andida is a type of yeast that resides in small amounts in our belly, skin, and mouth. Usually, it does not cause any problems but under a certain condition, it may grow uncontrollably and cause the health condition called Candidiasis.  It is called thrush when it affects the mouth and presents symptoms like white patches on the mouth, tongue, and throat, difficulties in swallowing etc. Commonly known as a yeast infection, candidiasis of vagina shows symptoms like vaginal burning, itching, and release of white cheesy discharge. In rare cases, yeast infection of the penis is seen wherein there is a rash that causes itching. Fever and other symptoms may be seen in very rare cases when the yeast infection is invasive and proliferates to other body parts.
Causes or Risk Factors of Candidiasis
- A weak immune system increases the risk factor of the disease. Diabetes, corticosteroids, medicines used post-transplantation, HIV/AIDS, cancer remedies, lack of nutrient, overuse of antibiotics etc. often lead to the feeble immune system.
- Use of dentures and antibiotic therapy that follows it increases the risks of thrush. Simple carbohydrate-rich diets also influence oral candidiasis.
- Infertility remedy and hormone replacement therapy.
- Pregnancy, external use of douches and the use of oral contraceptives.
- Low immunity, intercourse with an infected person, diabetes and antibiotics are causative factors of penile candidiasis.
- Babies with low birth weight, those recuperating from a surgery and people admitted in an ICU are more prone to developing invasive candidiasis.
Symptoms of Candidiasis
- The common symptoms of candidiasis include itching, redness, and discomfort in the affected area. It may turn detrimental in case it is not taken care of in time especially in people with a feeble immune system.
- Candidiasis of esophagus which mostly affects immunocompromised people shows symptoms like pain while swallowing, pain in abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. Timely detection and remedy is a must for inhibiting it from becoming systemic.
- Gastrointestinal candidiasis when affects healthy people shows symptoms like bloating, belching, itching in the anus, intestinal cramps, gas, gastric ulcers, nausea, and vomiting. If candida present in our gut proliferates abnormally it can lead to dysbiosis.
- In case of perianal candidiasis symptoms like itching in the anus is seen and the lesion that appears could be ulcerative, papular or erythematous.
- Vaginal candidiasis presents symptoms like severe vaginal itching, irritation, burning, pain and white or whitish gray colored clumpy discharge.
- Penile candidiasis shows symptoms like inflammation, irritation, redness, itching and swelling around the head of the penis, pain during intercourse and while urinating, lumpy discharge can be seen under the foreskin along with foul odor and difficulty in pulling back the foreskin.
- Candida when affects the sinuses may cause a constant cough, congestion, post-nasal drip, and other flu-like symptoms. 
- Mood problems and brain fog: Overgrowth of candida shows symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, brain fog, poor memory, concentration, and focus. Chronic fungus in the toenail and athlete’s foot could be symptoms of systemic candida infection. 
Three steps of Candida Remedy
1. Digestive tract flushing or the candida cleanse
- Kefir and fermented vegetables are used herein to flush out surplus candida from the body. You can go for a food-based cleanse or liquids only cleanse.
- Steamed vegetable cleanse: For around three to five days you have to primarily eat fresh, organic vegetables after steaming them and abstain from fruits, sugars, grains, alcohol, and starches. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, beets, radish, carrots, and sweet potatoes have to be avoided as these provide sugar to the body on which the candida feeds. Only one time a day you can eat salads made using bitter greens or green leafy vegetables with lemon or apple cider vinegar and coconut oil topping. You need to drink at least 72 ounces of water daily to push out the byproducts of candida from your body.
- Liquids only cleanse: Prepare a broth using organic celery, garlic, kale, sea salt, and onions. Add pure water, simmer it and then strain. Throw away the vegetables and then keep the broth in fridge. Sip it all over the day for two days. Keep drinking plenty of water as well to help push out the candida toxins. You can repeat this cleanse every few weeks and even do it before you move on to the vegetable cleanse.
- Bentonite clay can be used in both the cleanses as it promotes better removal of candida toxins.
2. Dietary Removal of Candida/ The Candida Diet
- Post the candida cleanse you can go for this diet to throw out the candida from your body. This will help to increase the level of beneficial bacteria in your gut, control your hunger pangs for sugars and refined carbohydrates and control your appetite.
1. Firstly, completely abstain from alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugar to increase immunity and curb the increase of candida in your system.
2. Eat organic vegetables like spinach, carrots, asparagus, and kale etc.
- You can include warm starchy vegetables in this stage of candida remedy as they can help to improve the functioning of the spleen in expelling candida. Peas, yams, sweet potatoes, lentils, carrots, kidney beans, beets, different types of squashes, pumpkin etc. should be consumed. Make these the primary sources of your carbohydrates. These will also help to satisfy your hunger pangs for sweets.
- You need to monitor what suits your stomach when you have a candida infection. Like if starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, pumpkin, squash, corns etc. cause stomach problems you can go for non-starchy vegetables like spinach, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, lettuce etc.
- As far as grains are concerned, you can go for barley, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, teff, and corn. Just stick to one serving per day. This much is good enough to dry the otherwise excessively damp gut.
- As your candida full gut heals well with nourishing and warm foods, limit your salad and can avoid a smoothie.
Natural sweeteners like maple, brown rice syrup, honey have to be avoided or consumed less.
