Antifungal General Regimen
Summary: For systemic infection, use high
oil, and olive
leaf extract. If Detox symptoms occur, back down on
amounts of oregano oil and olive leaf extract as needed to combat the possibly
severe detox reaction. For simple internal infection, use a probiotics regimen alternating with the systemic infection protocol if necessary. For purely external infections, use camphor, oregano, or tea tree oil, or a zinc preparation.
Systemic Fungal Infection
Systemic infection means that a fungal infection is throughout the body in organs and other body tissues and may have some manifestations on the skin. Internal means that the infection is largely confined to the digestive or reproductive tract. Sometimes treating the infection in the gut removes the source enough such that systemic infections are resolved (see Internal Fungal Infection section below). Sometimes a fungus has such a foothold in the tissues (usually due to toxin involvement) that systemic measures are necessary.
Vitamin C fights fungus directly as well as helps remove toxic metals in the body which may contribute to the problem. Some say systemic fungal infection is most prevalent in those who harbor metal deposits, especially mercury, in their body and that it may be impossible to cure unless they are removed or at least reduced. Ascorbic acid powder from Now is usually the most economical for a powdered USP acidic vitamin C product but for those who prefer a non-acidic product, Nutribiotic Sodium Ascorbate is also good. Using a calcium ascorbate product like Ester-C is not recommended for fungal infections.
Three essential oils are often used to fight fungus: tea tree, camphor, and oregano.
The most popular oregano oil is made by North American Herb and Spice Co. Their standard "Oil or Oregano" product is prediluted in a 4:1 ratio with a carrier oil to make it safe. In this form it can be applied directly to non-sensitive skin. It can also be taken internally mixed with water, but it is still very hot to the taste.
Tea tree and camphor oils are generally purchased in an undiluted state. They are not used internally, and in most cases they must be diluted with a carrier oil for skin application. Although tea tree oil is the most popular oil for direct application to external fungal infections such as finger and toe nails, ringworm, and athlete's foot, camphor oil is usually much more effective.
oil from North American Herb and Spice Co., which is prediluted, can be taken 5 - 10 (up to 20) drops mixed in some
water three times or more per day. Oregano oil is one of the most effective antifungal supplements, followed by olive leaf extract. Oregano oil can be used internally or externally, unlike tea tree or camphor oils which should only be used externally.
For olive leaf extract, Now has the best value. For long term use, however, Gaia Herb Olive Leaf extract should be considered. Although not quite as potent as the Now product, it is extracted using a safe water method.
Silver is usually helpful fighting fungal infections. A high dose regimen is 8 tsp per day of 10ppm
mixed with water. At this amount, it is worthwhile to learn how to make this supplement oneself, or get it from a discount supplier such as Electroherbalism.
Other minerals like zinc and chromium may help fight fungal infections. Zinc has a direct affect against fungus and people with adequate zinc stores are much less likely to suffer fungal infection.. However, zinc cannot be taken in large amounts (over 100% RDA or 15mg) by many people since it can upset the stomach and cause cramps.
Multivitamins, a main source of zinc for many people, should not be taken by those with fungal infections since the B vitamins and selenium they contain may stimulate fungus growth. Sufficient zinc can be had by eating raw pumpkin seeds, a rich source of zinc (as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.) For a deodorant, use a zinc preparation like Now Deodorant Cream. Some of the zinc will be absorbed into the body transdermally without the side effect of stomach upset. It is not a great deodorant and may need to be applied twice per day to keep odor under control for heavy sweaters, but this "side effect" is a novel method to boost zinc stores.
Chromium seems to help fight fungal infections, probably by lowering blood sugar levels, but it is probably more worthwhile to limit blood sugar levels by diet.
If the condition is not improved at least 50% within 1 week, use at least double recommended of
the oregano oil and olive leaf extract (as detox allows) and perform The Water
Cure and The Zone Diet strictly. The Water Cure, using the proper amount of salt, is a good antifungal regimen by itself. The Zone Diet controls fungus growth by limiting the blood sugar upon which it feeds.
Internal Fungal Infection
For problems which are confined to the reproductive or digestive tract a probiotics regimen is usually sufficient. DDS-1 is a strain of lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria that reportedly has, by far, the most effect against pathogenic fungus. The most popular supplement that contains it is Natren Mega Dophilus.but this strain is also available in a number of other products including Mt.Capra Caprobiotic Plus.
Fructo-oligo-sacharrides, also know as FOS or inulin, is a supplement that stimulates production of friendly bacteria and may be as effective to rebuild intestinal flora than taking probiotic bacteria directly. The most common mistake with this regimen is using a non-DDS1 product. People go to a health food store and ask for DDS-1 and the clerk convinces them that some other product, like DDS-100, is as effective. It is not.
Cultured Cabbage Juice by Chris Gupta
To implant friendly lactobacteria in the colon and heal damaged mucus membranes of the G.I. tract, you need to drink about 1 and 1/2 cups daily. Here is how to make it.
