Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, responsible for producing the energy
that our bodies need to function. When our mitochondria are healthy and functioning
properly, we have more energy, better mental clarity, and a stronger immune system.
However, when our mitochondria are damaged or dysfunctional, it can lead to a wide
range of health problems, from chronic fatigue to neurological disorders. In this article,
we will explore the view of mitochondrial health in Chinese medicine and suggest some
Chinese herbs and supplements that can help support optimal energy production.
The Role of Mitochondria in Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, the concept of energy, or qi, is central to understanding
health and disease. Qi is believed to flow through the body along channels known as
meridians, and when this flow is disrupted, it can lead to a wide range of health
problems. Mitochondria play a key role in the production and regulation of qi, as they
are responsible for converting nutrients into energy that can be used by the body.
According to Chinese medicine, there are several factors that can affect mitochondrial
health and energy production.
- Diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants is
essential for supporting mitochondrial health. Foods that are high in antioxidants,
such as berries and leafy greens, can help protect mitochondria from damage
caused by free radicals.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve mitochondrial function and increase
energy production. Exercise also helps stimulate the flow of qi through the body,
which can help support overall health and well-being.
- Stress: Chronic stress can have a negative impact on mitochondrial health, as it
can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress. Practices such as meditation and
acupuncture can help reduce stress and support mitochondrial health.
- Environmental toxins: Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pollution and
pesticides, can damage mitochondria and impair energy production. Avoiding
exposure to these toxins as much as possible can help support mitochondrial
Chinese Herbs and Supplements for Mitochondrial Health
In addition to these lifestyle factors, there are several Chinese herbs and supplements
that can help support mitochondrial health and energy production.
Here are some examples:
- Ginseng: Ginseng is a popular Chinese herb that has been used for centuries to
support energy production and improve overall health. It has been shown to
improve mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress.
- Astragalus: Astragalus is another Chinese herb that is commonly used to support
energy production and improve immune function. It has been shown to improve
mitochondrial function and protect against oxidative stress.
- Cordyceps: This mushroom is known for its ability to enhance energy and improve
athletic performance. It has been shown to support mitochondrial function and improve
oxygen utilization in the body.
- Rehmannia: This herb is often used to support kidney function and promote vitality. It
has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and protect against oxidative stress.
- Schisandra: This herb is known for its ability to improve liver function and support
detoxification. It has also been shown to improve mitochondrial function and protect
against oxidative stress.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound that is
essential for mitochondrial function. It helps transport electrons within the
mitochondria, which is necessary for energy production. CoQ10 levels decline
with age, so supplementing with CoQ10 can help support mitochondrial health
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA): ALA is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect
mitochondria from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps regenerate
other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, which are important for
- Nicotinamide Riboside (NR): NR is a form of vitamin B3 that has been shown to increase
levels of a molecule called NAD+, which is essential for mitochondrial function. NAD+
helps transport electrons within the mitochondria, which is necessary for energy
Incorporating Chinese Medicine
Incorporating Chinese medicine practices such as acupuncture and dietary therapy can
further support mitochondrial health. Acupuncture can help stimulate the flow of qi
through the body, which can help support mitochondrial function and energy production.
Dietary therapy can help provide the body with the nutrients it needs to produce energy,
such as foods that are rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
Mitochondrial health is essential for overall health and well-being, and incorporating
Chinese herbs such as Ginseng, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Rehmannia, Schisandra and
supplements such CoQ10, ALA and NAD+ can help support optimal energy production
and improve mitochondrial function. Incorporating Chinese medicine practices such as
acupuncture and dietary therapy can further support mitochondrial health and promote
overall wellness. Contact our office and consult with a practitioner to learn what
treatments may be best suited for your individual needs.