Parkinson’s and Natural Options

Quincy AdamNatural Options, Parkinsons, Parkinsons Treatments

Currently, there are only treatments available for the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but there is no cure for the disease.

In addition to the balance, strength and mobility issues that develop with Parkinson’s, the disease may cause non motor symptoms, and the medications to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s may cause side effects.

Some common non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s include mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, cognitive changes such as slowed thinking, attention problems, language and memory difficulty, personality changes and dementia. Others experience impulse control disorders such as binge eating, excessive shopping or gambling.  Sleep issues are another serious problem for Parkinson’s patients – everything from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, talking and moving around during sleep, vivid dreams and something called excessive daytime sleepiness – when the individual cannot stay awake during the day and falls asleep at times when his or her safety could be at risk, or the safety of others.

These non motor symptoms can more troublesome and disabling than the movement related symptoms and each may require their own treatment.

Along with better traditional treatments for Parkinson’s disease and for the non motor symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, researchers are evaluating the potential benefits of natural and alternative therapies.

Alternative Therapies for Parkinson’s

  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Vitamins and Herbs – ginger for nausea, vitamin B9 for brain health and good memory, green tea polyphenols – high in antioxidants and free radical scavenging activity, milk thistle, coenzyme 10 – plays a role in mitochondria health (the powerhouse of a cell), vitamin c and e, vitamin B12 have been studied for their benefits to people with Parkinson’s.1

Plants for Parkinson’s

Researchers are currently studying the role of some natural plants that have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential could play in neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Some of these plants including Withania somnifera, Bacopa monnieri, Curcuma longa, Centella asiatica, Ocimum sanctum, Nardostachys jatamansi and Emblica officinalis may prove to play a protective role in brain health.2

There aren’t any conclusions yet, but it is quite possible that along with traditional treatment for Parkinson’s, there will be a number of natural options that may be worth considering to treat both the motor and non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s.

  1. Parkinson’s Foundation. Over the Counter & Complimentary Therapies. Accessed on March 23, 2018.
  2. Srivasastava P, Yadav RS. Efficacy of Natural Compounds in Neurodegenerative Disorders. Adv Neurobiol. 2016;12:107-23. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28383-8_7. Accessed on March 23, 2018.