Fill blender with chopped green cabbage and add distilled water until about 2/3 full. (Do not use well water or tap water). Beat at high speed in the blender for one minute. Pour mixture into bowl and repeat with two more batches. Cover with Saran wrap or similar material and let stand at room temperature.
After 3 days, the cabbage juice solution is ready to use. Strain the mixture to separate the liquid from the pulp. Place the cultured cabbage juice in refrigerator. Drink 1/2 cup of this solution diluted with an equal part of water 2 or 3 times each day. When the supply gets low, make second batch just like the first one, except add 1/2 cup of the juice from the first batch to the second batch. This batch will be ready in just 24 hours since the starter greatly speeds the process.
This process may be repeated indefinitely. Each serving contains several billion friendly lactobacteria. The lactic acid in the culture cabbage juice will purify the G.I. tract and kill most strains of fungi, parasites, and other pathogens. You should drink this mixture until your stools float in the toilet bowl and are odor free. When that happens, you may lower your dosage to one serving per day for maintenance.
Some types of yogurt can be helpful for rebuilding intestinal flora. Most common types of yogurt are less than worthless - they have no active cultures and with the added sugar actually exacerbate the problem. There are two commonly available that may be helpful - Horizon and Stonyfield Farm. They contain active cultures and use FOS as part of the sweetening (FOS tastes sweet).
Kefir is a type of liquid yogurt that can also be helpful. Real kefir has not only acidophilus cultures but also those of soil-based organisms. Lifeway is a brand of kefir that is widely available, even in many conventional supermarkets, but this falls into the "less than worthless" category. Helios Nutrition makes the best ready-to-drink kefir and it is available at many health food stores. Better than Helios kefir is Body Ecology Kefir Starter. With this kit, kefir can be made with other substances than milk, including coconut juice.
Better than any kefir, yogurt, or probiotic supplement is cultured cabbage juice. Besides providing a wide array of bacteria and other helpful cultures, it provides nutrients to repair damaged intestines and mucus membranes, is free of lactose, and is very inexpensive.
External Fungal Infection
Most of the suggestions above can and probably should be used for fungal infections on the skin so that the problem is treated thoroughly from the inside out. However, topical measures may help as well.
The best all around treatment for an external fungal infection is a vacation at the beach. The sun and saltwater usually get it under control quickly. Be sure to use a safe sunscreen such as those recommended in the Sunscreen article, not one full of petrochemicals. Choose one that uses zinc as the sunblock agent since topical zinc is helpful for fungal conditions. For a deodorant, use a zinc preparation like Now Deodorant Cream as described in the section above. The Now Deodorant Cream can also be used for topical fungal infections on the skin.
North American Oregano Oil can be used topically with caution. Do not get near eyes or mucus membranes. Never attempt to use this or any other essential oil anywhere near the crotch region, such as for jock itch. Oregano oil is good for ringworm and nail fungus and other infections on the arms and lower legs since the oil penetrates well, but should never be used on broken skin.
For athlete's foot or jock itch use a zinc oxide powder such as Electroherbalism's Zinc Oxide Powder Blend. Athlete's foot can be initially treated with the bleach method, and the zinc oxide powder used for maintenance afterwards.
For diaper rash, first use a good non-toxic zinc oxide diaper cream or powder like Weleda Diaper Care or Zinc Oxide Powder Blend. For internal measures, Natren's Life Start can be mixed into milk or food.
For nail fungus or athlete's foot problems that are hard to cure, the bleach method can be used occasionally. Note that bleach should never be used, especially on the skin, by those who have dementia or other mental disorder. Bleach should be used with caution and not used near the eyes, mucus membranes, or on sensitive or broken skin, and only in a VERY limited area of the body. Soak affected part in plain Clorox bleach for 30 seconds. Let dry for 5 minutes. Rinse. Repeat up to once per week if necessary. Strong saltwater can be used instead of bleach. This is much safer, but much less effective. For this purpose it is preferable to use a non-edible (by Electroherbalism's standards) overly processed salt which has the micronutrients removed, such as Morton's Iodized Salt.
Notes from Biology 103, Section "Microbes and You", Chapter "The Fungus Among Us."
