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.
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