Tag Archives: herbs

Do you suffer from PMS … oh wait, maybe it’s Candidasis?

What does PMS has got to do with Candida, you may ask. Well, in short, it could be the side-effect of Candida overgrowth alongside other very interesting symptoms like:

Oral or vaginal thrush- what we usually think about when hearing about Candida
Irregular periods
Painful periods
Low libido
Fatigue
Dizziness
Headaches
Weak memory
Bloating
Diarrhoea
Constipation
Flatulence
Blurred Vision
Stuffed nose
Sinus problems
Rectal or vaginal itch
Pain and swelling in the joints
Acne
Hives
Irritability
Anxiety
Depression
Hyperactivity
Thyroid problems
Recurrent bladder infections
Food and environmental allergies

Now, that is quite a varied list, don’t you think? I bet most of us could tick quite a few of these symptoms.

So, how do you know if you have yeast overgrowth? If you are worried that you might have oral or vaginal thrush, it can be easily tested by your local GP by taking a swap from the affected area. If you suspect that the yeast infection is more insidious, you could try Gut Fermentation Test or Bioresonance.

NOTE: If you suffer from irritating or offensive discharges, seek advice and diagnosis from your GP as your first point of contact before deciding on the best route to deal with your problem.

What is Candida?

Candida is an opportunistic yeast with a quick ability to proliferate if left unchecked, able to increase from just 1 to 100 cells within 24hr period which can then produce another 100 cells within the next 24hrs and so on. We ALL have yeast within our intestines but its growth is usually checked by the bacteria which live in our lower digestive tract. Whenever we go through antibiotic therapy for an acute infection or if we take small doses of antibiotics on daily basis for more chronic health problems, this this yeast vs bacteria balance gets tipped over, allowing for Candida to spread out unopposed in two ways:

  • through direct invasion of ALL length of the gut and vagina, which is often portrayed as recurrent vaginal thrush- rings a bell?
  • spread of toxins to other organs via bloodstream- chronic Candidasis can lead to what we commonly know as ‘leaky gut’ and create a whole range of both physical and psychological symptoms

Other factors which may increase risk of yeast overgrowth include:

  • Use of contraceptive pills- due to changes to body’s natural hormone levels and cycles
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Diabetes- due to increase in blood sugar
  • Steroids- due to their immunosuppressive character
  • Specific immune-suppressants used during cancer treatment
  • Poor nutrition
  • Synthetic underwear

How to get rid of Candida?

Like I mentioned before, yeasts are a part of our intestinal flora so there is no talk of getting ‘rid’ of it. What we should focus on is how to reduce the levels of Candida and keep them in check so they stop being a problem to our health and wellbeing.

Bad news: no, there is NO magic pill which will go *poof* and make it go away (at least not if you don’t want a yo-yo effect). If you have extensive overgrowth of Candida, it will take some time for it to ‘die off’.

Good news: you can balance the levels of yeasts through low-carb high-protein diet, supplementation and homeopathic treatment, it works really well when dealt with as a part of contraceptive or antibiotic detox therapy.

If you’d like to find out what Nature has to offer in terms of combating the overgrowth of yeast, we have put together a list of Top 10 Herbs:

