Beat and prevent thrush naturally

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast strain Candida albicans which is naturally present in small amounts in the body. Changes to the environment in which they live can cause them to become pathogenic and grow out of control. This is when thrush can occur. Have you ever seen mould grow and spread on a piece of bread or clothing that was damp? Candida can grow in the same way and lead to a yeast infection (thrush). Hormonal changes, anti-biotic use, the oral contraceptive pill, poor immune function, stress and poor hygiene can increase the risk of developing vaginal (or oral) thrush. If you are prone to getting thrush, follow these top tips:

Go on a sugar detox

The candida yeast thrives off sugar! The more sugar you eat, the better the candida can grow. You will need to cut ALL sugar out of your diet initially to eradicate (get rid of) the candida, by essentially starving it. This includes all refined sugars, grains and fruit to begin with. The more candida overgrowth you have, the longer it will take to eradicate. Try this for a few weeks and then slowly reintroduce fruit and wholegrains and monitor your symptoms. Avoiding refined sugars and grains in the long term is beneficial.

Get familiar with fermented foods

Foods that have been fermented are jam-packed with friendly bugs (probiotics) that your gut needs to stay healthy. The greater number of friendly bugs you have in your gut, the less likely that bad bugs will overgrow. These bugs make up the gut microbiome; the immune system of your gut that wards off pathogenic overgrowth. Strengthening your microbiome is essential for preventing candida from taking over. Kefir, kombucha, natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso are great sources of probiotic bacteria.

Boost your immune system

When you’re run down and your immune system is low, you will be more prone to getting thrush. This is because the immune system of your gut is not strong enough to keep candida at bay, and it can take over spreading its roots (tendrils) and wreaking havoc. Vitamin C is vitally important for strengthening your immune system and warding off pathogenic organisms. Berries and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, but if you are avoiding fruit temporarily, you may prefer a vitamin C powder.

Try a yoghurt douche

Natural, unsweetened yoghurt is a great source of probiotics. Some women find that applying it topically and/or internally during a flare up of thrush can be soothing. The probiotic bacteria could potentially help to restore balance and ward off candida. If trying this method, ensure you choose unsweetened, unflavoured natural yoghurt.

Heal your gut

When candida overgrowth occurs in your gut, its roots can form little holes in the lining of your gut, allowing undigested food particles to escape and leading to nutrient malabsorption. Reducing inflammation and healing the gut lining is very important for creating a friendly environment for the flora to grow and flourish, which is imperative for strong gut immunity. Glutamine is the main fuel required by the intestinal cells to repair themselves. Bone broth, miso soup, red meat, poultry and oats are food sources of glutamine. It is a key ingredient in Ultimate Gut Health powder which combines nourishing fibres and probiotics to restore gut health.

Wipe front to back

This may sound very basic but it is really important. A greater number of candida are present in the anus than the vagina, and faecal contamination can contribute to a flare up of thrush. Wiping front to back will help to minimise the cross-contamination.

Load up on anti-fungals

There are foods and herbs that are naturally antifungal and antibacterial that will assist your body in fighting off the candida. Raw garlic, onion, leek, ginger and radishes are great examples of these foods, and you should load up on these. Oregano, thyme and clove essential oils are very potent and effective natural antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial substances that could be used during a flare up of thrush to fight it off naturally.

Avoid irritating soaps ‘down there’

Anti-bacterial, perfumed or conventional chemical-filled soaps should not be used on the vagina. They can affect the pH, kill off the beneficial flora and can increase the susceptibility to getting thrush. Wash with pure water or a natural, chemical-free product.

Doing a Cleanse is a great way to get your liver, gut and your immune system functioning well so you are better able to fight off the candida. It is recommended that you do 1-2 rounds of the Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse to give your body a spring clean and then continue on with the advice above.

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