Please note, most conventional doctors do not recognise the concept of systemic candida infection. This article should not be used as a replacement for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Always discuss any health problem you have with your doctor.
The following newsletter was orginally written in 2006, and this is an amended and improved republication (July 2010 / October 2010)
In order to keep this article down to a sensible length, I am going to assume that you already know what candida albicans is. If you're not sure, please view the article What is Candida? from the web site if you would like to find out more about what the condition is, the causes and symptoms. We also have a more detailed and highly scholarly article called Conquering Candida written by our friend, pharmacologist turned natural therapist, Sherridan Stock which comes highly recommended, especially to those who want to read a more technical article.
This article will be practical, rather than academic, so... let us begin with a reality check on the subject of candida:-
Candida overgrowth is usually stubborn and hard to eradicate
Although we get some people better with amazing speed, on average it takes about 2 months to bring candida under control, and 6 months to eliminate it. Stubborn cases may take longer.
It's always hugely disappointing that so many customers give up much, much too easily, sometimes after trying one product only, which may not even have been the optimal one for them, for just a few weeks. This is due to unrealistic expectations.
Although there are conventional medications which can bring fast relief in some cases, in many cases they don't work. Even when they do work, I believe this is the wrong approach as it not only suppresses rather than heals the problem, it tends to encourage the problem to come back very quickly, and be far more resistant to genuine healing than if the medication had not been used in the first place.
So be patient, and let nature work at nature's speed.
Most of you know that Threelac is our most popular anti candida product. In early 2007 another similar product has came onto the market called Fivelac, which we also sell.
Threelac vs. Fivelac
I am not going to go into this in detail as it formed the subject of a previous newsletter a few months ago, so for a comparison of Threelac and Fivelac, please visit the main page on Fivelac. Theoretically, Fivelac has the edge over Threelac. However in practise this has not always been the case, based on the feedback we get. However we do not advise people who are getting great results with Threelac already to switch. Our basic thinking is why change something that's working? In other words, if your health regime isn't broke, don't try to fix it.
Results with Threelac and Fivelac:
In some cases the results can be almost immediate. As a result, there are various testimonials abounding on the Internet (including a few on our own web site) of genuinely sensational and immediate results. The people who are enthusiastic enough to write them are often the people who have done exceptionally well. Ironically, in once sense this has been quite 'harmful' to our customers understanding as some people then assume if they don't get a miracle result overnight that the product didn't work. So please keep your feet on the ground and bear in mind that in the majority of cases : -
Progress is gradual over several months. In fact in the very worst cases, it's sometimes very slow, taking up to a year for people to feel significantly better (admittedly this is rare).
Additional products may also be required. In these cases Threelac is only part of the answer. Don't assume because it has not cured you by itself that it isn't a useful part of the program. It usually is. But you may need to do more. The most aggressive anti candidal product we supply is actually Goldenseal Formula F, and I will talk more about that later.
Although I do not agree with some of the more extreme diets that are advocated for eliminating candida (I find that they can be so restricting that not only do some people end up under nourished, but these diets can be more stressful than the problem the sufferer is trying to eliminate), the more difficult cases definitely require a certain degree of dietary discipline. I'm not going to go into the diet here, as 99% of you already know what type of thing is usually advocated to discourage the proliferation of candida. But if you really don't know what to do as regards diet, please view the Threelac and Fivelac FAQ's the previously mentioned What is Candida article and for more detail Conquering Candida pages which venture into this.
In some cases Threelac or Fivelac require a a high dosage, which I know is painfully expensive, hence my earlier comments. One lady who was kind enough to write this review took 20 sachets a day for a brief period and benefited hugely. This is obviously exceptional, but certainly it's quite common for people to make a breakthrough by increasing their intake to about 5-6 sachets per day if they weren't previously getting somewhere.