3. Eat probiotics and fermented foods
Probiotics like kefir made from goat’s milk, sauerkraut, kimchi and cranberry juice that has not been sweetened help kill candida in your body. They do so by making the environment of your gut acidic and therefore the fungus cannot thrive anymore. Microflora present in fermented vegetables boost your immunity and thereby reduces body’s susceptibility to candidiasis. You can start with half a cup of kimchi, sauerkraut or any other vegetable that has been fermented.
3. Essential oils, supplements etc. for candida remedy
Studies have revealed that the strain of candida, C. albicans that cause overgrowth in the entire body is many times resistant to prescription antifungal drugs itraconazole and fluconazole. So, you can use the following:
- Milk thistle: It works by flushing out toxins from the liver like heavy metals, environmental pollutants, radiation, and chemotherapy residues and prescription medications. As these often lead to excessive growth of candida, milk thistle together with candida diet can help to get rid of the fungus by giving rise to an environment where it fails to exist.
- Coconut oil: By virtue of its antimicrobial properties, it may kill candida. Its constituent caprylic acid and lauric acid work the wonders. You can reap the benefits through topical application or ingesting coconut oil.
- Myrrh oil, oregano oil, and clove oil: These can kill the candida fungus. Even lavender oil is good for inhibiting candida growth and can even control its spread. You can combine a few drops of lavender or myrrh oil with coconut oil and take it along with your cleansing regime. However, the internal consumption of these essential oils should not exceed ten days.
- Clove oil and coconut oil: A combination on one tablespoon of coconut oil and three drops of clove oil can be swished to ease oral thrush. Do it for twenty minutes. However, clove oil should not be given to children below 2 years of age for internal consumption. Nursing mothers and pregnant women also have to be cautious about its use.
- Vitamin C: Daily consumption of 2000 to 3000 milligrams of Vitamin C can help boost your immunity and the functioning of your adrenal glands.
- Crushed chia seeds and flaxseeds: Presence of polyphenols in these two seeds promote the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut. They may also help in flushing out candida.
- Garlic: The sulphur containing constituents of garlic has antifungal properties. Raw garlic is especially beneficial against candida.
- Pau D’arco tea: Presence of antifungal chemicals like lapachol in it helps to inhibit candida growth naturally.
- Cinnamon and turmeric: Curcumin in turmeric can work against Candida albicans. Oral thrush patients can benefit from cinnamon as research has depicted that those who consume cinnamon have lesser chances of candida overgrowth as compared to those who don’t. 
Candida Diet Recipes
1. Homemade kimchi
A medium-sized napa cabbage; a teaspoon each of grated ginger and coconut sugar; few minced cloves of garlic; a quarter cup of Himalayan sea salt; 2 to 3 tablespoons of fish sauce; few tablespoons of Korean red pepper flakes; 8 ounces of Korean peeled and cut the radish in fine pieces; four trimmed and finely cut scallions; and half a cup of water.
Cut the cabbage into fine strips. Throw away the core. In a large bowl mix salt with cabbage and keep rubbing till it softens and starts giving away water. Let it be as it is for an hour or two and then rinse it well using water. Mix the fish sauce with ginger, garlic and coconut sugar in a separate bowl and then add it to the cabbage.
Now you need to add the minced scallions, radish, and other seasoning paste. Mix everything well using your hands.
Place these in a big glass jar and push them down so the that the brine comes up and covers the vegetables. Leave 2 inches space at the top to ease fermentation. Tighten the lid and keep it in room temperature for one to five days. Daily press down the content so that the brine is at the top and vegetables are well submerged. Once it is sour enough you can store it in the fridge up till 3 months.
2. Detox green juice
Eight stalks of celery, one bunch each of chard, cilantro and asparagus and a cup full of broccoli.
Mix the ingredients in a juicer and drink it.
3. Sautéed Kale salad
Twelve ounces of raw organic kale; one-third cup each of dried cherries and pine nut; two tablespoons each of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil; and salt to taste.
Take the kale in a large bowl, add oil, juice and salt and massage well. Garnish with cherries and nuts.
Tips for Women to Inhibit Candida Infection
- Wear loose-fitting clothes: Your underwear, skirt, jeans, yoga pants etc. should not be too tight as this would make you sweat and moisten the area around your private parts and create an ideal condition for candida overgrowth. Preferably wear cotton underwear to keep yourself dry.
- Do not use scented or perfumed products: Soaps, tampons, sprays, bubble baths and pads that are scented need to be abstained from.
- Should not stay in wet clothes: After swimming or after your workout change into dry clothes immediately.
- Say no to very hot baths and hot tubs.
- Change your pads, tampons, panty liners often.
- Keep a check on your sugar levels so that it does not go out of control.
- Antibiotics should be taken when there is an actual need for it and not for cold etc.
- Avoid touching your vagina. Use only running clean water to wash your vagina. Soaps and other cleansers should be avoided. 
- Use birth control that is non-estrogen based: Estrogen-based birth control pills can increase the yeast count in your vagina and make you more susceptible to candida overgrowth.
- While using a condom for birth control use those without spermicide as the others tend to cause vaginal irritation. Using a water-based lubricant during intercourse also reduces vaginal irritation and may inhibit disruption of vaginal ecology. 
- Visit a doctor if the symptoms do not go away post home remedies. This is very important if you are having a yeast infection for the first time or if you are pregnant. You need to choose the correct remedy option timely in consultation with your physician. You may require antifungal ointment, cream, suppository or tablets.