Continuing our journey into discovering the Natural way to overcome Candida Overgrowth, Bee Wilder offers her proven methods to ridding the body of unwanted Candida spore.
Avoiding yeast, mold and fungus
Elimination of yeast, mold and fungus in foods and the environment may be indicated for a number of Candida sufferers. Candida overgrowth can greatly increase the chances of an immune reaction to all types and forms of fungi. This results in an allergic response to yeast, mold and fungus, including mycotoxins. Many of our foods contain mycotoxins that are chemicals made by fungi.
Mycotoxins are found in grains and other processed foods that have been contaminated with fungi and mold, including processed meats. The most commonly contaminated crops are peanuts, corn, and wheat. Often, other foods such as barley, apples, sorghum and rye can also be contaminated. Antibiotics and alcohol are also mycotoxins.
Other yeasty foods and sources of fungi that must be avoided are:
- Leftover foods
- Yeast breads, baked goods and some crackers
- Vinegar and vinegar containing foods like mayonnaise, pickles, soy sauce, mustard and relishes
- Malt products: cereals, candy and malted milk drinks
- Edible fungi: including all types of mushrooms and truffles
- Most commercial soups
- Processed and smoked meats: sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, pastrami, smoked fish, ham, bacon
- Fruit juices: all packaged fruit juices may potentially contain molds
- Dried fruits: raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, dates, etc.
- All grains (except buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa are not true grains- they are actually more seed-like)
- Pickled foods and most cheeses (moldy cheeses like Stilton are the worst), buttermilk, sour cream and sour milk products, including yogurt
- Dry roasted nuts
- Apple cider and natural root beer
- Some vitamins and minerals (most B vitamins “unless label states otherwise“)
Environmental molds can also adversely affect Candida sufferers and the only way to minimize exposure is to remove as much as possible from your home. Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, like Candida Albicans, whose purpose in the ecosystem is to break down dead materials, and they are everywhere.
Molds reproduce by very tiny particles called spores. Spores are very light and can travel on air currents. They need moisture, food, and a surface to grow on and can be seen throughout the house, mostly in bathrooms. Mold growth can often be seen in the form of discoloration, and can appear in many colors, i.e. white, orange, pink, blue, green, black or brown.
The first course of action in getting rid of mold is to determine why it is growing. Investigate any areas that are moist, and repair the source of the moisture. There could be a roof or plumbing leak, or groundwater leaking into the basement. Air duct systems could be contaminated with mold. Clothes dryers generate humidity and should never be vented inside the house. Substances that are porous can trap molds and if contaminated should be thrown out, i.e. paper, rags, wallboard and wood.
After making repairs, it is time to clean. For those who are extremely sensitive to molds it is advisable to call professionals in to rid their homes of molds. For those who can do their own cleaning, do the following:
Mix a household cleaner without ammonia in hot water and scrub affected areas before sanitizing with the bleach solution that is 10% bleach and 90% water.
Wear gloves when handling moldy materials and also wear a particulate-removing respirator or facemask. Also wear protective clothing that is easily cleaned or may be discarded.
Hard, non-porous materials can be cleaned with a solution of bleach and water, 10% bleach to 90% water. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe the area clean. Never mix bleach with other cleaning products; it can produce a toxic gas! It is important to clean thoroughly. If you leave some mold behind, the spores will be easily released back into the air when the material dries out.
Remove porous materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpeting, and dispose of them. They are nearly impossible to clean and will produce more spores when dry.
3. Kill off Candida overgrowth
There are many anti-fungal agents that kill off Candida overgrowth, including:
- foods such as garlic
- herbs such as olive leaf extract
- the bark of a rainforest tree called pau d’arco or taheebo
- anti-fungal medications
Garlic - Garlic contains a large number of sulphur containing compounds that exhibit very potent broad-spectrum anti-fungal properties. Among the most studied are allicin, alliin, alliinase and S-allylcysteine. Some studies have found garlic to be at least as effective as Nystatin at killing Candida overgrowth.
