(NaturalNews) Candida infection is caused by a yeast overgrowth in the intestines. It can cause gas, bloating, indigestion and even chronic disease. Known by its Latin name, curcumin, turmeric shows promise as an antifungal for Candida as well as many other fungal infections. According to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the herb turmeric may be useful in inhibiting the Candida infection. Research at the Linus Pauling Institute also points to turmeric's curative value in treating colorectal cancers.
Diagnosis of a Candida infection is via stool samples and blood tests. Conventional medicine treats Candida with antifungal drugs, usually Nystatin. This drug is made from a mold, which acts by competing with other molds and fungus, such as Candida, for food in the gut.
Medicinal Uses of Turmeric
Turmeric has many uses in folk medicine, which warrants its investigation as an antifungal. It's been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is used in cosmetics and drugs, as well as in cooking. It can by used as a sunscreen or a pesticide. Used commonly in Ayurvedic Medicine for digestive disorders, it is also used externally for ulcers, wounds, and skin conditions such as scabies and eczema.
Research on Curcumin and Candida
Research was conducted at the Department of Microbiologia at the Centro de Engenharias in Brazil. The test was done on cells in a lab, not on human subjects. The study showed that curcumin was a more potent antifungal than the drug fluconazole. The curcumin acted by inhibiting the Candida's adhesion. A phase 1 trail using turmeric to treat colorectal cancer showed that oral ingesting of curcumin was beneficial in treatment, but further tests are needed.
Causes of Candida Infection
Candida occurs commonly in over 50 percent of the population, but an overgrowth can be triggered by the use of antibiotics, or by sugar consumption. Alcoholic beverages also trigger a Candida "bloom" as can swimming in chlorinated swimming pools. Stress causes Candida to spread because the release of cortisol during stress raises blood sugar, that then feeds the yeast. Birth control pills are also attributed with causing yeast, as is the copper IUD. The copper reduces the body's immunity, thereby causing an inability to resist yeast growth.
Other Anti-viral and Anti-fungal Uses of Turmeric
Curcumin has also been used to treat boils, staph infections, and the hard-to-treat MRSA virus.
Other Herbs to Treat Candida
Other herbs that are used to treat Candida include garlic, licorice, astragalus, and even cinnamon. Goldenseal can also be used, but in small amounts as it can be toxic in large doses. Oil of Oregano and Olive Leaf also kill fungus and yeast.