Candida is a result of the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans.
If unchecked it can result in health problems like digestive disorders, fatigue and vaginal yeast infections. There are many medications that can promote the overgrowth of yeast cells which can kill beneficial bacteria or interfere with normal hormonal functions. These can include antibiotics, HRT, corticosteroids, OC, chemotherapy. Improper diet with the over consumption of yeast products, sugar or alcohol can also promote yeast growth. In TCM these foods upset the Spleen, produce Dampness and Phlegm and create a perfect environment for yeast overgrowth. The body needs to be in a Yin/Yang balance to maintain good health: too many yeast cells results in candida; too many bacteria results in infection.
The San Jiao (Triple Burner) regulates the activities of the other internal organs and participates in fluid metabolism. It separates clean and dirty fluids. Candida is a San Jiao related disorder. In most cases of candida the problem starts with a Spleen imbalance. When the Spleen system is weakened Damp Heat accumulates in the Lower Burner and yeast overgrowth develops. Symptoms such as white, cheesy vaginal discharge, genital itch, or vaginitis might occur.. When the Spleen is disturbed Heat and Fire can accumulate in the Upper Jiao causing an infection of the oral cavity called thrush. When the Spleen is weakened it fails to properly transform and transport food and therefore is unable to produce healthy amounts of qi and blood. If treated appropriately at the early stage the problem will resolve with no yeast related symptoms. If not treated properly the disease will progress spreading to the Upper Jiao with thrush, cough etc., or to the Lower Jiao with vaginal infection etc., or both.
For candida, diet management alone is not enough. Combining acupuncture, herbs and diet can achieve the goal much quicker. The main goal is to clear Damp, Phlegm and Heat.
Damp Heat formulas include-
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang( Upper Jiao)
Long dan cao, huang qin, zhi zi, mu tong, che qian zi, ze Xie, chai hu, di huang, dang gui, gan cao.
Huang Lian Shang Qin Tang (Upper and Lower Jiao)
Huang lian, da huang, huang qin, huang bai, shi gao, zhi zi, lian qiao, ju hua, jing jie, bai zhi, man jing zi, chuan Xiong, fang feng, bo he, xuan fu hua, jie geng, gan cao
Liv 3, Liv 2, St 40, Bl 57, Co 4.
After clearing the Damp and Heat (waste and toxins) tonification is necessary to prevent a recurrence.
Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Ren shen, bai zhu, fu ling, gan cao, chen pi, ban xia, sha ren, mu Xiang.
St36, Sp9, Sp6, Liv10, Liv8, R6, R4.
To obtain an accurate diagnosis it is best to consult a local, qualified practitioner.
Yeast free- NO bread, cheese, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, black fungus, white fungus, yeast based crackers, pretzels, dry cereal, miso, tempeh, canned vegetables, pickled vegetables, beer, root beer, fermented beverages,
Recommended- grains, noodles, non-yeast bread, white rice. (brown rice and wild rice take more energy to digest and can overwork the Spleen). Daikon radish, which can help cleanse your system, is extremely therapeutic for those with yeast infections. Yellow coloured foods such as yam, winter squash and pumpkin tonify and strengthen the digestive system.
Medications such as penicillin, mycin, chloromycetin, tetracyclines should be avoided as well as yeast based Vitamin B supplements.
(information supplied by AAAOM)