Parkinson Disease is a movement disorder that gets worse over time. It causes tremors, balance problems, stiffness, and slowed movements.
There is no cure. It can be managed with habit changes, medicine, and therapy. Some people may need surgery. Natural therapies have been used to further ease symptoms. They should not be used in place of standard care.
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that helps regulate sleep. It can be taken as a supplement. It is likely to help improve sleep quality.D2
Other therapies that are likely to help are:
- Dance and dance therapy are likely to improve physical function C1-C3
- Mind-body exercises are likely to improve physical function, balance, and movement.K1
- Music-based movement therapy is likely to improve physical function.I1-I4
- Qigong is a type of movement meditation that is likely to ease symptoms when used with medicine.E4
- Singing may improve speech problems.I3
- Tai Chi is a type of movement meditation that is likely to improve physical function and lower the risk of falls.E1-E5
May Be Effective
Therapies that may have benefit are:
- Acupuncture places thin needles in specific parts of the body. It may improve physical function A1-A5
- Alexander technique teaches people to change habits that cause tension. It may ease back pain.M1
- Aquatic physiotherapy may improve movement, quality of life, and balance.G1
- Chinese medicine may ease symptoms, such as depression.L1-L3
- Physical activity may slow the loss of motor skills, ease depression and improve quality of life.H1-H4
- Psychotherapy may ease symptoms of depression.B1, B2
Unlikely to Be Effective
These herbs and supplements are unlikely to have benefit:
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A1. Cho SY, Lee YE, et al. Efficacy of Combined Treatment with Acupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture as an Adjunctive Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. J Altern Complement Med. 2018;24(1):25-32.
A2. Otayza J, Juri C. Is acupuncture an alternative for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease? Medwave. 2018 May 3;18(3):e7198.
A3. Liu H, Chen L, et al. Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture combined with Madopar for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Acupunct Med. 2017 Dec;35(6):404-412.
A4. Noh H, Kwon S, et al. Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in the treatment of Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Complement Ther Med. 2017 Oct;34:86-103.
A5. Lee SH, Lim S. Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jan;96(3):e5836.
B1. Dobkin RD, Menza M, et al. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression in Parkinson’s disease: a randomized, controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry. 2011;168(10):1066-1074.
B2. Xie CL, Wang XD, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic therapy for depression in Parkinson's disease patients. Neurol Sci. 2015 Jun;36(6):833-843.
C1. Lötzke D, Ostermann T, et al. Argentine tango in Parkinson’s disease—a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Neurol. 2015;15:226.
C2. Sharp K, Hewitt J. Dance as an intervention for people with Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Nov;47:445-456.
C3. Shanahan J, Morris ME, et al. Dance for people with Parkinson disease: what is the evidence telling us? Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Jan;96(1):141-153.
Herbs and Supplements
D1. Shen L. Associations between B Vitamins and Parkinson’s Disease. Nutrients. 2015;7(9):197-208.
D2. Zhang W, Chen XY, et al. Exogenous melatonin for sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Neurol Sci. 2016;37(1):57-65.
D3. Negida A, Menshawy A, et al. Coenzyme Q10 for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2016;15(1):45-53.
D4. Attia, Ahmed H, et al. Meta-Analysis of Creatine for Neuroprotection Against Parkinson’s Disease. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2017;16(2):169-175.
D5. Mo JJ, Liu LY, et al. The effectiveness of creatine treatment for Parkinson’s disease: an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Neurol. 2017;17(1):105.
D6. Zhu ZG, Sun MX, et al. The efficacy and safety of coenzyme Q10 in Parkinson’s disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Neurol Sci. 2017;38(2):215-224.
D7. Zhou Z, Zhou R, et al. The Association Between Vitamin D Status, Vitamin D Supplementation, Sunlight Exposure, and Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Med Sci Monit. 2019 Jan 23;25:666-674.
D8. Rimmelzwaan LM, van Schoor NM, et al. Systematic Review of the Relationship between Vitamin D and Parkinson's Disease. J Parkinsons Dis. 2016;6(1):29-37.
