A Natural Approach to Mitochondrial Dysfunction

by | May 27, 2022 | COVID Long-Haulers, Healing Lyme

Louisa Howard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

ENHANCING MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION AFTER COLLAPSE FOLLOWING COVID-19 INFECTION

The SARS2 coronavirus can invade and infect the body’s mitochondria. The viruses can use this as a protected niche to escape the immune system. At its most severe, it can shut down mitochondrial function system-wide which results in the blood oxygen content returning to the heart being nearly as high at the blood leaving the lungs. This protocol is to help reverse that; it may also be of use for people who have mitochondrial dysfunction of a lesser degree that has occurred from other factors. Note: this protocol is liquid only because the person who originally contacted me about it has gastroparesis which affects the stomach.

The protocol is oriented around the use of melatonin and herbs/supplements to protect mitochondria, enhance their function, and stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, that is, the formation of new mitochondria. (I am not appending many citations for this material, still too fatigued to do that sort of thing, but for those who are interested, you can find a large number of them at Google Scholar if you just type in the relevant terms.)

MELATONIN

Melatonin has a number of functions that are just starting to be understood by the reductive medical system. That it helps sleep is well known (and enhancing sleep during episodes of severe fatigue is extremely important). What is far less understood is that melatonin is a fairly potent antimicrobial for both bacteria and viruses. It is particularly effective for pathogens that affect the lungs and, importantly, unlike other substances, it is more effective for Gram-negative than Gram-positive organisms. (Please note that the use of what I recommend here can cause microbial die-off; you may feel very flu-like the next day . . . it seems as if this only occurs after the first use. It will pass, just do it where you don’t need to go to work the next day.)

Mitochondria depend on glutathione (GSH) from the cytoplasm to function well. Melatonin increases GSH levels in the cells. It is protective of the mitochondria. It is anti-inflammatory (also see this link). Its pharmacokinetics are good.

THE TYPE OF MELATONIN TO USE: INHALED

Inhaled melatonin directly affects the lungs, which is very good for post-COVID infection as well as any chronic inflammatory lung disease. (This type does not contain substances known to negatively affect the lungs.) Because it does not go through the GI tract it is more potent and more immediate. In this particular instance it goes directly into the blood, thus getting to all the cells in the body. It will also help sleep.

DOSAGE + TIME

Take as soon as you are in bed. The dosage recommendations for this product is 5-10 puffs on the vaporizer, holding each for 30 seconds. I found that 3 was sufficient. I would recommend working up to the dose you are comfortable with. It lasts one to two months before needing replacement.

SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA + PUERARIA (KUDZU)
These herbs are already part of MY COVID protocol, but they have particular relevance for treating mitochondrial dysfunction. Stimulating ACE2 over-expression upregulates and restores mitochondrial function, induces production of ATP, and down-regulates mitochondrial-localized inflammation. There are citations for this at Google Scholar and as well in the bibliography of the updated Herbal Antivirals book which covers COVID. Salvia and pueraria upregulate and enhance ACE2 expression, increase its activity, and lower ANG-2 (which also increases ACE2).

DOSAGE

Tincture of salvia: 1 tsp 3x daily; tincture of pueraria (kudzu): ½ tsp 3x daily

CRAETAGUS

ACE inhibitors increase ACE-2 expression and protect the lungs and heart. Craetagus is a specific ACE inhibitor and as well acts as a tonic for the heart. Tincture: ½ tsp 3x daily Note: all tinctures can be combined in liquid of choice.

RESVERATROL

Resveratrol enhances mitochondrial function, mitochondrial biogenesis, and protects against metabolic decline. I recommend this product (but I am sure tinctures will do fine): Premier Research Labs, Premier Resveratrol Liquid. Dose: 1 TBS 3x daily or you can use a tincture if you wish.

LYCIUM BARBARUM + L. CHINSENSE (GOJI JUICE)

These enhance mitochondrial function through both their melatonin content and melatonin upregulation as well as upregulating the amount of pyruvate dehydrogenase, enhancing mitochondrial function and lowering fatigue in the body. Protects and enhances mitochondrial function. Recommended: Dynamic Health, certified organic Goji gold, 32, fl oz Dose: 2 TBS, 3x daily

L-TRYPTOPHAN
Oral L-tryptophan (150-300 mg/kg) enhances mitochondrial function. It also helps with sleep; the threonate in the brand recommended can often help brain fog (it’s pretty good at it for some people). Note: this is the weakest of the suggestions in its effects on mitochondria. I still think it’s worth using initially. It contains liquid tryptophan, plus magnesium threonate. Recommended: H.F.T. Hybrid Sleep Supplement Dosage: before bed, 1 ounce Note: L-threonate makes me wakeful, not sleepy (other people sleep very well on it). If this happens, use it in the day, 1 ounce, 2x daily

Copyright © Stephen Harrod Buhner 2021, All Rights Reserved


  • Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty-three books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine including the acclaimed book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing & Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis & Its Co-infections.

    Stephen comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.

    Stephen’s work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman’s Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. Stephen lectures yearly throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth.

    He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

This protocol was incredible. After only a few weeks most of my symptoms were gone. After six months all my symptoms were gone… it has given me my life back.

– Amazon review by Joseph

Please note:

Stephen Buhner has retired from answering questions here, but this Q + A column on Planet Thrive is kept open so readers can access vital information in the archives, communicate with each other in the comments section, and find herbs, books + lyme adjuncts in our directory. If you want to reach Stephen, please try contacting him through his personal website at stephenharrodbuhner.com.



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