herbs for yeast overgrowth candida thrush oral vaginal natural remedies herbal medicine remedy relief homeopathy detox therapy leaky gut nutritional therapy therapist nutrition diet supplements food tea tree oil ringworm
  • Aloe Vera- works by soothing and promoting healing of tissue, both externally and internally where it is traditionally used in cases of constipation, haemorrhoids and liver problems. Aloe Vera is believed to display antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and so especially effective against strep, staph and Candida.
  • Cat’s Claw- displays antimicrobial effects for fungi, viruses, bacteria and parasites
  • Cinnamon- Displays a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and well as drying, warming and tonifying action. Traditionally used in treatment of diarrhoea as well as nausea, vomiting, cramping, gas and bloating.
  • Clove Bud- Is believed to display antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, reduce gastrointestinal spasms, expel gas and bloating, improve digestion, relieve constipation and even expel parasites.
  • Garlic- is high in bioflavonoids and sulphur-containing compounds. Thought to help in lowering cholesterol levels, protecting the liver and nervous system as well as improving brain function and having powerful antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant effects.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract- Rich in antioxidants which can help in supporting a healthy immune response, looking after circulatory system, improving collagen formation and protecting bones, brain, kidney & liver function, whilst reducing risk of inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections as well as tissue damage.
  • Olive Leaf- shows a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral action whilst supporting the immune system Olive Leaf is believed to aid in eradication of yeast and candida and removal of toxic cellular waste
  • Oregano Oil – is a strong antiseptic, traditionally used in anti-Candida and anti-parasitic treatment, to loose phlegm and help in expectoration as well as improve and soothe digestion and reduce formation of gas.
  • Rosemary Leaf- Is a potent antioxidant which can help to detoxify the liver and nourish adrenals as well as aid in feelings of panic, heart palpitations and depression. Rosemary leaf is often used to help the feelings of poor health, fatigue and exhaustion, it can assist in recovery from long-term stress or illness and improve brain function. It is said to protect small capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients, improve circulation and heart health as well as inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.
  • Tea Tree Oil- is thought to display a strong antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral action. It’s often used externally for problems relating to athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections, vaginitis and ringworm.

If you are looking for a synergistic combination of herbals, probiotics and vitamins, check out our Canditox Clease Complex

probiotic lactobacillus bifidobacterium leaky gut syndrome candida albicans candidasis candida yeast overgrowth thrush oral vaginal itch athlete's foot relief bloating antibiotics side effects natural supplement food herb herbal vitamins and minerals herbal medicine women's health pms thyroid problems

Designed to work alongside Candida diet and homeopathic or detox treatment.

About the Moon, Gardening and Herbs

It’s half term and we’ve been blessed with a (considerably) good weather so it means one thing… gardening!

Along with DS1 and DS2 we’ve cleaned the greenhouses inside and out and set them up and ready for planting!

But what shall we plant first? Having had a look through the lunar calendar, today was showing up as the most beneficial time to plant seeds which will yield a crop of flowers. Did you ever use a lunar calendar? I remember my grandmother used to have one on her kitchen wall. She’d look through it whilst planning all of her gardening activities. It was natural for me to carry it on!

Not going to lie, I tried rebelling for a year or two, thinking that I can sow seeds whenever it took my fancy, but having radishes developing beautiful leaves instead of a root certainly isn’t something I would want to risk happening again, so off I went to the old and tried ways.

So… what’s the trick about the lunar calendar?

moon-1859616_1920Well, it uses the Moon phases to determine whether it is a good time to replant any seedlings or plant any seeds and, if it is, whether the planted seeds will develop an abundance of leaves (like my radishes.. ahem), flowers or roots! In addition, it gives hints when it’s the best time to use fertilizers, water plants, collect crops or prepare preserves.

You might have heard about how the Moon affects the rhythms of the Nature, influencing tides as well as our biological clocks and behavior. Why would it be any different for plants?

So… back to the subject. What did we plant?

DS2 got some coneflower seeds from school and was ever so eager to plant them ever since he brought them home so that’s what we had to start with.

That left me and DS1 with some herbal seeds. His first choice was to plant Borage. Did you know that Borage is herbal medicine?

Let’s have a closer look:borage.jpg

Borage, (Borago officinalis) is a much undervalued herb. Known mostly for its culinary uses since its cucumber-tasting leaves were often added to salads and drinks, its medicinal properties are very often overlooked… and they shouldn’t! As well as using Borage leaves in our summer salads, we will be making some tinctures which can be used as adrenal tonics, indispensible in times of heightened stress, anxiety or depression. Borage tincture works very well in exhaustion experienced by women going through menopause as well as new Mums who want a boost in their energy and milk supply.

The second set of seeds DS1 chose was Feverfew. Now, I’m sure this is an herb everyone is accustomed with!

Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antihistamine action. feverfew-8173_1920.jpg
It’s most commonly used as a migraine prophylaxis (when taken daily) as well as treatment. Feverfew as the ability to reduce blood flow to the brain and was proven to reduce the occurrence and severity of migraines. It’s also useful in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis where it centres its action on the white blood cells, reducing the inflammatory response of the system. Its action is similar to the pharmaceutical drug Celebrex. I think that, depending on the yield, we will be making some tinctures as well as leaving some of the herb to dry so it can be taken as a decoction or infusion.

