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Candida or Yeast Infection

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008

Summary

See more very helpful information under the general category of auto-immune diseases, and also Thrush.

Note: Many of the following comments come from Julia, a great resource on proper diet, see more from her by clicking on the Diet & Nutrition tab above.

Candida Albicans is a natural strain of fungus that lives in our bowels, but when allowed to grow unchecked can cause havoc on our immune system and show up as a myriad of symptoms such as allergies, rashes, pain, stomach upset, inflammation, reactions to smells, headaches, etc.  We see it in the form of fungus infection, epidermal irritations, and thrush; there are oral forms, vaginal forms, blood forms, and intestinal forms.

The best way to treat an overgrowth of Candida is to cleanse with an essential oils blend, clean up the diet, get plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and exercise, and repopulate the lower intestine with good bacteria by using a probiotic.  Refrain from consuming anything with sugar, mold or fungus, as Candida Albicans is a yeast and will feed off of these foods.

Initially, as you proceed with the cleanse it will create a "die off" effect and you will feel worse for a small period of time, while the Candida is expelled. Most suggest taking the cleansing blend for two weeks on and then off for one week as you take a probiotic. Then repeat the cycle, as needed, until Candida symptoms are gone.  Following this, for long term maintenance, continue with a good diet, exercise, and a monthly cleanse (2 weeks of the cleansing blend and 1 week of probiotics).

Avoid using antibiotics, birth control, and foods that are high in sugar or yeast as much as possible.

Often people complain of feeling badly or experience rash or other "die off" symptoms.  It is not unusual to experience die off symptoms as your body purges the Candida. Consider a diet of raw foods during your cleanse, and drink LOTS of Lemon water.

Editor's note -

As of mid 2009 (...) offers two products that make this much easier.  GI Cleansing Formula, a pre-prepared cleansing essential oil blend of Oregano, Melaleuca, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Thyme in a capsule form.  It is recommended to use it monthly by taking 1 to 3 capsule daily for 10 days.  Follow this with Probiotic Defense Formula, a probiotic formula to promote healthy digestive function in a time release capsule, and should be taken daily for 5 days after the GI Cleansing Formula 10 day cycle.

As mentioned elsewhere as the candida is expelled various "die off" symptoms may occur.  Feeling badly, rashes, changes in bowel routines, etc.  Varying from 1 to 3 capsules can modify these symptoms to a comfortable level.

Of course you may prepare your own blend.  Dr. Hill recommends a formula of 1 drop Oregano, 2 drops Melaleuca and  3-5 drops Lemon taken in a 00 size capsule.  The Lemon will eventually melt the capsule so it's good to only make a couple days worth - at a time.  One easy method is to pre-mix the appropriate blend in a 2 oz bottle with a dripper lid then drill 00 capsule size holes about 1/4 inch deep into a short block of wood.  Open capsules can be placed in the holes of the 2X4 and easily filed with 6-8 drops of the mixture.  We have found from our experience this is more expensive (and certainly less convenient) that using the pre-prepared GI Cleansing Formula.

 

[search helps: candidosis, moniliasis, oidiomycosis, candidiasis]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: LemonEC, MelaleucaC, OreganoC

Essential oils based products:  GI Cleansing Formula, Probiotic Defense Formula

Also consider: LavenderC, MyrrhEC, Protective BlendC, PatchouliC, RosemaryC, ThymeC, Detoxifying Blend

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Adults

Use the GI Cleansing Formula/Probiotic Defense Formula protocol monthly (or more often to start with): 

·   1-3 GI Cleansing Formula capsules daily with meals for 10 days

·   Follow with the probiotic Probiotic Defense Formula for 5 days, 3 capsules per day

 

The Candida Cleanse attributed to Dr. Hill that includes the following blend (This cleanse has now been streamlined into a premade blend called GI Cleansing Formula described previously):

·   5 drops of Lemon

·   5 drops of Melaleuca

·   3 drops on Oregano

Put the oils into a gel cap and take internally twice a day for 10-14 days, rest two weeks and repeat the procedure.

Children 18 months to 5 years

Use the GI Cleansing Formula/Probiotic Defense Formula protocol adapted in this way:

·   Break open 1 GI Cleansing Formula capsule and apply to the bottoms of the feet twice daily with morning and evening meals. For small children use 1/4 the contents (just a dab) and proportionally more for the older children. Continue daily with meals for 7 - 10 days again depending on age of child.