D9. Shen L, Ji HF. Associations between Vitamin D Status, Supplementation, Outdoor Work and Risk of Parkinson's Disease: A Meta-Analysis Assessment. Nutrients. 2015 Jun 15;7(6):4817-4827.
D10. Kim TH, Cho KH, et al. Herbal medicines for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e35695.
D11. Liu J, Wang L, et al. Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Dec 7;(12):CD008150.
E1. Yang Y, Li XY, et al. Tai Chi for improvement of motor function, balance and gait in Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e102942.
E2. Winser SJ, Tsang WW, et al. Does Tai Chi improve balance and reduce falls incidence in neurological disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2018 Sep;32(9):1157-1168.
E3. Ćwiękała-Lewis KJ, Gallek M, et al. The effects of Tai Chi on physical function and well-being among persons with Parkinson's Disease: A systematic review. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Apr;21(2):414-421.
E4. Yang Y, Qiu WQ, et al. The efficacy of traditional Chinese Medical Exercise for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 1;10(4):e0122469.
E5. Ni X, Liu S, et al. Efficacy and safety of Tai Chi for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 13;9(6):e99377.
F1. Green E, Huynh A, et al. Systematic Review of Yoga and Balance: Effect on Adults With Neuromuscular Impairment. Am J Occup Ther. 2019 Jan/Feb;73(1):7301205150p1-7301205150p11.
G1. Terrens AF, Soh SE, et al. The efficacy and feasibility of aquatic physiotherapy for people with Parkinson's disease: a systematic review. Disabil Rehabil. 2018 Dec;40(24):2847-2856.
H1. Wu PL, Lee M, et al. Effectiveness of physical activity on patients with depression and Parkinson's disease: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 27;12(7):e0181515.
H2. Kalron A, Zeilig G. Efficacy of exercise intervention programs on cognition in people suffering from multiple sclerosis, stroke and Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of current evidence. NeuroRehabilitation. 2015;37(2):273-289.
H3. Alves Da Rocha P, McClelland J, et al. Complementary physical therapies for movement disorders in Parkinson's disease: a systematic review. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2015 Dec;51(6):693-704.
H4. Cruickshank TM, Reyes AR, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of strength training in individuals with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson disease. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Jan;94(4):e411.
I1. Zhang S, Liu D, et al. Can music-based movement therapy improve motor dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurol Sci. 2017 Sep;38(9):1629-1636.
I2. Moumdjian L, Sarkamo T, et al. Effectiveness of music-based interventions on motricity or cognitive functioning in neurological populations: a systematic review. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2017 Jun;53(3):466-482.
I3. Barnish J, Atkinson RA, et al. Potential Benefit of Singing for People with Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review. J Parkinsons Dis. 2016 Jun 3;6(3):473-484.
I4. de Dreu MJ, van der Wilk AS, et al. Rehabilitation, exercise therapy and music in patients with Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis of the effects of music-based movement therapy on walking ability, balance and quality of life. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2012 Jan;18 Suppl 1:S114-S119.
J1. McLean G, Lawrence M, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction in Parkinson's disease: a systematic review. BMC Neurol. 2017 May 15;17(1):92.
K1. Kwok JY, Choi KC, et al. Effects of mind-body exercises on the physiological and psychosocial well-being of individuals with Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Dec;29:121-131.
L1. Wei W, Chen HY, et al. Chinese medicine for idiopathic Parkinson's disease: A meta analysis of randomized controlled trials. Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Jan;23(1):55-61.
L2. Zhang G, Xiong N, et al. Effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine as an adjunct therapy for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 10;10(3):e0118498.
L3. Zhang Y, Wang ZZ, et al. Systematic review of traditional chinese medicine for depression in Parkinson's disease. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(5):1035-1051.
M1. Woodman JP, Moore NR. Evidence for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons in medical and health-related conditions: a systematic review. Int J Clin Pract. 2012 Jan;66(1):98-112.
N1. Tomlinson CL, Patel S, et al. Physiotherapy versus placebo or no intervention in Parkinson's disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Aug 15;(8):CD002817.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 6/11/2020