Candida

Suffering from candida? Try essential oils and hydrosols.

Candida, also known as thrush, is caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida albicansand thrives in the warm, moist parts of the body. Incidences of candida have been connected to food allergies, low immunity levels and stress. It is also quite often the result of antibiotic treatment as some of the intestinal flora, responsible for keeping the candida organisms under control, are killed off by the antibiotics as well.

It is recommended that one look at one’s diet. Eating plenty of live yogurt can encourage beneficial intestinal flora. Garlic tablets and Acidophilus can also be helpful. As candida thrives on sugar it is also recommended that one avoid alcohol, and keep sugary and starch foods to a minimum. Sticking to natural fibers allows the skin to breathe and avoiding harsh chemical soaps and toiletries prevents further irritation. And of course, Essential Oils and Hydrosols can be very helpful.

Essential Oils to consider include: German Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Palmarosa, Patchouli and Tea Tree.

Hydrosols to consider include: German Chamomile, Geranium and Lavender.

Methods of use

Baths or Sitz-baths: Add 8 – 10 drops of your essential oil synergy to a bath of warm water (4 – 5 drops to a sitz-bath) and soak in this for 5 – 10 minutes. If you are using hydrosols you’d need about 100 ml for a sitz bath and around 250 ml for a bath.

Candida Oil: Add 12 drops of your essential oil synergy to 30 ml (1 oz) carrier oil. Apply a little of the oil to the affected area morning and night.

Valerie Ann Worwood, in her book “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” suggests the following:

Bicarbonate of Soda Treatment for Thrush.
Dilute 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda in 2 1/2 cups of warm water.
Dilute 2 drops of Lavender and 2 drops of Yarrow in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
Mix together as well as possible, even though oil and water don’t mix well do the best you can.
Soak a tampon in the solution and insert daily, remembering to take out at night for three days.
Alternatively:
Add the whole solution to a bath that has been run to the level on one’s hips.

Suggested Blends:
Synergy 1: Lavender 4, Tea Tree 2, Myrrh 2.
Synergy 2: Geranium 5, Lavender 5, Patchouli 2

Research:

In-vitro activity of essential oils, in particular Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and tea tree oil products, against Candida spp. K A Hammer, C F Carson and T V Riley, Department of Microbiology, The University of Western Australia, The Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands.Oxford Journals Medicine = Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (Volume 42, Issue 5 Pp. 591-595).
Abstract
The in-vitro activity of a range of essential oils, including tea tree oil, against the yeast candida was examined. Of the 24 essential oils tested by the agar dilution method against Candida albicans ATCC 10231, three did not inhibit C. albicans at the highest concentration tested, which was 2.0% (v/v) oil. Sandalwood oil had the lowest MIC, inhibiting C. albicans at 0.06%. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil was investigated for activity against 81 C. albicans isolates and 33 non-albicans Candida isolates. By the broth microdilution method, the minimum concentration of oil inhibiting 90% of isolates for both C. albicans and non-albicans Candida species was 0.25% (v/v). The minimum concentration of oil killing 90% of isolates was 0.25% for C. albicans and 0.5% for nonalbicans Candida species. Fifty-seven Candida isolates were tested for sensitivity to tea tree oil by the agar dilution method; the minimum concentration of oil inhibiting 90% of isolates was 0.5%. Tests on three intra-vaginal tea tree oil products showed these products to have MICs and minimum fungicidal concentrations comparable to those of non-formulated tea tree oil, indicating that the tea tree oil contained in these products has retained its anticandidal activity. These data indicate that some essential oils are active against Candida spp., suggesting that they may be useful in the topical treatment of superficial candida infections.

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