The Essential Candida Cleanse

Riley Coules
October 24, 2016

Forget everything you’ve heard about Candida and consider this: “pathogenic overgrowth is secondary to digestive dysfunction, not the cause” (I’m quoting myself). That is, Candida- and parasites- can only proliferate in the wake of GI distress, which itself must arise out of trauma- i.e. anything that permanently impresses disorder upon the body. Trauma can be mental/emotional, or physical in nature. Thus, Candida cannot be cured- in the sense that it will never return- by modifying one’s diet, or even with herbs; it must be permanently eradicated by restoring the body’s defense mechanisms, those that once stricken by trauma allowed for overgrowth in the first place. The only exception to this rule lies in mild cases, which veganism and light cleansing does wonders for. Read below for more.

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Let me first elaborate on the premise that imbalances in gut flora derive from digestive dysfunction.

Our digestive organs not only aim to properly assimilate food, but to detoxify- and they do just that, constantly. Much like our skin, which guards us from the many harsh chemicals of modern, industrialized society (lotions, cleansers, cleaning products, traditional bug spray, pollutants in the air, etc.), our digestive organs guard us from the many harsh chemicals of modern, industrialized food, and every other threat to homeostasis that naturally arises out of our otherwise (somewhat) natural world. Even when processed foods are not a part of the picture, the body will unavoidably come into contact with pesticides, parasites, viruses, the like.

Furthermore, the body must perpetually detoxify from internal substances- namely, fluctuations in our gut flora, which occur with each meal. But these fluctuations are necessary, inconsequential, and flexible when the GI tract is functioning optimally: a body in a state of equilibrium can handle the occasional sweet, white bread, or processed delectable, although it would prefer their “real” counterparts the majority of the time (perhaps dates, sprouted grains, and whole-food grub). Worsened digestive distress from eating Candida-feeding foods (which you would likely crave as a result) can only occur if defense mechanisms have already been compromised.

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Dynamic detoxification pathways (perhaps aided by an inclination to cope!) ensure that the body thrives even as it is constantly bombarded by the aforementioned threats to homeostasis, a premise a healthy “vital force”- the totality of the body and mind- can handle. It is only once the vital force is so overwhelmed by trauma, either mental or physical in nature (think loss of a loved one or serious food poisoning), that mechanisms of purification can no longer rally against the occasional sweet or processed food, and thus succumb to the gut flora imbalances that are so easily manipulated. Trauma may inhibit the function of the GI tract quite rapidly with multiple triggers, or over time; in any event, fighting suppression (emotional) with suppression (allopathic) will only lead to graver illness- and worsened digestive distress- later on in life. The almost unavoidable product of trauma, suppressed emotion, along with the inevitable impediment of bodily function (and vice versa; malady is always reflected within both fronts), cannot be bandaged with allopathic medication; superficial treatment, including the modification of one’s diet, neglects to remedy the underlying cause of GI dysfunction. Take away the trigger, and the disorder is still there- unless the body has enough time to restore thwarted processes in the absence of overgrowth. Even worse, continual emotional suppression aided by a defunct medical system even decreases the vital force’s ability to engage in restoration over time, even with the stimulation of homeopathy. Hence the progression of the disease process.

Candida has been shown to colonize and flourish within inflamed portions of the digestive tract (2); improper levels of yeast also cause inflammation. Thus, prescription drugs- inflammatory medicines- will not correct the vicious cycle that ensues, which they may, in fact, perpetuate on their own.

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Here I will offer various avenues to restoring homeostasis within the body. Let me note that many of these guidelines will resemble those mentioned in The Essential Parasite Cleanse which should be read first- for both the Candida cleanse and the parasite cleanse aim to feed you and only you, as well as to restore. If you are unsure about whether or not to attribute your digestive issues to pathogenic overgrowth, please visit Signs, Symptoms and Triggers of Pathogenic Overgrowth, Both Mental and Physical for more information.