·   Follow with probiotic Probiotic Defense Formula capsules for 5 days taken internally. One capsule per day for smaller children, 2 for 4 - 5 year olds.

Both

Lots of water daily and 1 - 3 drops Lemon in each glass of water will speed the cleansing process.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

dehaas5 - I have started my mom and my grown daughter on the Candida cleanse for a variety of issues that seem to stem from Candida.  They have both raved about how much better they have felt while doing the oils for Candida, then the Probiotic Defense Formula.  One of the best testimonials I have seen in a very short time is how much it has cleared up my daughter's skin.  She has had constant "blind" pimples for years, but it has gotten worse and worse the last couple years.  After only the first month on the cleanse, her skin has completely cleared up for the first time in years! She and mom have both commented how much better they feel - noticeably better! Mom claims her drippy nose is completely cleared up while on the Candida blend, and my daughter's allergies haven't' been nearly as bad this spring!

Here is my question...they both feel so much better that they don't want to take the week break before starting over with the candida blend and then the probiotics.  Is it really effective to be off them for that week? Both say they know the oils are good for them in other ways, so they just want to continue using them.

Pat - Yes there it is good to wait the required amount of time. Also, if they are using the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) supplements, it will help significantly in maintaining their wonderful, healthy feelings.

Luke - The reason for the off period is to give your body time to dispose of all the waste that that is being generated in the form of dead Candida and other things like that.  If you don't give your body time to process it then you're basically flooding your system with the leftovers.  This, in turn, can overwork your body's cleaning systems causing unpleasant things such as rashes or in extreme cases what is called a cleansing crisis.

So basically give your body a chance to rest and dispose of the waste. I'm not saying to stop using the oils at all,  just maybe not as much for a little while.

 

Brianna -  I am going to begin the GI Cleansing Formula and also the Candida diet.  I would love some input from anyone that has done it themselves.   I have been having severe endometriosis pains the last couple months and have finally decided to stop "sweeping the problem under the rug" and deal with it by educating myself and HEALING myself!  All arrows lead me to Candida!  So, any books, recipes, coping strategies, anything, I am terrified, excited and desperate all at once.

Pat - It sounds like you have made the best choice of all.  Staying with the diet and going on the cleanse, don't forget to follow up with the Probiotic Defense Formula. Take on each day as your first and stay away from sugars and toxic foods. Your goal should be to stay totally dedicated to wellness. When you have reached the third week, look back and you will be encouraged by what you have accomplished.

LaReita - In your quest for finding recipes, etc,  I recently came across a cookbook at my local health food store.  You may want to check it out.  The author talks about her journey to wellness in the first 30 pages or so.  It is really quite intriguing (and encouraging) to read.   Then she dives into recipes. The Feel Good Cookbook - Whole Foods and Allergy Free Recipes by Jonell West Francis.

Kathy - Just a few basics - no refined sugar that means no sweets and I would not eat bread but if you have to make it whole grain.  If you have smoothies or carrot juice - drink them  s  l  o  w  l  y  and no more than 6 ounces - lots of natural sugar in those healthy smoothies!  Drink LOTS of water, put Lemon in it for sure and Peppermint if you want.  That's really the basic starting point - good luck and let us know how it goes!

Stephanie - My two cents is that it is important to plan your meals and snacks well in advance.  Make sure you have ingredients and do as much prep ahead of time because when you are are hungry you will reach for what is fast and easy and tastes good, even if it isn't on your diet. 

Just a note because someone asked about night terrors. 

I find that when my 2 year old is having a Candida flare up (I haven't been diligent about watching her diet) that she will wake up and scream at night like that.

 

Maria - My sister has a 3 week old baby that's she's nursing, but she'd really like to do the Candida cleanse.  Does anyone have any experiences or recommendations?

Chelsea - I actually have a similar question. I would like to do the Candida protocol but I am actually expecting. Any recommendations on the safety or necessity of this?

Pat - You should be fine taking this during pregnancy. Dr. Hill has stated many times that the essential oils are normally great for expecting moms.

Editor - For pregnant and lactating women (...) suggests consulting a physician.

Janae - It is also good to get rid of Candida because it can dry up your milk supply.  Probably why so many nursing moms are "loosing" their milk.

