I believe I have a candida overgrowth.

Q. Dear Terry, “I believe I have a candida overgrowth. How can I deal with this naturally?”– Mitzi M., Johns Creek, GA

A. Dear Mitzi, Candida is a type of yeast found naturally in small amounts in the human body. When present in normal levels, Candida isn’t problematic. However, shifts in the microbiome, immune issues, antibiotic usage, high sugar and refined carbohydrate diets, stress, and other factors can contribute to an overabundance of Candida. Some of the symptoms of Candida overgrowth can include oral thrush, fatigue, recurrent infections, digestive imbalances, and skin and nail fungal infections.

One of my favorite recommendations for dealing with pathogens of any kind, including yeasts and fungi, is propolis. Bees gather flavonoid and polyphenol-rich material from plants and trees near their hives. Then they modify it with their own enzymes to create this medicinal and protective substance. Propolis contains compounds like polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, flavonoids, and essential oils. British research has found that propolis has strong antifungal abilities, reducing the activity of Candida albicans, plus reducing levels of dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Make sure you use propolis that is purified to remove inactive resins and beeswax. I would take 200 mg of propolis twice per day.

Another one of my favorite antifungal natural medicines is concentrated plant oils of cinnamon, thyme, clove, and oregano. These oils help restore the balance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria throughout the body. Cinnamon is a great antibacterial and antifungal and was worth more than silver in ancient Rome. Thyme is one of the best concentrated plant oils to fight bacteria. The variety of thyme I recommend for oral health is Thymus satureioides. Clove has strong antibacterial properties for yeast and other pathogens. Lastly, oregano is one of my favorite botanicals because it is such a potent antimicrobial for bacteria, fungi, parasites, and more. Oregano is also a great anti-inflammatory which makes it very useful for oral health.

Look for concentrated plant oils that are approved for internal use. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and their identity verified based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity, and safety for internal medicinal use. The extraordinary potency of these tested plant oils allows for relatively low doses, but very powerful health benefits. I would take 75 mg total of these four plant oils internally twice per day.

Lastly, you may want to consider adding probiotics. I think it’s important to get probiotics that have a history of human use and work especially well in the human body. Having a “big number” of probiotics is less important than making sure you get the right probiotics. I recommend a combination of L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, and B. bifidum taken daily. Look for a dairy-free formula that features a minimum of 20 billion live, acid resistant, probiotic bacteria.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally