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Chinese Medicine for Parkinson’s Disease

Identify the Underlying Root Causes of PD (Parkinson’s Disease)

Presented By Dr. Christopher Ging

The brain and nerves make up an extraordinarily complex communication system that can normally send and receive voluminous amounts of information simultaneously. However, when the nerve cells are degenerated due to ischemia and Chi (producing electric circuit to promote blood circulation), they becomes vulnerable to diseases and injuries, causing Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease.
The Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease with prominent motor impairments, characterized by:
Primary Motor Symptoms: resting tremor, slow movements, rigidity, postual instability/abnormality, and unbalanced walk. It is caused by the degeneration of or damage to nerve cells within basal ganglia in the brain.

Resting Tremor:

Early Stage – about 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience a slight tremor in the early stage of the disease – either in the hand or foot on one side of the body, or less commonly in the jaw or face. The tremor appears as a “beating” or oscillating movement. Because the Parkinson’s tremor usually appears when a person’s muscles are relaxed, it is called “resting tremor.” This means that the affected body part trembles when it is not doing work, and it usually subsides when a person begins an action. The tremor often spreads to the other side of the body as the disease progresses, but remains most apparent on the original side of occurrence.
Advance Stage – the disease affects both sides of the body and causes rigidity as well as trembling of the muscles. Tremor gets worse after driving and light physical work. Symptoms include a permanent rigid stoop and an unblinking, fixed expression, a constant trembling of the neck, hands and knees overbalancing walk that may break into uncontrollable tiny, running steps. Eating, washing, dressing and other everyday activities gradually are difficult to manage.

Bradykinesia (Slow Movement):

Bradykinesia is the phenomenon of a person experiencing slow movements. In addition to slow movements, a person with bradykinesia will probably also have  incomplete movement -difficulty initiating movements and sudden stopping of ongoing movement. People who have bradykinesia may walk with short, shuffling steps (this is called festination). Bradykinesia and rigidity can occur in the facial muscles, reducing a person’s range of facial expressions and resulting in a “mask-like” appearance.


Rigidity, also called increased muscle tone, means stiffness or inflexibility of the muscles. Muscles normally stretch when they move, and then relax when they are at rest.

In rigidity, the muscle tone of an affected limb is always stiff and does not relax, sometimes resulting in a decreased range of motion. For example, a person who has rigidity may not be able to swing his or her arms when walking because the muscles are too tight. Rigidity can cause pain and cramping.

Postural Instability (Impaired Balance and Coordination):

People with Parkinson’s disease often experience instability when standing or impaired balance and coordination. These symptoms, combined with other symptoms such as bradykinesia, increase the chance of falling. People with balance problems may have difficulty making turns or abrupt movements. They may go through periods of “freezing,” which is when a person feels stuck to the ground and finds it difficult to start walking. The slowness and incompleteness of movement can also affect speaking and swallowing.

Each person with Parkinson’s will experience these symptoms differently. For example, many people experience tremor as their primary symptom, while others may not have tremors, but may have problems with balance. Also, for some people the disease progresses quickly, and in others it does not.

Secondary Motor Symptoms

Combined with motor abnormality, many seccondary motor aspects of PD can significantly affect patients’ quality of life by causing such problems listed below; however, not all people with Parkinson’s will experience all of these:

  • Stooped posture, a tendency to lean forward
  • Autonomic dysfunction
  • Dystonia
  • Fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Impaired fine motor dexterity and motor coordination
  • Impaired gross motor coordination
  • Poverty of movement (decreased arm swing)
  • Akathisia
  • Speech problems, such as softness of voice or slurred speech caused by lack of muscle control
  • Loss of facial expression, or “masking”
  • Micrographia (small, cramped handwriting)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Drooling
  • Nonmotor Symptoms
  • Pain
  • Dementia or confusion
  • Sleep disruption
  • Constipation
  • Skin problems
  • Depression
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Memory difficulties and slowed thinking
  • Urinary problems
  • Fatigue and aching
  • Loss of energy
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Cramping

These problems often do not respond to and may even be worsened by the reverse effects of synthetic prescriptions.

Despite various advances in the understanding of PD, pharmacological treatment of PD by Western medicine is mainly for symptom management. Among different pharmacological treatments, levodopa remains the most efficacious and is still the mainstay of therapy. Drugs used in conjunction with or as substitutes for levodopa include Bromocriptine and amantadine. Other drugs that provide effective relief for tremor include anticholinergic drugs. Long-term use of levodopa can cause disabling motorcomplications, particularly dyskinesias and motor fluctuations, which limit its usefulness. Both of these motor complications have been found to occur in 40 and 70% of patients after 5 years and 15 years of levodopa treatment, respectively.

