The Candida albicans organism, a form of yeast, is present in all of us, probably from birth. Normally, it is kept under control by the friendly bacteria in the gut, and we remain unaware of its existence.

Candida is a scourge for many people. Until very recently there has been little recognition of Candida and even less offered by way of useful and permanent help to fight what, for many people is a condition which does quite literally ruin lives.

It is scandalous that conventional medicine still refuses to recognise Candida as a serious medical condition other than thrush. Especially as it can easily be cured simply by following a low-carbohydrate diet and taking nutritional supplements which stem the overgrowth of yeast.

In simple terms , Candida in a healthy person is quite normal. When a person becomes Dysbiotic, Candida can morph to become a pathogenic (injurious) invasive fungus. Problems only arise when the Candida 'organism', proliferate to a level where they migrate outside of the gut, often following a course of antibiotics which kill some of the inteslinal flora, along with the germs they are designed to attack. This can come about as a result of overuse of antibiotics or steroids or in cases of severe stress on the body's defences.

Candida first grows in the gut, as a fungus, creating an environment which allows it to thrive at the expense of a number of important dietary functions. The synthesis and absorption of vitamins and minerals are prevented, the acidity of the intestine is increased and digestive enzyme production impaired. All these features allow Candida to establish itself in the intestines, while beginning to weaken the host due to the malabsorption of minerals and vitamins essential for a huge number of chemical processes in a healthy body.

Once established Candida alters the pH of the intestines, creating the wrong acidity for beneficial bacteria to maintain their colonies. Crucial metabolic reactions fail to take place, while the lack of digestive enzymes lead to digestive disorders (bloating, indigestion, acidity, wind and sensitivities to food groups are indications of this). Candida itself is made up of lipids and protein. By deactivating production of Protease and Lipase it protects itself from damage (but also prevents proper digestion of foodstuffs leading to nutrient deficiancies) It is Lipase and Protease that are the enzymes that need supplementing in order to overcome this deficiency, but at the same time we need to address the underlying cause , which is the Candida itself.

Once the Candida has a digestive dominance it grows root like structures, Rhizoids, which penetrate the gut wall. This allows the Candida to establish colonies outside the gut. This is termed a systemic infection. The parasite is now able to colonise any area that the blood can reach. It thrives in anaerobic conditions (low oxygen) so its first targets include joints, sinuses, muscles and other organs where oxygen levels are low (indicators are joint pain, sinus problem, aching muscles, repeat headaches, low level or migraines). Apart from the problems caused by deficiency in minerals and vitamins, Candida can go on to physically invade areas of the body that then allow bacterial infections to take hold. Sinisitus is an example where bacteria can grow on the fungal deposits - requiring antibiotics to tempararily provide relief.

There are a host of symptoms that can give an indication of a Candida infection. Even healthy people will suffer from one or two of these during a lifetime ( which would not indicate an infection), but if you can identify a good number that have been troublesome and/or long term, then it may well indicate an infection of Candida Albicans.

Aromatherapy treatment consists of baths and local applications of Lavender, Myrrh or Tea tree oil, or a blend of any of these three. These three oils are some of the few known to be anti-fungal, and although Tea tree is possibly the most powerful of the three, it may irritate the delicate mucous membrane, so use it in very low proportions in a blend with Myrrh or Lavender, and very well diluted.

At the same time, yoghurt tablets, or lactobacillus capsules, should be taken to help re-establish the intestinal flora, and plenty of live yoghurt eaten. Women who have prolonged or repeated bouts of thrush may need to follow a special anti-Candida diet which restricts all sugars severely, as the fungus thrives on all kinds of sugars and starches, especially the refined kinds. Yeast, yeast derivatives and fermented foods, such as miso, soy sauce, vinegar, etc. must also be excluded.

Treatment with essential oils and diet must be continued for a considerable time, even though symptoms may disappear quite quickly. Three months, and possibly six months may be needed to bring the Candida invasion of the body under control, and discontinuing treatment too soon will lead to a reappearance of symptoms quite soon. As with any prolonged aromatherapy treatment, vary the choice of oils from time to time.

Thrush and cystitis often alternate with each other in a painful and depressing cycle, because the antibiotics given for the cystitis suppress the body's natural way of controlling Candida organisms. Using essential oils to treat the cystitis, either alone on in conjunction with antibiotics if necessary, and using yoghurt or lacto-bacillus to counter the side effects of the drugs, can break this cycle.

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