Fresh garlic is significantly more potent against Candida albicans than any other form, including tablets, oils and pills. Fresh garlic is also a suitable alternative to drugs for serious systemic yeast infections in patients with severe immune suppression. Adding fresh garlic to food (raw and crushed), or crushing and swallowing raw clove is a cheap and powerful anti-fungal treatment. Garlic also stimulates the immune system, improves circulation, lowers high blood pressure, kills intestinal parasites, and is a powerful antioxidant and antibiotic, in addition to many other health benefits.
To obtain the most benefit from garlic buy certified organic garlic and crush it. Crushing breaks the cell walls releasing garlic’s beneficial properties. To kill off Candida overgrowth take 4-5 average sized cloves per day mixed in foods or with meals. Another alternative is to drink 3-4 cups of garlic tea per day.
To make garlic tea boil 4 cups of water. Turn off the heat and add 4-5 crushed cloves of garlic and the juice of one lemon. Let it steep 20 minutes and strain. If the taste is unpalatable it may be mixed with a vegetable juice like tomato.
Olive Leaf Extract - Olive leaf extract can kill invading fungus rather than just inhibiting its growth. It contains a a phenolic compound called oleuropein, which has antiviral, anti-fungal, antiprotozoal, and antibacterial properties. Take as directed on the product label.
Pau d’arco - Pau d’arco is the bark of a rainforest tree which is inherently anti-fungal (also known as Taheebo or Lepacho tea). Pau d’arco may be taken in a capsule or a tea. Take capsules as directed on the product label or drink 3 cups of tea per day.
Pau d’Arco Tea:
- Put 1 heaping tablespoon of tea in a sauce pan and add 1 quart of water
- Simmer on the lowest heat possible for at least half an hour
- Allow the liquid to cool. Strain and pour into a glass jar with a tight sealing lid
- Keep it in the fridge and sip the cooled tea. It may be reheated if you prefer to drink it warm. It keeps for two days.
Caprylic Acid - Caprylic acid is a fatty acid supplement derived from coconut oil and is specifically effective for killing candida overgrowth on contact in the intestines. Since it is a supplement it is available in health food stores. Caprylic acid is absorbed through the walls of the intestines and can cause nausea. It should not be taken by people who have ulcerative colitis.
The usual recommended dosage is 1,000 to 2,000 mg three times a day with meals. However, it is advisable to start with a smaller dose (500 mg once or twice a day) to minimize “die-off symptoms,” a harmless but uncomfortable flu-like sensation that can occur when large amounts of Candida are killed at one time. The symptoms are because a high numbers of toxins are being released into the bloodstream. The dose can be increased gradually by adding one capsule every two to three days until the full recommended dose is reached. There are no known drug or nutrient interactions with caprylic acid.
Nystatin - Nystatin is a broad spectrum fungicidal (kills fungus) drug available only by prescription in some countries. It is fast acting and well tolerated. It is easier to take than Caprylic Acid at the beginning of the Candida Control Program because it is not absorbed to any significant degree (Caprylic Acid penetrates the walls of the intestines), and therefore it is wonderful at attacking intestinal yeast. It is virtually free of side effects and drug interactions and is safe to take during pregnancy and while breast feeding. It comes as a cream for topical use, suspension (liquid) and tablets, but powder can be used both externally and internally. The suspension form is usually prescribed in amounts of 2 ml 2-4 times per day for infants and children. The tablets are prescribed in the amount of 2-3 tablets 2-4 times per day for older children and adults.
Powdered Nystatin is preferable since it is more easily tolerated than the tablet form and as it is swallowed it kills Candida in the mouth, throat and esophagus. However, some people cannot tolerate the bad taste and have to resort to taking the tablets.