Donna - Remember when you do this cleanse that you stop eating sugar or drinking soda and eliminate starches, bread, tomatoes, or carrots.   These all have sugar in them and it does no good to cleanse and then continue to put the sugars in the body.  Some suggest to cleanse for two weeks and then add  back one item at a time to the diet to see which one is putting back the weight on or causing problems with elimination.

Christine - I want to make sure I understand this correctly.  You should cut out all fruits, carrots, potatoes, breads, honey, sugar or anything that your body can turn into sugar?

Pat - Boy that makes it sound terrible. I know I should do that, but I basically cut out candy, soda, baked goods, and fried foods. I make whole wheat bread with Agave and allow one slice per day, I also eat one or two apples a day which replaces the bad snack food. It is the refined sugars that are so harmful, the fruit, carrots, potatoes and such are okay in moderation.

Christine - Thanks for clearing that up.  I have had to cut out almost all foods (soy, corn, wheat, oats, dairy, citrus fruits, peanuts, and any thing that has any of those types of foods) so to cut out all fruits and many veggies and my grains I was going to say "too bad, so sad" to the cleans because I for sure would not have any food to make milk for my baby with.  So thank you.

Denise - I would cut out as many sugars and carbohydrates as possible during the cleanse, but do the cleanse. The benefits of the cleanse, even if you are still eating some sugars and carbohydrates far outweigh not doing it at all.

 

Kathy - I am also doing the cleanse and am just doing the best I can each day - I ate chocolate chips today and had a cookie yesterday.  I'm still doing the cleanse because I don't think I can be so extreme as to stick to the no sugar, etc.  I try not to eat sugar but if I do I hope it is not the end of the world.  I think as I continue it will get easier to eat better?

Julia - Congratulations on cutting the sugar and doing better each day!!  It truly is a journey, and as each layer comes off, your tastes will change as well, and sugary things will become too sweet and sometimes cloying and gross. That cookie will taste greasy and false tasting, the chocolate will taste plastic-y. What you feel is extreme today, will be your foundation tomorrow! It is SO exciting to get to the day when you realize you don't WANT the sugar.... the addiction WILL loose it's grip on you as you cleanse it out.

One thing that I find completely comforting, is when I am craving a food that I am trying to evolve into something less addicting and more healthy, I stop and acknowledge that that food is "coming out" of my system, and leaving my body. It's in my blood and lymph waiting to be released!  I'm almost done getting it out of my system!  At that point I really DONT WANT to put it back in!

Something that was very powerful for me was the "Good, Better, Best" Rule.

Good = doing the cleanse, and lowering the amount of undesired food that I consume;

Better = doing the cleanse and replacing the undesired food with something healthier such as an apple, or a banana, or a handful of raisins. If you are reaching for a cookie, replace it with a healthy sugar. Beat the addiction to refined sugar first.

Best = doing the cleanse, replacing undesired food with healthier choices, AND changing my thinking. It's really important to be gentle with ourselves.

Mark Twain said it perfectly; "Habit is habit, and not to be thrown out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."

The results are clear thinking, calm nerves, perfect weight, balanced and healthy eating habits, and a peaceful and free YOU!  You CAN do this! Just hang in there and wrap your mind around letting go of the sugary treat you want TODAY, and replace it with something you REALLY want in your life. Freedom tastes FANTASTIC!

 

Samara - Would itchy rashes and patches on my skin, big time fatigue and a little depression be from "die off"?  

Rob -  I have heard that you definitely go through a detox period, I would assume that is what you're experiencing.  

Connie - After I started taking essential oils I broke out in oozy rashes too. After I cleaned up my diet they finally went away. I still have to take the oils and watch what I eat or the rashes come back. I suggest taking the essential oils and staying away from dairy, sugar and grains (even whole grains for a week or two). Good luck!

Kendra - Yes!  I suggest that you do the liver cleanse, each morning, even after you are finished with the Candida protocol.  Mix 1 tablespoon of warm water, the juice from squeezing 1/2 a Lemon, and  add a couple drops of Peppermint and a couple drops of Lemon and drink it down.    (I'm sure that there are different versions, but that's what I do).  You need to do this before you eat, in the morning.

 

Charly - So after teaching a class last week on candida, I decided to do the spit test. Is that really accurate and why?

Lorie - I was told it is accurate.  It definitely explains a lot of ailments that I have suffered from for many years.  I'm so ready to battle it. 

