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.