A response to some nonsense
There are reports circulating on the Internet that one of the friendly bacteria found in Threelac and Fivelac is dangerous. Of course if this were true, the American FDA, who are always looking for the slightest excuse, however spurious, to ban things that challenge the pharmaceutical industry's vested interests already, would have banned the products a long time ago. This nonsense is being put out rather unethically by companies selling competing products who wish to bring the product into disrepute. A more detailed response to this drivel is found on the Threelac and Fivelac FAQ's.
Clean your Colon, especially if you are constipated
It is almost impossible to heal candida in someone who is constipated. It's like trying to push water uphill. A sluggish bowel will allow, and possibly even encourage the proliferation of candida, as well as parasites. Many candida sufferers are constipated. Moreover, even though it's a wonderful product, I should also mention that high dosages of Threelac or Fivelac occasionally cause constipation (I will discuss how to deal with that in a moment). If you're not sure whether you are constipated or not, ask yourself the following questions
When you go to the toilet, do you have to strain (i.e. push hard) for anything to come out?
Are your stools very dry?
Are they pellet like?
Are you going to the toilet less than the number of times you have a meal?
Do you suffer from hemorrhoids?
If the answer to any of the above questions is "yes", you are constipated. Being constipated is disastrous for general health for all sorts of reasons which I won't go into here. It also makes it hard to lose weight if you have a tendency towards being overweight. In relation to our main topic, if you have candida and are constipated, you make getting rid of the candida into an uphill battle rather than a gentle downhill slope. Candida (and parasites, though this is a separate subject) thrive in a constipated, sluggish environment.
Cleaning your Colon / Treating constipation
If you are constipated, I usually recommend Colosan or Oxy-Powder (try both products if necessary as some people get on better with one, and some with the other). This will usually have the following effects: -
Immediately resolve any constipation problem.
Have additional anti fungal / anti candidal / anti bacterial / anti intestinal dysbiosis effects (which is the reason why its beneficial in the fight against candida whether you are constipated or not).
Enable you to continue on the more robust dosage of Threelac or Fivelac if constipation is holding you back.
By oxygenating the body they have many additional general health benefits beyond the scope of this article. They are not just for candida cleansing and bowel cleansing.
They can be great for flattening your tummy, and loosing weight from around the waist as discussed in previous newsletters. Actually they aren't so much weight loss as waist loss products, however many customers have been pleasantly surprised by this effect.
Colosan vs. Oxy Powder: which is better?
We get asked this question every day. Sorry to be unhelpful, but its impossible to answer this one. Though they are very similar, the truth is that of those who try both products, we get an equal number of people who insist one worked better for them as the other one.
If you real rubbish shortly after starting the products...
The feeling rubbish symptoms such as brain fog, gas, depression, anxiety, skin outbreaks and occasional temporary worsening of symptoms, which occurs for some people in the early stages is the so called 'die-off' effect, which in the short term may make some people feel terrible. These are NOT side effects. It is my belief that a 'side effect' is comforting expression used to describe the toxic effects of a medical drug. So if you feel rubbish it's because your body is finally detoxifying. But you don't need to suffer. This is what you can do about the die effect if you feel yucky:-
Take Bayberry Formula or Bayberry Formula A (the 2 products are very similar) for a period of not less than 2 months to reduce the candida toxins, which are the principle cause of die-off. This is an important product frequently undervalued by customers, which often makes people a lot more comfortable as well as being important for overall well being. The reason why candida toxins are called toxins, is because they are harmful/ This comment may sound obvious, but I need to drive home the point that Candida toxins cause free radical damage (associated with premature aging, and premature death from all causes), and this should be addressed.
Temporarily reduce your intake of any directly anti candida products such as Threelac, Golden Seal Formula or Samento etc.
This principle includes the liquid oxygen products such as Oxygen Elements Plus or Aerobic Oxygen. In extreme cases, some people have to go down as low as one drop twice a day and build up very slowly. Mycocurb is a gentler alternative which may be used if necessary, though even this product can precipitate a die off reaction occasionally. Mycocurb is also recommended for children who require a nice gentle approach.
