Antifungals are substances that actually kill the yeast organism and are an essential component of any Candida treatment protocol. They usually consist of a combination of pharmaceuticals and/or herbs, nutrients and other natural sources that have antifungal properties.
They may be oral or topical. Oral is taken to address yeast in the gut and systemic Candida. Topical is used on a particular area of the body, such as the feet or vagina. A topical antifungal should never be taken orally. It has ingredients that may not be suitable for ingestion, but are acceptable for the skin.
The most important fact you need to know is that candida mutates and becomes resistant. It changes form, it becomes resistant and/or immune to whatever antifungal you take. This is one of the main reasons Candida is so difficult to treat and why treatment fails so often.
This is exceptionally crucial to your yeast treatment protocol. You rarely hear about this issue from anyone treating or selling products that kill Candida. Most people, including physicians treating yeast overgrowth, are unaware of this characteristic. If it is mentioned, it is brief and doesn't cover the severe consequences one can face as a result or offer an explanation of how to address it effectively.
In order to prevent Candida from mutating and becoming resistant to a particular herb, nutrient, drug, etc., you must rotate or alternate your antifungals.
No recovery protocol can be complete without the use of an antifungal. You can make a lot of progress with diet, but antifungals are a must. However, the second most crucial fact to be aware of is that antifungals will not be fully effective if not used in conjunction with the Candida diet and probiotics. If you continue to eat sugar and high carbohydrate foods while taking an antifungal, then any progress that is made will be slowed down or reversed.
Doing one without the other will not be effective for long-term results. You can't try the diet one week and then the antifungals another week and then the acidophilus another week. All three need to be done simultaneously. Each one supports and enhances the effectiveness of the other.
Prescription Based Antifungals
You must get a prescription from your doctor to use pharmaceutical based antifungals. Although a natural approach is preferred, it may be necessary to get the assistance of a prescription.
The problem with drugs is that they usually come with a variety of side effects; some of which can be quite serious. The most dangerous side effect is their impact on the liver. Liver enzymes need to be monitored while taking any antifungal drugs except Nystatin, as it does not leave the gut and won't affect your liver.
If your doctor is not monitoring your liver, you should bring it up. I have clients all the time tell me their doctor has put them on Diflucan or Nizoral and has not monitored their liver. This should not be overlooked.
Some of the most common drug antifungals may include:
- Diflucan (also called fluconazole)
- Amphoetericin B
- Nizoral (also called ketoconazole)
Nizoral, Diflucan and Nystatin are the three most common prescription antifungals.
Nystatin doesn't enter the blood stream, so it will not elevate your liver enzymes. This makes it the safest option as far as prescriptions go. However, die off symptoms with Nystatin can be very severe. You should start out with a very small dosage at the end of a toothpick and move up slowly.
Nystatin comes in powder form and one of the primary benefits it has that other antifungals don’t have is that it can coat the entire digestive tract, beginning in the mouth and ending at the colon. Candida lives throughout the whole alimentary canal (mouth, throat, esophagus, colon etc.) and nystatin powder taken in a little water will cover all these bases and kill yeast on contact. Since Nystatin is safe, it is always worth a try.
It’s also very effective for vaginal yeast infections. Put the powder inside an empty capsule and insert the capsule into your vagina. However, yogurt and acidophilus inserted into the vagina are just as effective for vaginal yeast, and they are a lot cheaper.
Nystatin is also good to use in an enema, as it will kill the yeast on contact as it enters the colon. Your level of overgrowth can be reduced quickly and significantly with a Nystatin enema, which provides immediate improvement in symptoms.
Diflucan often produces very dramatic improvements at first and then stops being effective, because Candida becomes resistant to it rather quickly.
Not everyone gets resistant to Nystatin, so some people can make very good progress. It depends on the severity of the condition, the strain and how capable your body is at handling the die off.
Very Important Antifungal Fact
Nizoral and Diflucan do not kill very much of the Candida in the gut. They kill what is in the blood stream. Consequently, you cannot overcome yeast overgrowth with Nizoral and Diflucan alone. Candida resides in the gut; it must be eliminated from there. You may feel better temporarily with Nizoral and Diflucan because it reduces the yeast load, but symptoms typically return when it is discontinued. Since yeast resides in the gut, once the prescription stops, then the gut spews more out into the bloodstream.
Many physicians do not understand this. I have clients tell me all the time that their doctor gave them a prescription for Nizoral and Diflucan and told them that should clear it up, without even advising changes in the diet. It does not for most people. This is only effective for people with a mild case. If Nizoral or Diflucan is used, it must be accompanied by another antifungal that addresses Candida in the gut, like Nystatin, Amphotericin B or one of the natural antifungals found below, probiotics and the Candida diet.
Natural antifungals are often preferred over drug treatment, because they are generally considered safer and they don't require a prescription. I recommend that you try the natural approach first and see what kind of results you achieve. However, sometimes it is the combination of both natural and pharmaceuticals that produce the best results. It varies from person to person. If you choose the right natural antifungals, it can be just as effective as drug therapy, if not more so, but you may have to try several of them to find what works best for you.
