Fighting the Fungus
This entry was posted on September 27, 2011 by Milly.
Does everyone with candida issues find their symptoms worse at this time of year, or is it just me? I don’t know if it’s because mushrooms thrive when conditions get damp, and that applies to internal fungus as well as the external specimens you can find in the woods about now. Or is it because it’s the autumn equinox and I always feel icky at the equinoxes? At least these days I do have better information about how to keep the beastly yeast at bay.
There’s the basic stuff about candida we all know (those of us with the problem anyway) about not eating sugary stuff and getting the probiotics in etc. We know that antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids make it worse. I won’t reiterate the basic stuff about candida overgrowth here as there’s plenty of material on various good websites on the subject. But there are a few little nuggets I’ve learned more recently about controlling candida that I’d like to share, just in case others have missed them too.
Candida can be tough to get rid of once it becomes systemic, i.e. embedded in the intestinal wall and even in organs and tissue deeper in the body. If you have systemic candidiasis, it will take several months of sustained effort before you will win the battle because the whole of the intestinal wall has to have time to renew with clean tissue. We know we can starve the candida out by eliminating sweets, carbs and alcohol; kill it with antifungal supplements and both kill and crowd it out with probiotics.
There are other things we can do in addition to all that, using some of the herbs and supplements that have become available more recently. Many of these are available at Raw Living, and I shall mention those in bold. For instance, you can help your own immune system to overcome candida with immune-building supplements. The most potent of these, perhaps surprisingly, is reishi mushroom. All of the noble mushrooms are good for this against candida, including chaga, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, lion’s mane, agaricus blazei, trametes versicolor etc, but reishi is the king of anti-candida supplements. A good product to try if you want to cover all the bases is STR-12 but any of the reishi products will be very potent too. The reishi thing seemed counter-intuitive to me when I first learned about it as I was always told to avoid eating anything with mushrooms in it because they’re supposed to encourage candida growth. But in fact the noble mushrooms should be the first mode of attack according to David Wolfe. He also says we need to take big doses. These medicinal mushrooms cannot do us any harm so you can’t overdose though you may get some detox discomfort initially if you dive straight into a high dose regime. David Wolfe’s philosophy, rather than the allopathic conventional medic’s idea of ‘take two and call me in the morning’, is ‘take 2,000 and email me next month!’
The next effective treatment that can seem counter-intuitive is to do a series of colonics. Some people, who may have spent months on end improving their internal garden of flora with a long course of probiotics feel reluctant to have colonic treatment because they worry, quite reasonably, that it will wash away the good bacteria they’ve worked so hard to build up. In fact, a colonic will only temporarily wash away some of the good bacteria and since we lose quite a lot with every bowel movement anyway, it’s not really a problem. The reason a series of colonics is beneficial is that candida thrives on all the muck and mayhem in our gut while the good bacteria prefer a clean environment. So colonics will tip the balance in favour of the good bacteria by providing the right environment for them while the candida will have less putrefaction to hide out in. By a colonic, I include enemas as well as professional colonics so grab an enema bag and do yourself a favour!
While we’re talking about brilliant supplements that have only recently become available, I once again have to trumpet the angelical, magical properties of Adya Clarity. This stuff has a very powerful capacity to kill candida and for some people will eradicate the problem completely. For more on Adya, see the two other RL blog articles on it, my own and another by Polly Noble. While Adya hasn’t eradicated candida altogether for me, there is a good reason for that which I’ll come to in a minute and I do find it keeps it under control even when I’m naughty and eat honey or dried figs.
The next items that may not be obvious anti-candida allies are the fermented foods – sauerkraut, kim-chi, kefir and kombucha for example. I used to think these would be bad for me. The word ‘fermented’ rang alarm bells and I avoided them. Now I know that such foods are potent probiotics, and that I can get more billions of living probiotic organisms into me this way than I can get from any of the probiotic pills and powders. I still use the pills and powders – I want it all! – but I have noticed a positive difference in my health since beginning on the fermented foods. I especially notice that my bowels seem to work better and I have less gas. I absolutely love sauerkraut and eat it almost daily but I confess I am not yet 100% sure about the kefir yet. I’ve been brewing water kefir and drinking a small glass each evening. It tastes wonderful, a bit like cider, but I can’t get my head around how it can be an anti-candida substance. I know it contains a (small) amount of sugar and although I’ve been using coconut sugar crystals which are fairly low-glycaemic, it still worries me. Plus I know kefir contains alcohol. It’s a tiny amount (about 0.7% apparently) but it’s enough for me to feel it, I do get a bit of a rush. Since alcohol is rocket fuel for candida, I find the idea so contrary to what I know about candida control, that drinking kefir does blow my fuses a bit. As I mentioned at the beginning, I am having a slight candida flare-up at the mo, but this may be due to causes other than the kefir so I will persevere and see what happens. I’d be interested to know what other people’s thoughts are on this one.
Earlier I said that I believe I know why I’ve not yet completely eliminated candida from my system, despite all of these powerful weapons. In my case, I think it’s because I still have two mercury amalgam fillings in my mouth, and I don’t think I’ll ever entirely get rid of the candida while they are there. The reason I still have them is partly budgetary reasons and partly that my system hasn’t been strong enough to withstand removal. Mercury amalgam removal is a big deal and is potentially dangerous if not done correctly or if done when your immune system is weakened. I know where I want to go to have it done so I’ve been saving my pennies and trying to build up my immune strength. Then I’ll be ready with the Adya, the zeolites and the colonics for after the procedure. Interestingly, I’ve read some conflicting facts about candida and mercury. One is that candida converts mercury to its most poisonous form, methyl mercury. As if mercury wasn’t poisonous enough, candida actually makes it worse. The other thing I read is that candida has one good quality in that it buffers the body against some of mercury’s most poisonous effects and so the body in its wisdom, hangs on to candida while mercury is present, because it helps deal with the toxicity. An interesting thought. I wonder which is true, or if it’s possible both things could be true at the same time?
Finally I feel it worth mentioning a few things which, while they are neither counter-intuitive nor new, they are things I find really helpful in the battle against the beastly yeast, things I’d hate to do without. One of these is pau d’arco tea which is the best tasting of the medicinal teas in my opinion. I was fascinated to hear that when a pau d’arco tree dies and falls in the South American jungle, it doesn’t rot. It’s so resistant to fungus and bacteria that it just sits there, not rotting. Anyway. Another thing is coconut butter, which is of course not only the most delicious substance ever but is anti-fungal too. As an aside, I never worry about putting on weight eating coconut either, because I gather the fat consists of medium-chain triglycerides which the body can’t store as fat. Moving on, colloidal silver is great because you can use it internally and externally. Last but by no means least is the Terminator zapper, which gets top marks for killing all kinds of parasites including candida.
Good luck with your own efforts to keep the candida in check, and may you have a very happy, fungus-free autumn.