Mucuna Pruriens

What follows below is correspondence I received from Dovida, the wife of Michael Day who shares a wealth of information about Michael’s experience with taking mucuna pruriens.

Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
https://www.parkinsonsdisease.me

Dear Robert,

I am taking the time to write to you today to let you know about the death of my beloved partner Michael. You might remember us – we live in Venezuela.

Both of us love what you share with the Parkinson’s community.  We also love and appreciate the generous time you have spent with us on the phone several times over the past 6 years. Michael contributed a deeply thoughtful piece on his relationship to this health challenge which you published on your blog a number of years ago.

I am also writing because I want to contribute to your community through an update on Michael’s experience using Mucuna, which remained a very positive one up until his death. I’ve also included some other things he had begun to experiment with.
I wasn’t sure where to post it so that it would be read by as many people as possible.
Perhaps you could choose a way to share this?

Regarding his death: Last month Michael and I both caught a virulent flu that’s going around. We almost never socialize and therefore pretty much always avoid the latest flu or cold. However, it was the birthday of the woman who takes care of our apartment building whom we adore. We had given her a gift and she came upstairs to thank us. 1 hug. That’s all it took.

With Michael’s challenged overall health, the flu quickly became double pneumonia and 2 weeks later he died on Saturday morning, July 21st. He was 64 yrs young.
He died at home with me, our friend who lives with us, and a nurse who was taking care of him with IVs, antibiotics, oxygen etc. We had done our best to create a stay at home hospital experience for him.

Michael managed to tell me he loved me earlier that morning and our friend tells me I whispered the same in his ear just before he died. My memory is a blur of those last moments. Having the neurological challenges of Parkinson’s made it harder for Michael to cough out the mucous that filled his lungs.

I ask people with the same challenge to please take extra care to avoid getting a chest infection. You may be at a disadvantage and not have as strong a capability of coughing than most people.

Robert, I believe that everything is Love/Consciousness, including the bacteria that killed Michael’s body. It is not possible for anything else to be true. There is nothing in existence that isn’t loving awareness. ll of the universe worked in harmony to carry Michael into the next stage.

Even Michael himself had made some unusual choices in the prior few weeks that greatly weakened his body. He was doing some writing and became like a man possessed, not stopping to eat or drink. It was wrecking his neurology – making his whole body writhe and shake – yet he felt compelled to keep going. I couldn’t convince him to stop and did not try that hard either because I implicitly have always trusted Michael and his own inner guidance.  Now I can look back and see how the choices were lining up to bring him to this transition from in the body to outside the body.

I’ve had Michael’s body cremated and at some point I will take the ashes to Indiato place in the sacred river Ganges. I’ll be staying on Isla de Margarita for now. It is a gentle place with warm ocean water and it’s incredibly inexpensive to live here. $150-$200/month is plenty, which is a blessing since my body isn’t yet in great health (fibromyalgia) and able to work.

Michael and I were together literally almost every day of the past 29 years. I keep wondering when I’m going to fall apart. But instead of crumbling I feel tremendous love and spiritual energy pouring into me, no doubt a lot coming from Michael. He is a very highly evolved soul.

My focus now is doing everything I can to let go of the chronic body pain I’ve carried so many years. Also, waking up and becoming established in remembering my true Self – experiencing the Oneness that Is – that’s forever on my plate, too.

Mucuna Pruriens

Here is the scoop on Mucuna Pruriens for Parkinson’s and a detailed description of Michael’s experience with it. ome people use it as an adjunct to medication like Sinemet in order to reduce the amount of medication, and then there are people like Michael who either want a more natural approach or have too many side effects with sinemet that use mucuna exclusively. Michael was never able to tolerate any of the medications and all natural strategies had failed up until what I describe below.

Michael had tried mucuna pruriens years ago – we bought some on Amazon.
What we didn’t realize was that Michael needed a much higher extract of mucuna.
The extract you can get from mucuna is L Dopa. The stuff we bought on amazon was only 15% L Dopa. Eventually we befriended a woman in the Netherlands that was getting great results with a 98% L Dopa extract of Mucuna that she was buying from someone in Australia (who got his supply from China). The 2 main source countries are India and China.

At the point that we learned this information, Michael was in very dire straits.
This was the winter of 2016. He was 97% dependent- he needed help dressing, eating, turning over in bed, covering himself with the sheet, bathing and even wiping his butt. He was considered Stage IV Tremor Dominant Parkinson’s by his neurologist. He could walk a little, falling forward and grabbing the walls for support. He could barely speak at an audible level and his diction was terrible.
He would have to whisper in my ear and I would decipher it. He also had constant tremendous pain due to muscle stiffening in his arms and legs. I had started interviewing 24/7 care because it was quickly becoming more than me and our friend who lived with us could handle.

I bought some of the 98% L Dopa and within 3 weeks of starting it Michael could go outside and walk. All pain left and all neurological symptoms improved. By 6 weeks he was 100% independent and he remained 100% independent until his death in July 2018 from a flu that progressed quickly into double pneumonia. His body had desperately needed L Dopa and this high potency mucuna gave it to him. He still had some tremor and low energy but everything was better. Even skin problems cleared up.