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HOW TO TREAT OVERGROWTH

So what are you to do if you suspect you suffer from a parasite and/or Candida problem? Detoxify your toxic system- all fad cleansing schemes aside. Many avenues will give you your body back, but some will only do so temporarily, and superficially. You need to restore your body’s natural ability to maintain proper levels of gut flora and yeast in addition to eradicating the overgrowth it is currently burdened with; otherwise, your symptoms will return as soon as you reverb back to your old diet, or cease your herbal regimen. You have two options:

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Herbs, Diet, and Time

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Homeopathy

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If you read through my website, you will know I advocate homeopathy above all else. Homeopathy leads to a permanent cure through the harmonization of the vital force- i.e. by stimulating the body and mind to return to a state of equilibrium. There are many advantages to this option, which I will discuss below. Please note my advice will never replace that of a reputable, seasoned homeopath. This field not only gets a bad rap due to its stigmatization (and by who? Certainly not those who have actually visited an expert), but because so many uneducated people attempt to treat themselves based off the suggestions on Boiron’s labels. Homeopathy is far more complex than “gas with bloating”, and just like any other subset of medicine, should be used with caution by a professional. A homeopath can carefully monitor your symptoms as they are brought to the forefront in order to keep you healing.

Your other option is to use herbs, which I still benefited from. If I hadn’t begun my journey at such a debilitated state, I may have found relief merely through the temporary modification of my diet and an anti-fungal herbal regimen alone. However, because my condition was a bit of an exception, by the time I had gained weight and grasped some semblance of myself, my body was utterly taxed. Herbs directly kill pathogens, forcing intrinsic detoxification mechanisms into overdrive. Thus, the body is forced to not only cope with the burden of digestive distress, but to eradicate manifestations of that digestive distress- not the cause. By compelling a jaded body into a state of healing, you ensure it will progress, not suffocate at the hand of stress, stress, and more stress. Nonetheless, herbs and anti-Candida diets (note: not necessarily the Anti-Candida Diet) offer those in a mild state of equilibrium an avenue to easy cleansing, which their body will respond to by healing itself, so long as it has enough time to do so. If maintained long enough, this detox ritual can thus also lead to permanent restoration simply because the burden (and stress) of pathogenic overgrowth eases. 

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HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT GUIDELINES

Homeopathy heals in accordance to the mind-body association: expressions of illness in the body can be measured by the mind; the way illness is reflected here varies from person to person. Thus, the proper remedy must be chosen to suit their persona. I always knew nature provided us with the means to heal ourselves, but I never could have imagined how exceptionally the “vaccines” of homeopathy (the illness remedies cause in their whole state mirror the symptoms of the sick) correspond with all life on Earth, as if the traits of animals manifest in non-sentient beings*. This notion only solidifies the concept of unification; the connectivity of nature, and the ability we possess to help each other thrive, suggests we derive from the same body of light wherein no one suffers at the expense of another’s welfare. We do not have to suffer; The Soul (and whatever this entity entails) has ensured that we can save ourselves from anguish, if only more knew. Our goal as one is not to synthesize methods of healing, but rather to realize and consequently utilize what we have already been given. I cannot convey to you how profoundly my remedies affected me on all levels, mending the parts of my body that hindered my mind. Below I have provided an overview of a few remedies touted for their digestive healing abilities. These are not meant to replace the advice of a reputable homeopath.

A good indication of a remedy’s applicability to pathogenic overgrowth is if the symptoms it treats worsen with the Full Moon and to a lesser degree the New Moon, as well as at night. At this time, parasites and Candida are most active.

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Arsenicum Album

“Affectionate, sensitive, and stable in good health” (5). Ambitious. Detail-oriented. Highly attuned to critical thinking. Worry-warts, particularly about health of self and family. Vivid imagination. Everything is all or nothing. Needs reassurance, order, cleanliness to calm inner restlessness when ill. Overly-sensitive and insecure. Perfectionism pronounced. Desires company despite irritability. Fears of being left alone, ghosts, robbers, incurable disease, death. Depressed. Suicidal. Full of anguish. Driven by fear and need for control.

  Burning sensations relieved by warmth. Stinging, particularly in skin affections. Pale or yellow tint to skin, with dryness, roughness, itch. Cramping pains. Nose stuffed up. Heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Bloating with enlarged liver. Heart palpitations and frequent fainting. Thirsty; sips little at a time. Craves fats, sweets, sour foods. Trouble breathing; feelings of suffocation when lying down. Vivid dreams that bring worry and fear. Sensitive to cold, which chills to the bones; “This patient knows that if he could just get warm, all will be well” (4). Right-sided ailments. Emaciation. Vital force completely exhausted. Worse from midnight to 2 a.m, from eating, from exertion..