Pat - I know what you mean. After three GX cleanses, which I think are the best because they are gentle. When I spit test I now just have barely a string in the water, now for maintenance. GI Cleansing Formula every three months. The test may not be full proof but it seems very accurate.

Editorial comment – Some posts question the validity of this test. Mixed reviews on the internet but Vauaghter Wellness says the following, “Firstly, we are committed to helping people with Candida infection and we take their side. And we believe that Candida albicans is woefully underdiagnosed today. Secondly: We sell a liver-safe anti-Candida treatment so we would have a financial stake in “diagnosing” as many people as possible with Candida. Yet, we chose to remain scientific, logical and objective and consider the Candida spit test unreliable. … It yields both false positives and false negatives.” I would be careful.

 

Protocols folks recommend for children

Candi  - I had a friend ask me if I knew where to buy coconut oil so she could put some on her babies hands because he has thrush that won't go away.  The baby is 4months old and has had the thrush for 2 months.  I went to her home to bring her FCO and Melaleuca.   I am having her do what you recommended with the qtip and putting on the bottom of the feet.  We talked about how her baby just got his cradle cap cleared up with Lavender and FCO and now has eczema.  He also has acid reflux.  The mother is breast feeding and is on Nystatin for the yeast for her but it is not working.  If the mother eats anything with yeast, diary, sugar or nuts, the baby is miserable.  I need to know how to help the baby and how often and what the mother needs to be doing.  Should she be doing Detoxifying Blend before starting the cleanse?  Help!  Can you give me a protocol?  Thanks so much.

Cortnie - I'm breastfeeding and also have a candida issue. My baby has had relfux, but I started the candida protocol (3 drops melaleuca, 1 drop oregano,3 drops lemon, and VCO in a capsule) and she quit spitting up so much, and now she's sleeping through the night one month later.  I wouldn't do a cleanse while breastfeeding, but I take one of those capsules at night before I go to bed and it's done wonders for my little angel.  

 

Jana - I have a friend who wants me to make up a solution for her baby, who has Thrush in the mouth. I know that melaleuca and lavender are recommended, but what kind of carrier oil would be the best? And how many drops per ounce? Or has something else worked for you? She also wants me to make up a solution with Respiratory Blend...I'm thinking about making that into more of a cream, and lastly she needs a solution for Cradle Cap (poor kid has lots of issues)!

Erika - All of these issues are symptoms of candida. I have done it with my own infants and would recommend to anyone to get the baby on a good pro-biotic.  (...)’s Probiotic Defense Formula would be a place to start but there may be a more appropriate one for infants out there.  Is the mother nursing?  She should get on it too!!

Pat - The best thing for the thrush would be a very small amount of Melaleuca on a q-tip and swabbed on the affected area. The Breath in the lotion would be good and the cradle caps will go a way with cleaning and a little lavender with coconut oil. You do not want to use too many oils at a time with the baby. Be cautious.

 

Ethington - My baby has a diaper rash that I’ve seen before on one of my other kids.  The doctor said that it was a yeast infection.  I have tried every oil I can think of but none of them even touch it.  She has had it about 5 days and I am not sure how long it will take for something to start working.  Has anyone else had to deal with this?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Marc - To my surprise Grounding Blend has been effective for us, on Tamalu's suggestion. As the mother she may also benefit from you doing a GI Cleansing Formula cleanse.

Ramona - For my baby, when he had what I'm assuming was this and none of the oils helped, I gave him 2 of the probiotics (one each day) and it began clearing up within hours.  His was so bad; it would bleed when I changed him.  But literally, even by the next changing, it was way better, and that was just after the first Probiotic Defense Formula.

 

BE - Does anyone know if a 20 month old should take the full 5 days of the Probiotic Defense Formula capsules?

Pat - For children between 18 months and 5 years you pierce the GI Cleansing Formula capsule and apply a small amount on the bottoms of their feet twice a day with their meal. Try to get them to drink plenty of lemon water to flush the toxins. The smaller children really don't have that many toxins and I would only do the GI Cleansing Formula for 7 days. After that do the PB for the five days and you can use up to two capsules a day.

 

Stephanie - Just a note because someone asked about night terrors. 

I find that when my 2 year old is having a Candida flare up (I haven't been diligent about watching her diet) that she will wake up and scream at night like that.

 

ftballwidow - Can you do the Candida cleanse by putting the dosage on your feet?  I'm just thinking about kids that can't take capsules.  Has anyone done that?

