• Tag Archives Candida
  • Vaginal Yeast Infections

    Vaginal Yeast Infections

    By Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – May 30 2018


    Photo Credit: KatKrittimookSHUTTERSTOCK

    I frequently read and research various health topics, as well as read and glean what might be shared from some health support groups. More recently on a Facebook natural remedy health group, I was a little dismayed at the number of women who chose to “feed” their vagina’s with consumable foods meant for our bodies to process naturally by eating naturally.

    Now, I am not about to tell you not to do something you are comfortable with, but I personally have a strong distaste for people recommending the use of a turkey baster to insert yogurt into ones vagina, or inserting a tampon soaked with tea tree essential oil, garlic on a string, or douching with any other homemade concoction. It is a known fact that douching is not healthy. We do not need to make things squeaky clean when our natural flora is in balance.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly all about doing things naturally, but our vagina’s will naturally clean itself. The moment you start introducing foreign products that are not meant for your vaginal health, you risk other infections or reactions you really do not wish to experience.

    Tampons are known for Toxic Shock Syndrome. It is a real problem that is not commonly seen, so if you are going to soak one in Tea Tree oil, or Oregano, two “hot” burning oils into your vagina for several hours, you might want to discuss it further with your gynecologist. YIKES!! I mean, if you are into pain and discomfort, and don’t mind the idea of running around looking for an ice cold water popsicle to insert into your most delicate place in your body to relieve the burning pain, then I guess it could be an option. I simply cannot imagine the inflammation you will encounter. As it is, if you use either Tea Tree oil or Oregano oil on your skin without a gentle carrier oil, such as Jojoba, Olive oil, Avocado oil, etc., you risk skin burns. I’m not sure one really wants to encounter that experience internally.

    Also, keep in mind that tampons have chemicals to help with absorption and odor control. If you are sensitive to certain chemicals, you might want to think twice, maybe thrice, before using this method.  They have dioxins, which is the byproduct of their bleaching process to make them “white”, providing a sterile image. Dioxins are highly toxic and known as a human carcinogen. In addition, tampons (pads as well) contain odor neutralizers and artificial fragrances. Between artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene, polypropylene and propylene glycol, you can experience other irritations that cause inflammation, redness and burning. For myself the later four items listed will have me cursing for an immediate resolution for my discomfort.

    With that said, before assuming that you have a yeast infection, understand what the root cause might be. If you feel as though you have a yeast infection, could it actually be a reaction to the products you used for your recent menstrual cycle?  Could it be a hormone imbalance causing dryness, which can also cause similar symptoms as that of a yeast infection? Before you go running to the pharmacy to purchase an OTC (over the counter) cream to remedy the situation, be sure it is yeast and the right kind of yeast that medication will treat. And although it might be inconvenient, in reference to time and possibly cost, a short visit to your gynecologist can provide a quick swab to confirm whether you need the anti-fungal or a specific one.

    Candida normally resides in our mucous membranes of our skin, nose, intestines, and the vagina. Generally, the candida overgrowth, which is known as a yeast infection, is the result of our immune system being out of balance, from eating unhealthy foods (lots of carbs and manmade sugars), prescription medications which for women is often times a result of UTI’s (urinary tract infections), medications and antibiotics for other health related conditions, or when recovering from an illness.

    Unfortunately, life happens, where we can experience obstacles that make us want to scream, but I have yet to find that an uncontrollable outburst of vocal frustration to be a resolution to our medical discomfort. So, what does a girl do when the growth of this lovely candida flower overpopulates our most sensitive area of passion?

