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.