What is Candida?
- Use of oral contraceptives, steroids, antacids, anti-ulcer medications,
or frequent or long-term use of antibiotics.
Tired or lethargic
- Feel drained, depleted or exhausted
- Numbness, burning, tingling
- Stomach pain
Joint pain or swelling
- Muscle aching or weakness
- Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, or belching
- Bothersome or persistent vaginal itching, burning, or discharge
Loss of sexual desire
- Endometriosis or infertility
- Menstrual irregularity or cramping
- Anxiety attacks or crying
- Cold hands and feet, feel chilly
- Irritable or shaking when hungry
Alternative practitioners recommend individualized programs that usually
combine diet and supplements. Supplements are introduced gradually to avoid
a temporary worsening of symptoms called a "die-off" or Herxheimer
reaction. This is because when Candida is killed, they release protein
fragments and toxins that can trigger an antibody response from the immune
Improvement in symptoms is usually noticed after two to four weeks.
The beneficial bacteria acidophilus are thought to control Candida
by making the intestinal tract more acidic, discouraging the growth of
Candida, and by producing hydrogen peroxide, which directly kills Candida.
Research has shown that supplementing with a hydrogen peroxide-producing
strain of acidophilus, DDS-1 greatly reduced the incidence of
antibiotic-induced yeast infections.
These beneficial bacteria also help to restore the microbial balance within
the digestive tract.
One teaspoon to one tablespoon of soluble fiber containing guar gum,
psyllium husks, flaxseeds or pectin can be mixed in an 8 oz glass of water
two times per day on an empty stomach.
Enteric-coated essential oils
Enteric-coated capsules containing oregano oil, peppermint oil, and other
volatile oils are thought to prevent the overgrowth of Candida. It is
usually recommended for at least several months. A standard dosage is two
capsules two times a day with water, in between meals. Pure volatile oils
can be quite toxic in this amount so the liquid form of these oils should
never be ingested, and the capsules should not be broken open before
Garlic capsules that have been enteric-coated to open when they reach the
intestines are often is used in combination with the volatile oils. Once
capsule two times per day taken with the enteric-coated volatile oil is a
Other valuable supplements are caprylic acid from coconuts, oleic acid from
olive oil, oregano oil, and pau d'arco. There are many combination products
formulated for Candida that contain these herbs and supplements.
Herbal Remedies for Gallstones
Gallstones occur when one of the compounds in bile, particularly
cholesterol, becomes so saturated that it forms a solid. If a gallstone
lodges in the bile duct, it can cause severe pain, inflammation, infection,
and sometimes even jaundice due to the backup of bile.
However, there are some herbal remedies to prevent and treat gallstones.
Avoiding gallstone trouble is advised, and often can be achieved by healthy
As with many health conditions, preventing gallstones is preferable to
treating them after they have formed. Research indicates that a high-fiber,
low-fat, low-cholesterol diet rich in vitamins C and E helps prevent stones
That's good news because items commonly found in simple gardens can help
ward off gallstones. Vegetables and fruits, which tend to be high in fiber
and vitamins, low in fat, and cholesterol free, are popular and healthy
Herbal Treatments for Gallstones
In addition to preventative healthy eating, some herbs stimulate the
gallbladder, promoting the flow of bile.
Dandelion and milk thistle are particularly useful. They contain bitter
substances -- taraxacin in dandelion and silymarin in milk thistle -- that
stimulate bile production.
Increasing the amount of bile produced decreases its concentration. And the
greater volume is also more likely to flush out a stone.
These herbs can be taken as tea or tincture or eaten steamed. Trim the
sharp edges off young milk thistle leaves. Mix them with dandelion greens
and steam as you would spinach; you can even eat them raw.
Oregon grape enhances blood flow to the liver and increases bile
production. It can be combined with dandelion and milk thistle in a tea.
This blend is even more effective when mixed with herbs such as chamomile,
marshmallow, and slippery elm, which have relaxing and soothing properties.
This mixture will also help decrease gallbladder inflammation.
Rosemary stimulates bile production, too, while also eliminating any spasms
that might occur in the bile duct. It is well-known for aiding fat
digestion and is often used as an herb in high-fat dishes. Its flavor helps
to cut the richness of fat.
Several studies have shown concentrated mint oil capsules can, if taken for
several months, help break down small gallstones. Wild yam is another herb
that increases bile flow and is also said to lessen the pain of gallstones.
Like rosemary, it is an antispasmodic herb.
An ultrasound is needed to definitively diagnose gallstones. A qualified
health care practitioner should monitor herbal treatment of them.
Once stones have formed, they can cause urgent medical problems if they
block the bile duct. In that case, surgery may be necessary.
But if surgery is not needed and the gallstones are not serious, herbal
remedies can be a healthy and effective treatment for preventing and
helping with gallstones. However, eating healthily to avoid getting
gallstones in the first place is always advised.
by Gayle A. Alleman
See LifeSource Vitamins All-Natural Antibiotic Supplement:
Try our Silymarin - Milk Thistle Extract
Herbal Gallstone Tea
Try this herbal tea to help ease the passing of
1 teaspoon Oregon grape root
2 teaspoons marshmallow root
2 teaspoons dandelion leaves, dried (or 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon peppermint
4 cups water
Simmer roots in water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat
and add dandelion leaves. Let steep 15 minutes. Strain.
Drink immediately or refrigerate. Use as a tea
throughout the day, preferably after meals.
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