Do you suffer from chronic sinus infections? Respiratory infections? Gum disease? Ear infections? Digestive problems? Chances are you are suffering from an overgrowth of Candida, the most prevalent fungal infection.
There are four types of infections we suffer from: bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal (though an argument could be made that fungal infections are parasitic). Too often we assume that our bronchial infection is bacterial. We take ineffective antibiotics that kill off more of the beneficial bacteria in our gut and allow Candida to thrive.
We feed yeast with an unhealthy diet filled with sugar and simple carbohydrates. When we start to clean up our diet, we starve Candida which releases toxins into our system. These toxins make us feel terrible. We eat sugar or high carb foods and we feel better because we have fed the Candida. Candida multiplies and we crave more sugar. And thus the cycle begins.
How to Kill Candida and Other Fungal InfectionsThe first step in eliminating an overgrowth of any fungus is to stop feeding it. Sugar is your worst enemy. This means eliminating all forms of sugar including simple carbohydrates (and alcohol) that the body turns into sugar.
Yeast in foods may also feed a fungal infection. When you are battling an overgrowth of systemic yeast or fighting a localized infection, avoid any foods with yeast–this means leavened breads.
DietAlthough your diet must eliminate some of the foods that you will normally eat on a healthy diet, the basis of a healthy diet remains the same. Your diet should consist of 80% fresh, raw, organic produce, more vegetables than fruit. Choose a wide variety of nutrient dense foods. If you eat meat, make sure you choose organic meat. You do not want to eat meat from diseased animals fed hormones and antibiotics. Avoid processed foods, and do not eat any foods with artificial flavorings, colorings, preservatives, MSG, or trans fats. Avoid all GMOs. This is easy to do if all of your food choices are organic.
Herbs and Supplements to Fight Candida and other Fungi
Aloe VeraAloe Vera lowers pH levels creating an inhospitable environment for Candida. It also helps detoxify the liver. The liver filters the byproducts of Candida and deals with toxins from the die off process as the Candida is destroyed. Aloe Vera juice can be consumed on a daily basis (no more than 1/4 a cup) or capsules can be taken.
GarlicRaw garlic is a powerful anti-fungal that does not destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut. It does, however, kill bad bacteria while killing 24 out of 26 strains of Candida. It can also be rubbed on fungal skin infections. It can be eaten raw or taken in softgel capsules. Garlic cloves can be inserted into the vagina to treat vaginal yeast infections. (see link below).
Clove OilClove oil is a powerful anti-fungal that also boosts the immune system. Use 15-30 drops in water, 3 times daily.
Coconut OilCoconut oil is a strong anti-fungal with many beneficial properties. Take one tablespoon 1-2 times a day. You can eat it plain, add it to smoothies and cook with it.
Tea Tree OilTea tree oil kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some recommend using internally (take 15-30 drops in a cup of water 3 times daily) but many professionals say to only use topically. Update: Lemongrass works even better than tea tree for topical fungal treatment.
Oil of OreganoOil of oregano is a strong anti-fungal and antimicrobial. You can take 5 or more drops under the tongue or dilute in water 2-3 times a day. It can also be taken by capsule or oregano leaves can be steeped for a medicinal tea.
Colloidal SilverTake 1 teaspoon up to 3 times a day, but do not take it long term. There are many claims that colloidal silver is amazing. We haven’t had any luck with it when treating topical bacteria or fungi and there is a lot of controversy about its use and effectiveness, though there are also many claims that it is very effective.
Olive LeafOlive leaf disrupts the reproductive cycle of fungi. It also stabilizes and lowers blood sugars to help starve Candida. It is also an amazing antioxidant that stimulates the immune system. It can be taken in capsule form, as a tonic, or as a tea. See below for teas and tonics.
Undecenoic AcidUndecenoic acid is a very effective broad-spectrum antiviral that is taken in capsule form. This is the SF722 mentioned above. You can puncture the gelcap and squeeze out the liquid to treat skin infections and vaginal infections. Or you can use the liquid added to 98 ounces of filtered water for a douche. Be forewarned, when it comes into contact with yeast, it burns. But it works amazingly well.
Grapefruit Seed ExtractGrapefruit seed extract is effective against 100 strains of fungi as well as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It works well with undecenoic acid and does not harm beneficial bacteria. Add 10 drops to water, 3 times a day.
