You might know turmeric best as a spice in South Asian or Persian cuisine. Frequently used in curry powders or as a coloring agent, ground turmeric root has an earthy taste, slightly mustardy smell and a distinctive bright yellow color. It also has a number of properties that are really beneficial for your health.
Turmeric has been long used in Eastern medicine as an anti-inflammatory. In fact the most-researched ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been demonstrated to have similar anti-inflammatory properties to hydrocortisone. Research has also suggested that turmeric could be effective in treating Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even arthritis.
However, today I am going to be focusing on turmeric’s role as an antifungal agent. Recent research has begun to show that turmeric can be effective both against Candida Albicans and the biofilms that it forms, so it could be a very useful addition to your anti-Candida program.
Turmeric and CandidaCommercial antifungals tend to be associated with a large number of side effects, so researchers have been isolating and testing herbal remedies to find an alternative. Usually this research tends to be done in Asian or South American universities. The reason? You can’t patent a naturally-occurring compound like Curcumin, so research funding in Western universities is hard to find.
A Brazilian research team looked at the effectiveness of Curcumin against 23 strains of fungi, including Candida Albicans. They found that at a fairly low concentration, Curcumin was able to completely inhibit the growth of Candida Albicans (as well as lots of other fungal strains).
They also tested Curcumin using human cells. According to the researchers, “Curcumin was able to inhibit the adhesion to BEC [human cheek cells] of all the Candida species studied, being more potent than the commercial antifungal fluconazole.” In other words, Curcumin was more effective than Diflucan at preventing Candida from attaching to human cells.
Another study looked at how ascorbic acid (one form of vitamin C) could affect the antifungal properties of Curcumin. Ascorbic acid on its own has no significant antifungal properties, but the researchers found that it made Curcumin more effective. Remarkably, the Curcumin was 5-10 times more effective against Candida Albicans when it was used in the presence of ascorbic acid. Simply put, vitamin C supplements could make Curcumin even more effective against Candida.
Adding turmeric to your dietIf you enjoy curries or Middle Eastern cuisine, then adding turmeric to your food is pretty easy. However it can also be added to lots of meat dishes, used in marinades and added to egg salads or scrambled eggs.
You can use turmeric to make a delicious anti-Candida drink too. This is a personal favorite of mine as it combines coconut milk with turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. All 4 of these ingredients are proven antifungals.
½ can of coconut milk
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground ginger (or finely chopped ginger)
½ tsp. cinnamon
Stevia to taste
1. Heat the coconut milk gently on the stove.
2. Add the spices and stevia, then stir well. If you use a blender you will usually get more flavor and a smoother consistency.
For more information on beating Candida, along with lots of delicious anti-Candida recipes, check out my Ultimate Candida Diet program and Candida Diet Recipe Book. You can find them both here. Good luck with your Candida treatment!
Recipe: Golden Tea - Turmeric Tea
Was it just me or did anyone else have a bit of a time this week? All I know is that I was definitely not all here, maybe not all there either. All in all, I was feeling mighty unsettled and so I turned to the herbs with a vengeance. I was looking for something that might ease my spinny mind, my knotted tum tum, and perhaps help me get my feet back onto the earth and into the here and now.
Lots of people have their go-tos when feeling out of sorts. I have my teas. In keeping with the posts from earlier in the week, I got a little experimental adding a massive dollop of turmeric to my spice tea. It seemed to do the trick and given the amount of this sweet ambrosia I have been drinking all week, it is shocking that I haven’t turned completely yellow.
Turmeric tea is a serious drink, not for the faint of heart. It might just cure every last ache, pain, and whoa-is-me in your life (this might be an exaggeration a little but let me have it).
Why turmeric? How about these 15 reasons:
- Natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties to keep the infection away from cuts and burns.
- Natural liver detoxifier- is it possible that if we believe liver to be the seat of anger than turmeric can help release that anger? Hmmmm.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
- Majorly powerful anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Natural pain killer. Yay more of this!
- Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism
- A staple in Chinese medicine for helping lift mood in cases of depression
- Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Studies have shown that turmeric can boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Accelerates wound healing and repairing of damaged skin
- Can help internally and topically with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Wowzers does it help soothe upset stomach
- Helps to facilitate protein digestion
- A natural preventative against flu viruses.
Anywhoozits- here is my recipe for turmeric tea.
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of clove
pinch of nutmeg
tsp fresh ginger (optional)
As much turmeric as you can handle! Start with a teaspoon and go up from there.
1-2 cups of water
Raw honey to sweeten
Mylk sub of choice (I went with fresh coconut milk but almond and hemp would both be delicious)
Slow and steady oven method
- Simmer herbs and water together for 10 mins
- Strain out and add honey and mylk
- Boil water in your kettle and add to blender (a blender with gradual speed increase will reduce likely hood of pressure from steam of boiled water exploding out of your belnder)
- Add in spices and blend until smooth and unified in colour.
