Holistic Yeast Treatment
The presence of yeast, or Candida albicans, often occurs as a result of an underlying health problem or as a side effect of taking medication, such as antibiotics, which disrupts the normal balance of the digestive system. Controlling or eliminating yeast can be difficult when using a prescription drug that can add to the existing problem. Taking a holistic approach to treating yeast, using food and herbal supplementation, can be an effective alternative.
Candida albicans occurs naturally in small amounts in the gut helping maintain proper levels of good bacteria. However, the amount of yeast can grow beyond normal levels when the body is exposed to antibiotics and a constant intake of sugar, which feeds the yeast and creates a fungal infection. People suffering from compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to an overgrowth of candida albicans in the body.
The overgrowth of yeast is not restricted to the stomach. It can spread to other areas of the body such as the skin, mouth, throat and genitals. For those with a compromised immune system, Lifeextension.org cites that candida can become systemic, causing respiratory and cardiac distress, shock and organ failure.
Pau d'arco is a tree native to South and Central America. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports the inner bark contains napthoquinones, lapachol and beta-lapachone, whose antifungal properties kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Pau d'arco comes in capsule, tincture or tea form and is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, or those taking blood thinning medications such as Coumadin, Plavix or aspirin.
Taking probiotics with live Lactobacillus acidophilus or eating plain yogurt is a natural way to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the stomach. One cup of yogurt each day can help reduce the levels of candida in the gut as well as the possibility of fungal infections in other areas of the body.
Garlic has been shown to contain antifungal properties which inhibit candida growth. In the study "In vitro antimicrobial properties of aqueous garlic extract against multidrug-resistant bacteria and Candida species from Nigeria" published in the Fall 2004 Journal of Medicinal Food, the use of aqueous garlic extract was found effective in anticandidal growth.
Although the use of herbs and supplements is generally safe, if you are taking prescription medications, you should consult your physician or health practitioner for possible interactions before using holistic methods to treat a yeast infection.
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