Pat - I know of one woman who gave her child the Candida cleanse in a spoonful of Agave. She also reduced the oils to 3,3,2. She felt like it helped clear up his eczema.

Editor - reducing the oils 3,3,2 means from the normal 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Melaleuca, 3 drop Oregano.  Or with GI Cleansing Formula to 1 capsule or less.

 

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils

Help from Julia's Natural Kitchen

Candida Albicans is a natural strain of bacteria that lives in our bowels, but when allowed to grow unchecked can cause havoc on our immune system and show up as a myriad of symptoms such as allergies, rashes, pain, stomach upset, inflammation, reactions to smells, headaches, etc. The best way to treat an overgrowth of Candida is to clean up the diet, get plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and exercise, and repopulate the lower intestine with good bacteria by using a Probiotic (Probiotic Defense Formula). Refrain from consuming anything with sugar, mold or fungus, as Candida Albicans is a yeast and will feed off of these foods.

Candida Blend

5 drops - (xxx) Lemon Essential Oil

5 drops - (xxx) Melaleuca  Essential Oil

3 drops - (xxx) Oregano Essential Oil

This will create a die off effect and you will feel worse for a small period of time, while the Candida comes out of you. Take a good probiotic (Probiotic Defense Formula) and rotate the blend and the probiotics. Dr. Hill suggests taking the Candida Blend for two weeks and on the third week stop taking the Essential Oil blend and take probiotics (3 Probiotic Defense Formula Pellets a day) for a week. Repeat the cycle two week on Candida Blend, one week on Probiotics until Candida symptoms are gone.

 

Dr. Mom in the Kitchen

Eat plenty of fresh deep leafy greens, and make sure you are getting plenty of water. Juicing is beneficial during a candida cleanse. Focus on drinking juices that are low in sugar, or combine with other vegetables that balance the sugar. Young Thai Coconuts are known for their yeast fighting ability and are delicious in a green smoothie or added to juice. Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) is also a candida fighting food. Salad dressings made of ACV, a little Olive Oil, fresh garlic and salt is an excellent dressing and yeast fighter.  Garlic is also a candida fighter. Consider using garlic in many of your meals. Keep the diet simple, and avoid excess while your body restores itself. Simply made low fat meat dishes, steamed vegetables and brown rice with a little olive oil, Lemon, salt and Pepper is a good example of a meal. Other meals can consist of Juice, Salads, and lo-fat soups are helpful in keeping the bowel heal while the candida dies off. Foods that contain probiotics such as keifer, kim chee or rejuvelac, are wonderful additions to the diet. Consider eating a raw foods diet.

Avoid bad fats, dairy, sugar, and temporarily avoid foods that contain fungus and yeast, such as mushrooms and bread.

Begin each day with room temperature water with ½ Lemon juiced.

Living Vegetable Soup

2 cups filtered water

2 stalks of celery

2 Tablespoons EVOO

1 apple

1/2 Lemon (washed peel and all)

1/4 to 1/2 jalapeño

1 Clove garlic

Blend in a vitamix or blendtek until completely incorporated into a broth and warmed. Transfer to a warm bowl or keep on stove at lowest heat (if using a regular blender... add ingredients slowly to get the consistency of broth)

Add:

1/2 cup chopped parsley and Cilantro

diced avocado

diced red bell Pepper

1/2 c. shredded carrot

1/2 c. shredded parsnip

Serve warm in a warm bowl.

 

Potassium Broth

7 Carrots

5 Stalks of Celery

One bunch of spinach

½ bunch of Parsley

 

Juice and drink that day. Chew your juice to help digest.

 

 

Coconut Green Drink

1 Young Thai Coconut

1 peeled Orange

2 cups organic baby spinach

 

Blend until bright green and smooth.

 

 Apple Green Juice

3 Apples

1 Lemon

3 kale leaves

Pinch of Cayenne

2-3 drops of (xxx) Lemon Essential Oil

 

Juice Apples, Lemon (peel and all), and Kale leaves.
Strain, and add pinch of cayenne and Lemon EO.

 

 

Herbs that help:

Garlic

Catsclaw

Pau d'Arco

 

Personal Experience:

My experience with candida peaked after the birth of my 7th child. I had always had a flare up here or there, that I wrote off to “just a rash” or “nerves”. I experienced anything from stomach problems, rashes and hives to headaches, fuzzy thinking, pain, swelling of my face and lips, and kidney problems.

