Imagine an unwanted houseguest in your living room, demanding a steady stream of sugary carbohydrates—anything from high fructose corn syrup all the way to alcohol. That is candida, and a more unpleasant houseguest one cannot imagine. Just as you’d clean house after such a visitor, so you want a candida cleanse to get rid of the overgrowth. This post offers thoughts and health strategies for balancing candida.
So What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of fungal yeast that excretes toxic waste into the bloodstream and lymphatic system. An excess of candida can cause or contribute to candida symptoms. This includes bloating after eating (especially after eating sweet or starchy food), clouded thinking, depression, poor digestion, diarrhea, exhaustion, halitosis (bad breath), menstrual pains, thrush (pasty saliva), unclear memory recall, yeast vaginitis, and fungal nail conditions. If you have these symptoms regularly, you may have candida.
Conventional diets high in cooked starches (bread, baked/fried potatoes, cakes, cookies, pasta), diets loaded with refined carbohydrates (high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, alcohol) and/or diets rich in fruit sugars (bananas, oranges, melons) all feed candida. When all this sugar and starch are added to a body whose levels of good intestinal bacteria (probiotics) are low (due to diet, lifestyle and pharmaceuticals). Also, whose immune system lacks development/nourishment and whose tissues have become acidic due to a prolonged dietary lack of alkaline mineral salts (which come through our food from a healthy soil or ocean), then candida proliferates.
Those suffering from candida typically have had a history of antibiotic and birth control pill use. Antibiotics eliminate much of the good intestinal bacteria and allow candida to spread. Birth control pills disturb hormone levels and can disable the immune system.
Candida is usually also present when there has been mercury poisoning. Therefore, candida symptoms may decrease with heavy metal cleansing.
First Courses of Action
Candida can thrive only in dark, moldy, oxygen-deprived environments. The very first recommendations for those with candida overgrowth often include getting more direct sunlight on the skin. Direct sunlight destroys most yeasts and fungi. Those with candida overgrowth must get their naked bodies into the sun whenever possible. You can also increase vitamin D3 intake.
But what if you live in far Northern or Southern climes, and sunlight exposure wanes with the seasons? If so, then try experimenting with infrared saunas and studying up on oxygen therapies. Oxygen and ozone are key factors as they oxidize candida, causing die-off. For example, you can increase oxygenation through deep breathing exercises, and oxygen technologies, like ozone therapies, are valuable aids. You can also study yoga pranayama. One book, Flood Your Body With Oxygen by Ed McCabe, provides more information on oxygen therapies.
Third, colloidal silver offers a more direct method to kill off candida overgrowth. High-quality, high parts per million (ppm) colloidal silver also works well, as silver ions kill Candida and related infectious organisms. While government regulations in some countries typically keep commercially available colloidal silver products below 20 or even 10 ppm, colloidal silver should be at least 90 part per million to be effective. Since the writing of this article, a new silver product has come to market: coated silver – and it is far more concentrated and far more effective. Learn more here.
Candida Cleanse Diet and Protocols
A candida cleanse diet is a more ancestral type of diet, such as a modified raw food, Mediterranean, or paleo diet. Specifically, this diet should contain no dairy products except ghee. This candida diet should, without exception, be organic.
Plant foods that encourage a candida cleanse include vegetables, fresh-pressed green juices, occasional soaked nuts and seeds, seaweeds, superfoods, and superherbs.
Yes, that’s a long list. But an excellent plant-based diet will focus on nutrient-dense plant foods.
So let’s break this down.
Green vegetables and green juices, for example, should highlight kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or artichoke. But make sure to include less-sweet vegetables like nopales or jicama, and avoid the sweeter root vegetables, like carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes.
Soaked nuts and seeds provide an incredible amount of nutrition in a small package. Soaking, in particular, reduces the enzyme inhibitors that bind up nutrients. For example, sprouted broccoli seeds contain up to 50 times the nutrients as full-grown broccoli. Additionally, seeds like chia and hemp are high in ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Nuts, like walnuts and pecans, offer up a satisfying snack source.
For an effective candida cleanse, include medicinal mushrooms, especially reishi and chaga mushroom, as well as the great Chinese herbs gynostemma, astragalus, he shou wu, and Rehmannia. But that’s not all! The Ayurvedic tradition shares several herbs that will be equally helpful: tulsi, ashwagandha, and shilajit, among others.
Superfoods also come from the plant-based camp. Especially focus on green powdered grasses, marine phytoplankton, and chlorella. Wild foods support gut health and provide important fats, like young wild coconuts–not sugary Thai coconuts–raw coconut oil, olive oil, a wide variety of low-sugar fruits. See the list provided below. If you need the sweet, then berries are best.
Sweet fruits of any type are not recommended while trying to knock out candida. Avoid animal foods on a candida cleanse diet, but bone broth, ghee, and unfertilized eggs may support your gut health.