Nystatin powder is taken orally four times a day. Start with 1/8th teaspoon of dry powder added to 4 ounces (approx. 120 ml) of water. Stir well. This mixture must be used immediately after mixing. Do not mix and store it for later use. Take one mouthful and swish it around in your mouth for as long as possible, gargle, and swallow. Be sure to use all the liquid to get the full dose of medicine.
Gradually increase the amount of Nystatin over a month’s period of time up to a maximum of one teaspoon. It may take from several days to several months to complete treatment. Even if symptoms disappear continue taking Nystatin until the full prescribed amount is finished. Stopping it too early may allow the Candida to get the upper hand again.
Keep the Nystatin powder refrigerated and away from moisture, heat and light. It may be stored for 90 days after opening, but discard any unused portion after that time.
Nystatin powder can kill Candida in many different ways:
- Sniffing or inhaling Nystatin for nasal passages and sinuses. Many Candida sufferers can clear nasal congestion, postnasal drip and mental and nervous symptoms by inhaling or sniffing Nystatin. Here’s how to do it: Shake your bottle of Nystatin powder vigorously. Remove the cap and hold the bottle just under your nose. Sniff or inhale very cautiously. Another method is to hold one nostril and put a dot of Nystatin powder on your index finger and sniff gently. Repeat for the other nostril. The number of sniffs or inhales can be gradually increased to 3 or 4 in a row up to three times a day or more, depending upon how well it is tolerated.
- Mouth - mix 1/4 teaspoon of Nystatin powder in 1-2 ounces of water. Hold it in the mouth up to 2 minutes, swishing it around, then swallow.
- Athelete’s foot, nail fungus, diaper rash, dry skin spots or rashes - For Athelete’s foot the powder can be dusted on the feet, and inside shoes and socks. For diaper rash the powder can also be dusted, carefully, onto the affected areas. To make a cream that can be rubbed into affected areas mix one teaspoon of Nystatin powder into an two teaspoons of a very mild cold cream or a coconut based cream. Apply two times a day or more.
- Rectal and vaginal suppository - fill gelatin capsules (available at health food stores) with Nystatin powder. Push one capsule high up into the rectum at bedtime. For vaginal yeast infection use one or two capsules at bedtime.
- Vaginal douche - mix one teaspoon in one quart of water and douche once or twice a week, and alternate with a powdered acidophilus douche (one teaspoon to one quart of water) the same number of times a week.
- Patients with full or partial dentures may need to soak their dentures nightly in Nystatin (1/4 teaspoon in purified water). In rare cases when this does not eliminate the fungus, it may be necessary to have new dentures made.
- Enema - The benefits of a Nystatin enema cannot be overemphasized. Many people have experienced tremendous relief of their symptoms and renewed energy levels after having an enema. The main purposes for doing a Nystatin enema are: 1) to kill Candida in the lower bowel because it is not easily reached by anti-fungal agents, and 2) to cleanse the lower bowel.
Use either an enema bag, which has a long hose and nozzle on it, or a bulb-type syringe. If an enema bag is used there must be a place to hang it up at door knob level because it works on gravity. This enema should be done a maximum of twice a week. Before administering the enema get prepared:
- If Possible administer the enema in the bathroom, or close to it.
- Lay a large old towel on the floor covered with a large plastic bag.
- Clean out the bowel with one quart of purified water.
- Mix one teaspoon of Nystatin powder into one quart of purified water that is at body temperature. The water must not be too warm nor too cold because it will trigger the bowel to expel it too quickly.
How to administer the enema:
- Lubricant the end of the nozzle with olive or coconut oil and make sure the clamp on the hose of the enema bag is closed. Since syringes only hold about a cup have the container of solution close by so it can be refilled.
- Insert the nozzle gently and carefully
- Release the clamp if using an enema bag, which uses gravity to gradually let the solution into the rectum. If using a syringe squeeze it very slowly. Do not put it in too fast because it will trigger the bowel to empty. Keep refilling the syringe until all of the solution is gone.