We have plenty more herbs to plant but, although I took my time checking the lunar calendar, I forgot to check if we have enough compost!

 

 

 

Migraine and Herbal Medicine

Whilst most of us have experienced headache at some point in our lives, migraines are (thankfully) a rarer occurrence. Unfortunately some of us are more prone to them than others, with some people suffering from them on a regular basis.

What is there to be done?

First, let’s start by having a closer look at what is a migraine and how it occurs.

Migraine is usually portrayed as ‘the ultimate headache’ but, whilst some certainly experience excruciating pain, it can actually be painless!

What are the most common characteristics of a migraine attack?

  • Slurring or loss of speech
  • Distorted sight with kaleidoscopic visions or shooting stars
  • Short term memory loss or paralysis
  • Nausea
  • Tenderness of neck and scalp

Migraine attacks can come with or without preceding aura and, if left untreated, can last as long as 3 days at a time!

What is the cause of a migraine?

Although it was thought for a long time that migraines are a direct result of spams of the blood vessels which are supplying oxygen to the brain, it appears to be not strictly the case. The newest suspect is the trigeminal nerve which also happens to be the largest pain pathway in our heads.

Migraines can be initiated by fluctuations of hormones, especially oestrogen, which explains why they occur more frequently in women than in men. Other concomitant factors can include diet which is rich in alcohol and sugars (and foods containing tyramine), as well as changes to the sleep pattern or the barometric pressure. Serotonin is thought to play a role as well, since its levels seem to drop during the migraine episode.

As you can see, migraine is not a result of a one single factor, but rather a combination of an existing tendency coupled with more-or-less avoidable triggers.

Conventional medicine relies mainly on the use of painkillers and antiseizure medications but these do not come without their side effects.

In Herbal Medicine, the most commonly used herbs are:

  • Cayenne, especially when taken at the start of the migraine
  • Dong Quai- for prevention of migraines, especially if associated with PMS
  • Feverfew- as a preventive measure
  • Ginkgo- for prevention, through enhancement of circulation within the brain
  • Quercetin- especially when the migraine if a result of a food allergy
  • Tilden Flower- if associated with high blood pressure

In holistic mode to treatment, there is no question of one approach being appropriate for all of the cases. Although all migraines share some common characteristics upon which they can be diagnosed and given a name, everyone can experience them and be affected by them to a different degree. It’s important to take into consideration your symptoms and underlying health conditions to find the most appropriate treatment which will be tailored to your own personal experience.

If you suffer from migraines, you will obtain the best results of natural treatments if you consult a professional who will be able to guide you through all of the available choices.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, just like ginger!

It’s a perennial herb native to India, from where it has spread to be known all over the world both as a medicinal herb and a popular spice.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric is considered as a cleanser of the whole body and used specifically in the treatment of inflammation, wounds and skin ulcers, itching, gastric complaints, ringworm and colic.

Curcumin, one of Turmeric’s main chemical components, has  strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties.

The main uses of Turmeric in herbal medicine include:

  • Arthritis: turmeric has been shown to be just as effective as hydrocortisone in treatment of acute joint pain (but without any troublesome side-effects!) as well as help reduce the need for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

 

  • Artherosclerosis: Curcumin deactivates platelet-activating factors (PAF) and in turn lowers the formation of cholesterol into plaques.

 

  • Cancer: through deactivation of PAF, Curcumin stops the formation of new blood vessels within tumours, preventing them from spreading throughout the body. It also stimulates production of B and T cells as well as prevents damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.

 

  • Cataracts: Curcumin has stronger anti-oxidative action than vit E, it can prevent cross-linking of the protein within the lens which leads to cataracts.

 

  • Ulcerative colitis: Turmeric has been used for gastric discomforts for thousands of years. One of studies shown that 2g of Curcumin per day yields more positive effects than the standard treatment with sulfasalazine or mesalamine, as well as improves the overall clinical sore for the disease and occurrence of relapses.

 

Turmeric can have an impact on the heart tissue, gallbladder, liver and fertility. It can also reduce the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs.

If you are not sure if Turmeric would be a suitable option for you, consult a herbalist.