See an in-depth analysis of Arsenicum here.

Bryonia

“Often clean-living, meticulous individuals, they can be contrary and capricious when ill” (5). Needs quietude. Extreme irritability and anger. Does not want to speak, nor move due to pain; tendency to reproach others when spoken to (silence is a very good indication of Bryonia) or when asked to move. Refuses what is offered, even when asked for. Always seeks comfort of home, of work. Driven by need for financial security. Fears losing job due to illness.

Sharp, stabbing, burning pains. Excessive thirst. Indigestion. Diarrhea and constipation. Stools appear burnt. Diarrhea causes burning of anus. Fever, slow in onset. Remedy quite applicable for the flu. Symptoms improve with sweating. Headaches in morning, gradually worsening before dissipating at night. White coating on tongue, particularly in center. Dryness of all mucous membranes: in throat, colon walls, etc. Thirst for great quantities of water, but waits until cannot bear to do so anymore before drinking. Hypoglycemia. Worse from moving, from speaking, during sleep.

Calcarea Carbonica

“Best suited to shy, placid, sensitive, contemplative people who may also have an agitated, excitable side, notably in the face of cruelty” (5). Typically overweight with strength and resilience. Diligent workers. Team players. Introspective. Worrywarts in need of control over their own lives (but not others). Highly sensitive. Embarrasses easily. Needs reassurance to combat deep insecurity when ill. Forgetful. Fears of failure, poverty, embarrassment due to belittling. Anxious but not typically afraid to die; rather, afraid to live entire life sick. Comfort in the home and through performance. Driven by need for security.

Low energy. Lazy. Sensitive to cold with sweats. Fair-skinned. Overweight. Flabby abdomen. Poor muscle tone. Chronic low back pain and arthritis. Craves sweets, starches, eggs, indigestible things (pica) and eats them despite disagreement. Loves food, takes comfort in food. Constipation without urge and diarrhea (better from constipation). Grinding of teeth. Damp, smelly feet; cannot bear to have them cold and wet. Low pain tolerance. Insomnia. Worse from exertion, overwork, standing, and confusion.

Lycopodium

“Prescribed when anticipatory anxiety figures strongly in the psychological symptoms. Lack of confidence is often hidden behind a veneer of sarcasm” (5). Tendency toward leanness and tall stature. Ambitious with great desire for approval typically due to an inability to meet standards set by the father. Over-talks abilities to compensate for lack of self-confidence. Loves cocaine and caffeine, anything to veneer insecurity. Highly irritable when ill. Victimization common. Wants company in the home, but in other room. Fear of failure, change, cracking under pressure. Driven to by need to increase self-worth and value in the eyes of others.

Incarcerated flatulence, constipation and indigestion. Fullness after a few bites, which is generally disregarded. Abdomen bloated with enlarged liver. Pains in liver. Faintness and trouble breathing. Weak sex organs. Vivid nightmares. Craves fats, sweets, gas-causing and hot foods. Worse from fasting or overeating, on right side, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Silicea

Thin version of Calcarea: small-boned and refined, even when tall. Typically underweight when ill. Innate sense of right and wrong, very proper, very conscientious. Quick-wit. Organized, detail-oriented, controlled and meticulous. Loners with feelings of abandonment. Poor self-image, never as good as others. Emotionally distant, struggles to express them. Despite fragile appearance and push-over demeanor, these types are resilient and stubborn when confident in their pursuits. They lack grit when ill, however, due to burn-out. Fear of failure, of speaking in public and real or imagined ridicule, particularly about subjects of which they lack knowledge. Sensitive to feeling overwhelmed and the critiques of the others. Centers their world in the home.

Sensitive to cold. Cannot bear to have cold and wet feet. Depleted vital force; immune system naturally weak. Sweats readily. Catches colds easily. Upper respiratory infections. Poor assimilation, multiple food allergies; avoids these foods like the plague. Skin afflictions. Gum bleeds. Poor-quality hair and nails. Must have head covered. Everything is slow to heal, including the being as a whole (start with lower potencies). Worse from the new moon, from washing or swimming, cold weather and extremely warm rooms, as well as lying on the left side.

