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Herbs can inhibit growth of Candida

Healing Herbs
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High levels of Candida in the intestine have been associated with a number adverse health conditions including diarrhea, relapsing vaginitis, asthma, dermatitis, and chronic fatigue 1, 2. Some research has suggested that diets high in refined sugars are associated with higher levels of Candida in the mouth, intestines, and stools and are associated with significantly higher levels of vulvovaginitis in women 1, 3. Many authors including Doug Kaufmann recommend diets low in refined sugars to reduce risk of Candida growth in the gastrointestinal tract.


Research has also suggested that use of certain herbs and supplements can reduce levels of Candida in the Gastrointestinal tract. Silymarin marianum or Milk Thistle contains a wide range of phytochemical including silybin which have antifungal activity 4.  Cultured studies reported that silymarin has strong anti-fungal activity against 5 common Candida species including Candida albicans, glabrata, parasilosis, tropicalis, and krusei  4


Caprylic acid is a fatty acid contained in palm oil and coconut oil.  Thymol is an essential oil found in thyme and carvacrol is an essential oil found in oregano. A Korean study reported that caprylic acid , carvacrol and thymol had little effect on controlling Candida growth 5.   However, combining caprylic acid with thyme or carvacrol  resulted in more than a log 6.9 reduction (more than a 99.9999% reduction) in Candida growth 5.  The toxic synergistic effects of caprylic acid and thymol or carvacrol may be due to damage to the Candida cell membrane and disruption of effuxor pumps which pump antibiotics out of Candida cells.

Another recent study reported that Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has strong anti-Candida activity against oral Candida species isolated from denture stomatitis 6.

Much more research is needed on the use of herbs to control growth of Candida and other fungi.

Read more about healing spices here at Know the Cause.

Research and References

Weig M, Werner E, Frosch M, Kasper H. Limited effect of refined carbohydrate dietary supplementation on colonization of the gastrointestinal tract of healthy subjects by Candida albicans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(6):1170-1173.

Evengard B, Grans H, Wahlund E, Nord CE. Increased number of Candida albicans in the faecal microflora of chronic fatigue syndrome patients during the acute phase of illness. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007;42(12):1514-1515.

Reed BD, Slattery ML, French TK. The association between dietary intake and reported history of Candida vulvovaginitis. J Fam Pract. 1989;29(5):509-515.

Janeczko M, Kochanowicz E. Silymarin, a Popular Dietary Supplement Shows Anti-Candida Activity. Antibiotics (Basel). 2019;8(4).

Bae YS, Rhee MS. Short-Term Antifungal Treatments of Caprylic Acid with Carvacrol or Thymol Induce Synergistic 6-Log Reduction of Pathogenic Candida albicans by Cell Membrane Disruption and Efflux Pump Inhibition. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2019;53(2):285-300.

Bhat V, Sharma SM, Shetty V, Shastry CS, Rao CV, Shenoy S, et al. Characterization of Herbal Antifungal Agent, Origanum vulgare against Oral Candida spp. Isolated from Patients with Candida-Associated Denture Stomatitis: An In vitro Study. Contemporary clinical dentistry. 2018;9(Suppl 1):S3-s10.

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