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Not sick, but not really well either? Is Candida to blame?

Digestive System PhotoFriendly bacteria is important for your gut - and for your health. Candida, or candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast overgrowth, usually from the species Candida albicans,which is found almost everywhere in the environment. Ideally, you should have normal healthy levels of candida in your body, controlled by a properly functioning immune system and your body’s production of friendly digestive bacteria (also known as flora). If there is a disturbance in the level of friendly digestive bacteria (from stress, lifestyle, diet, antibiotic therapy etc.), your immune function is decreased and candida overgrowth is more likely.

Detecting Candida

Candida can be difficult to detect. The infection can involve your nails, scalp, skin, mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract and/or reproductive system, with symptoms being broad and affecting the whole body.

Typical signs & symptoms of candida

  • Low energy
  • Mood disturbances & irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating & poor memory
  • Insomnia
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Whitish coating on your tongue & bad breath
  • Cracks at the corners of your mouth
  • Itchiness
  • Adrenal & thyroid gland issues
  • Digestive issues; bloating, unexplained nausea, constipation, diarrhoea etc
  • Skin conditions
  • Low libido
  • Fluid retention
  • Recurrent infections

Risk factors for candidiasis

  • suppresses immune function
Long-term antibiotic use
  • attacks beneficial bacteria
  • negatively impacts immune function
  • increased blood sugar levels
  • diet high in sugar and/or yeast
HIV infection
  • weakened immune system
Eczema or psoriasis
  • imbalance in beneficial bacteria

Herbs that naturally target Candida overgrowth and help restore balance

A naturopathic approach to candidiasis involves anti-fungal treatment and lifestyle changes.  Herbs are a reliable way to tone and strengthen your body’s system.
  • Pau d’arco, the herbal ‘gold standard’ for antifungal actionPau d’arco is an effective antifungal and antibacterial herb that has been used for hundreds of years in South America for the relief of the symptoms of candida, relief of fungal and bacterial infections generally and digestive disturbances.
  • Golden seal soothes irritationGolden seal contains powerful properties due to its berberine content. Golden seal has been shown to prevent candida overgrowth, heal irritated membranes, produces an antibiotic effect and activates your immune system. Golden seal is also a digestive tonic.
  • Medicinal mushrooms stimulate your immune systemMedicinal mushrooms have a powerful effect, traditionally used to tone and strengthen your body’s defences and promote longevity; they stimulate your immune system in many ways and reduce fungal, bacterial and viral infections.
  • St Mary’s thistle enhances liver functionSt Mary’s thistle supports antifungal activity by assisting the detoxification process. Candida treatment should include enhancing liver function and digestion. St Mary’s thistle is a potent antioxidant with a close relationship to your liver cells.
  • Echinacea supports candida ‘die-off’Echinacea supports the ‘die-off’ phase, when candida can no longer thrive. It helps fight infections and acts as an immune stimulant, an important part of a successful treatment protocol.
  • Fennel calms things downFennel is used as a digestive tonic and eases candida related symptoms including bloating, flatulence and inflammation.

Probiotics and candida

Certain strains of probiotics are shown to deter the colonisation of unfriendly yeasts. Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) is one such strain; it multiplies and encourages friendly digestive bacteria to colonise while ‘crowding out’ undesirable yeast. SB is resistant to antibiotics, making it the most popular probiotic used in the treatment of candida. Ask one of our experienced Naturopaths about natural remedies for candida infections. Depending on the severity of the infection, it can take weeks to months, alongside herbal antifungal treatment and probiotics, to clear excessive candida overgrowth.

Herbs of Gold for CandidaMr Vitamins recommends

Herbs of Gold products for a natural approach to Candida:
  • Herbs of Gold Yeast-Stat
  • Herbs of Gold Probiotic +SB
  • Herbs of Gold Mushroom 5 Complex
  • Herbs of Gold Pau d’Arco
Learn more about supplements for Candida