- Try to lie very still for as long as you can before allowing the bowel to empty.
4. Plant good bacteria in the digestive tract
As the yeast overgrowth is being killed off by anti-fungal agents it is important to ingest a constant supply of probiotics. These are the ‘friendly’ or ‘beneficial’ bacteria, or micro organisms, that live in the digestive tract. As yeast colonies are reduced space becomes available for colonizing the other healthy bacteria. The most numerous bacteria found in the small intestines are species of Lactobacilli. In the colon the majority are mainly Bifidobacteria.
The easiest and least expensive way to plant healthy bacteria in the digestive tract is to take Cabbage Rejuvelac
Probiotic supplements can also plant good bacteria in the digestive tract, but unfortunately it’s not as simple as just buying the first probiotic supplement and assuming it will do the job. Some products do not contain the right kinds of bacteria and many have not undergone any tests to determine their efficacy. Following are a number of factors that will help determine the effectiveness of a probiotic supplement:
- Ability to survive the manufacturing process
- Ability to survive heat, light, moisture etc during the time from packaging to use
- Ability to survive stomach acid
- Ability to attach to the intestinal wall
- Ability to fend off other organisms, survive in the current intestinal environment and successfully colonize
Therefore it is best to research a product before buying it. The best probiotic supplements will contain specific strains of bacteria that have been studied and verified as effective, and they will identified on the bottle as a series of letters or numbers after the name of the bacteria to indicate a specific strain. Some of the most studied strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Lactobacillus GG.
In addition, probiotic supplements should be at least 500 billion organisms per gram, contained in dark bottles to avoid deterioration by heat and light, and kept refrigerated, even in the store. Take according to instructions on the bottle.
Yogurt - Usually yogurt or kefir would be good sources of probiotics, however many Candida sufferers are intolerant of their lactose (sugar) content. They are not recommended as a good source of probiotic therapy but good quality yoghurt free of sugar or Kefir made on raw milk would be ideal to include in the diet once Candida is again in balance.
The healing crisis, handling symptoms & other tips
The Healing Crisis is an acute reaction that the result of the activity of nature’s healing forces in overcoming chronic disease conditions. It is brought about when the body becomes overcrowded with waste and toxins. Cells and tissues begin to throw off the waste and carry it from the bloodstream to various eliminating organs including the bowels, kidneys, lungs, skin, nasal passages, ears, throat, and genital organs. These organs in turn become congested and irritated producing symptoms such as colds, boils, kidney and bladder infections, headaches, open sores, diarrhea and fevers.
This is the healing crisis that is a form of healing and elimination. First the toxins are removed and then the tissues are renewed. These symptoms and the process of elimination are part of the cure and should not be suppressed. Although a healing and disease crisis may look alike they are very different.
A disease crisis is when the body is loaded to the toleration point with wastes and toxins. The body arouses itself in self-defense and brings on an acute inflammation such as a cold, fever, etc. If the wastes and toxins are not eliminated the body adapts itself to function at a lower energy level. However these wastes and toxins accumulate and inhibit the organs from performing their normal functions until a chronic disease occurs.
On the other hand a healing crisis develops because the healing forces are strengthening. Through herbal and dietary assistance the body gets stronger, digs into the tissues and eliminates old chronic waste and toxins.
The most important aspect of the healing crisis is to never go to extremes in making changes to your diet or life style. It is important to gradually introduce changes one at a time, allowing the body to adapt to the changes and adjust itself. Trying to do too many things at once can be counter-productive, discouraging and postpone the goal of overall superior health. Make changes one step at a time. As you make these positive changes to your diet or life style and practice each one they will replace old “bad” habits with new “good” habits resulting in a healthier happier existence with your body.