Sulphur

“Those best suited to Sulphur are imaginative and inventive, but inept practically” (5). Well-fed individuals with strong build, or alternatively, emaciation with engorged belly. Philosophical, egocentric, disorganized, lazy. Friends love them but tire of their egos. Intelligent and inquisitive when focused. Desires to pursue own interests rather than academic requirements. Restless when ill. Averse to bathing. Driven by curiosity- the “itch” to know (7).

Tendency to overheat. Burning pains. Offensive smell of flatulence and stools. Constipation. Vomiting and diarrhea at 5a.m. Bloating. Burping. Craves sweets, fatty and spicy foods. Abdomen feels raw. Movements in abdomen. Dryness of skin, of mucous membranes. Itchy, red, dirty skin. Hunger pains at 11 a.m. accompanied by sinking feeling. Worse with bathing, from standing, around 11 a.m. with sinking feeling in stomach.

and so many more…

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*A note: I am obviously a huge advocate for veganism. There are a few remedies based in animal products; vegan homeopaths do not use them.

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Please view the section titled “diet” in order to get a feel for what foods you should be consuming whilst under treatment and furthermore what limitations you may have while healing, especially in the earlier stages of your journey.

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HERBALISM

Learn the methodologies of cleansing here. This collection of guides includes what to expect while cleansing (such as the physical ramifications, emotions, etc.), how to cleanse (i.e. how often to take your herbs, how long to take your herbs, when to take breaks, etc.), and if you should be cleansing or stimulating your digestive system into healing. Healing with herbs greatly differs from a homeopathic regimen; if you are severely debilitated by your GI issues, or any for that matter, consider homeopathy first. For light cleansing, however, herbs may be enough to restore equilibrium within given you reduce the amount of pressure placed on your body to heal; this feat can be achieved through the reduction of stress, both extrinsic and within the mind, as well as with time. The healing crisis will often amplify present symptoms, both mental and physical, before they dissipate. You can avoid the Herxheimer reaction, however, by cleansing slowly and taking special care to transition into your herbal regimen and toxicity-free, soul-feeding lifestyle. This experience should compel you to prioritize healthy living, so long as you respect the wishes of both your body and mind; once your mind and body harmonize via the restorative process, you will no longer desire to abuse your body with toxic foods, drugs, or mentalities regardless. Toxicity-free living doesn’t preclude total abstinence, however; the mind on occasion will desire refined sugar, a few drinks, or a temporary period of melancholia following a particularly trying event, to which the body will oblige, so long as healing is on the horizon. A vital force in a state of equilibrium can handle a few threats to homeostasis.

Ultimately, you should aim to satisfy your soul by respecting the welfare of your whole self from now on.

Here are the herbs I used, many of which are considered both anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. They can be rotated to achieve optimal results.

  • Paul D’ Arco
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Black Walnut
  • Oregano Oil
  • Cloves

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DIET

As I write about in The Essential Parasite Cleanse, slowly transitioning into a vegan diet may be enough to heal your body. Vegans report increased energy levels, mental clarity, and an overall improvement in well-being when they execute their diet transition properly. Anti-vegan sentiments on the internet, in the media, and through (ignorant) word of mouth critique negligent vegan diets, in which omegas are not consumed, B12 is dismissed as inessential, and nutrition-less junk foods predominate one’s meal plan. In reality, the plant-based diet that centers on whole foods, as well as a variety of foods, will provide the body with all the nutrients it needs to function as optimally as possible.

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 HOMEOPATHIC CONSIDERATIONS

Your diet whilst under homeopathic treatment will depend on the severity of your ailment/how far along you are in healing as well as your tolerance to deviating from the principles listed below. You really shouldn’t have to avoid any whole foods; modifying the way in which you eat them, however, may expedite healing. Food combining can be annoying, but it allows your body to properly assimilate the foods you consume; fruits and complex carbs are best absorbed in an alkaline state, while proteins require a lower pH (achieved by an increase in stomach acid, which also kills pathogens and keeps SIBO at bay). With these guidelines in mind, it’s best to wait at least an hour prior to/after eating meals to consume fruit as it exits the digestive tract the quickest; prolonging its stay in your gut will promote fermentation. Fruits and veggies can be consumed together as veggies are absorbed just as quickly and can be broken down in both an alkaline and acidic environment.