For some people, Threelac / Fivelac etc may have to be discontinued until later. In these situations it is better to switch to Bio-Kult which is not as strongly anti candidal, but is a very good general intestinal replenisher. It contains 14 strains of friendly bacteria. A number of women have also told me that inserting one capsule into the vagina each day has given tremendous relief from the symptoms of vaginal thrush. You can also use it to treat oral thrush. Please visit the main page on the product for the instructions on how to do this.
The mineral Molybdenum can also help with candida toxins, and is very inexpensive. Please read the main page on this product to learn more about it
It often greatly helps to use one of the bowel cleansing products which I have already discussed before using the stronger anti candidal products. I am of course talking about Colosan or Oxy-Powder
Give me sugar!!!
If your body is saying "give me sugar", Chromium is usually very helpful. For sugar cravings, this can often help within a few days. It's also helpful for candida related hypoglycaemia and acne. We sell a liquid variety because its cheap, lasts for ages, but more importantly has better bio-availability than tablets or capsules. The label suggests one drop per day, though we tend to find that 1 drop twice a day is more effective.
Licorice Formula (for adrenal gland exhaustion) can also help with sugar and carbohydrate cravings because sugar cravings are frequently an indication of low adrenal reserve. I will discuss this product in more depth in a future article as it is an important product in it's own right. All I will say now, and this doesn't really do justice to the subject is if you suffer from two or more of the following symptoms, adrenal fatigue should at least be considered as a relevant factor: chronic fatigue, candida, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and sugar / carbohydrate cravings.
We also have a great 'get of of jail card' if you have to have something sweet, but don't want to feed the candida. And that is to use Xylitol , which tastes wonderful, is a natural product (unlike aspartame etc), is low calorie, and is actually anti fungal (and anti bacterial / anti plaque, hence its inclusion as a sweetener in some toothpastes). I know it sounds to be too good to be true, but it is true! We have a a detailed article on this product on the web site - the link is from main Xylitol page. Please note the Xylitol product we sell is derived from corn. Once in a blue moon it's allergenic for people who cannot tolerate corn. But most corn allergy sufferers can get tolerate it.
Flood Your Body With Oxygen...
Fungus thrives in a sluggish, de-oxygenated environment especially in the intestinal tract, and in the body generally. Think of stagnant water. Stagnant water is de-oxygenated, and it is full of bacteria, fungus and other pathogens. Flooding the body with oxygen kills candida. A part of the solution is the aforementioned products - Colosan and Oxy-powder. But these products primarily deliver singlet oxygen to the intestines. And although candida's 'throne' so to speak is in the intestinal tract, candida can invade all tissues of the body. So how to we get the tissues of the body saturated with oxygen? Basically with products such as Oxygen Elements Plus or Aerobic Oxygen both of which work at the cellular level.
These products work in a somewhat different way, and I do find that some people get on better with one product and some with the other. So unfortunately there is a bit of trial and error involved here for some people. Please note, there are sub links from the main pages on both these products to pages on how they help with candida. If you are one of those very sensitive types who reacts badly to everything, then try Mycocurb (our other liquid oxygen product) instead, which is very effective, but super gentle. Mycocurb, along with Threelac is also very well suited to infants and children (though it is effective for adults too). For some reason, perhaps because it is not a well known brand marketed with the customary hype that we have become accustomed to, customers often don't give Mycocurb enough time to accomplish very much. Please be patient, and nature will do its work.
Many customers think that the oxygen therapy products are a nice addition, rather than to be considered a substantive part of their treatment...and they are mistaken. ! I have found that customer compliance with these products is often very poor and they ignore the instructions on the label. So let me make it clear: these products are not to be taken if you can be bothered. or if you happen to think of it. They should be taken as per the instructions. You will then see excellent results. Occasionally these products cause die-off reactions, which I discussed earlier. If that's the case, lower the dosage. But don't stop.Now also bear in mind that :-
Flooding the body with oxygen will usually give you a lot more energy. These products are great for the chronic fatigue aspects of candida treatment. This is a major subject in it's own right which I am not going to go into in detail right now.
