Yeast infection, or candidiasis, manifests in a wide array of symptoms, depending on the severity of the infection, where the yeast has infiltrated, and the immune system’s response. Common symptoms include the following:
- Recurrent vaginal infection
- Inability to concentrate
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Skin rashes
- Nail fungus
- Menstrual problems
- Athlete’s foot
What Are Yeast Infections?
From Modern Western Medicine
The most common form of yeast is Candida albicans, which is the bacteria that causes candidiasis. Yeast infections commonly turn up in the mouth and vagina, where they manifest as sores, discharge, and infections. In health, Candida albicans is kept in check by competing bacteria that live throughout the digestive tract and the mucus membranes throughout the body. Unfortunately, these friendly bacteria commonly are destroyed by antibiotics. In the absence of such friendly bacteria, the Candida albicans flourishes and spreads.
Candida can be diagnosed as a patch of broken or scaly skin, a fungal rash (sometimes appearing on the fingernails and toenails), or the discharge from such patchy skin. Once diagnosed, physicians usually prescribe antifungal drugs. The drugs usually clear up the infection, but it often recurs, sometimes as a result of reinfection by a sex partner. Treatment of both partners is preferred. The condition can be exacerbated by birth control pills, which should be stopped once candida has been diagnosed.
From Traditional Medicine
Though yeast infections have been a problem since the time of Hippocrates, never before have they plagued humanity so intensely as they do today. Most women, at one time or another, suffer from yeast infections, or candidiasis.
In health, the body’s immune system and bacteria environment keep candida in check, preventing it growing into a disease state. However, a whole host of antagonists have weakened the body, starting with antibiotics, which science is now showing weakens the immune system; a diet devoid of immune-supporting nutrients; a lack of dietary fiber, which promotes intestinal health; the absence of healthful fermented foods; and sufficient fresh air and exercise, which also support immune response. Under such conditions, candida can flourish.
Nystatin is an antifungal drug commonly prescribed by physicians to treat candidiasis. Foods such as garlic will also kill yeast. So, too, do oxygen therapies, such as hydrogen peroxide taken orally.
Such therapies cause die-off symptoms that may provide irritating or sometimes disturbing side effects, such as dizziness, irritation of mucus membranes, temporary inflammation, forgetfulness, and other symptoms that are commonly associated with yeast infections.
Food to Eat
- Miso soup: cooked slightly to reduce fermentation
- Raw, saltless sauerkraut
- Whole grains (although whole grains contain a lot of carbohydrates, the fiber and protein components help reestablish proper bowel function)
- Beans, especially adzuki beans, which dry damp conditions; and mung beans, which are detoxifying
- Chlorella microalgae
Foods to Avoid
- Sugars, promote the growth of yeast
- Refined carbohydrates also promote yeast growth
- Dairy products tend to aggravate the infection
- Yeast and yeast-containing products, which are found commonly in baking products, vitamins, alcohol, beverages, cereal, condiments, dairy products, mushrooms, and various meats
- Limit potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, wheat, and corn
- Fruit and fruit juice
- Alcohol, especially white wine
Herbs to Treat Yeast Infections
- Garlic: 1 fresh clove, two or three times a day (swallow with water if chewing is too difficult)
- Taheebo inner bark tea (antifungal): 1 cup infusion, four times per day
- Tea tree oil: Use topically on local nail fungus patch. Add 1 tbsp. water-soluble tea tree oil to 1 cup hot water and soak nail for 20 – 30 minutes, one or two times per day. Do this for 30 – 60 days.
- Aloe vera juice: 2 oz., four times per day
- Pau d’arco: tincture, 30 – 40 drops taken in the eater, three times daily; tea, three times daily; or 2 capsules, three times daily (scientific research has proven the herb kills yeast infection)
- Goldenseal: tincture, 30 drops, twice daily (pregnant women should avoid taking goldenseal because it contains berberine, a chemical that may be toxic during pregnancy)
- Usnea: tincture, 30 drops, twice daily
Hydrogen peroxide, taken orally, should be monitored by a physician, naturopath, or other health counselor experienced in the use of hydrogen peroxide therapies.
Make sure they are yeast-free.
- Vitamin A: 5000 IU per day
- Vitamin B1: 1.5 mg per day
- Vitamin B2: 1.8 mg per day
- Niacin: 20 mg per day
- Vitamin B6: 2 – 10 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 – 400 IU per day