As far as “foods to avoid” while taking homeopathic remedies, there are none in the sense that you can never consume those that exacerbate digestive distress; however, you should reduce or totally eliminate processed foods and refined sugars. That being said, the mind needs to be nourished; thus, the body will oblige on occasion to any unhealthy behaviors. Once the vital force is healed, self-destructive fare will no longer appeal regardless.

I ask you to keep one thing in mind throughout this process: you only crave unhealthy foods because pathogens within you drive you to consume them. I’ve long gotten over the fact that I am at the “forefront”- that is, that the mainstream forefront- of the parasite and Candida “awareness” movement (as homeopaths and other holistic healers have known about them for years), but I must say, it is not very hard to believe that such pathogens exist in virulent forms within the stomachs of First World inhabitants. If we can believe a healthy body necessarily incites the mind to feed it what will nourish it, then we can dually believe that an unhealthy body may struggle to do so. Disordered processes inhibit the mind-body connection. And what arises out of disordered processes? Pathogenic overgrowth. A “traumatized” liver would still not yearn for Twinkies, but Candida might.

Depending on where you start, you may want to minimize your intake of dried fruit, beans, and legumes in the first installment of your treatment because they are harder for your body to assimilate- but even this restriction isn’t necessary. Assuming you properly combine your foods, you really should be able to eat whatever you want so long as you vary your whole foods diet schema. This notion may just astound those that have been bound to various anti-Candida diets for years… to which I reply: you need not suffer, for nature forgives. 

Which brings me to my next section…

OPTIMAL ANTI-CANDIDA DIETS

(Similar principles are listed in The Essential Parasite Cleanse)

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The Anti-Candida Diet:

This diet is all over the internet. You essentially starve your yeast overgrowth (the levels of which rise and fall rapidly with each meal) by limiting your sugar, starchy carb, beans, legumes and to some degree nut consumption (cashews and pistachios are yeasty in particular). The list ex nays refined sugars, fruit sugars, potatoes, bread, starchy veggies, beans, lentils, peanuts, mushrooms, and more. This diet also limits vinegar, yeasts such as nutritional yeast, certain oils, dairy and meats (which I don’t tend to comment much on as I don’t consume them).

Theanticandidadiet.com states that you may never be able to reverb back to your old diet without symptoms returning. This premise is absurd, and yet it’s very common; the fact that few people suffering from heavy digestive distress look into homeopathy indicates how ass-backwards our “healing” system is. They spend years, or even their whole lives, bound to a contract of restriction. How unfortunate it is that a genuine means to the cessation of suffering is highly stigmatized in Western society when it allows people to live as opposed to limit.

Even those that follow the raw vegan diet, which I explicate the details of below, often find that their symptoms return as soon as they reverb back to their old diets for they too fail to mend broken processes within their systems. You may forever be bound to a no-sugar, no starchy carb regimen if the body does not repair itself, which is not exciting or nourishing. You should be able to eat all the healthy food you want. The Anti-Candida Diet thus fails in this respect; humankind wasn’t meant to have the stress The Standard American diet impose on the body, nor the limitations of a restorative regimen. We should not be punished by the ramifications of our traumas.

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The 80/10/10- or 60/20/20- Raw Vegan Diet:

The Raw Vegan diet optimizes fruit sugar assimilation. By eating roughly 80/10/10 (80% carbs, 10% fat, %10 protein), or higher amounts of fat and protein if it floats your boat, you minimize the amount of sugars pathogens consume without spiking your insulin levels. Dr. Doug Graham explains the raw vegan phenomena in this video. As I mentioned before, I find it odd that the Anti-Candida Diet neglects to consider food combining at all, instead nixing all fruits, which are, in fact, very beneficial to the body. The principles of the raw vegan diet center around eating all the fresh fruits and veggies you want, no matter the sugar content, so long as you limit your fat consumption. The only problem I have with this diet is its failure to accommodate those suffering from adrenal fatigue, which many who have had severe digestive issues for quite a bit of time battle. Sure, you could adopt the diet and attempt to “get over the hump” of both the healing crisis and the struggle of your taxed adrenals to regulate your blood sugar, but then you’ll just be placing more stress on your already-stressed body, which may lead to lower functioning-adrenals. If you have gallbladder issues, you can’t just rectify this worry by eating higher fat. Thus, if you know you suffer from adrenal fatigue and/or gallbladder distress, you need to seek the advice of a homeopath. You can heal with homeopathy safely and effectively.