It will also help many other problems, from arthritis, to all manner of respiratory problems, and will support the immune system. Please take a look at the countless testimonials from our customers on the web site to see what I mean.
They are anti viral (help combat colds and flu along with Lapacho Formula and Vitamin C, which I mentioned earlier), anti bacterial, as well as anti fungal.
If you get a die-off reaction (in other words feel terrible when you start taking it), lower the dosage and build up slowly (even to as low as one drop twice per day if you are especially sensitive), but don't stop using them. You will thank me later. * For those seeking more information, there is an article on Aerobic Oxygen and Candida found here.
At the risk of being repetitive...
I CANNOT EMPHASISE TOO STRONGLY THAT THOSE WHO DABBLE WITH THE OXYGEN PRODUCTS, IN OTHER WORDS TAKE THEM WHEN THEY CAN BE BOTHERED, OR NOW AND AGAIN IF THEY REMEMBER, ARE PERSISTANTLY DISAPPOINTED. PLEASE DON'T SAY IT "DIDN'T WORK" UNLESS YOU HAVE USED IT AS RECOMMENDED FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS.
Switch off the gas works!
For many people with candida, the bloating caused by gas and wind are a nightmare. It's embarrassing, anti social, uncomfortable, smelly (though usually less so if you're a vegetarian as you're not eating food which is rotting before its been assimilated). It also affects ones confidence and affects ones sleep. The most important treatment for this is to eliminate the candida and dysbiosis that's causing it in the first place with the products I'm talking about in this newsletter, and if relevant, deal with any associated constipation which we've also discussed. But there is something else you can to make yourself more comfortable, and that's to take a decent digestive enzyme product (anything from 1-3 capsules per meal depending on the severity of the problem). The product we suggest in this situation is Active Digestive Enzymes which we get great feedback on.
As well as helping gas and wind, active digestive enzymes may also help with Acid Indigestion / Reflux and lactose intolerance. The label suggests taking one with each meal, but my experience is that this dosage is not always adequate. Although this is not a primary anti candida product, it has one further advantage for candida victims: by assisting food absorption, and speeding up the time in which food is absorbed, it gives the candida itself less food to thrive on.
We've also had a number of people report that the recently improved Colostrum Plus has helped with bloating, gas, irritable bowel symptoms and general candida related symptoms. It's also a good immune modulator (meaning that it stimulates a sluggish immune system and calms an over active one). It's a fascinating product, which improves many aspects of health and well worth your while reading about. There is far too much to say about Colostrum to venture into it here, so please take a look for yourself when you have time.
In some cases, Marshmallow Formula will also help with gas and wind (more about this product later). This product contains a spectrum of herbs traditionally used to calm the gastro-intestinal tract. So where gas and bloating are being caused by gastric inflammation, then this product is worth trying for a couple of months (this is the amount of time I recommend as a trial period for almost any botanical regime)
I'd also like to mention that the carminative (meaning settling to the gut and gas expelling) oils together with the friendly bacteria found in FloraGuard can also be very helpful. Incidentally, it says on the label "not recommended in cases of gastritis". I am not sure why it says that, because many of the ingredients in the product, at least in theory, ought to be helpful for reducing the symptoms of gastritis, and I would have thought would be one of the reasons some people may take it in the first place. I can only assume that the manufacturers are probably just covering their backs. But if you are concerned, feel free to discuss it with your doctor or practitioner for a medical opinion.
"I've improved, but I'm not cured" or "I'm not getting any better"...
First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that despite some miracle results, if often takes quite a few months to eliminate candida. So I am going to assume you've been working on this problem for two months and probably used a couple of boxes of our foundational products, Threelac or Fivelac, and ideally Oxygen Elements Plus, Oxylift or Aerobic Oxygen during this time. This is the minimum point at which its worthwhile to review your situation. If you give up sooner than that and walked away, you've passed judgment too soon. But if you've not progressed very much, or not progressed at all? Time to bring out the big guns...
