Candida is an infestation of the candida albicans yeast. It usually starts in the gastro-intestinal tract but can enter the blood and lodge itself in various organs. Symptoms include chronic low energy, low grade fevers, variable digestion, weak immune system, and food allergies. Many of the conditions listed as signs of candida are common to many weak digestive system complaints or other auto-immune disorders.
Candida is usually caused by weakness of the digestive fire. It is usually a toxic condition caused by the accumulation of an undigested food mass in the intestines.
Causative factors include eating too many sugars, taking stimulants or drugs, excess use of antibiotics, depressed immune system, frequent colds, flu or yeast infections, hypersensitivity of the nervous system, emotional factors such as worry and fear, as well as the general toxic state of our environment.
Conditions such as candida are symptomatic of an internal weakness or disharmony. The treatment principle is not just to try to kill off the pathogen (in this case the yeast), but to strengthen the internal energy. This involves normalising digestion and then taking herbal tonics to strengthen the immune system.
While it is important to avoid any yeast containing or yeast promoting foods and to take anti-fungal herbs, this will not take care of the internal weakness and can have a long-term effect similar to antibiotic drugs. This regime can further weaken the immune system. Such treatment methods are still based on a view of the problem as external in origin. Though the methods are naturalistic, the way of thinking is still allopathic.
A detoxifying diet is indicated, mainly the avoidance of heavy, damp and mucus-forming foods including sugar, dairy, breads and fruit. Cold water, ice, and cold or raw foods should be avoided.
Hot spices with anti-parasitical powers are useful, such as cayenne, asafoetida and prickly ash. Garlic alone, 3-5 cloves a day, can be helpful. Garlic not only helps destroy the yeast but also protects and builds up the digestive power. Spices like cardamom, bay leaves and calamus, which help digest sweet and mucus-forming foods, are important.
Taken from Ayurvedic Healing by Dr D. Frawley