by Sinead Fine (MAHA)

Candida Albicans is the bane of the 21st century. Candida is a yeast organism that lives in everyone’s intestines. It only becomes a problem when it becomes prolific. It then becomes systemic and changes to a mycelial form, which punctures the gut wall, and in the long term can lead to leaky gut, multiple allergies and ME.

How does Candida increase and spread? The answer is lifestyle and diet:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Stress
  • Contraceptive pill/Hormonal treatment
  • Antibiotics
  • High sugar diet
  • Normal hormonal changes (e.g. Pregnancy)
  • Detergents
  • Aspirin, Ibuprofen and other specific medication
  • Helicobacter pylori (a form of bacteria)
  • Chlorine in water
  • Antacids
  • Diabetes
  • “Damp” body, which in Chinese Medicine means too much mucus in the body
  • Poor digestion (lack of stomach acid)
  • Chemotherapy and Ionising radiation
  • Cortisone treatment

Symptoms range from irritating to debilitating.

Physical
Digestive: Bloating, gas, cramps, food allergies, diarrhoea, constipation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Skin: Athletes Foot, Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Hives, Nasal infections, Excessive sweating.
Endocrine: Thyroid and Adrenal malfunction. Hormonal imbalance.
Genito-Urinary: PMS, itching, rectum and vaginal infections, prostitius, impotence, and cystitis.

Mental/Emotional
Fatigue, Anxiety, mood swings, memory loss, depression, insomnia, hyperactivity. Those who suffer from Candida overgrowth are usually low in self worth and very hard on themselves.

So Candida can be associated with virtually all medical conditions. It has been known to indicate Diabetes in children. It is more easily seen in women who can show chronic signs of thrush in the vagina. Men can also suffer but may show fewer symptoms. Signs are Thrush in the mouth, Athletes Foot, Dandruff and fungal skin infections.

How to cure Candida

To combat Candida one must take a multi prong attack.

  1. Change diet
  2. Take anti-fungal measures
  3. Boost the immune system
  4. Increase healthy bacteria in the gut

STAGE ONE: Diet

If you start the diet very strictly then it might only cause you more pain! Start off gradually and you will get less of a die-off effect (when candida dies it releases toxins, which may make you, feel worse in the short term).

The key words are: No Sugar, No Sugar, No Sugar.

This includes avoiding refined carbohydrates (which convert into sugar very quickly) such as white flour products. Avoid fermented foods, such as mushrooms, pickles, soy sauce and chutneys. Also avoid any foods with yeast in them (such as risen bread, cakes and many sauces) as well as alcohol. People who suffer from Candida also seem to be unable to tolerate wheat, boiled potatoes (fried seems to be all right) and cabbage! However the organic versions of these may be fine. Chew your food well to get all the digestive enzymes working.

AVOID
Yeast extract (e.g. Vegemite)
Yeast bread
Dairy (only if the Candida is very extreme)
Tropical fruit
Breakfast cereals (with sugar)
Processed and smoked meat and fish
Gravies and sauces
Monosodium Glutamate (E621)
Yeasty cheese
Nuts (without their shells)
Mushrooms / Truffles
Citric Acid (in severe candida)
Dried fruit
Honey/Molasses/Syrups
Glucose/Sucrose/Maltose
Fizzy sugar drinks
Commercial salad dressing
Vinegar
Soy Sauce

INCREASE INTAKE
All vegetables
White meat / fish
Apples and Pears
Berries
Live natural yoghurt
Soya milk
Oats/Barley/Rye/Millet
Fresh herbs
Eggs
Yeast free sauces and gravies
Porridge/ Wheat and sugar free muesli
Soda bread and yeast free bread
Lentils / Legumes
Lo-sodium herb salt
Rice cakes / Oat cakes
Sugar free jams
Raw salads
Herbal teas such as Pau D’arco tea

Try to incorporate these anti-fungal foods
Onions, garlic, leek, horseradish, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, rosemary, seaweed’s, horsetail tea and cloves.

STAGE TWO: Anti-fungal Measures

Garlic – Garlic contains alliin (amino acid) and alliinase (enzyme), which react together to form allicin, which gives us garlic’s familiar smell. Allicin has strong effects killing all sorts of germs but is inactive when cooked. You can get garlic supplements at your local health food store.

Caprylic acid - A strong anti-fungal fatty acid made from coconut oil. It is compared to the prescription anti-fungal drug, Nystatin, in terms of strength and effect.

Grapefruit seed extract – A very potent anti fungal. Take in drop or capsule form.

Fish oils – Strong anti-fungal properties, especially halibut oil.

Niacin (B3) - In trials Niacin has been shown to have strong anti-fungal properties when taken in very high doses but it can have the side effects of rash, severe itching, and nausea. To avoid this, take a non-flush form of Niacin.

Selenium and Vitamin C - In large doses has shown to be anti fungal.

Biotin - Has been shown to inhibit the conversion from the simple yeast form of candida, to the invasive mycelial form.

Tea tree – The essential oil from the tea tree plant is a well known anti fungal fighter. Do not take internally - it is only to be used on fungal areas such as athelete’s foot.

Calundula oil – The most effective oil for athlete’s foot. Apply directly twice a day.

STAGE THREE: Boost the Immune System

Echinacea – A well-known immune stimulant, which helps to increase lymphocyte production and activity. It also blocks hyaluronidase, which is an enzyme produced by certain pathogens.

Goldenseal – The active compounds in goldenseal kill Candida; stimulate the immune system and aid in liver detoxification. This detoxifying action may reduce the unpleasant die-off reaction that often occurs with Candida treatment. The powder added to boiled water, when cool can be used as an effective vaginal douche. However this plant is becoming endangered so either grow it yourself or use alternatives.

Cats Claw –One of the strongest immune boosting herbs known, cats claw is able to attack and engulf harmful bacteria and viruses as well as Candida itself.

Ginsengs - All the Ginseng family can be used to adapt to stress, and thus boost the immune system.

STAGE FOUR: Increase Healthy Bacteria

Lactic bacteria – Lactic bacteria include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and casei, as well as Streptococcus thermopiles and Bifidobacterium. These healthy bacteria create an acid environment where Candida cannot flourish.

Bowel Cleanse – Such as Psyillum and Linseeds, which clean the bowel allowing healthy bacteria to thrive.

Homeopathy can be effective in the treatment of Candida.  Please contact your nearest Homeopath for constitutional treatment.