, so that my body can  stay at it’s optimal health.

Do doctors prescribe fava beans??

In Europe, people have used favas for PD therapy for a long time. Favas are also a very popular food in Europe. In the United States, most people have never heard of favas. However, there is a product called Balance D that is available in the US, a supplement containing fava, by Neuroscience. It was recommended to my friend by her doctor.

Do you have a website that would help people understand the use of fava beans and how to grow them?

No, but there is a man in Canada, Ken Allan, who has been so much support to me in this adventure with the favas. He also has PD and has grown and used them to supplement his sinemet for several years now. Here is his website:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~allan/

Is there a fava bean support group where people can get answers to their questions about growing and using the beans?

No,  not that I am aware of, but it is a great idea.  Could Parkinsons Recovery start an online support group where people could share valuable information about fava beans and their uses and how to grow them?

I am happy to share the little bit of information that we have gleaned over the past 12 months. I pray that many of your listeners will be encouraged to grow their own favas and that we will find people interested in doing valuable research on these amazing fava beans.    May God Bless You   .    Sandra

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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How to Grow Fava Bean

The following are answers by Sandra who grows her own fava beans as a remedy for the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Are fava beans hard to grow?

They were a pleasure to me, but some people would consider them difficult. Some of the plants become tall, depending on the variety of fava and on the composition of the soil. Ours had to be staked to prevent them from falling over when they reach about 4 foot. (Falling over can break the plant/ or they sometimes start getting discolored leaves and beans because of close contact to the ground..neither of which I wanted). So, I hammered stakes in each row with about 6 plants in between, and did what is called a Florida weave to secure them in upright position.

I learned to do this when growing a field of tomatoes one year. When  done properly, a whole field can be tied  in a very short time. A couple of weeks later. A second level of string is used to envelope the plants as they grow taller.

The biggest time consumer is hammering stakes if you grow a large crop. The plants are very hardy and ours survived temperatures down to 26 degrees here in Tennessee. When it dropped lower, they were hit hard……though it looks like they may come back from the roots possibly if the weather ever warms up again.

This is the coldest winter I have seen here. Favas like cool weather. They are actually in the pea family/ and not a bean. They do not tolerate very hot weather. I plan to plant my spring crop, Lord willing, in the end of February or first of March.  Once you look at the beautiful, and prolific  flowers on the plants, you will see why the bees and other insects migrate to your favas…they are amazing.

I found that soaking the seeds for about 2 days, until they begin to sprout, is best and then setting them directly out into the soil about 10 inches apart and 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Once they have developed their first 2 leaves, the root is close to a foot long.  They are a good soil builder and bring a lot of nutrients up to the surface from deep in the ground. They are used as “cover crops” in some places plowed under to fertilize the soil, and then the area is replanted.

Where can a person get fava beans if they cannot grow their own?

We have not yet located a source for young/ green/ immature pods. I have come across dried beans in several markets, and even full sized bean pods in Earth Fare…but neither of these will give the l-dopa we need for PD.

You may find a local farmer who would be willing to raise a crop for you. You would have to specify the length you want the beans / or go pick them yourself & come home & process them immediately… so as not to loose the medicinal qualities of the beans. It is best to grow/ harvest & process your own and this will be a priority for me as long as I am able.

The beans (seeds)  themselves , whether green or dry,  contain very little levadopa….it is the leaves, stems, and the pods surrounding  the bean seeds that contain the levadopa.

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How to Prepare Fava Beans

What follows is Sandra’s answer to my question about how she goes about preparing  fava beans:

I have found that picking the immature pods at about 2 1/2 inches is the best for us. They have a great buttery taste and no strings.  We steam them for about 6 minutes, then freeze them on cookie sheets for about 15 minutes, then place them in  freezer bags and return them to the freezer. My friend enjoys  them the right from the freezer…2-4 pods with her sinemet dose .. Bean chips & cookies were made by putting large favas (past the stage of eating the pod) through a Champion Juicer, which takes out all the indigestible fiber, etc. ..and using that juice to make tasty l-dopa treats. We keep our “treats” frozen and use them to ward off symptoms.  They are great also for car trips, just to carry along if needed.  The possibilities are endless.

You prepare a tincture from the fava beans you grow in your grow. Tell us more about how you make your tincture

I wanted something that would capture the essence and l-dopa of the plant, and preserve it. Mainly, because there is the problem of having to grow a year’s supply of pods and freeze them. There is always a possibility of a power outage and a years supply would be lost. Since I have been making Echinacea tincture for years from my garden I wondered,

Could the same could be done with the fava plant?

A specific part of the plant captured my attention, so I went through-out the garden harvesting these little “tops”…a little hidden, protected part of the plant. They were placed in a dehydrator to dry and then into a jar with brandy. This was shaken for a month, several times a day. Then, it was strained.

It looked good, and I played the part of a white experimental rat and took several drops to see what would happen. I didn’t see any change right away, but later, went outside and was coming up the steps and noticed that I didn’t halt on my right hip/leg like I always did. I went back down & climbed up the steps again. It wasn’t my imagination.  Started trying other things that I usually couldn’t do…and kept noticing other improvements…..it was easy to drive the car, my reaction time was much improved. The list went on on.

I decided to take another drop at bedtime…and actually got a good night’s sleep. I have been using the tincture now since October 9th. Still no side effects,  besides lack of Parkinson’s disease symptoms.  If I feel symptoms starting…I just take a couple of drops and in about 15 minutes I don’t notice them anymore.

Ken Alan…a fellow PD patient has been growing favas for a few years. I sent him some of my tincture and he “kitchen tested it”. He wrote back that there was approximately 1 mg levadopa in 2 drops tincture. I have been taking this  small dose 3 to 4 times a day to alleviate my symptoms.

Can you provide tincture to other people?

No.  I feel that much research needs to be done on the tincture, and perhaps a better base can be found to draw out even more of the levadopa than brandy.  I plan to experiment in the spring with wine vinegar for tincture. But, I cannot test for levadopa and each batch will be slightly different, because of the soil area in which the favas are grown / the time of year the top is harvested/and the chosen liquid base for the tincture.

I want to make a plea for someone, or perhaps a medical school to take on the fava project that I started. I will help in any way I can to make this valuable way of using favas available to other people with Parkinson’s disease who would benefit from it, as I have.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Resources

Jump Start to Wellness
Parkinsons Recovery Weekly Reader
Parkinsons Recovery Chat Room
Symptom Tracker
Parkinsons Recovery Radio Network
Aqua Hydration Formulas

Books

Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery
Meditations for Parkinsons

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Fava Beans and Parkinson’s Disease

Sandra has been growing her own fava beans. They give her wonderful relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s. I asked Sandra a series of questions about fave beans.  Here are her answers:

1. How did you come to try fava beans as therapy for Parkinson’s disease?

I started searching books for possible natural treatments for Parkinson’s disease in January 2009. Came across a book “Green Pharmacy” by James A. Duke PhD. He spoke of favas for Parkinson’s disease & that started the ball rolling…lots of research and a search for seeds to plant. I am an organic gardener and am fascinated with herbs and natural medicine … so this was a new challenge for me.

2. Why are fava beans supposed to give relief from PD symptoms?

The whole aerial plant contains l-dopa. Especially, the immature green pods.  Since it is a natural form of l-dopa, the body recognizes & utilizes it very efficiently. Part of this is because it is a whole food, not a synthetic, man made form … just God given.

3. How have fava beans helped you and your friend?

My friend takes a small amount of sinemet and a couple of beans at medication times.  The favas are supplying most of her l-dopa. This seems to be giving her longer “on” times. Taking less sinemet seems to mean less withdrawal time from sinemet. She tries to take all of her sinemet before lunch time and then supplement in the afternoon with bean products dries bean chips/bean cookies/tincture, etc.

Personally, I am not on any pharmaceuticals for PD,  and just taking a few drops of tincture when I feel PD symptoms coming on, is enough to let me get through the day symptom free.

4. Can everyone use fava beans?

No.  Some people have  a genetic condition called favism. People with favism have an deficiency that makes it very dangerous to use favas…consumption can be fatal.  There is a simple blood test called a G6PD which detects if you have this condition and should not use fava beans. The test cost me $65. and was well worth it.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Resources

Jump Start to Wellness
Parkinsons Recovery Weekly Reader
Parkinsons Recovery Chat Room
Symptom Tracker
Parkinsons Recovery Radio Network
Aqua Hydration Formulas

Books

Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery
Meditations for Parkinsons

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Parkinson’s fava beans

Question:

I understand that it is possible to supplement Parkinson’s medications with canned green fava beans. I take meds 5x / day, have had Parkinson’s for 8 years and am 60 years old. My symptoms are fairly well controlled except for a mild tremor.

My neurologist suggested that I not “play around” with fava beans because it would cause spikes in dopamine……………

My question: Should I take an equal amount of fava bean [eg. 1 tsp. ] each time I take my meds to keep the dopamine level steady?

Carolyn

Response:

I have talked now with an number of people who supplement their medications with fava beans. Fava beans grow in pods much like green beans and are a food that has been around for thousands of years. The bean pods are clearly most effective when they are very young and green, even before a string like fiber forms along the pod.