There are a variety of natural anitfungals. Here are some of the most popular:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Taheebo Tea
- Oregano Oil
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Colloidal Silver
- Oregon Grape Root
- Undecylenic acid
- Aloe vera
- Sacchromyces Boulardii- will also kill pathogenic bacteria.
Although most well known for antiparsitical activity, it has some efficacy against candida. Additionally, many people with Candida also have parasites, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
A lot of people have great success with a product called Candidate.
Candidate is a 100% natural and safe homeopathic mixture of herbs, proven to be effective. It is manufactured by one of the leaders in the natural health industry according to the highest pharmaceutical standards and comes with a money back guarantee.
It is as powerful as the prescription drug, Nizoral, without the side effects and is designed to promote a healthy intestinal tract as well as kill Candida.
- Caprylic Acid
Caprylic acid is a very effective antifungal, but it's important to pick a company that makes a high quality product with adequate potency. Every natural health company out there has a Caprylic acid product, but there are two companies with the best reputation that I recommend. They are Ecological Formulas who makes a product called Caprystatin and another one called Caproyl made by a company called Attogram. Some people have found that taking Caprylic acid with bentonite clay and psyllium husks is a very effective method that keeps die off to a minimum. The Caprylic acid kills the yeast, the bentonite clay absorbs the toxins and the psyllium husks move it all out of the colon.
- Candida Cleanses
There are several preparations that combine a variety of herbs and other nutrients that have antifungal properties, which are of high quality as well, that you may want to try. Keep in mind that all cleanses have several antifungals combined together, which means that because you ’re taking so many at one time, that it will make it harder to rotate, because you may run out of choices.
- Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide is very effective as an antifungal, but the die off can be pretty intense. Hydrogen Peroxide is also great as a mouthwash to kill Candida in the mouth and is very effective as a soak on the feet for Athlete's feet. If you have a white tongue from Candida overgrowth, brushing your tongue with your toothbrush and hydrogen peroxide will remove it temporarily and can reduce symptoms. Brushing the tongue with peroxide every day is a good practice to follow.
There's a lot of controversy surrounding the use of Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and oral consumption. Not everyone agrees on its safety for drinking. So it's something each person has to research thoroughly and make an informed decision of their own. ’I've been drinking it for many years without any negative consequences, other than intense die off when I first started.
Be sure to note that store bought hydrogen peroxide is not food grade. Store bought peroxide can be used to brush your tongue and topically, but cannot be ingested. Only food grade hydrogen peroxide can be ingested.
Another benefit of hydrogen peroxide therapy is that it also kills parasites and other harmful bacteria. However, the down side is that it also kills your healthy bacteria. That’s a drawback I ran into. When I would get up to high doses I would get constipation because the peroxide had wiped out all the healthy bacteria. You have to be sure to replenish the healthy bacteria with lots of probiotics.
Food grade hydrogen peroxide can also be used intravenously and many people are successful in overcoming Candida with this approach. You have to find a physician who knows how to administer hydrogen peroxide in this manner.
This is a product that combines barberry, oregon grape root and goldenseal and is very effective. It’s made by Enzymatic Therapy, which is one of the better companies out there.
Some people report having good results with raw, organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar and others with coconut oil. I tried both, but didn't have good results. The apple juice gave me severe acid reflux and a vaginal infection. The coconut oil gave me a severe gallbladder attack. If you try the apple cider vinegar, be sure that it is raw, unfiltered and organic, not the standard vinegar you buy at the grocery store.
Coconut oil should be organic, unrefined and virgin as well. However, it is my opinion that the amount of caprylic acid you can obtain from coconut oil is minimal and not accessible in the manner it needs. You are better off taking caprylic acid itself. If you have gallbladder problems, I don’t recommend the coconut oil because it is too high in fat.
It's important to note that some herbal formulas like cloves for example, can damage the liver and kidneys. Just because something is natural, does not mean it is harmless. Herbs are basically natural drugs and can also come with a variety of side effects. Caution should always be exercise and you should always discuss things with your physician.
Some antifungals are more effective than others. It's important to choose products that are manufactured by reputable companies who have a thorough understanding of how to develop sound natural remedies.
Anyone can throw together a few herbs or nutrients and call it a treatment, but it takes a practitioner who is skilled and knowledgeable in the proper procedure to extract herbs and natural substances and develop them into potent natural remedies. You want to pick companies with good reputations for making safe and effective products that are of the highest quality.
Each person’s body is different and each individual can respond in different ways to each treatment remedy. If you try one antifungal and don't see results, then try something else. Your Candida may be resistant to one particular treatment, but not to another. That doesn't mean it isn't effective; it just isn't effective for your body. It also doesn't mean that other natural treatment approaches won't be effective for you. It may take a little trial and error, or you may find something that works great right off the bat.
Since there are different strains of Candida, and it mutates over time, what is effective one week, may not be effective the next week. You must be vigilant and persistent on your recovery path.