Candida yeast infections are caused by a few different species of fungus. Candida albicans, the most common culprit, typically proliferates in people who have weakened immune systems, unbalanced intestinal microorganisms or who don't practice good hygiene. Candida species prefer warm, moist areas of the body, such as the genitals, mouth and underarms. If left unchecked, candida infections can become systemic and potentially life threatening. Localized candida infections are often treated with antifungal medications, although there are natural supplements used systemically as cleanses that cause fewer side effects.
A popular and economic antifungal supplement appropriate for a candida cleanse is raw garlic. Garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties due to the compound allicin, which attacks fungus while preserving and boosting the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract, according to “Chronic Candidiasis: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, and Other Natural Methods." Garlic also stimulates the liver and large intestine, which gives the entire body a potent detoxifying boost. Raw garlic can be consumed by itself or within food. Garlic pills provide many of the same benefits as raw garlic without the odorous breath.
Onion is another economical food-based supplement that is used to fight candida. Onions, especially the large white or red varieties, have strong antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Onions also help to remove excess fluids from the body, which is especially useful for those with candida infections as many experience water retention and bloating. Onions and garlic make a powerful candida cleanse combination, and parsley can be used to combat the inevitable breath issues.
Coconut oil is also a potent antimicrobial agent effective against candida infections. Coconut oil contains two fatty acids that are powerful antifungal compounds: lauric acid and caprylic acid, as noted in “Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices of Herbal Medicine." Both fatty acids prevent candida yeast overgrowth and are able to strengthen immune system function. Coconut oil is consumed by itself or cooked with food, as it is heat stable.
Olive Leaf Extract
Both olive oil and olive leaf extract contain the plant compound oleuropein, which is a powerful fungistatic type of antimicrobial. Oleuropein disrupts the reproductive capacity of candida fungus and prevents its proliferation. It also stimulates immune system response to candida fungus. Oleuropein reduces and stabilizes blood sugar levels, which is crucial for candida elimination as the yeast and fungal forms use the blood sugars as a food source, according to "The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs."
There are two main biologically active phenols in oregano oil, carvarcol and thymol. Carvarcol, the more potent of the two, is a true wide spectrum antimicrobial in that it kills viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi, including Candida albicans. Thymol, a weaker antimicrobial, is also a good immune booster but toxic in high dosages. Oil of oregano is also a very effective topical treatment for fungal infections of the skin and nails.
- "Chronic Candidiasis: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, and Other Natural Methods"; M.T. Murray; 1997
- “Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices of Herbal Medicine”; David Hoffmann; 2003
- "The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs"; Nicola Reavley; 1999
Owen Bond began writing professionally in 1997. Bond wrote and published a monthly nutritional newsletter for six years while working in Brisbane, Australia as an accredited nutritionalist. Some of his articles were published in the "Brisbane Courier-Mail" newspaper. He received a Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan.