understanding therapeutic grade essential oils and their benefits

Essential Oil ingestion debate – is Frankincense oil the same as turpentine?

Recently, a discussion was posted on a social media page comparing the GCMS for a high quality frankincense oil with a GCMS for turpentine paint thinner from Home Depot as a chemist’s perspective on whether or not essential oils should be ingested. It was stated that while the point is not that turpentine is exactly the same thing as frankincense, but rather that they are the same class of molecules (terpenes) with many of the same molecules in common, a-pinene being the dominant component of both, and both distilled from tree resin and therefore have solvent properties. This example was given to caution people against putting 10 drops of an essential oil with a dietary supplement label in your water and drinking it down multiple times per day.

The information which follows is not intended to be an argument about whether you should or should not ingest essential oils, but about sifting the information out there which might influence your choices.

Ok, first of all, there are no essential oils with dietary supplement labels sold by any company which the suggested use on the label directs one to add 10 drops to water multiple times per day. In fact there are none which give a suggested dosage on the label of 10 drops at all, much less added to water multiple times per day, so this is an exaggeration to say the least. It may be true there are some individuals who recommend adding 10 drops of an essential oil to your drinking water and doing this multiple times per day. The unspoken implication here is that typical recommendations for water consumption are 8-10 8 oz glasses per day so that could be 80-100 drops of essential oil per day. There are 100 drops of oil in a 5 ml bottle. One company which offers Frankincense oil as a dietary supplement is priced at $29.75 for 5 ml wholesale and $39.14 retail. The suggested use is 1-2 drops, up to three times per day, not 10 drops multiple times per day equaling possibly an entire 5 ml bottle a day.

Secondly, it needs to be understood that there are a whole range of dietary supplements out there, and different people take them for different reasons. However, no one takes the maximum dose of every single dietary supplement they might decide to try, every single day for the rest of their life.  Much less some highly inflated dose that is drastically different from what the label recommends. Especially when the cost of this ridiculously inflated dose could be $30 or more per day. No one is doing that, and even if they wanted to, it would be cost prohibitive. Besides the very obvious fact that 100 drops a day would be a toxic dose for almost any oil, especially if continued for multiple days indefinitely.

Now lets examine the logic that ingesting frankincense oil is equivalent to ingesting turpentine because both happen to be high in terpene molecules. Following a similar logic we could argue that house cats are potentially as dangerous as lions and cougars because they are all members of the family Felidae and share many characteristics. They are all carnivores with fur, four paws and a tail, and they all have sharp teeth and claws. They all growl when they are mad. Neither is it just size that makes one potentially more dangerous, as there are many species of wild cats similar in size and appearance to house cats which are quite vicious.

Ok, so how about the argument that you should not ingest solvents? That sounds like a bad idea, right? However, a solvent is merely the liquid in which a solute is dissolved to form a solution. WATER is a solvent and we all drink that and need to.

Now lets consider a seemingly harmless substance regularly consumed by most Americans. Did you know that according to the USDA, the average American consumes 150-170 POUNDS of sugar per year? Just imagine if you took 30 or more 5 lb bags of sugar and stack them in the corner of your kitchen on New Year’s Day and declare to yourself that you are going to eat all of that by the end of the year. Sugar causes many more health issues than essential oils and these issues are well documented.

In many social media groups and blog posts you hear horror stories of people having holes burned in their esophagus, kidney and liver destroyed etc etc. Often people “know” this so and it is “proven” that essential oils caused these issues because they heard it from their best friend whose aunt’s doctor had a patient who suffered these consequences of essential oil ingestion. In some cases people say it is their own first hand story of what happened to them and they know it was the oils and their doctor agreed it was the oils that caused their issues.

