While the health benefits of cayenne pepper are well known, less well known is the effect of cayenne pepper and Candida.
Candida and You
The microscopic yeast called Candida (Candida albicans) lives in the human mouth, intestinal tract, and genito-urinary tract. Everyone has some amount of Candida living inside of their bodies along with many other microorganisms. When the immune system functions efficiently, Candida, along with bacteria such as Lactobacilusacidopholus (the bacteria found in yogurt and fermented food) and others keep harmful microorganisms in check.
Trouble arises when the natural systems become imbalanced. The helpful yeast form of Candida transforms into an invasive, multicellular form that damages mucosal tissue. In the intestines, food particles enter the damaged tissue and cause infection described as 'leaky gut.' Women may experience Candida overload as a yeast infection of the vagina or genito-urinary tract. This overgrowth of Candida is called candidiasis.
What causes Candida to transform from helpful friend to harmful foe? Sugar, stress, and antibiotics are the most common culprits.
Candida albicans, as a yeast organism, ferments sugar. It needs enough sugar acquired through daily digestion of foods to live, reproduce, and function in the digestive system. Too much sugar causes yeast to proliferate rapidly while simultaneously suppressing the immune system. Stress may also suppress the immune system.
Antibiotics save many lives as they cure infections, but they also unfavorably tip the balance of harmful to helpful bacteria within the digestive tract. Most doctors now agree that patients taking antibiotics should also ingest probiotics, or products containing helpful bacteria. This includes Lactobacilus acidopholus and many others to keep the optimum bacterial balance in the gut. Any use of antibiotics contains the potential for Candida overgrowth. Luckily, medical intervention or herbal treatments, such as cayenne pepper, may check candidiasis in most patients.
Cayenne Pepper and Candida
How can cayenne pepper help cure Candida infections?
The use of cayenne pepper (Capsicum) dates back to ancient times. The fruit, or pepper, is the same pepper that gives chili its kick. Cayenne pepper treatments work topically as creams or internally as tinctures. Herbalists prescribe cayenne tinctures to improve circulation, and creams containing cayenne for arthritis. They are well documented, and it's easy to incorporate into the diet or your natural health care regimen.
Because of its ability to increase circulation, the goal of cayenne pepper and Candida is to improve circulation and cleanse the body. This promotes healing. According to a study done on cayenne pepper's antifungal properties, cayenne pepper was also found to be effective against 16 fungal strains, including Candida.
One of the easiest ways to ingest cayenne pepper is a lemon juice and cayenne pepper drink.
Cayenne and Lemon Juice Drink
A cayenne and lemon juice drink cleanses toxins from the system and provides valuable Vitamin C from the lemon juice. Both cleansing and Vitamin C can boost the immune system response. As with all herbal or alternative health treatments, consult your physician before using this or any other preparations. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients, must seek medical support for any treatments for Candida overgrowth since it can be life-threatening for anyone with poor immune system function.
To make this cleansing beverage, you'll need:
- 2 cups of hot water.
- 2 tablespoons of juice from fresh, organic lemons. Do not use canned or bottled lemon juice. It's often mixed with preservatives. Remember, the goal is to cleanse your body of impurities and restore harmony. Don't sabotage your efforts by adding more chemicals!
- 1 dash of cayenne pepper. Use just a pinch. A little goes a long way!
- 2 tablespoons of genuine maple syrup. Always use real maple syrup, not the fake pancake syrups loaded with corn syrup. Extra sugars such as corn syrup feed Candida rather than cleanse it from the system.
Simply take your hot water and stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Sip once it cools down enough to drink comfortably. You'll start to sweat immediately! You can also cool down this beverage and place it into a water bottle to sip throughout the day. This is an excellent cleansing tonic and one which helps restore balance to the digestive tract where the majority of Candida lives.
There isn't a strict consensus among proponents of natural health as to how long to use the drink. Some health blogs suggest drinking one or two cups daily for about two weeks to help with Candida. Others recommend drinking up to 24 ounces daily on a regular basis. To use this drink as a cleanse, drinking six to twelve glasses daily for 10 days is suggested.
If you're prone to yeast infections, however, you may want to take a holistic look at your diet and lifestyle. Persistent yeast infections frequently point to systemic problems that only a qualified medical professional can diagnose. In the meantime, altering the diet and trying a yeast killing diet may help manage Candida overgrowth.