If you suffer from chronic fatigue, thrush, abdominal bloating, depression or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the root cause may be due to an overgrowth of candida albicans – a single-celled yeast-like organism that lives in your gut. It does not normally pose a threat to your health since its growth is kept in check by ‘friendly’ intestinal bacteria, such as the lactobacillus bacteria.
However, this delicate balance can become disturbed by numerous factors including a diet high in sugary foods and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, pasta and rice), repeat courses of antibiotics, HRT, the contraceptive pill or prolonged periods of stress. Any one of these things can create an overgrowth of candida albicans and cause a condition known as candidiasis. Some symptoms are easy to identify, such as thrush. However, intestinal candidiasis, which can cause headaches, bowel changes and fatigue, is more difficult to diagnose.
Yet many alternative practitioners believe that untreated intestinal candidiasis that has spread through the body may be a prime cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Worryingly, many cases remain untreated as conventional medicine refuses to recognise candidiasis as a serious medical condition, other than in the form of thrush. Fortunately, a safe and effective natural remedy, Horopito Aniseed, has just become available in the UK. Research is revealing that when used in conjunction with a low-carbohydrate diet it can help stem the overgrowth of yeast and successfully beat candidiasis.
An overgrowth of candida can increase your risk of developing a ‘leaky’ gut
When the balance of natural ‘gut flora’ becomes upset, candida albicans changes from a single-celled organism to a thread-like ‘mycelial’ form, which is then able to penetrate your gut wall and enter your bloodstream. This makes your gut ‘leaky’, which means that incompletely digested food molecules can enter your bloodstream and trigger allergic reactions.
In the gut, candida ferments sugary foods to produce carbon dioxide, which can cause bloating and flatulence. It also produces alcohol and other chemicals that can soon irritate your gut lining – sending it into painful spasms and hampering its ability to digest food, which can lead to constipation or diarrhoea. As it spreads through your body candida also produces increasing quantities of toxic by-products, which can cause a host of symptoms including ringworm, arthritis, ‘brain fog’ (confusion and an inability to concentrate properly), frequent infections and sensitivities to foods or chemical odours.
As already mentioned, conventional medicine remains sceptical about intestinal candidiasis – with doctors frequently attributing patients’ symptoms to hysteria or malingering. Even more broadminded doctors, who do recognise the condition, are unlikely to do any more than prescribe an anti-fungal drug, like Nystatin, and possibly an antispasmodic drug, such as Lomotil, to reduce intestinal cramps. However, both drugs fail to get to the root of the problem and can cause unpleasant side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and nausea.
Horopito Aniseed offers a safe alternative to conventional drugs
Horopito Aniseed is fast proving to be an effective natural treatment for candidiasis. It contains a herb called Horopito and a South American spice called Anise seed. Horopito is a traditional New Zealand herb that contains a compound called polygodial, the activity of which is enhanced by anethole – the active ingredient in Anise seed.
In 1982, scientists from Canterbury University in New Zealand isolated polygodial in the leaves of a native New Zealand tree called Pseudowintera colorata, commonly known as the Horopito or New Zealand Pepper Tree. In the course of their research they discovered that polygodial was able to suppress the growth of candida more rapidly and effectively than a conventional anti-fungal treatment called Amphoteracin B.1
Six years later a team of Japanese scientists confirmed polygodial’s ability to inhibit the growth of candida and found that it acts primarily by damaging the permeable cell membrane of yeast cells.2
Scientists at the University of California, in the US, discovered that when anethole was combined with polygodial, it increased polygodial’s activity against candida albicans 32-fold.3
In 1992 Forest Herbs Research in New Zealand conducted a clinical study into the effect of the two, in the form of Horopito Aniseed, on candida albicans. Their research showed that 76 per cent of candidiasis patients experienced significant improvements in their symptoms following treatment with Horopito Aniseed.
Another clinical study designed to assess the efficacy of Horopito Aniseed was carried out at the Pavlodar City Centre for Clinical Immunology and Reproduction in New Zealand. Horopito Aniseed capsules were given to 22 patients suffering from chronic intestinal candidiasis. The patients had previously been treated with conventional anti-fungal drugs, which had only succeeded in temporarily alleviating their symptoms.
The patients took the capsules twice a day for two weeks, and the results were compared with those of ten patients given the conventional treatment Diflucan each day for a total of seven days (the standard length of treatment). While the symptoms of those patients taking Diflucan eased more rapidly than those on Horopito Aniseed, the symptoms in 80 per cent of the Diflucan patients recurred within a month, compared with just 32 per cent of those taking Horopito Aniseed.
What to take for best results
If you suspect that your symptoms may be a result of candidiasis, it is worth consulting a qualified nutritionist or complementary health practitioner who can help diagnose your condition and devise a special anti-candida diet. Taking Horopito Aniseed, in addition to following a special low-carbohydrate diet, can provide relief from symptoms within days.
However, you should be aware that it can take several weeks to make a complete recovery from candidiasis, as it takes a while to clear your system of all the toxins that have accumulated, rebalance your gut flora and repair your gut lining properly. The recommended dose of Horopito Aniseed is one capsule a day for three to five days, followed by one capsule twice a day for 25 to 45 days. The capsules should be taken on a full stomach with water.
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1. Antibiotic substances from New Zealand plants II. Polygodial, an anti-Candida agent from Pseudowintera colorata. McCallion, R.F., Cole, A.L.J., Walker, J.R.L.,Blunt, J.W. and Munro, H.G. 1982 Planta Medica 44, pp 34-138
2. Mode of action of polygodial, antifungal sesquiterpene dialdehyde. Tangiguchi, M., Yano, Y., Tada, E., Ikenishi, K., Oi, S., Haraguchi, H, Hashimoto, K. & Kubo, I., 1988, Agric. Biol. Chem. 52 (6), pp 1409-1414
3. Anethole, a synergist of polygodial against filamentous micro-organisms. Kubo, I. & Himejima, M. 1991, J. Agric. Food Chem. 39, pp 2290-2292