Our strongest systemic remedy: Golden Seal Formula F
I am of the opinion that the most aggressive systemic (i.e. throughout the body) remedy we currently provide for candida is Golden Seal Formula F or the very similar Golden Seal Formula E for those who cannot tolerate cayenne pepper. The Goldenseal Formula products usually bring Candida under control in 2-3 months, and usually eliminate it throughout the body within six months. They have been designed to penetrate all organs including those which are normally difficult to access, e.g. colon, brain, vagina, and bone. I'll let you visit the links for more detailed information. In fact I would urge you to read up before purchasing. One thing I will say now is that one bottle only lasts 2 weeks at the full dosage, and is not enough in most cases to make any deep impact on the problem. Be patient! The Goldenseal Formulas also have many important peripheral benefits in the treatment of candida which you cannot get from taking Threelac or any other probiotics:-
The Lapacho and Golden Seal support the immune system. If Candida is merely killed by an anti fungal agent and the immune system left unsupported, the chances of recurrence are high.
The Turmeric, Cayenne, Golden Seal and Licorice support the liver, which is usually stressed by Candida and its toxins. Improving liver function helps combat Candida overgrowth since the liver is part of the immune system, and since bile is inhibitory to intestinal Candida. The liver is also the main eliminatory organ for Candida toxins, which cause many of the symptoms associated with candidiasis.
The Lapacho and Golden Seal enhances secretions from all digestive organs. Such secretions inhibit intestinal Candida and diminish gas production, a frequent problem in candidiasis. iv) Cayenne, Licorice and Golden Seal support the adrenal glands. There is a reciprocal relationship between the adrenal glands and Candida: hypofunction of the adrenal glands permits Candida overgrowth, and Candida damages the adrenal glands by free-radical and autoimmune mechanisms.
Golden Seal, Cayenne and Thyme help treat intestinal bacterial dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is responsible for allowing Candida to overgrow in the first place, and additionally, contributes to the intestinal disturbance (gas, bloating, and discomfort) and systemic toxicity associated with candidiasis.
Licorice helps heal the leaky gut induced by Candida (although with Marshmallow Formula and Colostrum Plus are more important for this). A leaky gut encourages the development of food allergies and facilitates the absorption of toxins from the bowel.
The presence of Golden Seal, Thyme and Licorice make the product strongly anti-protozoal. Infestation with intestinal protozoan parasites such as Giardia and Blastocystis often accompanies candidiasis. Such a parasitosis may cause some of the symptoms attributed to Candida (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, leaky gut, dizziness, fatigue), and may also give rise to immunosuppression.
Golden Seal and Turmeric possess useful anti-nematode activity. Nematode (worm) infestation sometimes accompanies candidiasis and may be responsible for some of the symptoms attributed to Candida (abdominal discomfort gas, ileo-caecal valve dysfunction, leaky gut, fatigue), and may also give rise to immunosuppression.
Licorice, Turmeric, Cayenne and Golden Seal helps treat the hypoglycaemia that often results from candidiasis. Much of the malaise and discomfort experienced by Candida victims originates from hypoglycaemia.
It's not hard to see why this is a good product, is it?
Please note that as with Threelac, Golden Seal Formula is not usually an overnight treatment. It needs to be taken for 3-6 months in most cases.
Our second strongest remedy: Samento
Samento is an Amazonian herb which is strongly anti candidal, anti fungal, anti parasite and anti viral. It also boosts the immune system, which is usually sluggish in candida sufferers. Although I have labelled it as our second strongest remedy, it would be more accurate to say it is our second strongest remedy generally speaking. This is because different people react best to different things. Quite often this is the product that works with people who say "I've tried everything". There's lots more detailed information about this product on the web site - take a look!
Warning: Have your candida die-off products at the ready as Samento quite often produces strong detox reactions, not just to candida, but any other nasties you have lurking in your body (for example it has become particularly well known for its reputation for being far more effective against Lymes disease than antibiotics for some individuals).