Fungi are eukaryotic organisms with a nucleus and organelles and are more closely related to animals than to bacteria. Fungi often make spores that are very resilient and resistant to disinfectants. Microscopic fungi are very small although they may form colonies large enough to be seen unaided. Microscopic fungi include molds and yeasts. Yeasts are round cells that reproduce by budding. Molds are filamentous cells that often form hyphae (strings of cells). The cells in hyphae are often non-septate, having no cell walls between cell. Macroscopic fungi include mushrooms, puffballs, and gill fungi. These have a complex life cycle that may include sexual reproduction
Role in nature
In the environment, fungi are critical to the breakdown and decay of biological materials. Fungi can eat almost anything - the detritus or leftovers from decay are foods for fungi. ln a compost pile, heterotrophic bacteria eat the 'tasty' parts of the organic debris but the less digestible portions of the rotting material, like the lignin in wood, is degraded by fungi. The decay process is critical for returning nutrients and minerals to the soil. Another important environmental role of fungi is their association with plants. Mycorrhizal fungi live in the soil on the surface of or within plant roots. Most plants have mycorrhizal fungi associated with their roots. These fungi have a large surface area and help in the transport of mineral nutrients and water to the plants. The plants provide fixed carbon compounds to the fungi as their contribution to this symbiotic relationship
Fungal infections of humans are called mycoses. There are really three classes: cutaneous non-invasive, subcutaneous, and systemic. Cutaneous non-invasive mycoses attack the non-living portion of skin tissue. The outer layer of skin is mainly dead cells, keratin, sebaceous (sweat) solids. The fungi colonize the skin and eat the keratin and other dead cell materials. Tineas and Ringworm diseases are caused by organisms like Trichophyton, Microspurum, and Epidermophyton. Tineas are transmissible via human-human, animal-human, and soil-human contact. The tineas grow in circles where the edges are red and scaly, thus the term ringworms. Tinea pedis - athlete's foot grows in the moist dark areas between the toes. When it spreads to the toenails (tinea unguium) it can be very difficult to get rid of. Tinea cruris - jock itch grows in the male groin area - again a warm moist dark environment. Tinea capitis - found on the scalp, generally in children leading to hair loss. Tinea manum is on the hand and tinea barbae (barber's itch) under the beard.
Some infections are opportunistic and arise when the immune system is damaged by illness, transplant surgery or age. Candida causes candidiasis, often found in the mouth and called thrush. Thrush is common in infants and AIDS patients and can infect the blood and be lethal. Candida is also the causative agent of vaginal "yeast infections". Cryptococcus is found in bird droppings and can infect skin abrasions and the respiratory tract. It can cause fever, move to the brain or bones and in some cases cause death. Aspergillus is the most common fungus in the environment and very pervasive in soil. In immunocomprimised people it can infect the lungs causing necrosis (death) of lung tissue. The ensuing pneumonia can be fatal and the fungi can infect the brain, heart and other organs.
Histoplasmosis - Ohio Valley Fever - some 80-90% of people in the Ohio Valley region show signs of previous infection with histoplasmosis. It may be the causative agent of the "mummy's curse" from Tut's tomb. There are 500,000 cases annually in the US, thousands hospitalized and some deaths. The histoplasma fungi are common in soil and bird guano (droppings). The fungal cells can grow within phagocytes and thus evade the immune response. Symptoms can be mild fungal flus to severe diseases that can infect many organs. Coccidioidomyces - San Joaquin Valley Fever - a soil fungus that can produce cold-like respiratory disease. It can also grow in the lung and lead to rapid, explosive and deadly infections. Blastomyces - Chicago disease - often found in decaying wood and abandoned buildings. Can produce flu symptoms, but can lead to abscesses in the lung. Often it is seen as a chronic skin infection that erodes the skin surface. When the infection is systemic and in the blood, it can lead to death.
Suncutaneour infections are below the skin surface. Sporotrichosis - Rose-gardener's disease - commonly transmitted by a prick from a rose thorn. Basketweavers are also at risk. The disease can spread from the skin infection to the lymph nodes. Mycetoma - complex disfiguring syndrome - often contracted through a small injury by a thorn, leaf edge or wood sliver. Leads to local abscesses in the skin. This can spread to the bones and muscles. Often the disease is insidious and difficult to cure.
Many fungi are beneficial to man, in addition to their environmental roles. Antibiotics like penicillin and cephalosporin are fungal products. Fungi are used in the production of beer, wine, blue cheese, soy sauce, bread and other food products. Fungi are used to produce commercial products like specific alcohols, organic acids, and vitamins.
Many fungi are harmful to plants and must be controlled in agricultural settings. Powdery mildews are obligate parasites that grow on roses, squashes, and cucumber leaves. The powdery mildews cannot be cultured in the laboratory unless grown on plant leaves. Study is difficult and few good fungicides exist for use in agriculture. Smut on corn is caused by Ustilago and can be very harmful to corn crops. Rice blast disease is caused by Pyricularia and can affect leaves or stems. Rice is a major staple crop worldwide and rice blast destroys a large portion of each year's crops. There are very active research programs into control of rice blast through agrichemicals. Rusts on leaves constitute another class of pathogenic fungi. These are often seen of fruit crops and give the leaves a rusty color. Ergot on wheat and rye produces hallucinogenic compounds similar to LSD. There is some evidence that the witch hunts in Salem were induced by Ergot contaminated grains. Post-harvest fruit is susceptible to fungal pathogens. Some 40% of all fruit harvested is consumed by fungi. Commercial fungicides are difficult to develop because of selectivity issues. Fungi are closely related to animals cells and thus compounds that kill fungi often kill animals. fungal protein synthesis and cell wall biosynthesis differ from similar processes in animals and make good targets for antibiotics. Fungal protein synthesis is too much like animal protein synthesis to make it a good target for a fungicide. Many of the commercial fungicides block sterol biosynthesis in fungi. Sterols are required for cell membrane functioning. Compounds in the azole class, like fenpropidin and fenpropimorph, are commonly used as fungicides.