But first - a little background for you...
Yeast Infections - the bain of just about every woman’s reproductive life. And they’re not limited to women - babies can get them in their mouths & lactating women in their nipples. Its excrucitatingly painful and funnily enough often caused by taking anti-biotics for mastitis. Funny how things like DRUGS can cause other issues, isn’t it?
Yeast Infections or thrush are actually caused by upsetting the delicate pH balance of the body & throwing out the balance beneficial & non-beneficial bacteria. Little micro-organisms abound in the digestive & reproductive areas of the body, keeping everything in balance.
Just like the Inner Health Plus ads say, anti-biotics, the Pill, grog, smoking, stress & acidic diets cause imbalances that kill off the good bacteria. Then, after a time, you end up with yeast infections. But its not instantaneous as most peole would have you believe - its been coming for a while prior to when symptoms appear.
Thrush is the body’s way of SCREAMING at you - “HEY! Dingbat! You’re too acidic! Get some alkalinity happening NOW dude!” Its the body’s final attempt to get you to stop doing what you’re doing and freakin pay attention!
So, what are you doing that’s causing it?
Well, for one - stress is a BIG thing. And its a tough one to combat.
Combine maxi-flap stressing with a diet high in acid (things like citrus, tomatoes, pineapples, alcohol all lead to a build up of acid in the body because they in themselves are acidic compounds) in addition to consuming things the body finds hard to digest like white flour & refined sugars = a very acidic system that is running overtime to try & combat the problem.
As an extreme example of what happens when your body is too acidic - you start to develop cholesterol.
The fatty substance is the body’s protection mechanism for the excess acid that is floating around in it. Acid does what - BURNS right? Burns up stuff, dissolves it. If you put your human heart into your stomach it would be gone with in a matter of minutes. There is THAT much power in the acid contained in your stomach.
The body normally has the ability to alkalise itself, contained in tissue & body fats. However, over time with excess acidity, the body starts to use up its stores of alkalinity & runs out. So then, after having nothing left to offset the acid you keep pumping into it, it starts to give you warning bells like... you guessed it - thrush.
Then, you ignore that - you take anti-biotics to combat the infection (creating acid) & continue with your highly acidic lifestyle and diet of stress, coffee, grog, smoking & orange juice every morning. Not that I’m against a morning OJ but on top of everything else, it ain’t do you any favours at this point!
So, you keep pottering along doing what you’ve always done, fighting off your UTI’s (acidic response) & thrush with more drugs, maybe the occasional application of pro-biotic yoghurt but as soon as the symptoms are gone you’re back to your old ways.
Your body is out of alkaline stores, it can’t make more to keep up with demand so it starts storing acid where? IN BODY FAT! And when you’re trying to lose weight, this is a real pain in the butt.
The body is storing excess acid in body fat to keep it AWAY from your vital organs! If it lets the acid near your heart, lungs, liver or whatever, you’ll die because the acid will just eat them. Your body fat stores start to increase to compensate for the more acid you keep filling it with. On and on it goes - more acid, stored in fat, runs out of room, therefore needs more body fat to store more acid... round and round on the acid merry go round.
Body fat stores are at an all time high but you’re still pumping your body full of more acid everyday. So then it has to find another way to protect your heart, lungs, liver etc. So it coats the artery walls with a lining of fatty stuff so it can’t eat through the artery walls - by this time, remember, your body is so acidic that you’re blood is almost toxic. It could eat through the walls of the arteries so your body is just doing its job - its protecting you.
More acid = more artery lining = increased cholesterol readings = take drugs to bring it down = more acid... see a pattern here?
So the answer? To avoid all of this?
ALKALISE your body. Alkalise your diet.
The human body was NEVER designed to process things like refined sugars (even WHITE sugar in tea & coffee ain’t good) or processed wheat products (i.e. white flour). It wasn’t designed to withstand copious amounts of the types of grog we drink - beer is one. Its based on what - WHEAT. So its double the acidic content of say something brewed from fruit.
Stress is a big one too. Every time you’re running around, maxing flapping, your adrenal glands are in action. That, in and of itself isn’t a big deal - in moderation. Adrenalin is released for short bursts of stress but for longer bursts a different hormonal chemical is released - cortisol. Cortisol is the long term stress coping hormone - its great for that. Helps you deal with long term stress for a month - 3 months. But AFTER THAT you gotta wind down. You’ve gotta give your body a chance to get back to zero balance, to realign itself & clear out excess acidity caused by the release of cortisol.
However, in this day & age - we don’t do that. We keep pushing ourselves. We take painkillers for our back pain, our headaches (all of which are the body’s responses to acid & stress which causes acid), we drink another coffee then add in an energy drink or five... round and round on the acid merry go round.
So, wanna stop your yeast infections?
First thing - relax! You MUST take time to relax your body. Its not because of some fuh fuh wah wah thing - its purely a chemical chain reaction. Stress = adrenals firing. Adrenals firing = release of adrenalin & then cortisol. Cortisol is the AGING hormone, the one that makes you look old.
Look at the stress out people you’ve known - don’t they look older than their years? Then they have a break from it all & suddenly they look 10 years younger? That’s why! They’ve curbed the release of cortisol & allowed their body to reset to zero. They’ve ALKALISED their heavily acidic body through relaxation (and probably a better diet with less grog & coffee coz you actually don’t want those things when you’re relaxed).