Eventually I found a source in the US that sells 99% extract and actually charges less than anyone else. Michael started with a dose of 300 mg just to see if he could tolerate it. He was always very sensitive. The effects initially lasted 3-4 hrs. This was January 2017.

Slowly we raised the dose to 700 mg 4-5x/day and eventually 850 mg 5x/day. Over time he did require more mucuna as well as more often – every 2-3 hours. He and got up to 1200 mg 5-6x/day this past year. Most people using mucuna don’t get the horrible side effect of dyskinesias (uncontrollable movements) that many people get from the drugs. At about 1200 mg mucuna, Michael did have some dyskinesia and he cut back to 1100 mg which reduced them. I know a woman that manages with 650 mg 4x/day for many years and a woman who uses a large dose of 5000 mg 3x/day for many years. Neither experience dyskinesias.

Everyone is different in terms of dose. You just start low and experiment.
I’ve also wondered about it being even more beneficial to add in some non-L-Dopa extract version of mucuna since the entire plant has many desirable healing properties. Places like Banyan Botanicals carry good quality organic whole plant mucuna if you want to try that along with the 98-99% L Dopa extract of Mucuna.

As a reference point – at Michael’s high dose of 1100-1200 mg 6x/day, a kg that costs $185 would last 2-3 months. In recent months Michael began experimenting with adding 5HTP and L-Tyrosine to better balance out his neurotransmitters and possibly increase the benefit of the mucuna.

He learned about these additions from John Grey’s work on improving brain health.
Michael had yet to notice any difference but it really could have been too soon to judge plus he didn’t take these extra amino acids consistently.

Michael was also experimenting with taking mannitol to extend the effect of the mucuna. He took 1 beano-type capsule along with it to prevent gas and bloating which can happen with mannitol. It was a little soon to tell but Michael felt it was helping and he didn’t get bloating.

Many people who take Parkinson’s medications have to contend with nausea from the drug. It’s the L Dopa/ levodopa causing nausea. Michael did get nausea when he started on mucuna, but eventually we discovered that taking about 1000-2000mg of straight Vitamin C from ascorbic acid at the same time as the mucuna worked perfectly and he never had nausea again.

This is also working to prevent nausea for some friends who are also taking mucuna.
It can’t be buffered C- it needs to be ascorbic acid, which thankfully is very inexpensive. (You can get ascorbic acid at a great price at the same place that sells the mucuna). 

Candied ginger can also work for nausea but then you’re also getting a lot of sugar so we were really happy to discover the Vit C worked. Mucuna extract is a tasteless white to off-white powder. I mixed it along with the Vit C into some room temp herbal tea sweetened with honey (preferably raw honey that has more healing properties).
Honey always helped Michael swallow.

Here is the US based company I bought mucuna from at a good price. We’ve also referred a number of people to this source and the mucuna is helping them, too.
(I’m not an affiliate and I get no financial benefit if you buy here).

https://www.nutrivitashop.com/l-dopa-100-pure-levodopa-mucuna-pruriens-dopamine/

You’ll also need a good mg scale so you can be exact in your dose. Here’s a link to a scale that has worked well for me.

Scale: there are similar ones on Amazon that have even better reviews, but this one has always worked for me and has not needed recalibration even after 18 months of frequent use. https://amzn.to/2BbNr0l

One more thing to mention that may help your readers.There is a Chinese Herbal Formula that has helped many people with tremors. A friend of Michael’s has used it for many months with great benefit. Michael had barely started it when he died so I can’t comment on his experience. 

Here’s one place that sells it. If you email me I can tell you more about dosage. This place seems to have the best price and you can get 10% off using code: Wholesale https://www.maxnature.com/plumflower-tian-ma-gou-teng-san.html

Please feel free to post my email address of dovidagoodman@gmail.com I’m happy to answer questions about anything I’ve written here.

Warmest regards,
Dovida

3 thoughts on “Mucuna Pruriens

  1. Thank you for this really good information. Is there anyone else who experienced this powder?
    I would like to try , I have 300mg sinemet per day and artane 4mg per day

    Is it best under doctor supervision?

  2. Dovida,

    Thank you for the excellently written article about your beloved Michael’s experience with taking mucuna pruriens. I am sorry for your loss.

    I was diagnosed with PD 5 years ago, but I think I’ve had Parkinson’s for about 7 years. Today is the first time I’ve ever heard of mucuna pruriens.

    I have to admit, I’ve not done a lot of information gathering, on my own, concerning Parkinson’s. Shame on me. I’ve only really consulted my neurologist and pretty much just followed his recommendations and advice.

    I do have a few questions, if you don’t mind. Did Michael tell his neurologist that he wanted to take mucuna pruriens? If so, was the doctor okay with the plan to take the supplement from the start? And did the doctor lower the amount of Sinemet that Michael took over time or was Michael even on Sinemet at the time he started taking the mucuna pruriens?

    I’m thinking I might try the mucuna pruriens to see if it will help with my balance and walking issues. I was falling forward, a lot, right on my knees. I would fall maybe once a week or so, then it was once a day, then it was 3-4 times a day. I went from walking pretty normal, to using a cane, to using a walker in about 18 months.

