Candida is actually a yeast-like fungus that causes candidiasis. An excessive growth of this fungus can cause an infection, which can be cured by some simple home remedies, which are explained in this article.
Candida or candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus that causes an infectious disease, which is known as candidiasis. The fungal infection usually affects the moist areas of the body, like the skin and the mucous membrane. The infection usually affects the mouth (oral candidiasis), throat, vagina (vaginal candidiasis), esophagus, and the gastrointestinal tract.
Generally, the infection causes the appearance of white and slightly swollen patches of skin or mucous membrane. It can also produce itching and irritation. Sometimes, it can lead to serious complications, especially in individuals having a weakened immune system, and those suffering from cancer and AIDS.
Candida yeasts are generally found in the intestine, and their population is controlled by the body’s immune system and the beneficial bacteria. Certain conditions like the long-term use of antibiotics can reduce the number of these beneficial bacteria. This can lead to an excessive growth of candida. Other contributory factors include, excessive consumption of sugar or sweets, a change in the pH of the digestive system, a fragile immune system, and the use of some medications like steroids, oral contraceptives, and antiulcer medications.
How to Treat a Yeast Infection
Though candidiasis can be treated with antimycotics or antifungal medications, some natural remedies can help cure this infection without producing any adverse effects.
Some volatile oils, like oregano oil and peppermint oil are capable of preventing the growth of the fungus candida. Some beneficial bacteria like acidophilus can also check the growth of candida by acidifying the intestine. Acidophilus can produce hydrogen peroxide that can kill the fungus. So, the supplements of these beneficial bacteria can be effective in treating candidiasis.
Caprylic acid which can be derived from coconut oil, and oleic acid that is obtained from olive oil have show efficacy in controlling the growth of candida. Moreover, soluble fibers that contain guar gum and psyllium husks can be taken along with water by people suffering from candidiasis.
For curing oral candidiasis or oral thrush, you can gargle a mixture of tea tree oil and water. Tea tree oil is effective in treating vaginal candidiasis as well. Another effective remedy for oral candidiasis is apple cider vinegar. It can be mixed with water, and used for gargling. Yogurt contains lactobacillus bacteria, which can control the growth of candida. Garlic can also be effective in treating this fungal infection, as it has antifungal properties.
Aloe Vera and echinacea can be used for curing fungal infections, as they can stimulate the immune system. Cinnamon can be beneficial for oral candidiasis. On the other hand, lavender is effective for treating any kind of skin infections. Rosemary and barberries have been found to possess antifungal properties. Rosemary leaves or the oil distilled from the leaves can be applied topically on the affected areas. Even thyme oil is suitable for topical use, as it has antifungal properties.
People suffering from candidiasis should refrain from eating sweets and simple carbohydrates, as the fungus candida thrives on sugar. They should also avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, as this prevents the skin from drying, and creates a moist environment favorable for the growth of fungi. This fungal infection can be controlled and prevented by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and by including yogurt, garlic, and foods rich in vitamin A, B, C, zinc, and iron in your diet. But if the infection persists, it is advisable to consult an experienced physician.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.