Candida is a fungal infection caused by small amounts of yeast that live on the skin or inside the body. However, when these least multiply out of control, it can lead to what is known as a Candida Infection.
It may seem incredible, but inside of your body are approximately 100 trillion bacteria made up of colonies of both good and bad.
When you consider your cells number around 10 thousand trillion, the reality is that bacteria not only outnumber your cells, but also thrive and play a significant role in your body.
The main thing to realise is that not all bacteria is created equal. The “good” bacteria are considered essential to your health. Whilst the “bad” are known to cause disruption and chaos inside the body.
What’s more is that in addition to these tiny bio-organisms, there are also numerous species of yeast and fungus that call your body home. And in certain environmental conditions, these species can multiply into "intruders", commonly leading to the condition known as candida.
Left unchecked, Candida can lead to a range of disruptions within your body and causative health problems, so it pays to know the signs of candida and how to remedy the situation before it gets out of hand.
What Is Candida?
One of several types of fungus and yeast that naturally live in your body, it’s perfectly normal to have a small amount of candida present in your mouth, stomach and on your skin without any issues.
At healthy levels, in your gut it actually helps with the processes of nutrient absorption and digestion. However, under certain conditions, it starts overgrowing which gives rise to an infection called “candidiasis” and its associated symptoms.
When the infection spreads in the mouth and throat, it’s commonly the “candida albicans” type to blame, and this is commonly referred to as “thrush”.
Many people, especially women, end up also getting it in genital areas and sometimes also on the skin and even mucous membranes.
If left untreated in the gut, it can end up breaking down the intestinal lining, causing other toxins and pathogens to also get into the bloodstream and then on into the heart, brain, eyes and bones.
This of course, leads to serious health problems and even life-threatening infections if allowed to proliferate.
Signs & Symptoms Of Candida
Candida and yeast infections can produce a range of various symptoms. Depending on the person, some of the most common include:
- Bad breath
- Genital or urinary tract infections with redness, swelling & white discharges
- Skin fissures & sores
- Digestive problems like constipation, diarrhoea, bloat & gas
- Sinus infections (chronic)
- Fungal skin & nail infections
- Sweet food cravings
- Loss of libido
- Brain fog
In the digestive system, candida and yeast overgrowth can lead and contribute to the following issues:
What Causes Candida & Yeast Overgrowth?
Normally the “good” bacteria in your body keep candida levels in check, however, if the proportion of these healthy bacteria gets overtaken by “bad” bacteria, your natural Ph balance becomes acidic, leading to an overgrowth.
This normally results from a number of factors, predominately diet, lifestyle and/or an already compromised immune system.
Consuming too much of the following can cause candida and yeast to proliferate and throw your gut microbiome out of balance:
Overgrowth can also happen as a result of:
- High stress & cortisol levels
- Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy & radiation
Natural Remedies For Candida
It’s vital to address candida and yeast overgrowth as soon as possible, in order to avoid it spreading.
As always, prevention is better than cure, so by cleaning up your diet, you will go a long way to preventing these types of infections in the first place. This means, you should include a wide variety of seasonal, locally sourced fresh produce in your diet on a regular basis.
If however, you’re already suffering from an infection, the following natural remedies can not only help to get things under control, but also to boost your immune system, as well as providing a number of additional health benefits.
Cleansing & Fasting
A build of plaque and toxicity in the body is what allows bad bacteria to proliferate and this is what causes imbalances to your gut microbiome.
By doing a detox or cleanse of your digestive system, you will not only help to remove any backed up waste and toxins, but will also serve to flush out excess candida.
It's important to realise that some of your symptoms may not actually just be as a result of candida, but of an accumulation of overall toxicity in your body.
Learn more in 5 Signs You Need To Do A Detox Cleanse & Where To Start
You have 2 choices in regards to how you go about doing a detox cleanse:
1. FAST only on liquids for 1-3 days such as water or fresh pressed vegetables juices:
Learn more in Fasting: What You Should Know
OR a gentler easier way is...
2. Whole food detox where you limit your diet to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for 5-7 days.
You can incorporate fresh cold-pressed juices into your detox cleanse and we recommend including plenty of organic leafy green vegetables such as:
- Rocket (Arugula)
Learn more in Fruit & Vegetables: What You Should Know
Other fantastic foods to include into a detox cleanse dietary protocol include:
- Brussel sprouts
All of these vegetables are inherently alkalising so will help return your Ph level back to normal levels.
Additionally, they contain chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals that will help to heal and support your entire body during the process.
It’s also a great idea to do a Natural Clay & Fibre Colon Cleanse, a couple of days before your detox diet, which will help to remove accumulated “plaque” from your intestinal tract, which will help to maximise the benefits of your eating plan.
Thanks to its sulphur-containing compounds, garlic has very potent anti-fungal properties, including a substance called “allicin” which is effective against candida and yeast overgrowth.
It’ll also boost your immune system with its high antioxidant content and can also help to knock out some types of parasites.
For treating candida, it's best to eat garlic raw by having at least one crushed or chopped clove per day.
Raw Coconut Oil
One of the most powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial foods on earth, raw coconut oil is a must in your diet, to not only help overcome candida infections, but also prevent them from returning.
You can have it in the following ways:
- 1-2 tablespoons raw before breakfast
- Add to raw smoothies or desserts
- Use as a cooking oil for frying or baking (it won't oxidise due to it's high heat point)
Learn more in The Amazing Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Long known for its skin healing and rejuvenating properties, aloe vera is not only nutritious but also packed full of anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal addition to your candida control plan.
Additionally, it’s a prebiotic that the good bacteria in your gut will feed off, to help rebalance your microbiome.
Take a shot of aloe vera juice each day, or try our Joule of Thor each morning on an empty stomach. You can also rub aloe vera gel on any affected topical areas as needed throughout the day.
Learn more in Aloe Vera: Why “Nature’s Potted Physician” Is A Powerful Medicinal Plant
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
This natural fermented wonder, when taken internally with a glass of water, will actually kill off yeast and help get any overgrowth under control.
Also classified as a prebiotic, like aloe vera it will serve to help increase the amount of your "good" gut flora.
Add 1 tablespoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to a glass of water first thing in the morning and drink.
Learn more in The Self Care Powers Of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are several Pure Essential Oils that are also very useful in alleviating symptoms of candida. These include:
- Clove Oil - For thrush of the mouth or throat, mix 3 drops with a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish and gargle for up to 20 minutes before spitting out
- Oregano Oil - Take 2 drops internally (with water), 3 times per day for 7 days
- Tea Tree Oil - Soak a cloth in 1 part tea tree oil & 5 parts water. Apply to affected external areas for 10 minutes daily
- Lavender Oil - To help relieve itching as well as prevent candida from spreading mix a few drops with coconut oil and rub into the affected areas
Although not effective against all types of yeast, many people have experienced great results using this natural antiseptic externally to help kill off overgrowth.
Sometimes when you make abrupt changes to your diet or lifestyle to address candida or yeast infections, one can experience some effects from a large amount of fungus or yeast getting killed off.
As uncomfortable as this may be, it’s a good sign as it shows that your body is detoxifying.
Otherwise known as a “healing crisis” or “Herxeimer’s reaction”, symptoms can often get worse before you notice an improvement, as a consequence of toxins getting released into your system from a metabolic reaction to the dead and dying candida or yeast.
Some common symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Fever & sweating
- Skin breakouts
- Sinus infections
These may last for up to 10 days, but the will generally eventually clear.
The best thing you can do is take it easy and drink lots of water to help flush all the toxic residues out of your system.
After Cleanse Diet
Once you’ve gotten any infections under control in addition to following a predominantly high-alkaline plant-based diet, it’s a good idea to eat a lot of probiotics in order to increase the number of good bacteria as well as strengthen your immune system.
Learn more in Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources
Additionally, eating only good fats in the form of plant-based whole foods and plant oils will help your body to absorb more nutrients from food as well as provide a more efficient and clean form of energy compared to processed sugars and bad fats. Some good choices include:
Learn more in Good Fats Versus Bad Fats
The Main Take Away
The yeast or fungal infections that are labelled as "Candida" are a sign of bacterial imbalances in the body that can show up as a range of external or internal ailments of discomforts.
The key to treating Candida really comes down to cleaning up your diet and making some important lifestyle adjustments as suggested here, that will help to restore a healthy gut ecology, and eventually help you to rid the infections and imbalances and get your health back on track.
Tolman Self Care.