Herbal Medicine Treatments for Yeast Infections, SIBO & Candida
A herbal home-remedy with dietary guidelines
The most common gastrointestinal tract fungal infection (often referred to as an "overgrowth" since it normally exists in small amounts in the colon) is a type of yeast called Candida, usually Candida albicans but not always. General symptoms include low energy, gas and bloating, a weak immune system, food allergies and skin rashes.
The Ayurvedic understanding: Vata constitution types often also have insomnia, lower back pain, restlessness and ringing in the ears. Pitta constitution types, on the other hand, often also have a low level fever, excess thirst and hyperacidity. Kapha constitution types often have additional symptoms such as phlegm, frequent colds, swollen glands, edema, heaviness and excessive sleep. Thus, not everyone symptoms are the same.
Note that these symptoms can be a result of other imbalances, thus, they don't confirm that a person necessary has candida.
In any case, typical causes of an intestinal yeast infection include eating too much sugar, snacking throughout the day especially on sweets and breads, use of antibiotics, a depressed immune system, low bile output and environmental toxins.
Keep in mind that yeast infections can affect the colon, small intestines, skin, genitals, throat, nails, mouth and blood. There are several types of candidiasis: If it is in the mouth or throat, it is called oral candidiasis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, or thrush. If it affects the genital area, it is generally called a yeast infection. If yeast infects the skin on a baby's bottom area, it causes a diaper rash. If the infection enters your bloodstream, it is called invasive candidiasis or candidemia. Symptoms and the proper treatment depend on which part of the body is infected.
While it is important to avoid yeast-containing foods and take anti-fungal herbs, this may not make up for the internal weakness. Even herbal anti-fungal treatments can further weaken the immune system. It is particularly dangerous for the Vata constitution (body-type) to be on a highly restrictive diet which is basically depleting, (such as no grains, fruits or dairy). Furthermore, only depriving the fungus of a food source does not address the cause.
My protocol includes specific dietary guidelines by dosha prakriti (body-type) but is not a restrictive diet with no grains and no dairy in every case. I find such a strict "elimination diet" to be impractical, leading to nutritional deficiencies and not necessary with anti-fungal herbs. Clearly, diet and eating habits have to change as it is often snacking and the consumption of sweets that were part of the initial cause, however, anti-fungal herbs are the most effective remedy. Additionally, Liver detoxification is necessary since it is the lack of bile and low Agni (weak digestion) which allows the yeast to "overgrow" in the first place. Other treatments such as a herbal [colonic] purgation (virechana) are also very effective. It depends on the person's current state of digestion and elimination to know which treatment protocol would be most appropriate. Additionally, the herbs and the method used depends on the part of the body affected.
Therapy requires one private consultations (in Ojai, CA or by Skype) plus herbal products.
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