In view of the undesirable long-term side effects of Western medicine, many patients seek alternative treatment for PD. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat conditions such as trembling of hands and shaking of head that correspond to the modern term ‘PD’. Up to the present, Chinese herbal medicine remains very popular for management of PD in Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan. In a study done by Rajendran et al., it was observed that 40% of patients with PD use at least one form of alternative therapy. Herbal medicine is one of the three most popular forms of alternative therapy adopted by PD patients. However, there are very few rigorously designed clinical trials that examine the efficacy of TCM in PD. One study from Japan evaluated the role of Chinese herbal medicine in patients with antipsychotic-induced Parkinsonism. With the use of a standard 10-herb formula, the investigators demonstrated a significant reduction in tremor in patients.

Unlike Western medicine, TCM diagnoses of PD fall into different categories according to the patient’s fundamental constitution. According to TCM theory, PD is a condition that represents “Yang Deficiency” – a depletion of energy, especially in the spleen and stomach. Herbal drugs have therefore been used in the treatment of PD under the general guideline of ‘strengthening the spleen and regulating the stomach’. ‘Jia Wei Liu Jun Zi Tang’ (JWLJZT) is an ancient formulation developed by a TCM doctor Zhang Lu in 1695 AD, with the specific function of tonifying the energy (Qi) of spleen and stomach; it has been used to treat symptoms that are now defined as PD. According to Dr. Christopher Ging’s research, he have developed unique Chinese herbal formula to stop the tremor and enhance quality of life of patients with idiopathic PD.

How Oriental Medicine Diagnose and Treats the PD Patients and its Outcome

I.    Diagnosis

Differentiation of Syndromes by Yin-Yang, Interior-Exterior, Hot-Cold and Deficiency-Excess Eight Principles
By clinical observation-smelling-inquiry about chief symptoms and life style, peek the ear-eye-teeth, check meridian pathways, and feel the pulse. Doctor of Oriental Medicine is able to identify the underlying root of causes of a PD patient. The symptom such as resting tremor is the same; however, the underlying root of causes may be varied.

Resting tremor may be attributable to liver dysfunction, blood clotting, excessive phlegm, sleep disorder, sympathetic over-driven tension, heart stress due to mind racing, chronic fatigue, food assimilation deficiency, emotional stress (frustration, irritation, worry, anxiety..), poor life style (go to bed late, craving for caffeine drink), acupuncture meridian blockage and so on.

After identifying the underlying root of causes of a PD patient, the following Patent Formula may be applicable for treatment:

  1. Ban xia bai zhu tian ma tang (ban xia, tian ma, bai zhu, ju hong, fu ling, Gan cao, sheng jiang, da zao)
  2. Si wu tang (shu di huang, bai shao, dang gui, chuan xiong)
  3. Gui bi tang(ren shen, huang qi, bai zhu, fu ling, suan zao ren, long yan rou, mu xiang, zhi gan cao, dang gui, zhi yuan zhi)
  4. Tian ma gou deng yin(tian ma, gou teng, shi jue ming, zhi zi, huang qin, yi mu cao, chuan niu xi, du zhong, sang ji sheng, ye jiao teng, fu shen) cheng qi tang variation(da huang, mang xiao, zhi shi, hou po)
  5. Chong pae sa gan tang(Korean Sasang Medicine)(ge gen, huang qin, gao ben, lai fu zi, jie geng, sheng ma, bai zhi, da huang)

The following Acupuncture points are recommended for PD treatment:
PC= pericardium   SP=Spleen    LI=large intestine  DU=governor Meridian
GB=gall bladder,   UB=urinary bladder  LV=liver,  HT=heart, REN=conception meridianr
PC6,  SP4,  LV3,  LI11,  LI4,  DU20, GB31, 34, GB20, UB10, L120

HT8, LV2, HT7, SP3, REN17, REN12

Master Tong’s Needle: bloodletting on zheng hui and needles on shang san huang(tian huang, ming huang, qi huang), zhen jing, zhou shui, zhou ling.

Concerning Acupuncture

Patients with PD receiving acupuncture report a reduction in pain and sometimes improved sleep and mood and increased energy. Reduction of pain has consistently been reported by persons receiving acupuncture for a variety of conditions. Stimulation of the nerve fibers with the acupuncture needle is thought to activate the nervous, lymphatic, and electromagnetic pathways and result in a release of hormones that reduce pain as well as stimulate the immune system and improve circulation. Treatments often last 40 to 90 minutes while laying on one’s back with needles in place and to be effective may need to be done o minimum of one to three times weekly for a series of 10 to 12 weeks and then continue on a maintenance program of one to two times monthly. There are a few limited studies suggesting potential benefit of acupuncture for PD. One study involved 53 patients, 29 who received acupuncture every other day for a total of three months and 24 who received no acupuncture and did not change their western medications for PD.