When I got to the point that I could not nurse my new baby, or hold any food in my body because my bowels would simply purge anything that I ate, I was introduced to the concept of a raw food diet. I had tried using herbs to combat my yeast problem, but until I changed my eating habits of consuming too much improper food, and too much sugar, my body was unable to fully heal.

At the time, I was eating meat with every meal, consuming sugar and chocolate every day, and had no control over my eating habits. I was over weight, in pain, had constant migraines and was very unhappy. I started my living foods diet by juicing and blending and consuming plenty of water, juices and simple soups made from raw vegetables. I soon learned how to make delicious meals made from vegetables, deep leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains, and how to combine my foods so that the food that I ate would digest properly and not ferment in my stomach. Since that change in my eating habits, I have been able to enjoy many freedoms in my health, and my body has healed. At the point where I was eating 50% raw foods and 50% cooked foods I was able to release 50 lbs of weight and began feeling much better. I went 100% raw for a period of time, but found that I would be too harsh with myself if I ever ate something cooked. I now am able to eat 80% raw foods and 20% cooked or steamed foods, including a little fish from time to time. I even enjoy a little dessert at special occasions, and my body can handle it. I feel that being flexible in eating is very important for our health, and we need to listen to our body's true needs. There are so many diets out there, and sometimes they can be confusing. Along with addictions, social events around eating, and hidden chemicals in store bought foods, finding a balanced diet can be difficult. However, the fight for my health has been worth every struggle, and I see my journey of discipline through proper diet as one of the best things I have done for myself.

Many people may argue that eating a raw foods diet is extreme and too difficult. I would counter with the observation that my health problems began with the “normal” foods that everyone was eating, and healed when I ate fresh natural foods. I am now teaching raw food classes, and I have found that I am not alone in this observation.  I find that my tastes have changed, and I crave foods that are good for me. If anything, I eat too much spinach these days, but I would trade that over eating too much dead, chemicalized foods that nearly destroyed my health. Finding my personal balance of what foods worked for me was key. It was a journey that I had to make with God as my partner, and it was worth every step! Freedom tastes fantastic!

What Science & Research are saying

Candida, Inflammation & Auto-Immune Illnesses

Kathy - This summary is based on Dr. Bruce Semon's book An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003). This summary gives general explanations about how yeast can cause so-called autoimmune illnesses and chronic disease. For detailed explanations, including an extensive chapter on how the immune system is supposed to work--and how yeast prevent it from working correctly--we recommend that you read An Extraordinary Power to Heal.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Crohn's Disease, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Numbness in the hands, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ulcerative colitis:  What do these have in common?  They all respond to dietary intervention and anti-yeast treatment.

Why might chronic diseases ranging from psoriasis to ulcerative colitis to arthritis respond to dietary intervention and anti-yeast treatment? These diseases are all marked by the body appearing to attack itself. They are called "auto-immune" diseases.

I have always considered the idea of the body attacking itself as a strange idea. Why should the body do that? In 40 years of research, the biomedical research community has been unable to come up with any answer. Maybe the concept is wrong.

Maybe the body is not attacking itself primarily. Maybe the primary target is not the body but the yeast Candida albicans. To understand how such terrible diseases can occur, we need to look at the interactions of Candida albicans and the immune system.

Yeast are normal residents of the intestinal tract. After antibiotics, yeast grow to fill in the space left by dead bacteria and the yeast continue to grow at this higher level. The body still must contain the yeast so that the yeast does not invade the rest of the body. If Candida invades the body, the result is often death.

The best way to look at the immune system is to understand that the immune system has both defensive and offensive weapons. The main defensive weapon is inflammation. Inflammation is like putting up a wall, a hot wall, which makes it difficult for invading foreign microorganisms to get through. Inflammation will occur anytime the immune system contacts a foreign invader. But as you know the inflammation is painful. Along with the inflammation, should come the offensive weapons which kill the foreign invader. The problem is that Candida has many tricks to evade the offensive weapons of the body's immune system.

Candida is a very difficult organism for the body's immune system to clear.   Why?

Yeast have a capsule on the outside which prevents the first line (phagocytic) white blood cells of the body from engulfing the yeast and killing it. So the body must rely on the other parts of the immune system.

