Candida albicans, also known as thrush, is a common problem affecting many people.
Candida albicans lives in all of us, but under normal conditions the good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut exist in much larger proportion to the candida.
A properly balanced gut flora is essential to gut health!
Something that isn't mentioned often is that when the gut flora is blanced, candida is actually beneficial for the body in a small, controlled amount. However, when there is an overgrowth of this "Yeasty Beastie", it can be a tough thing to beat.
Because our diet is the main contributor to the state of our digestive system health, diet is really the best way to correct gut health. (Don't worry, I'm going to give you some great ideas on how to use essential oils too in just a second!)
Things to Avoid:
- Cellulose and starchy foods such as potatoes, wheat, peas, onions and carrots
- Pasteurized dairy (usually there's an unknown allergy to dairy)
- Added sugar (sugars feed candida, the most common gut health killer)
- Refined vegetable oils (canola, soybean, corn, etc.)
- Hydrogenated fats (or trans fats) - they are synthetic, unfamiliar to the body and are almost completely identical in their makeup to plastic! Please don't put this in your body!
- Excessive use of antibiotics - they kill off massive quantities of the helpful organisms in your intestines!
Correcting the gut flora in your digestive tract is crucial!
Things to do:
- Get on a high count probiotic. Go to your nearest health food store and ask for a good brand. They will know where to direct you.
- Don't go easy on it! It is often necessary to take triple the recommended daily amount on the bottle. Take them on an empty stomach if possible. (And, of course, always check with your doctor first!)
- Eat a variety of fermented foods such as sour kraut, kombucha, miso, kefir, yogurt, etx. Kefir or yogurt should be unpasteurized and sweetened only with raw stevia or a small amount of whole fruit pieces.
- If you are going to eat a salad or raw fruits/veggies at a meal, eat them 15 minutes before the main course (or cooked food). If you eat a salad followed immediately by dinner, the foods will ferment in your stomach and often cause excessive gas and bloating.
- Drink herbal teas (or spiced teas)
- Eat healthy fats (nuts, seeds, raw coconut oil, grass-fed butters, MCT oils, etc.)
- Eat wild caught fish at least twice a week
"Thrush and cystitis often alternate with each other in a painful and depressing cycle, because the antibiotics given for the cystitis suppress the body's natural way of controlling candida organisms. Using essential oils to treat the cystitis, either alone or in conjunction with antibiotics if necessary, and [eating yogurt and taking probiotics] to counter the side-effects of the drugs can break this cycle." (Davis, 293)
*While we at Selah do not recommend putting essential oils inside the vagina, one of our trusted resources uses this method, as described below. If you are going to use this method, we recommend that you follow it exactly as described.
According to Jane Buckle, PhD, RN in her book, Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Healthcare, there is one essential oil that can get rid of this fungal infection permanently and within only a few days - Tea Tree.
Here's Her Recipe:
- In a saucer, mix two or three drops of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) in 5ml [approx. 1 teaspoon] of cold-pressed vegetable oil, such as sweet almond oil.
- Roll a tampon in the mixture until it is saturated, then insert into the vagina.
- Use the remainder on your fingers to spread the mixture over the labia, and wash your hands.
The tampon should be changed three times a day for a new tampon with a fresh dilution of carrier oil and tea tree... and keep one in overnight as well.
"It will not lead to toxic shock syndrome. Tea Tree Tampons are a very safe and effective method of eradicating candidiasis (and many other vaginal infections) and there appear to be no adverse side effects." (Buckle, 386)
"The tea tree tampon method has been used successfully in pregnancy with no adverse effects to the mother or baby. Having suggested this treatment to many patients and colleagues over the last 20 years, I am confident Melaleuca alternifolia will remove the infection within 3 days, regardless of how long the woman has had the infection, or if the infection is resistant to conventional antifungals." (Buckle, 387) Buckle does urge caution, though. If there are exposed raw areas in the vagina or on the labia, using Lavender diluted in vegetable oil first is best. Used in the exact same way, with a tampon for 1 or 2 days. You can also use lavender in a sitz bath.
Other Oils that may help with Candida: Tea Tree, Lavender, Oregano, Armor, Clove, Peppermint, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosewood, Spearmint, Tummy Troubles, Resistance, Clarify, Rosemary, Thyme, Myrrh, Patchouli.
Application ideas: Dilute oil of choice as recommend and apply on lower abdomen or bottoms of feet.
(Do not apply essential oils directly to sensitive areas- or inside the vagina!)
Buckle, Jane. Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Healthcare, Edition 3. (2015). p. 386 - 387.
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy An A-Z. (2000). p. 293
Price, Shirley & Price, Len. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. (2012). p. 282