However, it is nearly impossible to find documentation of medical reports or published peer-reviewed studies to confirm these reports, while at the same time, such information abounds for many prescription drugs, foods, and other products. Key information such as age and previous health history such as being a cancer survivor (no one is cured from cancer, they are only said to be in remission if the cancer goes away); family history of kidney or liver disease, medication history, or a host of other issues are often not taken into consideration when someone posts a claim stating they know their issue was caused by essential oils. Also missing is key information on which oil or oils were used, brand, quality, dosage, duration, and other factors which might be pertinent. Instead you see statements like “”lemon oil will dissolve a styrofoam cup! Imagine what it would do to your insides!”” (Never mind that our intestines are not made of styrofoam).

According to analysis conducted by Transparency Market Research, the global essential oil market is expected to reach $24.79 billion by 2022. According to Grandview Research, the essential oil market in the US is expected to reach $7.34 billion by 2024 while the US population is projected to reach 334.5 million by 2020. Although current and projected essential oil use includes a wide range of quality and purity, it is not difficult to see that use is certainly widespread enough that if essential oils really were causing a fraction of the health issues claimed in these Facebook groups and blog posts, real proof and documentation that these adverse events were occurring would not be so difficult to find.

A lot of very misleading information is posted on these threads, particularly when understanding what it means to say essential oils are concentrated, and unfortunately, people are drawn in by it. One blog proclaims that a single drop of lemon essential oil is the equivalent of eating 20 lemons! This is incorrect. Dr. Jean Valnet, a medical doctor who practiced aromatherapy for more than 30 years and who was considered one of the leading authorities in the world on essential oils and their therapeutic use, stated that about 3000 lemons were required to distil one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of essential oil. This works out to about 50 lemons per 15 ml bottle, or per 300 drops; 5 lemons per 30 drops, or 1 lemon per 6 drops. In other words consuming a drop of lemon oil is nothing like eating 20 whole lemons, it is like adding one small slice of lemon to your water or tea, a fairly common practice.

And while some may argue that essential oils added to foods are trace amounts measured in parts per million, the truth is most are proprietary formulas and don’t really state how much is in them. Many essential oils have been ingested in foods and home remedies for hundreds of years, well before the term “aromatherapy” was coined. That is not to say that one should ingest essential oils without investing in the training and/or research to learn about the oils you are using and why you might ingest them. What is right for one person may not be right for another.  However, exaggerated safety claims promote drama, not education.

Candida – The Master of Punishment and Reward

Candida (Candida albicans), as a fungus, is a bizarre  life form that is part animal, part vegetable, and part bacterial in nature.  They are eukaryotes, which comes from a Greek word meaning “true nut”.   The main part of their outer cell wall is composed of chitin, similar to what vegetables have, giving it a tough, rigid form.  The “nut” part is the membrane sac composed of lipoprotein (fats and proteins) which is the same cellular structure humans and animals have, and a nucleus at its center, which contains the DNA.   Candida can produce asexually, like bacteria, or sexually, clone itself, and alter its shape by rearranging its chromosomal structure into at least 7 different forms in order to ensure its ability to survive.  When it switches to invasive form, it becomes multi-cellular, growing hyphae or long root like structures which puncture the intestinal wall and allow it to feed – not just on sugar, but other nutrients the host should be getting.  In other words, if you have a Candida overgrowth, the Candida is stealing your nutrition.  These Candida colonies cover themselves with a thick protective biofilm which can grow up to 450 μm thick and make the colony very difficult to dislodge.  It is further protected by its tough cell wall.  

These very adaptable creatures further have the ability to simply hibernate when their food supply is inadequate, and come back out again when you consume sugar or carbohydrates – which explains why you can feel an intense rush of returning symptoms  so suddenly if you have been trying to follow a Candida diet and then eat something you shouldn’t.  When you eat sugar, the Candida ferments it and forms Acetylaldehyde, the same product that results when alcohol is broken down by the liver.  Acetylaldehyde combines with two key neurotransmitters, dopamine and seratonin, which act as chemical messengers, relaying nerve signals through the brain.  These are further broken down into morphine like molecules which occupy the same receptor sites as beta endorphins, and are highly addictive.  Next to directly consuming alcohol, production from Candida is the second major cause of Acetylaldehyde entering the brain.  Dopamine regulates a number of things including the sensation of feeling pleasure and stimulates one to seek pleasurable behaviors such as food, sex, or drugs that release dopamine, and is responsible for the strong cravings of addiction.   Serotonin also does many things, and is responsible for regulating appetite and sexual behavior as well as mood, aggression and ability to sleep.  Serotonin is also critical for proper function of the gastrointestinal tract muscles, immune function, and the cardiovascular and renal systems.  

