You recognise the symptoms, and a certain dismay ensues. You know you're in for a fairly miserable few days to weeks.
Candida now effects more than 70% of people, particularly westerners, at one or more times in their life. Unfortunately our highly processed, high sugar diets are usually to blame.
So what is it?
Candida is a yeast like organism that lives anywhere along the digestive tract and skin. It causes a huge variety of symptoms, from intestinal bloating and sugar cravings to white vaginal discharges and voluptuous itching. The latter being the more commonly associated symptoms we know as thrush.
Treatment of the symptoms of thrush usually include some kind of anti yeast types of creams and pessaries and can be successful in providing relief. But for many people this is not enough. The candida is systemic meaning that unless you eliminate the source, your symptoms will come back.
Below are my 5 top home remedies for giving you a different approach to treatment. They are not instead of any medical advice but they are tried and tested by myself and clients.
The first thing to note is that candida, like most yeasts, thrive in a lovely acidic environment. And we happily concede to this by eating plenty of foods that cause us to be and keep us in an acidic state. Foods like sugar, excessive processed foods, refined flours, coffee, red meat.....the list is long and this article is in no way a lecture on what you eat. However, if you are trying to fight candida you are going to have to help starve it, and that means making some adjustments to your diet.
But, adding the following 5 things to your day, just may make that difference you're looking for.
1. Apple cider vinegar.
You may think its strange to add vinegar to an acidic environment, but it actually helps to increase your alkalinity which is what you want. By adding a tablespoon of this to a small amount of water a couple of times a day (ok its not going to be a drink to settle down in front of the tv with) you will be doing yourself a huge favour.
2. Sodium bicarbonate.
Excellent!, I hear you cry, I can make cakes and use this!! Am sorry to say, but NO! Just a half teaspoon of this added to any herbal tea daily will help alkanise you quickly just as the above vinegar. Don't be surprised by the initial fizz as this quickly goes (oh and the inevitable burp that follows sorry!!)
This is grapefruit seed extract and I highly recommend it. This potent liquid is anti fungal, anti parasitic and anti taste! Yes i'm afraid it doesn't taste great (but maybe thats just me), but it does fight the good fight againt the yeasty invader.
4. Caprylic acid
One of 3 fatty acids found in coconut, this supplement is a powerful anti fungal that kills candida cells. It helps to normalize stomach acid and is fantastic for promoting general healthy gut flora. It's widely available in many health food shops.
5. Coconut oil
Kind of doubling up with the above as caprylic acid is abundant in this, but it is wonderful to cook with, heat stable and an inexpensive way to add to the above in the battle to clear the gut of candida.
Please note: You are advised to check with your GP or pharmacist before taking any supplement as there are always contraindications and they might just apply to you.
So there's a few natropathic tips in helping you rid your body of candida. You can do all the above but if you decide to make no changes to your overall health and diet the chances are you'll be doing this a lot. It's always up to you.