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.
It’s easy to know you have a yeast problem when you have vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot, fingernail or toenail infections, or patches of yeast on the skin. If you suffer from these infections, it is highly likely that you have a systemic problem with yeast as well.
How to Kill Candida and Other Fungal Infections
First and foremost, the very best supplement I know of to kill any fungal infection is Formula SF722 by Thorne. It really is an amazing yeast killer. Below we have a list of supplement recommendations, but if you can only afford one, trust me, get the SF722. In fact, if you can only afford two, and you are unwilling or able to keep your diet right, get two bottles of SF722.You can also take a lot of them at once if need be. For particularly bad infections of a fungal infection, try taking up to 30 a day for a few days, and them reducing to a maintenance dose. You can also use topically. It hurts (only when there is an infection to kill), but it doesn’t damage the skin. They are the best for Candida or any other fungal infections, and Green Lifestyle Market accepts full refunds, no questions asked if you try and you don’t feel it’s working for you. Full disclosure, Green Lifestyle Market is our sister company.
The 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.
Stop eating any trigger foods that you suspect may be a source of an allergic response. You are going to war. Candida and other fungi are the enemy. If your immune system if engaged in battling other issues, it won’t be 100% available to fight the fungi you are trying to eliminate. Don’t challenge it with any foods that you have ever had an allergic response to in the past. You need all of your resources at their best.
Although 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.
This is a prebiotic diet. Raw produce is high in fiber, which is essential for gut health. Fiber not only moves toxins through the bowels, it provides the perfect environment for healthy bacteria to thrive. Many conventional sites that talk about a diet for Candida warn against eating fermented foods. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and keifer provide the healthy bacteria needed in the gut–the bacteria that will ultimately crowd out Candida. Foods that kill fungi include onions, leeks, green apples, ginger, pomegranates, and citrus fruits. Along with diet, there is an arsenal of natural herbs and supplements at your disposal to fight Candida and other fungi.
Herbs and Supplements to Fight Candida and other Fungi
Aloe 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.
Raw 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).
Warning: Garlic can thin the blood. Do not use garlic if you plan to undergo surgery or if otherwise contraindicated due to another health condition or medications.
Clove oil is a powerful anti-fungal that also boosts the immune system. Use 15-30 drops in water, 3 times daily.
Coconut 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 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 much better than tea tree for topical fungal treatment.
Oil 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.
Take 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 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 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 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.
No, 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.
Probiotics 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.
Please note the warnings for pregnant and lactating women for the following remedies
Warning: Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
Black walnut has been shown to be more effective against Candida than any antiviral drug. It can be taken in capsule form or as an extract.
Warning: Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
Pau d’arco is highly effective against Candida; it both inhibits and destroys Candida. It also stimulates the immune system as well. Use as a tea, as capsules, or as a tincture.
Barberry, Goldenseal, and Coptis Chinensis
Warning: Do not use if pregnant. And limit use to 7 days for adults–3 days for children.
Barberry, goldenseal, and coptis chinensis are all recommended for Candida. Berberine is the alkaloid each contains, which is highly effective in fighting Candida. It also boosts and stimulates the immune system.
Warning: Do not use if pregnant.
Wormwood is an age old remedy for parasites and an aggressive treatment for Candida. Candida is particularly difficult to treat when it takes root in the intestines. Wormwood is considered one of the best remedies when the infection has reached this stage.
Any 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).
Although you will find many sites advising the use of corn starch for athlete’s foot or other signs of fungus, DO NOT DO THIS! Corn starch will feed the fungus and make it worse.
Teas and Tinctures
The 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
To make a tea, use 1-2 teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups per day. You may also use the tea to wash affected skin, to soak hands and feet (to treat affected nails), or you can add the tea to bath water.
To make a tincture, use a glass bottle or jar. Place one cup of herb in the jar and cover with 2 cups of vodka. Place in a dark space for 3-4 weeks. Shake often. Drain and save liquid, discard leaves.
Candida Die Off or Herxheimer Reaction
When 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.
Die off symptoms can include nausea, headache, fatigue, fever, an increase in muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, digestive disturbances, sweating, elevated heart rate, itching, hives, rashes, and skin breakouts, as well as “brain fog”. Some also experience sinus, vaginal, and prostate infections.
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.
If you follow these suggestions but are still experiencing severe symptoms of die off, cut back on your antifungal treatments–but do not stop! These symptoms are a sign that you have a significant overgrowth. Remember the cycle? Are you craving sugar? Pizza? Beer? French bread? As your symptoms abate, continue what you were doing. It was working!
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.
Many people suffering from Candida find that it takes 4-8 weeks or more to successfully eradicate it. Often, when you think it is gone, symptoms reappear. If they do, just repeat the protocol and keep adding probiotic foods to your diet. You will win, and the health benefits will be a welcome reward. If you’re dealing with Candida overgrowth, also check out Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases.
(Take these all together, except FloraMend, take that separately)
- 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)
- Floramend-Prime by Thorne (a strong probiotic designed to pass through the stomach acid and into the intestinal tract)
- MicroDefense – Pure Encapsulations
- Shillington’s Intestinal Detox (This is necessary only for those with seriously damaged intestines, anyone who has recently been vaccinated, or those looking to do a thorough detox)
- Coptis Chinensis / Chinese Goldthread
- Lemongrass Oil (only for topical)
- Candida, Gut Flora, Allergies, and Disease
- Cranberry Stevia lemonade recipe
- How to Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem
- How to Cure Candida
- Cheap and Easy Detox