Question: What are your thoughts about using the mucuna to
treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s?
There is an upside and a downside to taking Mucuna to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Macuna bean (or Mucuna Puriens) is derived from a plant
that grows in tropical climates. The Mucuna herb has been used
for generations in India and other eastern countries to treat
Parkinson’s with varying success. Mucuna is by no means
a new revelation.
People use Mucuna in part because it does not have the side effects of prescription medications.A number of people in my global audience who take prescription
medications for Parkinson’s have been pleased with the results they
get from taking Mucuna. Others have succeeded
in reducing the dose of their prescribed medications or
even weaning themselves off prescription medications altogether.
No changes in the dosage of prescription medications should of course be made without consulting with your doctor first. Even though it is not a prescription medication, it is also just as important to consult with your doctor before taking any natural herb supplement like Mucuna to boost dopamine.
It is clear from talking with other health professionals that
Mucuna is not a cure nor does it provide relief
for everyone. After all, if Mucuna were a panacea
everyone with Parkinson’s would be taking it and no one
today would be suffering from its symptoms.
Many people think of Parkinson’s simplistically as a
deficiency of dopamine. In fact, the “disease” is
described by most health care providers as such.
The truth of the matter is that reasons for
the symptoms of Parkinson’s are far, far more
complicated than this simple explanation.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s are affected by an imbalance
of over 39 different neurotransmitters. When you take
Mucuna or any dopamine supplement for that matter
you are making a decision to focus on a tiny fraction
of the problem.
The body is making fine adjustments to the production
and distribution of hormones continuously, second by
second, minute by minute. Consider the maze of
complicated adjustments your body makes to produce
and distribute the other 38 neurotransmitters when you take
any dopamine lookalike.
Ingesting a single synthetic hormone once a day creates an instant
adjustment the body must make to the delicate balance of hormones
in the body. The “adjustment” that comes from taking a dopamine
supplement (whether prescription or a supplement like Mucuna) is crude.The body produces and distributes hormones continuously each and every second of the day.
Do the math.
If the choice is between relying on the body or any dopamine supplement I
am betting on the body any day of the week.
A second challenge you will encounter if you decide to
take Mucuna – and keep in mind this may be a good
choice for you – is that you are giving your body the
signal it does not need to expend the energy produce dopamine
on its own. Think like your body and you will understand
the long term consequences of what happens when
you take a dopamine producing supplements.
Here is the decision sequence:
1. Your body is busy with the work of adjusting and balancing hormones
which, after all, is one of its functions.
2. An external source of domaine mysteriously
appears in the digestive system.There is suddenly and
unexpectedly an external intrusion into the body.
3. The body begins to ponder: “Who is in charge here?” A critical function of the body is suddenly and unexpectedly being handled by an external intervention.
4. The body then concludes: “If someone else is doing my job, why should I bother?”
Isn’t this just anyone of us do when someone else takes on the burden of doing
a job you thought was our responsibility? I mean, if someone else wants to do the work, why not let them?
A reason cells in the substantia nigra die is because
dopamine is being supplied by an external source. Cells
that produce dopamine are no longer needed since the supply is provided by an external source. You either use it or lose it. In this case you lose it.
The body eventually surrenders responsibility for producing dopamine.
Prescription medications and Mucuna are different delivery systems for
dopamine. For most people higher doses have to be take to experience symptom
John Coleman ND points out that most of the Macuna bean
that is packaged and sold in the marketplace is not actually
“natural.” It is a processed. The Mucuna pill capsules
are manufactured and refined, purified and converted to
powder. John Coleman ND has also observed in his clinic that
some forms of Macuna induce the “same adverse effects as synthetic
levodopa if consumed in large quantities over a long period.
Coleman offers a different recommendation for his clients.
He suggests you hydrate your body by taking a
natural homeopathic remedy. The body has an easier
time producing and balancing hormones when the cells
are adequately hydrated.
Mucuna may provide welcome relief in the short term.
But if it is used as a lifetime remedy your body’s
incredibly intricate system for monitoring
hormones will be short circuited. Sensitivity of
the monitoring system is degraded and the system
itself is eventually disabled.
Your body gradually gives up its mandate at birth to maintain
health and wellness. You eventually begin to feel lousy.
Why not give your body a chance to do its work whenever
possible? Wait. Be patient. Ask the most important question of all:
What is causing your symptoms?
Once you identify and address the cause, you will not necessarily
begin feeling good every day. Some days you will may feel lousy.
Helping the body re-remember how to balance hormones is not an
easy task but the rewards are worth it.