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Dealing with Yeast / Candida / Fungal Infections Naturally

We see more cases of people with fungal infections during the summer than other times of the year.  Mycosis, the condition when fungi pass the resistance barrier and cause infection, is common when the climate is hot and humid – the ideal condition for fungi growth.  People are at a higher risk level for developing fungal or yeast infections when they take antibiotics, because antibiotics kill not only the damaging bacteria, but healthy beneficial bacteria as well.  When the good bacteria population is reduced, the balance of microorganisms in the mouth, vagina, intestines and other places in the body is disturbed, resulting in an overgrowth of fungus.  Individuals with weak immune systems such as the very young, the very old and those under a lot of stress tend to develop more fungal infections as well.

The Anti-Fungal Diet

First outlined by Dr. William Crook in his book 'The Yeast Connection', the anti-fungal diet has been an integral part of treating intestinal yeast overgrowth.  The diet aims to reduce intake of sugar and carbohydrates as well as moldy foods and yeast products because these are what the fungi feed on primarily.  By starving them of their main food source, you can inhibit their growth. 

Foods to Avoid:

1.       Sugar and foods that contain sugar

2.       Packaged and processed foods

3.       Most  cheeses, buttermilk and sour cream

4.       Alcoholic beverages;

5.       Vinegar and vinegar containing foods like mayonnaise and pickles

6.       Malt products like some cereals, candy and malted drinks

7.       Edible fungi like all kinds of mushrooms and truffles

8.       Processed and smoked meats like sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, pastrami, smoked fish, ham and bacon

9.       Fruit juices because all packaged juices can potentially contain molds and because of their sugar content.

10.   Dried Fruits such as raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, dates etc.

Food to be eaten in Moderation:

1.       Grains with high gluten content like wheat, corn, barley, Millet and oats.

2.       High Carb. Vegetables: sweet corn, potatoes, peas, squashes etc.

Natural substances with Anti-Fungal properties

GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT (GSE): Grapefruit seed extract has been used in the treatment of human fungal infections. It is more effective at killing yeast than bleach, colloidal silver, tea tree oil and Iodine (Sachs, The Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract, 1997). In the liquid form, it has a bitter taste and must be diluted in water or juice (carrot juice) or baby’s milk. It can be used for topical conditions as well as internal problems. There have been no side effects observed with use of GSE

D-LIMONENE: found in essential oils of lemons, oranges, grapefruit, caraway, dill, bergamot, peppermint, spearmint, grasses and tomatoes. D-limonene is among a group of chemicals known as monoterpenes. These substances have been shown to cause regression and prevention of recurrence of mammary tumors in rats (Gould. Cancer Chemoprevention and Therapy by monoterpenes. Environmental Health Perspective, 1997. 105:5977-5979). They also have a direct tumorstatic effect, meaning they inhibit the growth of tumors, as well has the ability to block the initiation and promotion phases of carcinogenesis (Gould).

CAPRYLIC ACID a fatty acid derived from coconuts. Caprylic acid is safe and effective at killing yeast. Follow directions on the individual product label for correct doses.

PROBIOTICS: indiscriminant use of antibiotics leads to overgrowth of the normal intestinal yeast, which may either initiate problems or compound existing symptoms. By replacing the normal intestinal flora, yeast overgrowth may be inhibited. Probiotics are these normal flora, and include species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, among others. These are bacteria used in making yogurt- they are the “live active cultures” you see in the ingredients. They are important for the manufacture of B vitamins. They also protect against radiation damage, cancer, eczema, acne, allergies, and digestion disorders (Chaitow et al. Probiotics, 1995).

OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT: Olive leaf extract “has the ability to kill invading fungus rather than merely inhibiting its growth” (Walker, 1997). It contains a phenolic compound called oleuropein, which has antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, and antibacterial properties (Walker).

GARLIC: Garlic in its natural form is a highly effective, broad-spectrum antifungal (Mowrey, 1986). It can be eaten whole, cooked in recipes, ground up in a carrot juice, or taken as a supplement that offers it in its whole, albeit dried, form.

UNDECYLENIC ACID: An organic fatty acid expressed from castor bean oil that, in the older days, was listed and used as a pharmaceutical antifungal agent. Today, it can be found in an over the counter form and used for the same purpose in products such as Formula SF 722 (Thorne Research). It is also used in many over the counter antifungal powders such as those used to treat athlete’s foot and jock itch. It has approximately six times the antifungal activity of caprylic acid (Neuhauser, 1954)

PAU D'ARCO: May be taken in a capsule or a tea. The bark of this rainforest tree is inherently antifungal. Follow individual product directions for proper use.

Tea Tree Oil: A topical antifungal that should never be used internally.  The oil is derived from the indigenous Australian tree, melaleuca alternifolia, and it has been used for centuries as a general antiseptic, meaning that it kills a wide variety of germs (Carson and Riley, 1998). Studies at the University of Western Australia have documented antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties of tea tree oil. For skin problems, either direct, full strength application or dilution with water for washing purposes is recommended.

Several others like: goldenseal, oregano oil, cloves etc.

Recommended products that contain one or more of the above Ingredients:

Note: Please consult your health care provider before undertaking any treatment for any health condition.  These products may interfere with some or all existing treatment or medication
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