Initially, Acetylaldehyde will release a flood of serotonin in the brain, resulting in a euphoric feeling of relaxed inhibition.  Needless to say, if you have Candida overgrowth and consume alcohol, you are getting a double whammy. However, ultimately, elevated amounts of Acetylaldehyde result in a vicious cycle of neurotransmitter depletion and displacement that play havoc with your brain chemistry and produce intense, uncontrollable cravings.   The Candida very effectively set you up for an unending roller coaster ride, rewarding you with a rush of opiate like feel good hormones when they get what they want – a feast of sugars and carbohydrates – and then punish you with uncontrollable cravings as their supply runs out and they demand more.

According to Dr. William Crook, author of 14 books and most famous for his pioneering work in studying yeast overgrowth, numerous people suffering from  with depression,  fatigue,muscle and joint pain headache, and digestive problems have been repeatedly misdiagnosed and/or have taken many tests which  find nothing wrong, but in fact they have Candida.  When the patient is treated with anti-fungal drugs, yeast spores often remain circulation in the blood-stream sometimes for years, even for decades, and can cause re-infection at any time.  As part of their growth process, Candida also secrete toxins, digestive enzymes, and fungal acid into the tissues of their host, feeding not only on sugar but on the amino acids of protein molecules they derive from the host’s tissue.  At least 79 different species of Candida endotoxins have been identified, including some which are neurotoxins that can cause damage to the central nervous system, depression, mood changes, aggression, and neurotic behaviors.  Candida further punish you by emitting these toxins when they die, known as “die-off reaction” or “Herximer effect”.  This can include symptoms such as:

  • sinus congestion, sore throat, cough
  • itching or skin rashes
  • fatigue, aches in muscles and joints
  • headaches
  • gas, bloating, digestive upsets, IBS like symptoms
  • heart palpitations, low blood pressure, fever, chills
  • blurred vision
  • anxiety or depression
  • intense cravings

These are built-in survival mechanisms of the species by discouraging the host from actions which kill the yeast, reduce their food supply or alter their comfortable living environment in which they want to continue to stay and grow and propagate.  The host is left in a constant state of putting up with unpleasant discomforts due to the Candida’s presence, which seem to intensify both when trying to get rid of the Candida, or if one slips back to forbidden foods  when temporary relief is obtained following a rigid and difficult to stick with Anti-Candida diet.  There also are differences of opinion with different Anti-Candida diets as to which foods are or are not allowed.  It will take some experimentation to find out which things work the best in your situation, but awareness is key, and even if you don’t have a Candida infection, being aware and taking preventive measures can help you avoid this very unpleasant and difficult to eradicate experience.

Some Anti-Candida diets for instance do not allow grains while others do.