Adrenal fatigue features a whole slew of seemingly-unrelated issues, some of which you can identify with certainty:

  1. Feeling “wired and tired” all the time- especially at night after 10 p.m; insomnia results.
  2. Hypoglycemia- an inability to properly regulate blood sugar, which your adrenals are responsible for. If your stomach feels unsettled when empty, you get especially “hangry”, anxious and light-headed when hungry, you probably have hypoglycemia. This condition can range from mild to severe; I couldn’t even have an empty stomach in 2015 without feeling like I was going to pass out. Others can go for a morning, afternoon, etc. before noticing the feeling of “impending doom” associated with this condition.
  3. Unrefreshed sleep, inability to get up in the morning, and a better indication…
  4. A true inability to exercise. Not simply lack of motivation, but a real “zonked out” feeling after exerting yourself, or in worse stages, merely walking. This affects both your body and mind.
  5. And the reason the raw vegan diet doesn’t work with this condition: if you feel both a mental and physical reaction to a high-carb diet, your adrenals are taxed. Your body needs fats, proteins, and complex carbs to “bottom out” the simple sugars you consume.

RESTORATION & MAINTENANCE

The improper assimilation of nutrients associated with long-term candidiasis can result in a number of deficiencies, which need to be addressed in order to restore the body back into equilibrium. Furthermore, an “impaired gut” needs to be “repaired”- if not with homeopathy, then specific herbs and amino acids that aid the body in restoration.

  • Vitamin D helps regenerate epithelial tissue in the mucosal lining. This deficiency is very common, and not just in vegans. Ensuring adequate Vitamin D intake whilst cleansing will allow the body to restore the intestinal lining.
  • Iodine is also a very common deficiency which hinders the body’s defense against pathogenic overgrowth and heavy metal toxicity. Maintaining healthy levels of this nutrient will prevent further infection.
  • Vitamin A, along with Vitamin D, is associated with a poor intestinal immune response.
  • L-Glutamine is an amino acid synthesized by the liver used to maintain the structural integrity of the intestinal lining. I had severe anxiety from my flatulence- yes, my flatulence- in February before I began supplementing with L-Glutamine; my digestive tract was so torn (“leaky”) I could not bear the gas arising from my small intestine due to a heavy bout of SIBO and pathogenic overgrowth. With L-Glutamine I saw significant relief within days.
  • NAC is an amino acid that helps heal the gut and may provide some relief from constipation.
  • Marshmallow soothes the intestinal and acts like a coating to porous wounds within the intestinal lining.
  • Slippery Elm reduces inflammation like Marshmallow.
  • And finally, a good probiotic. Probiotics work to “kick out the bad guys” and restore proper gut flora. I recommend taking this while detoxifying as well as for maintenance afterward.

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The herbs I mentioned can be utilized in cooking or in teas to help the body maintain symbiosis and minimize the risk of overgrowth. This is what they are here for. As I have written extensively about, however, faulty mechanisms must be addressed in order to restore the digestive tract back to optimal functioning, and herbs alone will not do this. Time and the consequent reduction of stress, in both the mind and the body, will certainly reduce Candida overgrowth and perhaps eliminate it all together. In chronic, heavy infections, however, homeopathy will prove most effective. Regardless, habitually choosing tranquility will help nix the inflammation that contributes to and sustains overgrowth. Diatomaceous Earth on an empty stomach once daily can help as well (the particles of which destroy pathogens mechanically). Apple Cider Vinegar promotes the production of stomach acid, a main defense against pathogens, and also possesses anti-bacterial qualities in and of itself.

Permanently reduce your intake of processed foods (go vegan if you wish: join the movement!!), toxic drugs, lifestyles and behaviors. Trust the mind-body connection; aim to feed your soul and your mind.

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Resources:

  1. Azzouz, Muftah A., and Lloyd B. Bullerman. “Comparative antimycotic effects of selected herbs, spices, plant components and commercial antifungal agents.” Journal of Food Protection, 45.14 (1982): 1298-1301.
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