    Right now, I’m up to 3000 mg of Sinemet a day. 600 mg 5x/day. I do not have any nausea or even any bad dyskinesia (just a minor twitch of my pinky finger on my left hand) with the 3000 mg of Sinemet right now. This Sinemet dosage is usually lasting about 2.5-3 hours, unless I’m tired. Then it’s lasting only about 2 hours.

    One other thing. You mention a few other alternative, experimental type things Michael was adding to his regimen. Like experimenting with adding 5HTP and L-Tyrosine to better balance out his neurotransmitters and possibly increase the benefit of the Mucuna. You also mention he was starting to take some Mannitol to extend the effect of the Mucuna, and that he would take 1 beano-type capsule along with the Mannitol it to prevent gas and bloating which can happen with Mannitol.

    With all that he was taking, it seems it could be quite expensive. What was the monthly costs of all the prescriptions and/or supplements that Michael was taking? Did any of Michael’s insurance (Private, Medicare, Medicare Supplement) help pay for any of the medications and/or supplements?

    I apologize for all the questions. But when you’re on a fixed income now, like I am, it can be quite a shock to see how much everything cost these days. Thank you again for your article. It was quite an eye-opener for me.

    Take care and God speed,

    Mark Reeves

  3. Mark- it’s just by chance I’ve come across your questions today, about 8 months after you posted them. Sorry about that. It’s best that people who want to communicate with me use my email address dovidagoodman@gmail.com.

    Regarding Michael’s neurologist. To tell you the truth, other than getting a diagnosis Michael pretty much never went to a neurologist and except for a couple tries to tolerate sinemet which failed, he never took any of the medications. His body couldn’t tolerate any of them. Mucuna was a blessing from heaven. Eventually he did hook up with an excellent team of neurologists at a movement disorders clinic at the Univerisity of Florida using Skype video chat since we were in South America. The team was headed by Dr. Michael Okun and they were all pretty open minded. They had heard of mucuna and said by all means try it.

    Are you still using a walker? Pretty much everyone agrees that exercise is extremely important – it really does help keep up the communication between brain and body.
    I know it can feel like trying to defy gravity when you feel like crap and it’s so hard to get the body moving and when you do move it feels pretty weird. Michael did not enjoy walking but he knew how important it was to move. So – do it – ya hear?

    I don’t remember the prices but the things I mention above were not particularly expensive. Of course – everything does add up. That’s just how it is and it’s hit and miss finding what your body wants. We never had health insurance to cover anything but the tele-medicine program was funded by a grant and was free. Michael was their first participant in the program. We had access anytime we needed to the neurologist by email for questions and did 2x/year video-conferencing. Here’s the main website:
    https://movementdisorders.ufhealth.org/

    I do want to mention for anyone reading – mucuna is not a cure and it does not address the root cause(s) which probably differ from person to person.
    From all the research we did I would recommend investigating what might be causing inflammation in your body – certain foods? heavy metals? pesticides? Gut /digestive system imbalance? A hyper-active limbic system stuck in the stress response? (stress chemicals cause inflammation and can then produce many different symptoms from fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue to chronic Lyme, to PTSD and much more). I recently discovered after 35 years of fibromyalgia that it’s my limbic system causing all my symptoms and the reason why anything I’ve ever tried in natural or allopathic medicine has never worked or only worked temporarily. There is a program called DNRS you do at home that helps you rewire your brain and calm down the limbic system, allowing the body’s natural healing capabilities to do it’s work instead of being focused on “running from lions”. I mention this because the trauma of having a serious chronic illness can cause this brain impairment and contribute to the symptoms you might be experiencing with Parkinson’s. If you find you are an anxious person and stressed out – this could really be of benefit.
    It does take discipline and practice to re-wire the brain.
    The web site for this program is: (I get no financial benefit from this)
    https://retrainingthebrain.com/

    Lastly, while I’m “on the horn” I want to mention an alternative to Deep Brain Stimulation. It’s called HIFU – high intensive focused ultrasound. It’s a non-invasive way to do what DBS accomplishes. I don’t know if it’s available yet in the US (FDA is dragging their heels). You can find a couple TED talks about this. There are clinics in other countries like Israel, where it was first done, and in Switzerland. Expensive – the kind of thing that needs crowdfunding for most people but offers amazing results. In 2016 it cost about $35,000 plus travel expenses. The neurosurgeon we communicated with in Switzerland was the most compassionate doctor we’ve ever met. A true angel. He had done DBS for 35 years but once he started doing HIFU he said it was so far superior that he would never do DBS again. Many of his patients not only stopped having tremor but over time the neuroplasticity of the brain improved their gait as well. Alas, he felt Michael ‘s brain and overall health was too precarious even for non-invasive surgery. It was before we had found the high potency mucuna. I’m happy to communicate more about this by email with anyone interested.

    In closing, many blessings to all those with neurological challenges and their friends and family. Be kind to your caregivers – appreciate them a LOT – you’ll feel better too when you express gratitude.

    -Dovida
    January 2020

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