In fact, thinking you are making healthy choices by trying to eat whole grain breads and cereals can feed the Candida just as easily because they are more difficult to digest.  Even many popular “natural” cereals are laden with GMOs.  (GMO refers to Genetically Modified Organisms, meaning any living thing which has had its genes modified by adding a gene from an unrelated species.) Wheat is the third leading crop in the U.S. and the U.S. supplies about 10% of the world’s wheat.  Many countries will not accept crops that are GMO, so for wheat growers, the topic is a sensitive one.  The FDA has not approved genetic modification of wheat and America’s wheat crop is supposed to be non-GMO, except last year some escaped  GMO wheat seed from biotech research giant Monsanto that mysteriously appeared in the field of an Oregon farmer eight years after testing was supposed to have been over with.   In spite of this fiasco, Monsanto has persisted with their experiments of unapproved GMO wheat and has just proclaimed the first ever GMO wheat crop will soon be ready, where it is growing at an undisclosed field in North Dakota.   Monsanto owns 90 – 95% of the seed companies out there.  However, even if our wheat is not GMO, it has been so intensively hybridized during the past 60 years to create hardier, more profitable crops, that its nutritional profile has completely changed, resulting in a myriad of health issues. These wheats contain phytic acid which prevents proper absorption of needed minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.  They contain lectins which cause inflammation and insulin resistance. They contain amylopectin A, which raises blood sugar faster even than table sugar. Two slices of whole wheat bread will spike blood sugar more than eating a candy bar. They contain gliadin a protein within gluten which we cannot fully digest, contributing to Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Corn is the largest US crop, and 90% of it is GMO, and 80% of it is controlled by Monsanto.  94% of US soy (90% controlled by Monsanto), and 95% of the sugar beets (which come from Monsanto and represent more than half of the sugar in the US) are also GMO.

Also thanks to Monsanto, use of the popular herbicide Roundup (glyphosphate) which they created has tripled since 1997, and is the excuse for all the “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered crops.  Last May, the Environmental Protection Agency adopted new standards allowing glyphosphate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans, and canola to be doubled to 40 ppm.  This is more than 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells.  The EPA also increased allowable levels of glyphosphate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6000 ppm.  Organ damage has occurred in animals as low as 0.1 ppm.  Glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer is the word’s best selling herbicide, used in over 150 crops in over 90 countries.  A recent European study tested volunteers from 18 countries, all living in cities, and who had never before touched or handled glyphosphate.  Yet 44% of those tested had glyphosphate in their urine.  In a bizarre twist, the Supreme Court has just decided to side with Monsanto whose patented GMO seeds are finding their way into the crops of small organic farmers and contaminating them. Not only are these farmers unable to sue Monsanto for damages to their crops, instead Monsanto has filed more than 100 lawsuits against these farmers for growing their patented seed – which the farmers did not want, did not plant, and had no intention of growing.  But the Supreme Court agreed these farmers have to pay royalties to Monsanto for using their patented seed. Monsanto owns 1676 seed and plant patents and 40% of US cropland or 151.4 million acres are planted with Monsanto’s GMO glyphosphate laden crops.  64 countries require GMO labeling, but the US does not, largely due to Monsanto’s influence. What does all this have to do with Candida?  Well, as it turns out, glyphosphate causes radical disruption of the life cycle of the bacteria in your boy – and it preferentially attacks the good bacteria, allowing Candida and other harmful species to take over.  

However, as increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of these facts, the struggle with Candida is not entirely lost.

Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Candida attacks and remains in individuals with a weakened immune system.  Therefore, doing everything you can to build up and strengthen your immune system is key.  Whatever diet you choose to follow, make sure it allows for adequate nutrients, and take additional supplements as needed.  Take a fiber supplement and drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins, and try to plan your schedule to ensure you get enough uninterrupted rest each night.
  2. Candida feeds on sugars and carbohydrates, including complex carbohydrates.  To get Candida under control, these foods must be minimized as much as possible, making every effort to avoid GMO foods which favor Candida.  Foods to avoid include soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, beet sugar, Hawaiian papaya, crookneck squash, and some varieties of zucchini, unless labeled 100% USDA Organic.  Focus on adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats and  fresh, preferably organic low carb alkalizing vegetables, and healthy fats.  Avoid processed, boxed, canned, and packaged foods.
  3. Avoid using glyphosphate weed killers on your lawn, garden or crops and support organic growers.  New studies conducted in Mississippi and Iowa found glyphosphate  present in 60 – 100% o all air and water samples.
  4. If you eat meat or dairy products, choose sources from quality organic grass-fed individuals
  5. Help support intestinal function and  balance of healthy bacteria by consuming daily: 1-4 oz aloe vera juice, 1-4 oz Young Living NingXia Red, 2 – 4 T daily of pure, preferably organic coconut oil, Redmond Clay, Young Living Megacal, 8 oz plain organic Kefir, 2 T of organic sauerkraut, and if possible 8 oz home-made bone broth (made from quality organic grass-fed beef bones or free range chickens).
  6. To help support an intestinal environment that favors beneficial bacteria:
  • 2-4 T pure organic coconut oil
  • Young Living brands of : Lemongrass,(Cymbopogon flexuosus), Thyme, (Thymus vulgaris, CT thymol), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).  Take 2-3 drops of any two oils from this list (which are on the GRAS list for dietary supplement ) combined with pure organic olive oil in clear vegetable capsules, then rotating to two others the next time, up to 4 times per day.
  • Young Living essential oil blends of Thieves {Clove† (Syzygium aromaticum), Lemon† (Citrus limon), Cinnamon† (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus† (Eucalyptus radiata), and Rosemary† (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).; DiGize {Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma and J. scopulorum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), and Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin); Longevity {Thyme (Thymus vulgaris CT thymol), Orange (Citrus aurantium), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)}; and ImmuPower {Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Mountain Savory (Satureja montana), cistus (Cistus ladanifer), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), oregano (Origanum vulgare), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and idaho tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) may also be used.  For blends, take one at a time, 4-6 drops with olive oil in clear veg caps, up to 4x day, rotating with other blends or singles.
  • Young Living MegaCal and/or Young Living Alkazyme formula will help maintain and support proper pH balance of the digestive tract.
  • Other helpful supplements include Garlic Oil, Pau D’Arco, Black Walnut, and Grapefruit Seed Extract.  Try to rotate these.
  • drinking water with fresh lemon will also help alkalize and cleanse the system

Go slowly with diet and anti-fungals at first to minimize die-off effects.  You will need to experiment and find which foods seem to be your personal triggers and avoid those at least for a time.   Some you may be able to add back in later, however all sugars, GMO and processed foods should be kept as minimal as possible.  Organic foods wherever possible are worth the effort, and/or fresh produce from your own garden or other small local growers.  For me, switching to organic full fat milk made a huge difference, especially if it is from grass-fed cows.  If you can find a good source of raw milk, even better.  Raw or organic goat milk is also an option.    Avoid heavy and/or difficult to digest meals as these will provide a ready source of food for Candida and encourage a Candida population explosion.  For sweets, try minimal amounts of dark chocolate, at least 72% cacao occasionally.  Organic raw  honey, organic maple syrup, and organic blackstrap unsulphured molasses from pure cane sugar may be used occasionaly as sweeteners in small amounts.  Many Anti-Candida diets suggest avoiding fermented foods but some of these such as organic apple cider vinegar, plain organic kefir, organic sauerkraut or other organic fermented vegetable can be very helpful.  Remember that meats and cheeses tend to be acid forming foods and should be eaten in moderation and balanced with alkalizing foods.  It will take time and patience and persistence, but balance can be restored.  However, if your struggle is seemingly endless despite diligently trying your best, it also possible you may have SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) either instead of, or in conjunction with, Candida.  Most of the symptoms for SIBO are very similar to Candida.

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and how they may support a healthy lifestyle, please visit The Oil Well

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

If this information has been helpful, you may click the donate button to contribute a small amount towards the cost of research. Thank you!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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The Candida Connection

Most people have heard of Candida (Candida albicans), but many don’t realize that it is far more than something that causes female yeast infections – it is an underlying root cause of numerous ailments and health conditions among men and women of all ages, including babies, children, and the very elderly.  General tiredness, brain fog,  food sensitivities and/or cravings, stuffiness or sinus allergies, digestive upsets, and skin rashes are just a few of the ways different people may be affected when Candida is an underlying factor, even though symptoms  are often vague or may be attributed to other things.