A significant improvement in PD motor symptoms was reported in the patients receiving acupuncture as well as an ability to reduce their dopaminergic medications, whereas the control group reported an overall worsening of symptoms.

In similar studies, persons with PD have reported no change in symptoms or have withdrawn from the study due to lack of perceived benefit; however, in some studies improvements in sleep, depression, and quality of life were observed.

Chinese Herbs

A number of herbs based upon the Chinese concept of PD would likely be prescribed and be tailored for the specific symptoms of the individuals. Herbs that support liver and kidney function to replenish the deficient yin state thought to occur in PD are lyceum fruit and ho-shou-wu. Supplemental herbs that might be added to these to boost yin are rehmania, dioscorea, cornus, peony, tortoise shell, ligustrum, and achyranthes. Yang deficiency may also occur and would be treated with cistanche and cuscuta that would gently support yang while also benefiting yin. More advanced PD is thought to result from stagnation of the body fluids or phlegm obstruction of the channels (meridians and blood vessels) and  would benefit from the herbs acorus, arisaema, and pinellia. Herbs to support blood circulation include ginseng, hoelen, atactylodes, licorice, rehmannia, tagkuei, peony, and cnidium all found in the Bazhen Tang formula. Specific symptoms such as tremor might be treated with the addition of gastrodia, uncaria, oyster shell, mother of pearl, or scorpion, whereas chaenomeles, peony and magnolia bark would be prescribed to lessen rigidity.

Though there are no controlled, double blind studies on herbal therapies for the treatment of PD, several open label studies have reported a reduction in the motor symptoms of PD. One study reported 40 persons with PD treated with a standard herbal prescription(20g of he-shou-wu, 12g of lyceum(gou qi zi), 12g of cistanche(rou cong rong), 15g of gastrodia(tian ma), 18g of uncaria(gou teng), 18g of cnidium(she chuang zi), 10g of acorus(shi chang pu)). The standard herbal remedy was then altered with the addition of specific herbs according to the particular symptoms of the individual patient( i.e., magnolia bark(hou po), peony(bai shao), and chaemomeles(mu gua) for rigidity). A tea with the herbs was made and ingested three times daily for three months and all prior western dopaminergic medications were discontinued during the study. Only five patients(8%) were reported to be markedly improved and 15(27%) reported some improvement in the motor symptoms of PD, whereas the remainder(65%)had little improvement, no improvement, or a worsening of PD symptoms. Guoshong reported 32 persons with PD randomly assigned to receive the herbal remedy, wengan zhichan jianonang at 2000mg three times daily or carbidopa/levodopa for up to 12 weeks. There were no differences in motor symptoms between the two groups suggesting that the herbal therapy was as effective as the most potent conventional PD medication.

Specific herbs for some of the associated symptoms of PD include some of the following. Datura stramonium seeds provide anticholinergic effects and can reduce tremor and rigidity. Evening primrose oil(oenothera biennis) may lessen tremor by increasing bioavailability of levodopa. Ginger(zingiber officinalis) minimize nausea and vomiting which may occur as a side effect from dopaminergic medications. Banisterine and nicotiana tabacum both have monoamine oxidase inhibitor activity similar to that of selegiline and rasagiline, and thereby may enhance the activity by reducing the metabolism of naturally occurring endogenous dopamine as well as synthetic dopamine. Passion flower(passiflora incarnate) may lessen anxiety and insomnia as well as  enhance sexual libido. St. john’s wart(hypericum perforatum) has been studied and shown to reduce symptoms of mild depression. Memory may improve with use of ginko biloba and constipation can be treated with triphala.

What are the culprits of PD ?

  1. PD starts with the pathogenic factor (1) excessive Heat-Fire due to Yin Blood Deficiency, attributable to mind racing, emotional stress (fear, anxiety, anger), work overload, and disrupted sleep/insomnia. Excessive Heat-Fire gradually burns the organ tissues and nerve fiber bundles, drys out the blood supply and consumes the energy and oxygen rapidly, low tolerance for thirst, burns out thalacortical motor circuit, and makes the body fluid so thick that produces the second (2) pathogenic factor, phlegem (mucoid), which can not further be broken down into small molecules for nutrition and fuel energy, but stagnant in the organ and acupuncture Meridians.
  2.  The pathogenic phlegm stagnant in the blood vessel, organ and acupuncture Meridian further blocks the oxygen-enriched blood and energy into the neurons in the brain area, making the nerve cells in the Basal Ganglia starve to death and causing prolonged brain ischemia and thalacortical motor short circuit which stymie the motor fuction of the body.


