Candida albicans is a common yeast infection and not just in women. A common symptom for women is a vaginal yeast infection. Other symptoms vary from brain fog to fatigue to gut problems (bloating etc), rashes, hives, or sinus infections. Many people have no idea they’re even infected. Both men and women can be affected!
(Tip: Check under your toenails. If there’s a fungus there, there’s a good likelihood you’ve got yeast in your system). Good news is there is effective natural treatment for candida overgrowth.
Thrush caused by candida
Thrush is an infection caused by an excess of Candida albicans, a yeast which normally inhabits the intestines and vagina. For women, the most common symptoms of thrush are a vaginal itch and a discharge that ranges from white to creamy yellow. Men can get thrush too. Sometimes there is a trace of thrush on the penis. Thrush in the mouth and on the skin is common in babies.
Commonly, vaginal thrush occurs after a course of antibiotics. Stress is a also trigger for thrush, as it depletes the immune system. Many women experience thrush prior to menstruation when the acidity of the vagina decreases and alkalinity increases, increasing susceptibility to candida. Thrush in the mouth and throughout the digestive system is common in people with a compromised immune system including long-term cortisone users, those taking transplant drugs and those living with HIV.
What causes this imbalance?
- Too much sugar
- Too much processed/refined carbohydrates, breads and cereals
- Antibiotic use – especially for more than 2 weeks
- Certain medications e.g. the pill & immune-suppressant medications
- Alcohol and caffeine
Prevention and natural help for Candida
Diet advice for candida
- Eliminate sugar, alcohol, caffeine bread, mouldy foods, e.g. cheese, melons, pistachios.
- Consume a probiotic natural yoghurt: Lactobacillus in particular is a species of friendly bacteria that is an integral part of normal vaginal flora.
- Eat more garlic: effective against bad bacteria and yeast. Known as Russian penicillin, garlic is nature’s premier antibiotic and antifungal. Studies demonstrate garlic’s power combat candida, with some showing it to be more effective than nystatin, gentian violet, and other antifungal agents.
- Introduce coconut oil: one of nature’s leading antifungal foods. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that help the body eliminate yeast. As a cooking oil, it tolerates a wide range of heat without burning or scorching. For those with systemic yeast overgrowth, ingesting 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily is very beneficial.
Natural help for Candida: Supplements and herbs
- Probiotic supplement: 10-30 billion bacteria per dose.
- Sacchamyces boulardii: beneficial yeast to fight the overgrowth.
- Caprylic acid: a fatty acid found in coconut oil, also as a supplement. Its antifungal effect has been demonstrated in clinical trials. It is absorbed rapidly, so capsules should be enteric-coated or timed release for best results. 500-2000mg, three times daily.
- Oil of oregano: potent antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Oregano can also be made into a tea by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb in hot water for 10 minutes. Drink oregano tea three times a day.
- Garlic: 600-900mg per day, divided doses.
- Boric acid pessaries: A study found a 98 percent improvement in women with chronic resistant yeast infections who used boric acid suppositories daily for two weeks. Never drink boric acid.
- Anti-yeast/fungal herbs: Pau d’arco, garlic, golden seal, olive leaf
- Pau d’arco tea: a natural antifungal agent. Steep for five minutes and drink three times daily.
Herbal breakthrough for candida relief
Best known for its blood sugar-lowering and weight-loss effects, the medicinal herb Gymnema sylvestre, has now emerged as a fungus and candida fighter. A Kansas State University research team has found a breakthrough herbal medicine treatment for a common human fungal pathogen that lives in almost 80 percent of people – Gymnema, an Auveydic herb traditionally used for blood sugar control. This safe, non-toxic herb has shown to block the virulence of candida.
Importantly, candida can grow in two forms: a treatable yeast and a systemic ‘hyphal’ form. Once it becomes systemic, it spreads like roots and is difficult to contain by our immune system, particularly immuno-compromised patients and people with gut disorders.
If the fungus remains in yeast form, it is easy to manage and does not invade tissues.
This new research also now shows that purified gymnemic acid compounds prevent the transition stage (to becoming systemic) from occurring and stops the candida spreading. It also works quickly – stopping the transition phase in just 30 minutes.
The compounds in gymnema have also been shown to stop the growth of Aspergillus, another fungal pathogen that can affect heart transplant patients.
As always, quality and potency is important when it comes to herbal medicine. MediHerb Gymnema in tablet and liquid extract form are superior products.
More natural help for candida including thrush
- Bespoke vaginal pessaries are highly effective
- Tea tree pessaries are available. Keep them in the freezer and insert one each night as an alternative to douching.
- Submerge a tampon in plain acidophilus yoghurt. Insert into the vagina and leave for two hours.
- Drink herbal tea that include lemon grass and Australian Lemon Myrtle as these contain a naturally occurring substance, Citral, which is particularly effective against Candida albicans.
- Avoid soap. Use plain water, or tea tree oil in a low allergenic natural base cream.
- Avoid tight clothing. Wear only cotton clothing.
- Soak and disinfect all your towels and underwear in a nappy-wash before washing in hot water. Add ten drops of tea tree oil into the final rinse.
- Bio-energetic frequency 17.8Hz!
Lastly, some ‘food for thought’ – a mind-body connection issue often associated with candida – is there a conflict of intimacy?