Digging Deeper – Specifics of a Candida Cleanse Diet
As mentioned above, a superherb that provides excellent benefits against candida is reishi mushroom. Reishi mushroom extracts (powder and liquid) are widely available. Wild Reishi mushroom tea is highly sought after and recommended. If you find that the reishi extract is working for you, feel free to try other extraordinary medicinal mushrooms, such as chaga, trametes versicolor, cordyceps, maitake, and shiitake, among others.
What about the idea that you should avoid mushrooms (a fungus) when dealing with a fungus-yeast-mold condition like candida? Well, theories from experts like Dr. Robert Young, for example, support the idea that reishi and the other noble medicinal mushrooms contain terpenes and polysaccharides that kill candida. Experience will prove this to you.
High doses of healthy probiotics (acidophilus, Bifidus infantis, L. salivarius, L. plantarum, L. bulgaricus, etc.) that will colonize and assist the digestive tract are required to overcome candida and reverse dysbiosis (i.e., too much bad bacteria and yeast in the system and not enough good bacteria)
Prebiotics are also valuable. These are foods that nourish probiotics (healthy bacterial flora). Prebiotics include foods such a chicory root, dandelion root, Jerusalem artichoke, and other healthy, low-sugar roots.
Sugar and Carbohydrates in a Candida Cleanse Diet
One can find great benefit from sugar fasting, that is, eating no sweet food of any kind for several weeks or months and simultaneously dosing up on probiotics.
Sprouted grain (such as sprouted black rice, millet, teff, or kamut) can yield a slight quantity of usable sugar. When fasting from sugar for long periods, the little bit of sugar from sprouted grain can be beneficial and will not foster candida growth. Sprouted heirloom grains must be washed and soaked with the soak water changed at least once every 24 hours over a period of 1-3 days depending on the grain. Quinoa is recommended for those not sensitive to oxalic acid, but it is not a true grass seed (grain) but a seed from the Chenopodium family of plants.
In the long term, when the desire for real sugar appears, it must be addressed with natural paleolithic fruits such as wild berries (not hybridized seedless fruit) and with high-quality, cooked organic squash or sweet potato or yam. Fermentation of fruit or starchy foods in the gut leading to gas and indigestion (due to overeating these foods or by too many combinations of food) must be avoided. In the long term, some carbohydrates must be eaten, or the body will eventually go off balance. One may cautiously return to eating some carbohydrates once the body is cleansed and the candida symptoms have disappeared.
Supplements that can be helpful in the fight against candida include olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, supplemental enzymes, MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) powder (as it detoxifies mercury), small amounts of fully mineralized sea salt or rock salt, activated charcoal, and powdered or liposomal vitamin C.
Herbs that are great allies against candida include oregano, garlic, pau d’arco tea, and cat’s claw tea.
Intestinal Cleansing As Part of Candida Cleanse
I recommend following a candida cleanse and intestinal rebuilding program either before or after a sugar fast, such as the Arise & Shine Cleanse Program. The following are important guidelines for herbal cleansing while overcoming candida:
- Do not have fruit juice if you have candida, especially while on an herbal cleanse. Use only green vegetable juice with lemon or simply water as the liquid base for the herbal shakes that the herbal cleanse prescribes.
- Take a high-quality probiotic formula containing, at least, acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. bulgaricus, at least, 1 hour before bedtime throughout all the cleansing steps, 1/2 hour after each set of herbs, and 1/2 hour after each meal.
- Take ample amounts of the probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis. Bifidobacterium infantis is found in breastfed infants, and is probably the most basic of all intestinal bacteria in the human species. This probiotic may be added to enemas. Be sure to have your colon hydrotherapist provide you with an implant of Bifidus bacteria following each session.
- Continue to take 2500-5000mg a day of activated charcoal.
The Psychology and Emotional Components of Healing
There is a psychology necessary to heal chronic candida. Candida is associated with subconscious, self-destructive feelings of rejection and lack of self-worth. Negative, self-destructive thoughts destroy good bacteria in the intestinal tract and allow candida to proliferate. Positive, self-confident thoughts help good bacteria proliferate in the intestines.
It’s important to couple a candida cleanse with an emotional cleanse. This will help you overcome chronic candida. Be aware that unresolved issues usually involve parents or past lovers. While healing candida (and while moving into healthy lifestyles in general), one should seek out health professionals, counselors, friends, books, DVDs, online videos, online audios, as well as online support groups that can assist with emotional release work.
Keep a Clean Home
Those with Candida should also keep a clean house. Moldy homes are bad for the candida sufferer. Seek out home air purifier technology such as a HEPA filter. Look for black mold in the home.
Excellent Low-Sugar Fruits
Avocado (fatty fruit, excellent)
Bell pepper (not green peppers, which are unripe and may be harsh even when cooked)
Cucumber (very healing)
Grapefruit (only those types low in sugar)
Lemon (may irritate the Candida sufferer)
Lime (may irritate the Candida sufferer)
Okra (very healing)
Olives (not from a can)