You can eat the beans after steaming them or boiling them in water. Of course, you can add the seasonings that you like to most like sea salt, butter or herbs.

The best effect comes from eating fava beans that are green and fresh. You can shell them, though some people like eating the shells. Or, you  can grind them up, add them to other foods or beverages or take them like a pill.

Alternatively, you can boil or steam them till they are tender. Add them to salads.  The more you cook them, the more they are cooked, the less dopamine enhancing value they will have.

The stories of success vary depending on the person. May I suggest that you click on the categories “fava beans”  listed to the right of this post. You will be able to read some of what I have discovered about fava beans from this particular  posts. Fava beans are an attractive option for some people because they are a natural food, though it is always possible some people may have allergies to them.

Cooked fava beans may give you a tiny boast, but the potency can be mostly “cooked out.” Some people grind the raw beans. Other people grind the leaves and roots with good effect.

Other people report good results from growing their own fava beans, harvesting them and then grinding the beans (and/or leaves and stems).  If the fava beans are grown commercially they may not have sufficient “charge” and thus have little effect, as is the case with all supplements. This is why some people with the symptoms of Parkinsons are starting to grow their own fava beans.

The concerns of your neurologist are certainly well founded. If the fava beans that you take have a sufficient charge of dopamine, it will overload your body with too much dopamine. Some people I interview consult with doctors who help them adjust their medications as they begin to take the dopamine.

There is interest among some neurologists here in the northwest about doing trial studies where the medications are evaluated when used in combination with fava beans. People who use them successfully tell me that they are able to reduce the dosage of medications they take and side effects of the medications are also ameliorated.

I will plan on doing a radio program (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery) that is specifically dedicated to address the use of fava beans.  With any luck I may be able to talk with some people who are using them and/or grow them so they can tell  us their stories.

Listen to Parkinsons Recovery on Blog Talk Radio

There are a variety of other herbs that are also giving people good relief. You can listen to a clip of my interview with Andrew Bentley, herbalist, who discusses a variety of other herbs he uses to help his clients get wonderful relief from their symptoms. My interview with him is replayed in the Pioneers of Recovery radio program listed on the radio program page currently listed on the right top of this blog.

You asked about dosage of the fava beans. I am not a medical doctor and am not qualified to make any specific recommendations to anyone with regard to medications or dosages of any supplement or medication.  It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor about such matters. I personally also consult with my body by asking what it needs from moment to moment.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

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Fava Beans and Parkinsons Disease

Question:

I have had parkinsons for 20 years and have just started growing my own Fava Beans . We read that the leaves and stems have dopamine also and so decided to try leaf tea and steamed leaves. So far after a week, we are obtaining good results . 

We would like to know if any other Parkinson’s patient you have interviewed have used the leaves or leaf tea?

Patricia

Response:

I have talked with one woman with Parkinsons who also grows her own fava beans with resounding  success. She lives in a relatively cold climate. Her season  for growing the plants is relatively short which poses unique challenges for her.

Some people purchase fava beans from commercial sources. I have received many inquires asking what company is a reliable source. Here is what I have discovered. Some companies send out high quality fava beans which work beautifully for people, then send a batch which fizzles. To my knowledge, there is no reliable commercial source of fava beans. 

Why is this? They are not grown in the wild. Here is what I learned about herbs like fava beans in my interview with Andrew Bentley who is a herbalist. Andrew is one of the 14 pioneers I interview for the Pioneers of Recovery book which I just published.

Andrew tells me he also has not found a reliable, high quality source of fava beans for his own clients. This is quite amazing news, since his job as a herbalist is to use natural herbs to help people get well.

Andrew explains in Pioneers of Recovery that herbs need to be grown in the wild in order to carry the energetic punch that is essential for making the herbs work well. His argument makes good sense to me. Herbs grown in the wild are infused with the energy or the earth. Herbs grown in commercial fields lack this divine infusion of healing energy. Andrew harvests all his herbs in the wild. He purchases nothing from commercial companies. 

Growing your own fava beans may be just like growing them in the wild. I would encourage anyone with the symptoms of Parkinsons to follow your lead. Ingesting fava beans does help many people get relief from their symptoms. Other people supplement their regular medications with fava beans and find they are able to reduce their dosage significantly. As with any herbal therapy, everyone does not see significant relief but many are.

Some people order fava beans from a commercial source, found it did not make any difference and concluded that the bean does not help give them relief from symptoms. It is very possible that the problem was not the fava bean itself, but the source from where it was acquired.

Please keep us all appraised of your exciting project.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

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