  1. In the early stage of brain ischemia, the inside of the body carries excessive heat; the patients have very low tolerance to heat. In the advance stage, the patients may suddently be sensitive to cold. They begin to bundle themselves with blanket, coat, cap, and socks.
  2. Abundant oxygen makes blood vessels elastic, duable and not vulnerable to be broken. However, when the body is short of Chi or oxygen, diameter of numerous capillary vessels instantly opens wide as a message to the heart for pumping more blood to make up the oxygen shortage of the brain and viscera region. Incessant overwork of the heart eventually leads to the hardening and fragility of the blood vessels and lose its elasticity causing blood vessel infarction, blood clotting, necrosis and sluggish blood circulation. Without adequate blood circulation (Yin energy- like anion, spin counterclockwise), the neurons, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary glands are startving and dying; and they begin degenerated, affect normal reproduction of dopamine (Yang energy- like cation, clockwise spin) by Levodopa.Meridian Blockage
    The pathways of Governor Meridian (M), Gall Bladder M., Urinary Bladder M., Liver M. and Stomach M. are passing through the middle, laternal side, posterior and anterior side of the brain as a network. The urinary bladder Meridian travels from the posterior side of the head into the brain whereas the gall bladder and liver meridian travels from the temple side of the head into the brain. The basal ganglia and thalamocortical motor cells requires adequate Amps- electrical current to maintain the blood circulation. Any of the above four meridian is short circuited that would stymie the blood circulation and the thalamocortical motor circuit short out.
  3. Pathogenic Internal Wind, making the cervical-limb tremor episodes unpredictable pending on the the brain ischemic index and blood circulation.
    The pathogenic factors: Heat-fire in the blood fanned the phlegm inundated in the brain, into the flame, producing the third pathogenic factor, vehement internal Wind (Yang energy) – the culprit causing short circuit of neurons, tremor, akinesia, rigidity and muscle incoordination manifested in

    the early stage of PD.

  4. The pathogenic factors: Heat-fire, Internal Phlegm and Wind worked together would damage the liver-kidney-spleen cells, causing the tendon, ligament anemia and lumbar-leg inertia.
    The liver, kidney-adrenal and heart, closely working with the central nervous system, can quickly get repaired, regenerated due to lack of deep and sound sleep and inadequate sleep hours. The liver stores abundant blood as a blood bank. It also produces ATP to energize the brain. Without adequate ATP in the brain, the neuron in the brain would be degenerated.
  5. Unhealthy diet:  Voracious appetite for sugar foods, greasy anddeep-fry foods, processed foods and not enough vegetables

PD Treatment Protocols

Liver Balancer Formula made of pure Chinese herbs
According to TCM, the Kidney Meridian is connected with adrenal and networked with lumbar, sacral, knee and foot; the Lung Meridian is connected with upper limbs and has direct impact on replenishing oxygen through breathing; Gall Bladder Meridian is connected with the head and trapezius muscle, the foci of Basal Ganglia- thalamocortical circuit ) dopamine depletion in the motor circuit.

  1. It is urgent to rescue the dying dopamine containging cells in the Substantia Nigra by Super Cell Cleanse Extract and Magic Drops
  2. Blood clots are dead red blood cells lump together as a sticky gluey mass (prolonged oxygen deficiency lead to thousands of dead blood cells -blood clots). Blood clots have to be sucked out via the skin pores so that the new blood and fresh oxygen can begin to repair/revive dying neuron cells. Liver Balancer Formula and Blood Cleanse made of pure Chinese herbs would help cleanse the blood and remove blood clots.
  3. Restore and revitalize the Chi to correct the short circuited condition of nerve cells and supply adequate amps for better blood circulation. Tremor is a sign of neuro-degenerative disease requiring instant neuron repair and regeneration. Blood Cleanse Formula and Du-Ho and Eight Treasure Formula would help restore the function of the neuron.


The underlying root of causes of Parkinson’s varies from patient to patient. There is no uniform treatment modality found for every PD patient. The differentiation of syndromes is the only viable way to identify the disease development process and the underlying root of causes with which effective PD treatment is feasible. Dr. Ging specializes in identifying the root of causes of PD patient. He has successfully treated a number of PD patients to stop their tremor symptom and restore their muscular strength. He has developed unique herbal formula for chronic fatigue and/or PD patient. He has seen and marveled that a number of PD patients with shaking head-arm-leg, completely stop tremor all of a sudden in his clinic, three minutes after taking his herbal formula and/or acupuncture treatment. That experience has encouraged him to delve into in-depth research on differention of syndormes and effective natural PD treatment protocols. If you are PD patient, you may call Dr. Ging at (817) 469-8823 or e-mail to

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