An article by Donna Schwenk of Cultured Food Life reproduced with her permission.
Cultured foods can be a lifesaver with anyone suffering from Candida.
Candida is a yeast/fungal organism that lives naturally within the human body. We need small amounts of the yeast Candidiasis since it can digest things like heavy metals that our regular digestive system cannot handle. It is normally found in the body in low levels but an overproduction of this yeast can cause many problems, including the fungal infection known as Candidiasis. Candida can spread as a fungus does throughout the intestines and sinuses. As it penetrates the bloodstream, it releases toxic byproducts into your body, which can cause a myriad of problems.
Looking for balance, not complete extinction
Candida is something that everyone is talking about and seems to be afraid of. This same thing happened many years ago with bacteria when everybody and their brother came out with antibacterial soaps and disinfectants. It was the new buzz and this caused so many problems. I believe this was the wrong approach to keeping pathogens at bay.
Most thought if we could just stamp out the bad bacteria (and now Candida) all our problems would go away, but this is not the case. If we will build up the good yeasts and bacteria, they will solve the problem for us and also create a balance that otherwise wouldn’t exist within our bodies. Killing bacteria kills both the good and the bad, and the same with Candida – you want a small amount to remain but you really are looking for balance, not complete extinction. It’s the same story again and again, good versus evil. If you focus on the good instead of only destroying the bad, the good will be in control, will dominate, and will bring things into balance. The struggle will cease.
Women and yeast infections
In women, bacteria normally colonize the vagina and keep Candida and yeast infections under control. There are five known vaginal bacteria, and many of them (such as Lactobacillus) produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH, creating a hostile environment for pathogens. When these bacteria are killed by things such as antibiotics, there becomes a big void of empty space. Candida suddenly has room to spread out and grow. An overgrowth of yeast may result, leading to a yeast infection.
Don’t avoid cultured foods
A lot of people avoid cultured foods—especially kombucha—when they have an overgrowth of candida, believing that these foods actually make the condition worse. Saccharomyces boulardii a probiotic yeast is abundant in kombucha, S. boulardii is able to effectively compete with and displace harmful yeast strains such as Candida.1 It also produces anti-fungal substances such as capric, caprylic, and caproic acids, this probiotic yeast will discourage pathogenic yeasts this environment. In the case of kombucha is important to drink the first fermented kombucha and not the ones with fruit juice to ensure that all the sugars are gone and is properly fermented. Cultured foods can aid in the treatment of Candida overgrowth as long as they are made properly in order to remove the sugars and allow the probiotics to grow and become strong.
Studies On Children
One study included 155 hospitalized children (106 boys, 44 girls) between the ages of 3 months and 12 years who had been on broad-spectrum antibiotics for at least 48 hours. They were divided into one trial group and one placebo group. For seven days, the subjects in the trial group received a sachet of probiotics twice a day; the other group received placebo packets. Each probiotic sachet contained Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Saccharomyces boulardii (the good yeast in kombucha), and Saccharomyces thermophilus—all of which are common in cultured foods—and fructo-oligosaccharides, which are a type of prebiotic.
The presence of Candida was the same in both groups on the first day, but on the last day that probiotics were administered, 27.9 percent of the patients in the trial group were colonized with Candida infection, compared to the 42.6 percent of the patients in the placebo group. Candida infections continued to increase in number from day 7 to 14 in the placebo group but not in the one that took the probiotic sachets. This showed that supplementing with probiotics could help reduce candida colonization in critically ill children receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics.1
Other studies show that when you add probiotics from the Lactobacillus family you downregulate Candida, stopping yeast infections and keeping them from recurring.2 I can think of no better way to do this than through cultured foods, which are loaded with many probiotics, especially those from the Lactobacillus family.
History Of Kombucha
Kombucha was the second probiotic food that changed me from the inside out. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is sweeping the country and it, too, is an ancient drink. Kombucha has been around for centuries, probably a few millennia. There are different stories about how Kombucha came into being.
Kombucha tea was attributed to saving Nobel Prize winner Alexsander Solzhenitsyn’s life while in exile in Siberia as documented in his book “Cancer Ward.”
During the Second World War, the Russians were combatting an increase in cancer rates across the country. However, two regions were discovered to be nearly cancer free and this prompted a full-scale investigation.
What they found was the people in these two regions had been drinking Tea Kvass (kombucha) ever since the Czar had introduced it hundreds of years before, and many claimed it was the fermented tea that had kept the people in this region cancer free.
In the 1960s, Swiss research confirmed the health benefits of drinking kombucha. They claimed that kombucha was beneficial for the gut in a similar way to yogurt.
This fermented tea has a long history and after two decades of drinking it, my own life experience, the research and hundreds of stories that come to me through emails and posts have convinced me. I have written countless articles with research flowing in about this miraculous fermented tea. I encourage you to check it out for yourself, and not just to believe me. Your own life and internal compass will guide you and then you will know for yourself what is best for you.
So What Is The Solution?
Having lots of good bacteria keeps Candida in check. It keeps it from spreading out and growing into places it does not belong.
Building up the good bacteria in your body with a lot of cultured foods can become a very powerful weapon that can clean house and bring you back into balance. You can start adding them to your meals and increase them as you adjust to the huge influx of good microbes that begin to conquer and dominate your microflora. Caution: it can cause a Herxheimer Reaction as the bad bacteria and bad yeasts leave the body. They give off toxins as they die off and you can experience a healing crisis.
For years I took yeast killers. Although these were effective in the short term, they also killed good bacteria and left me struggling. They never really returned me to the balance I was seeking until I started eating a lot of cultured foods.
One thing I do recommend is ingesting coconut oil. The caprylic acid found in coconut oil is a powerful Candida killer that works well with cultured foods; but it, too, can make you feel worse before you feel better, so go slowly.
Cultured foods right before bed
If you take probiotic cultured foods right before bed they work significantly better. They have time to grow and multiply while you are resting, which is when the body can repair itself best. Remember, even if you are only adding small amounts of cultured foods, such as a spoonful of cultured veggies or kefir, you can still have symptoms of a die off. Bacteria work in numbers and they sense you the host, determine how big you are, and then determine how many bacteria are needed to do the job. When your body has enough of these bacteria they will do their job.
Your body contains many different strains of bacteria which is why I recommend eating the Trilogy: kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables. These three types of food contain the different strains of bacteria and good yeasts which can bring you back into balance. ‘
“Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.”