Candida: Our Unruly Guest - Part III; Things You Can Do
Correct thinking is the first principle of natural healing. Most people don't understand this. They think "natural" means using plants instead of chemicals or treating illness with foods rather than drugs. Such things are part of natural healing, but they miss its essence, which is a particular way of looking at things.
If you decide to seek professional therapeutic help for Candida, your main options (though not the only ones) are medicine, chiropractic and homeopathy. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Medicine: If you go to a medical doctor, remember that anti- fungal drugs don't address the unhealthful conditions that stimulate Candida. Holistically inclined physicians typically use small, very short-term doses of anti-fungal drugs only to diagnose Candida, which they then treat with diet and other natural methods.
Chiropractic: Chiropractors don't treat Candida illness directly, but they can help create the healthful conditions that allow the body to control it.
According to chiropractic, when the spinal column becomes misaligned, nerve flow becomes disturbed, as do the functions it governs. By "adjusting" the spine, chiropractors seek to restore the original integrity of the nerve path, thus allowing the body's innate intelligence to operate freely.
Homeopathy: Homeopaths get their strongest effects with extremely diluted substances that they vigorously and are applied using the "law of similars".
What you can Do for Yourself
As important as therapists can be, the most important things are those you do for yourself.
To manage Candida with diet, eliminate foods that weaken you or stimulate Candida. You may begin by avoiding these foods:
- Sugar: Virtually all holistic Candida experts suggest cutting down on sugar. Sugar feeds yeast and it stimulates endorphins which tend to depress immunity.
- Dairy Products: Among the holistic physicians recommending reducing dairy products is Jonathan Collin, M.D., editor of the Townsend Newsletter for Doctors (and a member of Holistic Health Hotline). The exception would be yogurt-like products that stimulate friendly bacteria.
- Yeasted Food.
I've found particular success with my own health challenges using Chinese food herbs. The food herbs of particular interest to Candida sufferers would be a) those that nurture the immune system, b) those that nurture the endocrine system, and c) those that help the body cleanse itself. Other herbs with documented antifungal properties include garlic and Pau d' Arco. Herbs for strengthening the body's natural immunity include echinacea and St. John's Wort.
When using supplements, one of the most useful nutrients is caprylic acid, which is a short-chain fatty acid derived form coconut oil. A number of tests have shown that it has quite powerful antifungal properties. You may also wish to consider the antioxidant supplements including vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium as well as the B vitamins, betacarotene and magnesium.
Stimulating natural bacteria can help keep Candida in check. Lactobacillus acidophilus are known to produce natural antibiotics.
Exercise has a number of health-promoting benefits. And by learning to relax, we allow the conserving side of our nature to fully assert itself, which gives us the energy we need to cope with life's challenges.
The attitude of health isn't fearful, but open-minded and hopeful. Consider that life is a school and that having Candida (if you've got it) is one of your homework assignments. Be a good student. Do your homework and you'll end up both healthier and wiser for having had the experience.
The Holistic Health Network.
By Dean Black