A Natural Approach To Health
Living With a Fungal Infection
I had a question the other day about a fungal infection.
Certain types of fungi (most commonly Candida and Tinea) can infect your skin and/or mucous membranes.
They can also grow under your nails, between your toes, or on internal surfaces of your colon and other organs.
Fungal infection of your skin is most common in places where skin tends to be moist and one skin surface is in contact with another, like your groin area (“jock itch”) and between your toes (“athlete’s foot”).
Moist, possibly itchy, red patches anywhere on your body can mean fungal infection.
In babies, a fungal infection can show up as diaper rash making skin bright red in light-skinned babies and darker brown in dark-skinned babies.
Fungal infection of your mouth is referred to as oral thrush, a condition in which creamy-looking white patches form on your tongue and the mucous membranes of your mouth.
This condition is most common in infants and in those with compromised immune systems.
Nursing mothers sometimes develop a candida infection of the nipples causing severe pain while feeding.
This can be further complicated if the baby develops oral thrush; it can lead to a “ping-pong” effect in which mother and baby continually reinfect each other.
Fungal infection under your nails or between your toes may cause discoloration and swelling, and your nails may become raised above the surface of your nail bed.
In fungal infection of the vagina (yeast infection), a cheesy discharge is present, usually accompanied by intense itching.
Ringworm is a fungal infection of your skin or scalp.
Caused by various species of fungi, it’s characterized by the development of small red spots which grow to a size of about 1/4″ in diameter.
As the spots expand, the centers tend to heal and clear while the borders are raised, red, and scaly, giving them a ringlike appearance.
Recurrent fungal infections are a common sign of depressed immune function.
The people most likely to be affected are those who have diseases like diabetes or cancer, or who’re infected with HIV.
Women who use oral contraceptives and people taking antibiotics are at higher risk as well, as are people who are obese and/or who perspire heavily.
To deal with a fungal infection it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Berberine is a phytochemical with antifungal action. Bloodroot, a berberine-containing herb, has shown action against skin fungi and is also an anti-inflammatory. Other herbs containing berberine and are recommended for fungal infections include barberry, Oregon grape, and yellowroot.
*Pau d’arco has strong antifungal properties. Drink 3 cups of pau d’arco tea daily.
*For toenail or fingernail fungus, soak nails in a mixture of pau d’arco and goldenseal. In a wide pan, make pau d’arco tea using 6 tea bags and a gallon of water. Bring to a boil, then allow to cool to a very warm but tolerable temperature. Add the contents of 4 capsules of goldenseal. Soak your feet or hands in this mixture for 15 minutes twice a day.
*Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal for external use. It can be applied to the affected area several times a day, either full strength or diluted with distilled water or cold-pressed vegetable oil. For vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis, apply a few drops of the oil on a tampon, or mix it with water and use it as a douche. You can also use black walnut extract.
*Wild oregano oil is a powerful antifungal agent with the ability to destroy even resistant forms of fungi.
*Eat a diet of 60-70% raw foods. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and moderate amounts of broiled fish and broiled skinless chicken.
*Don’t eat any foods containing sugar or refined carbohydrates. Fungi thrive on sugar.
*Eliminate those foods from your diet tending to promote secretion of mucus, especially meat and dairy products.
*Avoid cola drinks, grains, processed foods, and fried, greasy foods.
*Keep your skin clean and dry. Expose the affected area to the air as much as possible.
*Wear clean cotton clothing and underwear. Don’t wear clothing or use towels more than once without washing them, preferably in hot water.
*Try not to allow an infected area of your body to come in contact with healthy skin. People who have fungal infections in one area often also have infections in other areas.
*Avoid household chemical products and cleaners, chlorinated water, mothballs, synthetic textiles, and damp and moldy places, like basements.
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