Using Pau D'Arco to fight off Candida

Candida is a common problem for a lot of people.

It's a naturally ocurring fungus found in the intestinal tract, but can grow out of control and wreak havoc on the body. There are plenty of antibiotic options for candida, however, with the rise in drug-resistant strains of candida surfacing in hospitals, it's likely that in the coming years our treatment options may begin to fail us.

Using antibiotics for mild candida is also problematic because although it kills the candida infection, it often pushes the microbiome further out of balance, causing long-term problems with other bacterial or fungal species.

In this article, we go over one of the most well-rounded herbal medicinal species for treating this condition, and discuss how it works, and how you can get started yourself.

Pau D'arco Tree in flower

What is Candida?

Candida is a type of fungus that lives inside all of us. Most of the time it lives in harmony and goes unnoticed. Sometimes, however, it can become pathogenic. 

This can, especially after a course of antibiotics wipes out all of the competing gut flora. Since candida is a fungus, it is immune to many of the commonly prescribed medicines, which generally only target bacteria. Once the bacterial colonies of the gut have been wiped out, candida is left to thrive without competition, which is when Candida becomes a problem.

Candida can grow out of control and start to damage our internal organs and overall health.


Signs & Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

  • Bad breath

  • Bloating

  • Constipation or diarrhoea

  • Fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Mood swings

  • Vaginal itchiness

  • Insomnia

  • Painful or swollen joints

Body ecology provides a great Questionnaire that you can use to help determine if you are being affected by a candida overgrowth.

How is Candida Overgrowth Treated?

Drugs like Nystatin, Diflucan, and Nizoral are often prescribed to treat Candida infections, and in the past have been quite successful. With a surge in the use of antibiotics over the past century, however, candida has started to develop a resistance to these medications and are becoming harder and harder to treat.

There is an increasing number of candida infections that being described as “incurable” which can cause significant implications on health and wellbeing and can cause severe anxiety to those diagnosed. 

In the future, we are likely to see incurable candida strains and will need to rely on herbs to correct and balance these issues which have a much lower rate of resistance. This is likely because herbs do not only have one active ingredient, rather a slurry of synergistic chemicals.


What is Pau D'Arco?

Pau D’arco is a massive canopy tree of the Amazon rainforest. Its inner bark and heartwood are made into a tea and used for all kinds of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.

It has shown particular effectiveness in the area of Candida infection and has been observed to directly inhibit 11 different species of candida, including the most common Candida albicans.

Pau D’arco has shown substantial promise towards successfully combatting drug-resistant candida strains as well and have been successfully used where pharmaceutical treatment has failed.

For a much more detailed analysis of Pau D'Arco check this out.


Using Pau D’Arco for Candida

There is no doubt that lifestyle will continue to play a major role in the treatment of candida, and the prevention of its recurrence.

By lowering or altogether eliminating the amount of sugar that goes into your mouth, increasing fiber content, and exercise frequency, your chances of eliminating out of control candida will increase dramatically.

Using pau d’arco in the form of a tincture or tea will help significantly, and should be used as a conjunctive treatment with these lifestyle changes.

Here is a great article to get started on the lifestyle changes needed to combat candida overgrowth effectively. By following these guidelines, and taking herbs like Pau d’arco on a daily basis, a healthy balance of candida can be established again.

Try making a strong decoction of pau d’arco by simmering about 20g (a small handful) of bark in about 600 ml (2-3 cups) of water for 15 minutes.

This should produce a dark, strong brew which can then be consumed 2-3 times a day. Taking the herbal tincture is even better, and more convenient for most. Tinctures come in all different strengths and concentration so follow the label when taking these extracts.

For the standard 1:5 extract, however, the typical dosage range is about 2-3 ml, 2 or 3 times a day in water, tea, or your beverage of choice.

Pau D'Arco can be found here on Amazon.

This article is for informational purposes only. For serious candida infections, we recommend you visit your local natural practitioner to ensure effective treatment with this or similar herbs. **


Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

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