To begin with, our guts contain more than 400 different known species of bacteria – and there are 10 times as many of them as all the cells in the human body combined.  This amounts to an astronomical number, more than 100 trillion altogether and in a healthy person, these bacteria exist in a ratio of about 85% good bacteria to 15% of bad bacteria.   This balance is critical in either preventing or encouraging a variety of diseases. Candida albicans is just one of the trillions of bacteria that normally lives in the human gut, and is one of at least 20 or more Candida species known to infect humans, but it is the main one to cause problems, and for the purposes of this article, “Candida” will refer to Candida albicans. The good bacteria are critical to keeping all the body systems working properly and help to keep the bad bacteria under control.    Unfortunately, it does not take much any more to upset this delicate balance, and when Candida gets out of control, it readily turns into a pathogenic species that is very difficult to eradicate.  This condition is known as Candidiasis, or Systemic Yeast Infection,  In fact, Candida might be likened to someone who has had a taste of wealth and is willing to do anything, resorting to all kinds of deception and atrocities to get more with absolutely no limits.  Except what Candida wants is sugar. People are beginning to realize more and more that sugar is bad for you, and some of the ways it is hidden in a variety of foods – but for most, this dawning understanding is just the tip of the iceberg.  A variety of things contribute to Candida overgrowth.  Use of antibiotics, birth control, even common NSAIDs such as aspirin, as well as stress and too much sugar in the diet are all factors.

When Candida continues to grow  out of control, it can frequently cause, among other things, insulin resistance, and resistance to the hormone leptin which signals our bodies when we are full so instead of storing fat, we are able to maintain a healthy balance of burning it off because we aren’t eating more than we need.  Both insulin resistance and leptin resistance  cause systemic inflammation and contribute directly to heart disease.  Candida itself also contributes directly to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other problems through inflammation and Leaky Gut Syndrome.  When out of control Candida transform into a pathogenic state, they develop roots or “hyphae”, which are long filament-like threads whereby they can attach themselves to the soft tissues of the gut lining, causing permeability of the gut, or “Leaky Gut”, and allowing proteins, bad bacteria, undigested food particles, and sometimes toxic waste to leak into your bloodstream. You can imagine what kind of problems that might cause.  This includes inflammation, sensitivities to food, and immune reactions.  The yeast colonies may also spread through your body and attach to your internal organs.   Symptoms such as a white coating on the tongue, chronic itching in the ears, rosacea, and a tendency to toenail and/or fingernail infections, or vaginal yeast,  are most often linked to a deeper overgrowth of yeast in the gut.  Sometimes these outer symptoms are persistent and/or recurring, or sometimes they may improve and seem to disappear with treatment.  However, chances are the candida are still in your gut happily munching away on sugar. We hear frequently that we should avoid “refined” or “processed” foods.  Diets such as “The Zone” or “The Atkins Diet” have increased our awareness of carbohydrates.

However, most people are still under the impression that whole grains are a healthy alternative, or maybe avoiding wheat and/or dairy products will help.  The FDA Food Pyramid advises us to eat 6-11 servings of carbohydrates per day,  another 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit.  Many vegetables, especially starchy ones such as potatoes and corn, as well as beans (such as Navy, Black, Red, and Pinto) are also very high in carbohydrates.  Most fruits also have a significant amount of carbohydrates, as well as many being very high in fructose. This can be very misleading, especially as many popular diets promote the idea of colorful and enticing fruit smoothies, juicing, etc. The Food Pyramid does not differentiate any of this and the bottom line is that all carbohydrates turn into sugar when you eat them.  While the USDA and FDA have gathered a variety of tables and resources providing information on dietary guidelines, keep in mind that the more they have continued to update and provide advice about these matters, America has grown increasingly fat, and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer have all increased dramatically. Research by Rice University suggests at least 70% of all people suffer from Candida overgrowth, although most may be unaware of it.  Either the advice we are getting from the USDA and FDA is poor, they haven’t done a good job of getting the word out, people just aren’t listening, or most likely some combination of these factors.  The bottom line is, it is really up to individuals  who want to take control of their health to make an effort to educate themselves  and look at a variety of resources for guidance.  Considering Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load to help calculate how your blood sugar is affected can offer some additional insight, however, these tools can be misleading or unreliable.  There are many different Glycemic charts out there which assign differing values.  Some are based on using white bread as a reference guide (not good as values for white bread may vary considerably) and some are based on glucose, which is more consistent.  The underlying message of all Glycemic charts is based on the faulty idea that foods which affect your blood sugar more slowly are ok to consume.  But consider, for example, if your house catches on fire and burns up completely, it is still burnt up regardless whether the fire lasted 30 minutes or three hours.  The same thing is true for eating sugar, or carbohydrates, which turn in to sugar.  Complex carbohydrates turn into sugar too, even if it might take a little longer, and Candida will still feed on these and grow out of control if your overall carb intake is too high.  Walk through the grocery store sometime with this in mind asking yourself the question what foods already are, or will turn into sugar and you will suddenly find the aisles are lined with predominantly sugar.