    1. If it is active yeast, seek medical attention. Know for certain what you are treating. There are various forms of vaginal yeast that respond differently to pharmaceutical and herbal options. I have used Nystatin, Fluconazole and a natural compound suppository as a result of simple cultures done in the clinic. There are different types of yeast resulting in the need for a different anti-fungal treatment.
    2. If you are looking for a preventative option: Eat a clean, healthy diet full of various vegetables and fruit. Yes, unless your physician tells you not to, eat the fruit!! It is a natural source of sugar and they provide a variety of nutrients your body needs.
    3. Drink LOTS of water!! The reason for this is to flush those bad boys out!! Soda, coffee, juice, etc., is not a substitute for water when you are fighting for returned comfort.
    4. Stay clear of cookies, ice cream, candy. You know those delights that you crave when you have active yeast issues? The cravings are not because your body is “missing out on a nutrient”, it is the result of the candida asking you to feed it. So, avoid unhealthy sugars and carbs. At least during this time of discomfort and treatment.
    5. If you choose to “eat” yogurt, consider plain Greek yogurt. Read the labels ladies, many flavored yogurts have sugar as do some of the plain ones, which is the sugar you are trying to avoid. I tend to add cherries to mine for flavor, because I find plain Greek yogurt rather distasteful.
    6. Consider using plain Greek yogurt as your salad topping (I personally add in some other herbs to make it healthier), or mix it in with tuna.
    7. Some herbs that are helpful for yeast overgrowth are:

    • Pau d’Arco bark will prevent and treat infection as well as decrease inflammation. I steep 1-2 tsp. in hot water for 20 min then drink.
    • Cinnamon has powerful anti-fungal properties. It comes in a concentrated oil or tea. I tend to sprinkle cinnamon powder into my morning golden milk, sometimes my green tea if that is my tea of choice in the morning.
    • Olive Leaf extract is a powerful anti-fungal, anti-parasitic with anti-viral properties. I personally use Olive Leaf in my morning tea mix, steeping it for 20 minutes before drinking. I sometimes will drink it alone without my other herbs mixed in (my morning tea mix) that I take for my Lyme treatment.
    • Oregano is a very powerful anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. I use it in my course for Lyme treatment. I recommend fresh or dried oregano steeped 20 minutes as a tea. I prefer the fresh Oregano, and break off a sprig and let its natural oils come through during the steeping process. This should not be used long term for women who are menstruating as it can deplete your iron stores. If you choose to use the oil, please select from a reputable brand that sources Oreganum Vulgare. Be aware that oregano oil is a “hot” oil and should be used with caution, while diluted with water. Do not use if you are pregnant or desiring to become pregnant.

    There are a few other herbs that can be used, and like the oregano, women who are pregnant or desiring to become pregnant should not use them. I chose not to list the other herbs at this time, due to that reason. Plus, the ones listed above are herbs I have safely used with no side effects.

    Please note: Every human body is different. We all react differently to various pharmaceutical and herbal treatments. It is still important to be transparent with your caring physician if his/her selected course of treatment is not working, or if you venture on your own with negative results, to inform him/her of what you have used.

    To calm the burn, I have been known to take a warm bath with baking soda to relieve the burn until I am able to reduce the overgrowth on my own, or until I can get in to see my physician. Baking soda has been found to have general antifungal benefits. I personally use 1 cup in a full bath, yet it is said one can use up to two cups.

    Just because you desire to use all natural products, which I totally understand, not all treatments deem answers from Dr. Google or group forums focused on natural remedies, that provide information that might not be relevant to your specific needs or from people who “heard” something works. People you personally do not know on group forums are not necessarily reliable resources.

    If it is chronic, seek medical advice from your physicians office or seek out a naturopathic physician. If you are comfortable using natural methods, consider the herbs, but if things are not improving, it could be that you need a simple anti-fungal “boost” that will take care of things quickly for you. Or, you could have something else going on that requires medical attention. Your physician is not your enemy. They are trained specifically to meet your gynecological needs. If you have one you don’t trust, or get the Heebie-Jeebies from, then it is time to find a new one.

    But please, I have yet to have a physician tell me to either use a turkey baster or soak tampons with various “foods”, essential oils, or Colloidal Silver and allow the concoction to have it’s way with my vaginal flora.

