Parkinson's Diseaseaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Neurological Disorders

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that predominantly affects motor functioning. It is characterized by tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement, and a host of other non-motor symptoms. These symptoms stem from the loss of dopamine-producing cells in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra.

Over time, this degenerative condition can lead to severe disability, although its progression varies among individuals. While there is no cure, treatments aim to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

How Does TCM View Parkinson's Disease?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique perspective on Parkinson's disease, viewing it not as a singular illness but as a manifestation of imbalance within the body’s energetic systems.

TCM does not directly correlate its concepts with biomedical terms; however, it perceives symptoms similar to Parkinson's as disruptions in the flow of Qi, or vital energy, and imbalances in the Yin and Yang energies of the body. Treatment in TCM is centered around restoring harmony and balance, rather than directly addressing the disease itself.

Causes of Parkinson's Disease According to TCM

TCM postulates that the root of Parkinson's-like symptoms lies in deficiencies and stagnations within the body's organ systems. Liver Blood Deficiency leading to Wind, for instance, can manifest in tremors and involuntary movements, akin to the motor symptoms of Parkinson's.

Moreover, a Deficiency in Kidney Essence, believed to nourish the brain, might contribute to the degenerative aspect of the disease. By recognizing these patterns, a TCM practitioner can determine the most appropriate interventions tailored to the individual's constitution and symptomatology.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Parkinson's Disease

The treatment of Parkinson's in TCM utilizes a variety of herbal formulas to address the identified patterns of disharmony. Bu Gan Tang, rich in Prepared Rehmannia, nourishes Liver Blood to address the internal Wind, while Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang targets both Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiencies.

To calm the Mind and pacify Internal Wind, Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang may be prescribed, particularly when there is agitation. These formulas exemplify the TCM approach of holistic treatment, focusing on restoring balance to the body's internal landscape.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address parkinson's disease, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that tonify blood
  • Formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders
  • Formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind
  • Formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind

All "formulas that tonify blood" recommended for parkinson's disease

Formula Key herbs
Bu Gan Tang Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang), White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)
Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Acupoints for Parkinson's Disease

In conjunction with herbal therapy, acupuncture is a cornerstone of TCM treatment. Shenmen HE-7, a point on the Heart Channel, is often utilized for its purported ability to calm the Mind and nourish the Heart, potentially alleviating some of the emotional and psychological distress associated with Parkinson's. Each acupoint is selected for its traditional indications and is thought to influence the flow of Qi, contributing to the overall therapeutic strategy aimed at rebalancing the body's internal environment.

See more details below about Shenmen HE-7, an acupoint used to address parkinson's disease.

  • By Meridian
  • Heart Channel
Shenmen HE-7

Shenmen HE-7

On the transverse crease of the wrist, in the articular region between the pisiform bone and the ulna, in the depression on the radial side of the tendon of flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.

TCM Herbs for Parkinson's Disease

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address parkinson's disease, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness
  • Warm/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Purgative herbs that drain downward
  • Herbs that stabilize and bind
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood

"Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency" recommended for parkinson's disease

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) Bu Gan Tang | Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang
Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) Bu Gan Tang