Category Archives: mucuna

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.  



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.

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:

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

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I recently started taking NOW brand Mucuna (120mg LDopa) along with my 1/2 Sinemet tablet in 4-hour intervals. Its been only 3 weeks, but I can feel the Mucuna working, even with the Sinemet dosage halved! I also ordered ZANDOPA from India. Can you comment on these 2 products?  




It is wonderful to hear that the source of mucuna (which is a natural source of dopamine) which you have discovered seems to be helping significantly. Hooray! From interviews I have done with herbalists, there are few, if any, commercial sources of high quality Mucuna that are available.

Andrew Bentely, a  herbalist who was featured in the 2009 edition of Pioneers of Recovery, reports that he does not prescribe Mucuna for his patients because he is unable to find a supply that is reliable. What he looks for is Mucuna that is grown in the wild which he has been unable to find anywhere in the world.

I have even had calls from some people who report that their supply of Mucuna had been working beautifully for them until they received a re- shipment – which fizzled. As you can see, reports are scattered all over the place.

I do not have any recommendations for a reliable source of Mucuna for these reasons. If sounds like your source may be a goldmine. I hope it continues to be useful.

One of the presenters at the Parkinsons Recovery Summit, Aunt Bean (Sandra), will offer a workshop where she will give point by point instructions on how to make their own dopamine at home from the sprouts of fava beans (or the tips if you have a garden). Her homemade tincture offers her wonderful relief from the symptoms of Parkinsons that she currently experiences. The Summit this year is in Cincinnati, Ohio June 22-23.

I do not have any specific information about the medicine you ordered from India, though I am certain it would depend on the specific source.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery

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Mucuna Puriens

Hi – I’ve been going through the archives of your show and am trying a  few things little by little. I can’t stress enough the hope it has given me! Thank you.

I can’t seem to access the blog (I’m in Ireland?) and was wondering if you’ve covered the topic of Zandopa also known ad Mucuna Puriens of Kapikachu Choornam – ayurvedic herbal dopaminergic.

Are you familiar with this? I’d love to know your subscribers’ experiences.


I am so delighted to hear that you have found helpful information from listening to the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Show. All shows are archived and can be accessed any time of the day or night no matter where you live in the world. Access is free. I have been airing live shows since 2009, so there is a wealth of information that can be mined from  listening to the past shows.

It sounds like you have had a challenge navigating to the blog. The URL address of the Parkinsons Recovery Blog is:

Categories are listed on the right side of the main page. Click on the category listed as “mucuna” and five posts on the topic will be presented. 

Yes, I am very familiar with mucuna as a treatment used by some people to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s.  One significant challenge is finding a quality source of mucuna. It is sold from many sources, but the energetic charge in most of the products is minimal.  

Another resource I highly recommend is a fava bean website. Aunt Bean regularly posts updates on growing fava beans and mucuna on her farm in Tennessee. She will be hosting a workshop in June to show people how to make a homemade tincture from fava bean sprouts. Aunt Bean’s tincture has provided her with remarkable relief from her symptoms.

The URL address of the fava bean website is:

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery

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Fava Beans and Mucuna


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



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 – 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:

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

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


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.



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 :

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

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Is Sinemet Necessary for Recovery from Parkinson’s


John Coleman, ND mentioned in his book Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’ that Aqua Hydration Formulas ( 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,



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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Exciting News about Recovery Progress

What follows is a letter which reports exciting progress of recovery that I have permission to post.  This letter was a most wonderful and very unexpected birthday present that I received several days ago.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

I just wanted to share with you that my neurologist was completely impressed with your website. We went online during my appt. and I told him you had offered a free membership and he said he would be contacting you.

He is awesome- absolutely the most open M.D. I have ever met. I said you weren’t saying that this was a cure for parkinsons, but that you were saying a person could become symptom free and he said,

“Yes you can!”

He mentioned that many of his patients ask him what they can do to reduce symptoms and he tells them good nutrition, exercise, meditate, etc. That is the beauty of your site. You have done all the work and a wonderful job organizing everything — all we have to do is turn the computer on! The first thing he said to me is,

“Have you been working out a lot? You look great!”

That felt really good. I have made vast improvements in such a short time. However, I need to keep working hard and reduce my meds more as I am having a lot of very restricting dyskinesia again – that is my signal to reduce. My doctor was also impressed with my med reduction. I have totally eliminated 3 drugs and reduced one, I have cut my l-dopa (mucuna) dose by 50% 1st than another 25% of that and now it’s time again. I just want to thank you for all that you have done and are doing- remember to take a break sometime!



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An Encouraging Report from One Man who Takes Sinemet with Mucuna

What happens if you take Sinemet and Mucuna

 at the same time?  The following account was

written by Max. Max forwarded the following

account to me this week and gave me permission

to make it public. Max has Parkinson’s and

lives in Canada.  






Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery






“I’m  53 years old (or young).  I was diagnosed
with PD back in March 2001. I had a minimal
exposure to PD meds back then, just long
enough (one month on Sinemet) to see an
improvement. That convinced me that I have PD.
Whatever PD is.”

“I started taking lots of vitamins, antioxidants,

eating better, exercising the best I can,

meditating, acupuncture, Ti-Chi, tried PDrecovery,

Chi-Gong, visualizing techniques, energy work,

etc. etc. I’m sure it all helped, but eventually

I needed a walker and could barely take care

of myself.”


“By February of 2006, 5 years later, I was having

a hard time using a walker and was looking

into getting a wheelchair. I couldn’t take it any

longer, so I regrettably broke down and decided

to take Sinemet. “


“In about a week, Sinemet started to work. And in

about a month, I was a completely different person.

I could walk, got my balance back, started to gain

back my normal weight and I could even ride my

mountain bike again.””


“But in only 6 months of taking Sinemet, I found

it was taking longer and longer to kick in, not lasting

as long and sometimes it wouldn’t kick in at all.

Sometimes I would take 1 1/2 tablets of

Sinemet CR 200/50, at a time, with no effect at all.”


“Talk about being scared all over again. I knew

getting on Sinemet would be a limited ride,

but I never thought it could be this short for me.”


“When I heard about “Mucuna Pruriens” 

(Zandopa also called HP-200), a natural herb from

India, in the fall of 2006, I got very interested.

The first time I tried it, I felt some improvement.

In about two months, I gradually reduced my

Sinemet CR 200/50 from 5 tablets a day to

only 1 tablet a day (break it into 1/3’s) and

I take it with Mucuna. “


“I feel like this “Mucuna” (Zandopa) is

REALLY HELPING me a lot. I take it

3 or 4 times a day and can pretty well

function normally when the herbs kick in –

not bad considering that I was ready

for a wheelchair. When the herbs wear off,

my PD symptoms still come back,

but not nearly as bad as before. “


“I’ve been taking Mucuna and Sinemet for

the past 1 1/2 years. I’m currently taking

1/2 a tablet of Sinemet (200/50) with

1 tsp of powdered Mucuna (Zandopa)

3 or 4 times a day. In 3 hour intervals.

I also take Ashwaganda & Brahmi. I try

not to take anything in the evening or

before I go to bed. I like to give my body

a break and give it a chance to build up

its own dopamine over night. It seems

to work because I can go for an hour

walk in the morning before I take my herbs.”


“I purchase Zandopa directly from India:


“From my own personal experience,

if anyone with pd wants to try Mucuna,

I recommend that you take it slowly.

You might want to get some small

measuring spoons, the kind used for

cooking. I’ve started taking a level

1/4 tsp of powered Mucuna (Zandopa)

3 times a day for the first week.

A 1/2 tsp 3 times a day for the second week.

And I worked my way to 3/4 tbsp 4 times a day

by the 4th week. “


“I also gradually reduced my Sinemet

from 4 (200/50) tablets per day to only

one pill a day in a couple of months.

I break the Sinemet pill into quarters.

I take the Sinemet at the same time as

the Zandopa 4 times a day.”


“It works best if you take it at least

1/2 hour before meals or at least

1 1/2 hours after a meal. I mix the

Zandopa in half a glass of water.

I use a small hand held blender to

mix it, it gets rid of the sludge at the

bottom. Personally I don’t mind the

taste, but I do add some juice to it

(cranberry, etc.)”


“I’m doing all this on my own right now,

but you should let your doctor know

what you’re doing.  I keep a record

(date, time of day, amount, when it

kicked in, faded out, and effects

(good or bad) meals time, etc.”


“Just take it slowly. If you feel anxious,

hyper, antsy, or have a lot more energy

than normal, you know you’re taking too



“I space the doses by three hour ’till

the next one. I take just enough to be

normal without feeling anxious. It works

extremely well for me; I’m really surprised

more people with pd don’t take it.” 


“My pd hasn’t gotten any worse in the past

1 1/2 years of taking Mucuna. If anything

I’ve gotten better in some areas.


I no longer have any balance problems,

haven’t been constipated for over a year now.

No longer have any tremors unless I’m stressed.

Can ride a bike, jog, walk normal etc. when

the herbs are in my system. But I did have to

increase my intake of Mucuna. I’m not taking

 level tsp. And 1/2 a tablet of Sinemet (200/500)

3 or 4 times a day.”


“I’m not having any negative side effects at all

from taking Mucuna. My body has adapted to it.

I believe the body can repair itself, taking Mucuna

is a natural plant product. It  helps me regain my

strength so I can take care of myself. A great

website on Mucuna is:”


Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery


 © 2008 Parkinsons Recovery



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