Candida infections are occurring more frequently as the use of antibiotics continues to rise, despite warnings about practices of over-prescribing. As antibiotic use continues to increase, so too will chronic fungal candida infections and a host of problems that goes with them. Candida treatments vary depending on who you ask, but here are the 4 main choices with their pros and cons.

1) Medications

Medications are probably the only choice you’ll be given when working with a medical doctor, due to insufficient training and understanding of safer alternative choices. Many anti-fungal medications can have dangerous side effects and create rebound infections due to the development of anti-fungal resistant strains. One of the more common and safer choices is nystatin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work systemically in the body and can create rebound infections, as well.

2) Herbs

Herbs are a very common choice among holistic doctors and have a very long record of safety and effectiveness. While medications will almost always be the choice in life-threatening conditions, herbs are more likely to be the choice for people affected by candida. In nature, fungus breaks down dead plant matter, therefore all plants have an anti fungal pharmacy that prevents this from happening while they are still alive. As a result, the variety of plants and herbs available to treat fungal infections is enormous. In Nature, plants aren’t known to create anti-fungal resistant strains and only tend to inhibit fungus, instead of attempting to destroy it like medications do. Herbs can be a great aid in suppressing fungal candida infections, but are unlike to produce long-lasting results. When used in conjunction with medications, they can help to improve the results of the medications, although other risks remain.

Some of the main anti-fungal herbs include garlic, oregano, grapefruit seed extract, black walnut, Pau d’Arco, olive leaf extract, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme, cloves, fennel, and Tea Tree oil. Many are used in combination for the greatest effectiveness.

3) Probiotics

The word probiotic means “for life.” Probiotics are typically beneficial bacteria and yeasts that help to build and repair the normal flora of the intestinal tract and other tissues. These micro-organisms have been in use as long as fermented foods have been on the planet. As with herbs, probiotics have demonstrated a higher degree of safety than medications. Probiotics were formally recognized by Russian scientist, Elie Metchnikoff in 1907, and the identification of different probiotics and the exploration of their benefits have been continued ever since.

Probiotics are known to support whichever immune system response is dominate at the time they are used. Since fungal candida manipulates the body’s immune response towards one that favors its own growth, it’s best to correct fungal imbalances first before taking probiotics. Additionally, fungal candida inhibits the re-colonization of the Lactobacillus strains that make up the majority of probiotic formulas available today. Correct fungal candida in the intestinal tract first, then add the probiotics. Once the probiotics are in place they will help to prevent fungal candida from returning.

Look for multistrain probiotic formulas  in order to achieve a broader effect and contribute to the diversity of the bacteria present. The greater one’s bacterial diversity, the greater their health.

4) Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are the individual building blocks that make up the oils we are familiar with. Olive oil for instance, is composed of oleic, linoleum, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic fatty acids. With a long history of use, fatty acids provide the best of all worlds when it comes to candida treatments. Derived from plants, fatty acids provide many of the same benefits. Many fatty acids are as effective as medications without the side effects or other risks.

Three fatty acids – caprylic acid, undecenoic acid, and lauric acid – have been found to be very useful in the treatment of candida. Of these three, undecenoic acid is the reigning king of candida treatments. Undecenoic acid was found to be more effective than lauric acid and as much as six times more effective than caprylic acid. Distilled from the oil of castor beans, it can also be found as a component of human sweat along with other fatty acids. It’s long history of use dates back to the introduction of antibiotics and their role in creating the rise of fungal infections in humans. Early dosages were twenty times the amount currently being used to successfully treat candida along with diet, so there is no need for concern as with medications.

Some people will choose to combine treatments.  Timing will still be the issue with probiotics, and side effects will be the issue with medications. All the above choices will produce some good results, but fatty acids will be the best and safest choice by far. For a more detailed approach on how you can regain your health, visit Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.