Dosage of Samento
Start on only one drop per day and increase gradually to 10-15 drops twice a day over 1-2 months, depending on how severe your problem is. If even one drop is too strong, take half a drop by putting one drop in a glass of water and having half a glass one day, and half the next day . We still say that Golden Seal Formula E and F are usually the first botanical anti candidal products we would recommend, but Samento definitely packs a strong punch too.
Our third strongest systemic remedy....
Would probably be Oregano formula , which contains a completely different blend of herbs as an alternative to, or a supplement to Golden Seal Formula. It contains 7 herbs all of which are tradionally used to combat candida, but less aggressive. As with all botanical food supplements, if you dabble with it, you are probably wasting your time and money. So please give it not less than 2-3 months.
Healing the Leaky Gut and food allergies
Threelac, and Golden Seal Formula can be quite helpful with healing the Leaky Gut which is commonly believed to be one of the main causes of candida in the first place. But if you need extra help consider one or more of the following products: Marshmallow Formula and / or Colostrum Plus and / or MSM. If you decide to go for it, these products should be taken for about 2-3 months to test for effectiveness. They can also be very helpful for food intolerances, food allergies, over acidic stomachs, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How's your thyroid doing?
About 90% of Candida victims have low thyroid function, and many thyroid deficiency symptoms, are also typical candida overgrowth symptoms. Candida in fact binds thyroxine (the main thyroid hormone) and thus renders it ineffective. So there is a connection between candida and thyroid problems. Most people associate a sluggish thyroid with weight gain, and the inability to lose it, along with chronic fatigue. But 40% of hypothyroid people are underweight, so this understanding is an oversimplification. Other common symptoms include susceptibility to the cold, hair loss, low vitality, chronic constipation and depression, but there are many more including most of the common symptoms of candida overgrowth. You can learn more about the symptoms of low thyroid, and do a simple free test to find out how likely it is that your thyroid is sluggish by reading this page of the web site. I would like you to note that thyroid treatment is similar to candida treatment in so far as its healing is a gradual process in most cases. Don't walk away after 2 weeks if you haven't improved - give it 3 months before making any kind of assessment.
MSM is another product which helps with candida. In fact it's a wonderful product which helps with so many things, from acne and psoriasis to joint pain to asthma and hay fever. Its much more than an anti candida remedy. As I am pushing my luck with the length of this article already, please click here for further information on MSM. face="Arial"According to Bill Rich, who was generally regarded as one of the world experts on MSM :- "When you take MSM your blood pH goes normal. Candida cannot live in your body when your pH is normal, except in the colon where it belongs in a yeast like form [Editorial note: Candida is harmful only when it turns to a fungal form] so the Candida dies out. This is how MSM cures people of Candida."
Thrush is just a word meaning candida on the skin. It tends to be worst in women, and to a lesser extent mens private areas. Persistent thrush is always a symptom of systemic candida overgrowth (in my opinion), which it is important to treat for any lasting result. However if you click here you can view some of the natural products that may be useful to apply locally, which often bring relief quite quickly. If you try these products, and you're still suffering, then you can contact me via the "Contact Us" page of the web site.
I am not suggesting that everyone needs to take all the products mentioned in this article in order to get better. But I am saying you may well need more than one product, and may also need to use a bit of trial and error, giving any regime you try at least 8 weeks before making a determination as to whether it's working. It's probably worth printing this article off and reading it again in a couple of months if you're not better. I haven't covered every aspect in this newsletter (that would require an entire book). The connection between candida and adrenal gland problems is one area which I will go into in more detail in a future newsletter. Too much oestrogen production in women is another causative factor (it also causes PMT and PMS). Females with candida and PMT should definitely consider our dedicated product formulated to help this problem: Agnus Castus Formula. I will address these subjects more thoroughly in a future newsletter as I think I've given you all enough to think about for now. So I will quit while I'm ahead and wish you all candida free good health.
Mark G. Lester - Director, Boss & General Clever Cloggs, The Finchley Clinic Ltd