Candida has other tricks to evade the body's immune system. One of these tricks is to change its outside. The immune system recognizes the outside receptors of the invading organism and then sends out signals to start an immune response. Some of the immune responders then look for cells with those receptors. Candida albicans can change the receptors which it is displaying, making it difficult for the body's immune cells to react appropriately. In essence, Candida albicans is a moving target, which changes its form.

The most important thing to know about Candida is that Candida albicans can make factors which suppress the immune response to itself. These factors can be found in the circulation of people with significant Candida infections. When these factors are purified and placed in cultures of immune cells, these immune cells do not develop the responses to Candida which they are supposed to develop. In other words, Candida can make factors, which prevent the body from reacting to and killing the Candida. These factors prevent the total eradication of Candida from the body.

The Candida can suppress the offensive weapons of the body's immune system. But the inflammation will still be generated because when the immune system detects a foreign invader, there will always be inflammation. The problem is that the foreign invader, the Candida, is not going away, because the immune system's offensive weapons are suppressed. The inflammation will remain and inflammation is painful.

In the intestinal tract, there is Candida, which tries to invade the intestinal wall, and the immune system responds with inflammation. The problem is that the Candida suppresses the immune system's offensive weapons, so the Candida stays and the inflammation is prolonged. This prolonged inflammation is called ulcerative colitis if it occurs in the large intestine and it is called Crohn's disease if it occurs in the small intestine. These disorders are prolonged inflammation resulting from the immune system's inability to clear Candida.

In ulcerative colitis, there is painful inflammation of the intestine rather than regulated containment. As the body fights the yeast in the intestine, some of the cells fighting the yeast circulate and come into contact with yeast on the skin and start an inflammation there, leading to eczema and psoriasis .

Candida causes autoimmune problems such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in this way. Candida puts out receptors on its cell surface which are actually human receptors for connective tissue and the immune system. If the body attacks the Candida in the intestinal tract, the body's immune system will attack anything which looks like the Candida. Because of the connective tissue receptors on Candida, the body's immune system may attack other cells in the body which have these receptors.

Many tissues such as the joints have connective tissue and as the body attacks the Candida, the body will also attack these cells. The result is painful joints or other inflamed tissues.

Candida also has receptors which are similar to those in the brain. When these cells are attacked, the result is multiple sclerosis.

In other words, Candida acts as a long term vaccination displaying the body's own cellular receptors to the body's immune system. When the immune system sees such receptors for a long enough time, it will attack cells which display such receptors, which includes the cells of the body. There is research which shows that such immune system reactions occur. The yeast Candida is the primary target. If the Candida is removed the body stops attacking itself.

 

Extract from PubMed.com

Journal of  Applied  Microbiology. 1999 Jun;86(6):985-90.

Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts.

Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV.

Department of Microbiology, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia. khammer@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

The antimicrobial activity of plant oils and extracts has been recognized for many years. However, few investigations have compared large numbers of oils and extracts using methods that are directly comparable. In the present study, 52 plant oils and extracts were investigated for activity against Acinetobacter baumanii, Aeromonas veronii biogroup sobria, Candida albicans, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia col, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype typhimurium, Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus, using an agar dilution method. Lemongrass, Oregano and bay inhibited all organisms at concentrations of < or = 2.0% (v/v). Six oils did not inhibit any organisms at the highest concentration, which was 2.0% (v/v) oil for apricot kernel, evening primRose, macadamia, pumpkin, sage and sweet almond. Variable activity was recorded for the remaining oils. Twenty of the plant oils and extracts were investigated, using a broth microdilution method, for activity against C. albicans, Staph. aureus and E. coli. The lowest minimum inhibitory concentrations were 0.03% (v/v) Thyme oil against C. albicans and E. coli and 0.008% (v/v) Vetiver oil against Staph. aureus. These results support the notion that plant essential oils and extracts may have a role as pharmaceuticals and preservatives.

 

Extract from PubMed.com

Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (1998).

In-vitro activity of essential oils, in particular Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and tea tree oil products, against Candida spp. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 42, 591-5. The study examined the in-vitro activity of a range of essential oils against the yeast candida. The final concentrations of tea tree oil were obtained from the diluted products in sterile distilled water after inoculation. A variety number of Candida isolates were tested for sensitivity to tea tree oil by the methods of agar dilution and broth microdilution. The study found the majority of tea tree oil tested possess anticandidal properties in vitro and suggested that they may be useful in the topical treatment of superficial candida infections.

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