- Strain out tea and add mylk and honey.
Another Powerful Health Benefit of Turmeric: Treats Candida Infection
Candida infection is caused by a yeast overgrowth in the gut. It can cause gas, bloating, thrush, irritable bowel syndrome, and has been linked to many chronic illnesses.
The spice turmeric has shown promise as an effective antifungal for candida as well as other fungal infections. According to the recent findings, turmeric is associated with inhibiting the candida infection more effectively than a common antifungal drug.
Moderate amounts of candida (and other yeast) are found in everyone without causing any harm, but when left to grow unchecked, e.g. by destroying beneficial bacteria through the use of antibiotics, or excess sugar consumption, candida can change into its fungal form and spore through the intestinal wall into the rest of the body. Stress is another factor that can cause candida to spread, because the release of cortisol during stress raises blood sugar, which in turn feeds the yeast.
Conventional treatments for candida are with antifungal drugs, usually made from molds, which work by competing with other molds and fungus, such as candida, for food in the gut. However, these treatments often have unwanted side effects.
Turmeric as an Antifungal
This study on turmeric as a potent antifungal was carried on cells in a lab. It found that curcumin, the active phytochemical found in turmeric, which gives it its vivid golden color, and is responsible for its powerful antioxidant properties, was a more potent antifungal than the drug fluconazole, commonly used to treat fungal infections. The curcumin acted by inhibiting candida's cell adhesion, particularly on those with a weakened immune system.
Turmeric has previously shown to act as a powerfully healing spice, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is commonly used in herbal medicines, for digestive disorders and external ailments like skin conditions. It can also be used in cooking to spice up foods and add color to them.
Research Paper Details:
C. V. B. Martins, D. L. da Silva, A. T. M. Neres, et al. Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest. Journal of antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2009 63(2):337-339.
How to Fight Candida the Natural Way by Dr. Josh Axe on January 29, 2012
All-Natural Remedies for Candida
Processed and refined foods create the acidic environment that candida and other diseases need to survive. Replace foods high in gluten, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup with fresh fruit and vegetables. While treating candida, restrict your intake of alcohol, vinegar, bread, high-sugar foods, peanuts, mushrooms and aged cheese. Nuts, seeds, wild-caught fish and other food fresh from Mother Nature will all fight candida, along with garlic, turmeric and cinnamon. Changing to a healthier lifestyle, whether or not you have candida, can only lead to a healthier body with the added benefit of countering any future yeast infection.
Garlic is a natural anti-fungal and a powerful antibiotic while turmeric, also known as curcumin, is a powerful treatment against candida, according to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Tests performed at the Department of Microbiologia at the Centro de Engenharias in Brazil showed that turmeric was a more potent anti-fungal than the commonly prescribed drug fluconazole (source).
Best Candida Fighting Foods
Amasai / Kefir
Overuse of antibiotics not only kills both good and bad bacteria in the body, allowing candida to flourish, it also means that the body builds up a resistance to them. Substitute antibiotics with a natural probiotic such as Kombucha or Kefir to restore the balance of bacteria in your body. Kefir is particularly high in probiotics. Amasai, a similar fermented dairy product, is a highly digestible beverage which promotes good bacteria and restores balance in the digestive tract. Adding other naturally fermented foods such as natto to your diet will soon restore your body’s natural balance to a state where candida simply cannot survive.
Testimonies of Turmeric for Candida:
To All Candida Sufferers,
There are other posts on CureZone, claiming similar results from using Turmeric - usually as a side effect.
I have been suffering from Candida for a long time, with most debilitating symptoms associated with Candida Overgrowth.
I have not been eating bread for a long time, very little pasta or other wheat products. But that did not seem to make a big difference. The only difference I did notice, was when I did eat Sugar and/or Bread, the Candida flared up to intolerable levels.
The first thing I did to seriously starve the Candida, was to cut out all refined sugar. I still ate fruit. So, since sugar in my coffee was the biggest source of daily sugar - I opted for bitter coffee. That did make a difference, but only slight.
Then I started taking Turmeric. I started with 1/4 teaspoon twice a day. Currently I am taking about 1/2 teaspoon twice a day.
For the first couple of days, I felt GREAT. Then came the Herxheimmer Effect. I felt terrible. Whole body ache, my skin hurt and I had a fever. My urine became a dark amber colour.
I drank a lot of water, and slightly lowered the dose of Turmeric.
Tree days later I felt SO GOOD. And I still feel good. And my tongue is pink. I still take the Turmeric. I also have a regular intake of Ginger and Cayenne Pepper. My urine colour is back to normal.
I am still keeping away from sugar and wheat. But after the occasional succumbing to the lure of chocolate or a pizza, I do not get that terrible flare up.
Maybe this sounds too easy - Turmeric, the stuff that makes rice yellow? But, unless you have serious gallbladder and/or liver problems, I really would recommend taking Turmeric. Do some reading on the Net. I have read only good things, and have only good things to report.