There must be something in the air because I am being bombarded with cries for help as to how to tackle the beast that is Candida.
For those that aren't familiar with Candida, it's something we all have inside us however in small and controlled populations. It can however be a silent and potentially deadly (if it's left unchecked) fungal/ yeast infection that occurs in both males and females for a variety of reasons.
These reasons are:
- Antibiotic Use.
- The Contraceptive Pill.
- A diet high in processed foods, carbohydrates and refined sugar.
- Oral Corticosteroids such as those used in Asthma Pumps.
- It can also be passed from mother to child through the birth canal and breast feeding.
Symptoms of Candida are SO immensely varied it's probably the main reason why it often goes undiagnosed in so many people and confused with other possible issues. This results in the fungi spreading throughout the body and becoming what's referred to as Systemic Candida. This is where it takes up residence in the tissues of our limbs, lungs, liver and other organs....even our brain.
Candida overgrowth in the body has been found to be directly related to some mental health issues, including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, intense brain fog and bipolar disorder. ... Mental health doesn't begin and end in the brain, oh no......our gut and what we feed our body with is crucial to brain health.
Other symptoms of Candida are:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Reoccurring Thrush or Urinary Tract Infections.
- Sinus Infections.
- Gastrointestinal Issues such as gas, bloating, mucous in stools.
- Excessive cravings for carbohydrates.
- Skin rashes, infections and mystery scaly or bumpy areas.
- Hormone Imbalances in the way of horrid PMS, discharge and other unexplained issues.
- Bad Breath
- Aching Joints and Muscles
A Harvard University fellow in infectious disease, Julia Koehler, found that Candida is the predominant fungal infection behind human disease. According to Koehler, Candida was responsible for 60 percent of the fungal infections acquired in hospitals, killing one in three people with a bloodstream infection. Comparing Candida's shape-shifting ability to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Koehler considered the fungus particularly dangerous because of its ability to change forms. When immunity is low, Candida can take over, and a systemic infection can quickly become lethal.
It's a pretty crappy thing to have is the long and short of it and it takes nothing but 100% dedication and commitment to the process for a long period of time to bring it back under control.
Having gone through a Candida Cleanse Protocol myself with my partner about 5 years back, I can tell you from first hand experience it's a biatch and there is no quick fix for it. If a Doctor tells you to take a round of antibiotics for it- run like hell far far away from them!
Ok so that's what it is, now how can we fix it?
By starving it first and foremost of it's favourite foods which are all things carb's. Fruit, , soft drink, pastries, pasta, bread, cake, tomato sauce, biscuits, rice, chips....you get the idea?? Going 100% carb free is a non negotiable for this process to be successful. You will also need to avoid yeasts and fungus in all their various forms for an extended period. Think all mushrooms, nutritional yeast flakes, all leavened breads, soy sauce and tamari.
I always suggest starting with a week long cleanse of just straight bone (chicken or beef) or if you are a vegan, a great veggie broth. This will be carb free, nutritious and kick start the starvation of this insidious yeast. If you can tolerate an extended fast period for two weeks- amazing, this will really speed it up. You may feel really quite crappy though I warn you.
You see there is a process called the Herxheimer Reaction that occurs when you begin to kill off Candida and basically it's the release of poison from the Candida cells as they break down. I liken it to a really bad Hangover that lasts days and days.
As you go through this initial stage one cleanse I would recommend incorporating your essential oils with regular spoonfuls of Extra Virgin Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil throughout the day and ensure that you drink plenty of filtered water. Aim for 2-3L a day. Supporting yourself and your liver with high quality supplements throughout this process is critical for energy levels and aiding the removal of toxins from your system. They will also support your immune system as it wages war against the yeast. I swear by doTerra's Lifelong Vitality Pack.
Coconut Oil has an awesome fatty acid compound called Caprylic Acid in it which works by penetrating the cell walls of the Candida yeast, and causing it to rupture. Coupled with specific essential oils that studies show support this very process by breaking down the bio-film coating that is present on yeast cells and you have a highly effective, all natural method direct from mother nature for eradicating the overgrowth.
Candida biofilms are incredibly resistant to common antifungal drugs, like Amphotericin B and fluconazole or Diflucan. That's why most people who take this route end up with it just coming back a billion times worse. Unless that biofilm is broken the candida will not die.
The only essential oils I use and recommend for this process are doTerra's without question because-
1) They are Therapeutic Grade meaning they are potent and get to work.
2) They are pure and unadulterated with zero synthetics.
3) They are safe to use internally.
The specific oils you may like to try for Candida are Lemongrass, Clove, Cinnamon, Patchouli and Myrrh as these three have been found to have the most profound impact on this particular yeast.
Last year, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology demonstrated that the essential oils of lemongrass and clove are especially effective at busting through the tough bio-film that Candida hides behind.
In addition to lemongrass and clove, previous studies have found that the essential oils of thyme, tea tree and cedarwood may also inhibit the growth of Candida.
The “problem” with essential oils is that they are made by nature. In other words, you cannot standardise them and you cannot patent them because there are around 40 million trillion unique molecules that make up each tiny drop of essential oil (that's approximately 40,000 molecules for each cell in the average human body). This is super important.... because of that incredible complexity and diversity, it also means that bacteria and yeast do not develop a resistance to essential oils unlike conventional drugs.
doTerra's oils are so potent and pure that we need only small amounts and less is always more when working with these oils. Please do not use silly amounts like I've seen mentioned on some websites out there of 20 drops of oil per application. That is just ludicrous and downright dangerous.
A great regime to support your Candida protocol would be to take 2 drops each of Lemongrass, Clove and Myrrh in a teaspoon of coconut oil every 3 hours for the first week. Or you could choose to place the same quantities in an empty veggie capsule and just pop down the hatch. Reduce this to 2-3 times a day after the first week. *Please note that this is not suitable for children or pregnant women.
A study found that taking Cinnamon and Patchouli in a veggie capsule internally was highly effective also which shows that we have many options available to us. You may like to try rotating between different combinations.
I would prefer the coconut oil method purely because the coconut oil itself is SO beneficial for combating Candida and essential oils are fat soluble which means they are more bio-available to our bodies when incorporated with a fat.
You may choose to combine this with a topical application of Thyme, Patchouli and Cedarwood (15 drops each) diluted in a 10ml roller bottle) and applied 2-3 times a day.
After this two week cleanse process you will need to stick with a very low carb diet for at least 6 months before you think of reintroducing wholefood carbs such as Sweet Potato, Potato, Corn and Fruit for example. Yes it's going to be hard but keep at it and do not skimp on the high quality fats such as coconut oil, avocado, macadamia and olive oils throughout this process.
At this stage start introducing PLENTY of Probiotic rich foods and supplements into your diet! This is essential! Get yourself some Kultured Wellness cultures and start making your own Kefir's, Fermented Veggies and Coconut Yoghurt's. Get yourself some of doTerra's excellent PB Assist Probiotics also.
I hope that's really useful for you guys. Please remember that I am not a Physician and I can only offer you what my experiences have been with the oils and what I know through those experiences that works.
I am at your service with any Q's you might have and any support you might need.
As always if you don't yet have yourself an account with doTerra set up, I can help you with that so you can purchase the oils mentioned above.
Click on the 'How To Purchase Your Oils' Tab from the menu and it will take you step by step through the process.