    I realize and respect that the cost for medical care is out of reach for many. Insurance costs/companies are not my favorite topic of discussion. Some argue that physicians overcharge. Well, some do, but the insurance companies deem most physician rates. Ask yourself, would you rather seek out the advice of a reputable physician and have success with your treatment, or rely on a person you don’t know, giving you crazy advice using a turkey baster, over the Internet with a chance it will not work?

    Be kind to your vagina and keep it healthy,

    ~ Laura

    Laura D. Field – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health: www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer: www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Heirloom Seamstress & consultant: www.davinadawnsewing.com
    Seamstress Blogger: www.seamstobeme.davinadawnsewing.com


    http://time.com/4422774/tampons-toxic-cancer/  Markham Heid, July 27, 2016





  • What About Kombucha?

    Kombucha brewed at home, with homegrown scoby. ~ Laura of Potpourri of Health ~
    Kombucha brewed at home, with homegrown scoby.
    ~ Laura of Potpourri of Health ~

    I recently learned about Kombucha while searching for natural probiotics options. Knowing that my Lyme protocol would entail long-term use of antibiotics, I knew I needed to fuel my body with probiotics that would keep my GI system healthy and hopefully keep Candida yeast from becoming an issue.

    This popular drink has been around for centuries. Yet, despite that it has good bacteria, which is helpful when needing to offset ones GI system on antibiotics, there is no scientific evidence that it can prevent or cure disease or even guarantee to help one lose weight (although, there are claims that dispute it).

    My hope with this beverage is that it provides extra probiotics to help the GI system as well as prevent yeast issues. It is something I discussed with my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) before drinking, so I decided to give it a go.

    To be honest, at least for me, it is not a flavorful beverage that I am drawn to consume, although it is tolerable. I would rather drink a cooled decaffeinated tea. Personally, to me, it tastes like a carbonated drink that has a bitter taste, similar to alcohol. Since I am not one to enjoy carbonated beverages or alcohol, I find this drink to be questionable for my taste buds.

    Despite my apprehension, I decided to learn how to make my own Kombucha, so that I could control what was put into it as well as save money. I have found a few store-bought flavors that I do enjoy, although I prefer the Kombucha that I make. Instead of using caffeinated teas, I use decaffeinated black, green and pomegranate teas. It suits my taste buds and I don’t risk the feeling of having to climb walls. You see, if I drink caffeine, I will be up for 36 hours, become exhausted, then unable to fall to sleep easily for a few days. Definitely NOT a good thing when I already struggle with getting plenty of rest without a daily nap.

    When purchasing the Kombucha at your local health food store, I recommend checking the dates and make sure they do not have too much sediment on the bottom. They claim this sediment is good for you. I simply do not like it. BUT, if you are making your first batch to create the necessary Scoby, acquiring a plain one with a lot of sediment makes for a very healthy start to creating a Scoby ‘mother’.

    My first homemade scoby!! I was thrilled at how well it turned out. ~ Laura of Potpourri of Health ~
    My first homemade scoby!! I was thrilled at how well it turned out.
    ~ Laura of Potpourri of Health ~

    Scoby is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” which is a gelatin type, fibrous cellulose disk
    with beneficial microorganisms. I realize that it sounds rather gross, but its job is to provide the necessary health benefits that many are seeking. The Scoby is reused and many times multiplies (babies) that can be separated to start new batches or share with others.

    I had previously purchased a “kit” to make my own Kombucha with a dehydrated Scoby disk, which was okay for the first two batches, yet it never multiplied and died quickly there after. I spoke to the company, and although they said they would replace it, I have yet to see a replacement. So, I made my own from a fresh bottle of plain Kombucha, plus decaffeinated tea, vinegar and organic sugar. First time, and I had a fabulous looking Scoby! I did not drink this first batch due to the strong vinegar flavor, but kept some of the Kombucha in order to make future fermented teas (Kombucha), which have turned out quite flavorful. I brew each subsequent batch while I consume the fresh one that was recently made. Within 2-3 weeks I am ready to start again.