Herring’s Laws of natural healing:
- Symptoms of a chronic disease disappear in definite order, going in reverse and taking about one month for every year the symptoms have been present
- Symptoms move from the more vital organs to the less vital organs; from the interior of the body towards the skin
- Symptoms move from the top of the body downward
It is good keep these laws in mind at all times. They can be most comforting to you when it appears as if your symptoms are lasting too long. The keys to successfuly overcoming Candida are: 1) sticking to the Candida Control Program, 2) being patient, and 3) being persistent. You will get well. I was on the Candida Control Program for two and a half years and I have been healthy and well ever since.
Handling die-off symptoms
Die-off symptoms are caused by high numbers of yeast being killed off which releases a high number toxins into the system. In medical terms this is called the Herxheimer’s reaction, or yeast die-off phenomenon.
Die-off symptoms resembles the flu and can be very uncomfortable. They can be alleviated by:
- Taking 1,000 mgs of Vitamin C (preferably in powdered form in pure water) several times a day or whenever needed.
- Taking an Epsom salts bath also draws toxins out through the skin and helps minimized die-off symptoms (add two cups, or 500 grams, of Epsom salts to warm bath water).
- Often taking more Nystatin, instead of less, will help alleviate symptoms.
When cooking and handling food it is important to handle, store and cook food correctly in order to retain healthy life-giving nutrients available in them.
The first rule in cooking is not to microwave any food, not even to heat leftovers or drinks. Recent research shows that microwaved food causes severe molecular damage in the body. When eaten it causes abnormal changes in human blood which can be viewed in a live blood cell analysis. These changes causes deterioration and damage to the immune system.
In simple terms, microwave ovens change the molecular structure of food with radiation. If manufacturers would have more accurately called them “radiation chambers” it’s doubtful they would have ever sold one, but that’s exactly what a microwave oven is. When food is irradiated the radiation breaks up the molecular structure of the food and creates a whole new set of chemicals known as “unique radiolytic products” (URPs). These URPs include benzene, formaldehyde and a host of known mutagens and carcinogens. Irradiation kills vitamins, friendly bacteria and enzymes in food, and effectively renders the food “dead” and therefore useless to your body.
The second rule in cooking is not to overcook or to eat raw foods. Overcooking foods destroys nutrients. Use as little water as possible when steaming vegetables, and broil or grill meats. If organic grass-fed meats are used there is no danger of getting E. coli or other harmful bacteria from them.
Another important aspect of cooking are the type of cookware used. The metals used is most of today’s cookware are very harmful to the health and leach into foods. Most stainless steel alloys contain nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon and various other metals. Whereas lead and boron are used to temper glass, porcelain and enamel cookware. In addition, higher temperatures will always increase the rate of leaching and the more acidic foods, like tomato may leach more from the cookware.
The best cookware in the world are heavy cast iron which is seasoned properly with palm or coconut oil. The next best cookware are magnetically-attractive stainless steel, which has a very low nickel content compared to non-magnetic stainless steel.
Bee Wilder has a wealth of knowledge and experience both as a former sufferer of candida and convenor of the candida support group. Since the 1980s when Bee could eat only a few types of foods and was so sensitive to yeasts she had to adminster herself an allergy shot every day, she has not only fully recovered but now is more robust than ever. Bee lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and continues to research natural health and nutrition. She is available for advice via email. Part 1 of this post is found here. Her Cabbage Rejuvelac Recipe can be found here.
To explore this topic further we recommend…
The Yeast Connection : A Medical Breakthrough
Candida Albican Yeast-Free Cookbook, The : How Good Nutrition Can Help Fight the Epidemic of Yeast-Related Diseases
Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook, Revised 2nd Edition : Everything You Need to Know About Prevention, Treatment & Diet
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
About the Author...
Bee Wilder has a wealth of knowledge and experience both as a former sufferer of candida and convenor of the candida support group. Since the 1980s when Bee could eat only a few types of foods and was so sensitive to yeasts she had to adminster herself an allergy shot every day, she has not only fully recovered but now is more robust than ever. Bee lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and continues to research natural health and nutrition. You can find more articles and support at her website: Healing Naturally by Bee