A Natural Approach To Candida Albicans
A Natural Approach To Candida Albicans
Finally, Candida albicans is now becoming recognized as a multifaceted medical syndrome. Chronic candidiasis, or the yeast syndrome is thought to generate a wide variety of symptoms in virtually every system of the body, with the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems being the most susceptible. Oddly enough, candida albicans is just one of the many types of fungi that live and grow inside most human bodies. In general, candida causes no harm; our bodies are endowed with probiotic (or “friendly”) bacteria and immune cells that keep it restrained. Best case scenario would be that the fungi live harmoniously in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract and in the vaginal tract in women.
Sometimes, however, certain medication, high-sugar diets, allergies, and other factors can all cause the friendly bacteria to die, allowing candida free to proliferate unchecked in parts or all of the body. In addition, when this yeast overgrows, or when immune system mechanisms are exhausted, or when the normal lining of the intestinal tract is harmed, the body can absorb yeast cells, particles of yeast cells, and various toxins.
The medicinal name for this overgrowth is candidiasis, but most of us call it thrush or a yeast infection. You can pinpoint thrush as it is marked by soft white patches in the oral cavity, around the anus, or on the skin. It has been observed quite frequently in babies and the elderly, but people with badly compromised immune systems are also quite vulnerable. Then there is the all too common vaginal yeast infection that causes burning, itching, and soreness in the vagina, along with a thick, sticky discharge.
On some occasions, the fungus spreads all over the body and is then a condition called systemic candidiasis. Unfortunately, this disorder may generate a wide variety of symptoms and is characterized by the person feeling, “sick all over”. Sadly, many doctors who are not familiar with systemic candidiasis will tell the patient that there is nothing wrong. In cases where the person’s immune system is dramatically compromised, systemic candidiasis can actually poison the blood.
Widespread use and abuse of antibiotics is becoming alarming, not only because of the chronic candidiasis epidemic, but also due to the development of “superbugs” that are resistant to currently available antibiotics.
Harmonizing treatments, which highlight therapies that reduce the levels of candida to normal levels, are the optimal ways to put an end to this condition. Depending on the person, several steps are almost often needed for success in treating the overgrowth. The underlying cause is what you have to focus on. One of the more apparent objectives is to eliminate or, at the very least, cut down on simple sugars, alcohol and products that feed yeast.
YOUR BIGGEST ASSETS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANDIDA
There are also quite a few natural agents with proven actions against Candida albicans. Here are a few
Caprylic acid—This is a naturally occurring fatty acid, and has been known to be an effective antifungal compound. It is readily absorbed in the intestines, so it is more beneficial to utilize timed-released or enteric-coated formulations.
Oregano Oil—A recent study compared the anti-candida effect of oregano oil to that of caprylic acid. The results were that oregano oil is over 100 times more potent than caprylic acid against candida. Volatile oils are associated with causing heartburn, so enteric-coated oregano oil is recommended to ensure delivery to the small and large intestines. Take between meals.
Probiotic—Take a product containing at least 4 billion active organisms twice daily, thirty minutes after a meal. Acidophilus and bifidus are some of the friendly bacteria which fight candida and prevent its overgrowth. I like a product called Bio-K, which you can find in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Daily use of an effective probiotic is ESSENTIAL to recovery.
Grapefruit seed extract—Many alternative practitioners rely on this herb for its anti-candida properties. In addition to being effective as antifungals in the digestive tract, citrus seed extracts also kill off parasites like giardia and blastocystis hominis. If you take them an hour before or after meals you can avoid any upset stomach it might cause.
Garlic—Garlic has demonstrated significant antifungal activity. Studies have shown that its inhibition of Candida albicans in both animal and test tube (in vitro) studies has shown it to be more potent than nystatin, gentian violet, and six other reputed antifungal agents. Why The answer is allicin—the pungent and odorous principle of garlic.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) & Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)— Both herbs enhance immune function and Echinacea has been shown to have anti-yeast effects.
Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)—Taken at the beginning of each meal, it improves stomach acid levels and overall digestive function. Often used with other bitter herbs.
Boric Acid Suppositories—These are capsules that are filled with boric acid and have had extraordinary success rates for the treatment of Candida vulvovaginal infections. You can read more about it here.
Horopito leaves (Pseudowintera colorata)—These leaves are found only in New Zealand and have traditionally been used by the Maori people to treat fungal skin diseases. In 1982, a group from Canterbury University in New Zealand reported they had isolated a substance called polygodial in the leaves of New Zealand native, Pseudowintera colorata. The Canterbury University team grew cultures of Candida albicans and measured the zone of inhibition in these cultures produced by discs of polygodial extracted from the leaves of P.colorata. They found it was very effective at inhibiting Candida. In comparing it against the drug amphotericin B (which is commonly used to treat systemic mysoses), they found that polygodial gave larger zones of inhibition. Polygodial also suppressed Candida colony growth from day one, while amphotericin B required 3-4 days incubation.
In addition, in vitro studies by the Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand, show that dried P.colorata was twice as powerful at killing Candida albicans as sodium caprylate. In 1992, an open study conducted by New Zealand naturopaths for Forest Herbs Research Limited examined the therapeutic effects of capsules containing milled P.colorata and milled Anise seed (the product is called Kolorex), in patients diagnosed with chronic intestinal candidiasis. This study demonstrated a symptom improvement rate in 76% of cases. Lastly, there is no record of toxicity from oral ingestion or topical applications, and this was supported by a study done by Huntington Life Sciences in the UK.
If you have done your due diligence and covered all your bases, and still are unable to get well, there may be an underlying problem you have not addressed—intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome. When the fungal form of candida works its way across the intestinal mucosa, it makes larger holes in the intestinal walls, allowing particles of food or bacteria to “leak” across this barrier. Leaky gut syndrome will not get better by itself or with a simple change in diet and a few antifungals. It can, however, be diagnosed by laboratory tests.
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