Diatomaceous EarthNo, we are not talking about eating dirt. Almost, but not quite. Diatomaceous earth is silica (silicon dioxide), a very hard substance from the shells of diatoms, tiny single-celled plants. This provides a needed nutrient and there are amazing claims of restored health and vitality associated with it. Take one teaspoon morning and night. It can be added to any liquid, but tends to settle. It suspends well in smoothies. Diatomaceous earth will help to quickly remove Candida from the intestinal walls and out of the body.
ProbioticsProbiotics will help you rebalance your gut with beneficial bacteria that will crowd out Candida and they will help kill Candida as well. Probiotics foods as well as supplements are recommended.
Black WalnutWarning: Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
Pau D’ArcoWarning: Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
Barberry, Goldenseal, and Coptis ChinensisWarning: Do not use if pregnant. And limit use to 7 days for adults–3 days for children.
WormwoodWarning: Do not use if pregnant.
Topical ApplicationsAny of the essential oils used to treat fungal infections can be used topically. Essential oils are very strong and generally are not used full strength. Although many oils can be used as a carrier, it makes sense to use coconut oil since it is also antifungal. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of oil and spread on the affected area (including nails and nail beds if needed).
Teas and TincturesThe following herbs can be used as a tea–for external as well as internal use or made into tinctures. (Remember to follow the warnings for pregnant and nursing women. Of this list, only olive leaf and thyme are to be used by pregnant or nursing women. Check for other warnings listed in the text above.)
- Olive leaf
- Neem leaf
- Pau D’Arco
Candida Die Off or Herxheimer ReactionWhen Candida or other yeast cells are killed, they give off toxins. Candida gives off 79 different toxins. These toxins can overwhelm the body, causing allergic reactions and inflammation. These toxins can actually damage the body as well.
- The first defense against an excessive toxic response is to follow your diet. The fiber included in an 80% raw diet will help quickly move the fungus out of your system. Twice daily doses of diatomaceous earth will also help remove the dying fungus from your body.
- It is imperative that you drink a lot of clean water. We recommend cranberry lemonade– as much as a gallon a day, sipped throughout the day. It will give you vitamin C, support the kidneys, and help flush out toxins. (See the link below for the recipe. )
- You must move your lymph. Your lymphatic system does not have a pump to help it circulate. Your movement is essential. The best way to assist your lymphatic system is bouncing. Rebounders are great. If you don’t have one, just bounce! Bounce on the balls of your feet! Hop, dance, jump rope, do jumping jacks. If this is too much for you, walk or do yoga. Just move. If you regularly exercise, keep it up. It’s a good time to sweat. It’s a good time to breathe heavily. Intense exercise is good when you are detoxifying from Candida. On the other hand, if your die off symptoms are severe, you need to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Use your best judgement.
- This is the time to support your immune system. Molybdenum and milk thistle will help your liver expel toxins. If you are having a bad reaction, this support is essential. Candida releases a neurotoxin, acetaldehyde, during die off that is particularly destructive to the body. It attacks red blood cells and kills brain cells. Molybdenum converts acetaldehyde into acetic acid which the body can expel or turn into digestive enzymes.
- Your body needs vitamin C (1000 mg 2X a day), vitamin B complex, and a good multivitamin.
- Saunas, dry brushing, and hot and cold hydrotherapy will also aid you in releasing toxins.
- Cat’s claw and echinacea are herbs that support the immune system. Do not use echinacea long term (no more than 3 weeks at a time with a 1 week break). Both of these herbs can be used as a tea or made into a tincture (see above), or used in capsule form.
When Do You Stop Taking Antifungal Treatment?After 7 days with no symptoms of die off and no symptoms of fungal infection, begin adding more fruit to your diet. If you have no problems after another 7 days while eating fruit, you can stop taking your antifungal supplements.
Continue eating fermented foods and taking probiotics. If you wish to discontinue taking vitamin C, titrate down. Do not stop suddenly.
Recommended Supplements:(Take these all together)
- Shillington’s Intestinal Cleanse (kills parasites, heals the intestinal walls, sets up hospital home for healthy flora)
- Formula SF722 (undecenoic acid, kills candida and other fungal functions, does not kill beneficial flora at same rate)
- A strong probiotic designed to pass through the stomach acid and into the intestinal tract
- Coptis Chinensis / Chinese Goldthread
- Lemongrass Oil (only for topical)