    Some Claimed Benefits:

    • Aids in digestion (GI system)
    • Anemia – highly recommended for the elderly and vegetarians due to the beneficial iron created by plant sources
    • Antibiotic Resistant infections
    • Antioxidant – abundant source of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
    • Asthma – contains a significant amount of theophylline, which is a bronchodilator.
    • Atherosclerosis – reducing LDL and raising HDL levels, promoting regeneration of cellular walls in blood vessels
    • Cancer – researchers believe it to increase the immune system’s defense against cancer.
    • Candida (yeast) helps to kill the candida yeast.
    • Detoxification – the glucuronic acid (GA) converts the environmental and pharmaceutical toxins into a soluble compound in order for the body to excrete them.
    • Diabetes – reduce blood sugar levels with research dating back to 1929
    • Eliminate kidney damage
    • Energy by increasing the blood molecule “Hemoglobin” improving the oxygen flow to the tissues.
    • Hypertension – treat high blood pressure and its affects causing headaches and dizziness
    • Immune Support – high level of vitamin C with its antioxidant properties
    • Joint problems – lubricating joints, relieve arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
    • Kidney Toxicity – eliminate damage caused by environmental pollutants, used in the prevention of calcification in the kidney (preventing kidney stones).
    • Liver Support – helps support toxicity from overdoses of acetaminophen
    • Nervous system – the amino acids help those with headaches, nervousness and epilepsy, balancing the metabolism in the nervous system.
    • Reduce cancer risks
    • Reduction in gastric illness
    • Regeneration of cellular walls in the blood vessels (Endothelial function)
    • Weight Loss, balancing the metabolism

    Kombucha is a drink that, once made, is refrigerated. It is full of probiotic and friendly yeast that helps your gut fight parasites and pathogens, as well as help your body minimize Candida growth.

    For myself, my goal is to keep my gut flora in check with hopes to reduce the yeast issues that arise from antibiotic use. At first, I was drinking it sparingly due to cost, so I haven’t yet seen a difference in my ongoing joint pain or yeast issues due to antibiotic use. Yet, I am hopeful that over the next month, that between the probiotic supplement, Kefir and daily consumption of Kombucha that the yeast conditions subside.

    Over the last month my blood pressure has been down in the healthy range (YAY), but I will not contribute it to the Kombucha alone as I think it is due to the treatment I am on. Chronic Lyme is a fickle disease, not one that I would wish on anyone. But, despite its negative appeal, as with all diseases, all one can do is work with a physician you can trust, weed out the naysayers, stick with those who want to see you well, and remain positive.

    Basically, other than the Lyme and joint issues, I consider myself quite healthy. I haven’t had a cold since the horrible flu I had in 2008. I am hopeful, that through healthy food choices, daily exercise, working with my LLMD and other supporting health providers and family members, using Kombucha, Kefir, etc. and a few supplements along with 100% essential oil usage, I will remain healthy throughout the treatment and beyond.

    Would I recommend Kombucha to others? I would definitely share a sample with someone who was interested in trying it, yet I feel that this is really a personal choice. I read about it and discussed it with my physician. Due to the fermentation process it creates a small amount of alcohol along with the sugar that is used to make it. I was concerned since both of these food choices are “taboo” for Lyme sufferers.

    If you have medical concerns, pregnant or under the age of 18, I think it is imperative you discuss this option with your health care provider. It is NOT for everyone, and what works for one, might not work for another. Please do not serve to infants and children (at least not without discussing it with their pediatrician first).

    I know that for myself, if I do not see improved symptoms, I will probably stop making and consuming it. I would much rather drink a glass of purified water! 🙂

    Enjoy and love life while choosing a healthy lifestyle,







    King, M., August 2014, 18 Healthy Reasons to Sip Kombucha, Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/18-healthy-reasons-sip-kombucha

    Katie – Wellness Mama, The Benefits of Kombucha, Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://wellnessmama.com/23994/kombucha-benefits/

    Jockers D., July 2013, The amazing health benefits of Kombucha, Retrieved May 15th, 2015 from http://www.naturalnews.com/041051_kombucha_healthy_drinks_scoby.html