Number two - eat alkalising foods, daily. All day every day if you can.
These include leafy greens & lots of them! Nettle tea infusions are good too.
If you’re yeast infection has flared up, then here are some fast effective ways to treat it on the spot (whilst you deal with the longer term issue of too much acid in your body)
1. Drink a cup of lukewarm water with one quarter teaspoon of bicarb soda & grape seed extract (liquid) DAILY. Bicarb will alkalise your system very quickly (but don’t do this more than once a day) & grape seed extract helps to deal with infection caused by the imbalance.
2. Eat pro-biotic yoghurt daily PLUS apply a good organic one to the area where the thrush is prominent. Alternatively, crack open a capsule of pro-biotics (like Inner Health Plus) & apply the powder directly to the site of the thrush.
3. Plantain seeds are a great treatment for thrush. Cover a cup (250mls) of plantain seeds with water & leave them to soak overnight. The next morning, strain the mixture (which will have a gel type consistency) & apply to the site of thrush 3 - 4 times per day.
4. Make a “sitz” bath for vaginal thrush - soak your lady parts (LOL) in a bath of water water with some calendula & bicarb soda once a day. This will help to soothe the area & increase alkalinity. You want to be slightly more alkaline than acidic in a general sense but particular “down there”.
5. Calendula tincture is also a helpful remedy. You can add 20 drops of tincture to your daily bicarb & grape seed extract drink above so its all done together however you can take calendula tincture up to 5 - 6 times a day without any issues.
To make the tincture, fill a jar to the brim with dried calendula flowers then cover with vodka (80 proof is best; 40%) & leave to ferment for up to a month, shaking daily.
Alternatively, purchase a ready made organic tincture & keep it handy in your handbag for when you’re out & about & you get that first “tingle”.
6. Raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil is a great treatment for thrush symptoms too. It can be used for kids mouths, nipples & the lady parts without any side effects or unpleasantness.
7. Garlic intake plus Vitamin C megadoses (3000 - 5000mg DAILY) should also be happening at this point. Garlic is a broad spectrum anti-biotic but doesn’t kill off the good bacteria. Vitamin C will assist your body to fight the infection which happens as a result of pH imbalance.
8. Olive Leaf extract is also another broad spectrum anti-biotic & echinacea tincture should be taken daily (20 drops per dose, 4 - 6 times a day for adults).
9. Use one of more of the following herbs to assist the healing process:
- ALOE VERA - The fresh juice of the aloe vera plant (now available in supermarkets - yay!) is great for boosting the body’s production of white blood cells which kill yeast cells. Also, it is a digestive aid & helps with heartburn etc because of its alkalising properties. So, you can consume a bit of aloe juice in your morning smoothie / juice / tea or whatever to assist in keeping thrush at bay & generally alkalising your gut.
- BARBERRY Is a thorny shrub which produces berries. It has antifungal properties useful in killing yeast cells.
- CINNAMON A decoction (extraction method by boiling cinnamon sticks) is held in the mouth for treating mouth thrush.
- ECHINACEA The immunity boosting super herb also stimulates macrophages which kill yeast cells that cause thrush.
- GARLIC As I said above, garlic is a broad spectrum anti-biotic as well as having anti fungal properties and can be be used liberally in food preparation or taken as capsules to help treatment of thrush as well as any other kind of bacterial or viral infection.
- LAVENDER is a very mild (and lovely smelling!) anti-viral & anti-bacterial. Apply topically with a carrier oil like sesame, rice or almond to the vaginal area or add essential oil of lavender to a sitz bath as explained above for treating skin infections.
- OLIVE LEAF extract, as above, is a very powerful antimicrobial. Capsules or tinctures taken internally will help fight off the causes of yeast infections from the inside out.
- OREGANO OIL Has powerful anti fungal properties so it is important to follow the instructions on the bottle when purchased. Topically it should be applied with a carrier oil as it is very powerful.
- PAU D' ARCO is a fabulous anti fungal, antibiotic herb and can be taken internally to boost immune system when fighting off infections including thrush.
- PEPPERMINT oil can be taken internally as it is a powerful anti fungal, or can be used as an infusion. Oil is available in capsules also which is a quick & easy way to ingest it.
- ROSEMARY is another great anti fungal herb that is often useful in killing yeast cells in infections like thrush and candida.
- THYME Oil is an VERY powerful anti fungal that can be used for things like whooping cough it is that good! It MUST be diluted with a carrier oil and when done, can be used topically for a very effective treatment of thrush symptoms.
Bear in mind what I wrote above though - these herbal & home remedies although effective for symptomatic treatment do not address the overall issue. That being that your body has excess acid & needs to be balanced with alkalising foods, drinks & habits.
Avoid stress by drinking lemon balm tea with chamomile ( a GREAT ONE when pregnant because it has calcium magnesium in it plus is awesome for nausea). Lemon balm is the anti-anxiety herb & chamomile is a soothing nerve tonic. So go nuts & drink by the bucket load!
Get plenty of rest too - tiredness = adrenals firing = adrenalin & cortisol released into the body = increase in acid.
Remember acid = bad. Alkaline = good.
Follow the “green” brick road!
Love & greenery,
The Eco Mum xo