One of the easiest ways to find out if Candida could be contributing to some of your health issues or vague symptoms that have been bothersome, is to simply make a serious effort to eliminate all sugars and as much carbohydrate from your diet as you can for about five days and see if you feel better.  Then experiment with adding things back in.  If symptoms return or get worse again, you may benefit from a longer Candida control plan.  Here is a sample of a plan to try for five days:

1)  First, avoid the following:  all sweets, including honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar no starchy vegetables such as potatoes, beans, or corn, and minimal breads, cereals and fruits, especially dried fruits or juices, which are both high in fructose.

2) Second, instead of counting calories, try to fill up instead on 50 – 60 g protein/day from sources such as fish, lean meats from preferably organic, grass-fed sources with no growth hormones, raw nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, or walnuts – no peanuts), organic cottage cheese, Kefir, and quality low carb alkalizing whey protein shakes, (Avoid soy protein) or Chia seeds.  Avoid Tofu, which is also a processed food.  Tempeh or Miso are better choices.

3) Third, add low carb  alkalizing vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, garlic, onions, radishes, and lettuce

4)Limit fruits to no more than 1-2 servings of 4 oz a day and focus on low glycemic alkalizing choices such as unsweetened grapefruit, rhubarb, cantaloupe, watermelon, and berries such as blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.  Avoid bananas, apples, pears, grapes, and all dried fruits and juices except pure unsweetened aloe vera juice (read labels, many are not pure or have sugar added).

5) Add healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.

6) Try to limit total carb intake during these five days to 20-60 g of carbs per day, and try to get at least 35 – 40g of fiber per day along with drinking plenty of water.  Take a psyllium or other quality natural organic fiber supplement one or more times per day to boost this as needed.

7)Spread food intake into 4-6 small meals/snacks per day, control portion sizes, measuring if needed, and try to listen to your body’s signals to eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you start to feel satiated.  Most of us have become too conditioned to eat to satisfy our tastebuds and continue eating more well past when we have had enough, just because it tastes good.  Have your last meal or snack at least 3  hours before bedtime.

8)Take a high quality probiotic supplement – one that offers several strains and at least 25 – 50 billion CFU per capsule, or better still, consume at least one serving of quality organic Kefir per day.  Important supplements include getting at least 400 mg Magnesium and 200 mcg of Vitamin K2 through diet and/or added supplements, and at least 10g/day (2 tsp) of a quality L-glutamine powder supplement (capsule forms usually do not have a high enough dose).

9) To promote healing of the intestinal lining, drink one serving Kefir per day, 1-4 oz pure unsweetened aloe vera juice, and take a quality bentonite clay supplement such as Redmond Clay, preferably  first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and 1 hour before eating or taking other supplements.

10)Some pure therapeutic grade essential oils may also be helpful by supporting intestinal health, and the immune, circulatory, and lymph systems.  These include Young Living brands of : Lemongrass,(Cymbopogon flexuosus), Thyme, (Thymus vulgaris, CT thymol), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)  All of these  may be rubbed on the bottoms of the feet, and/or taken internally by putting them in clear vegetable capsules with olive oil.  When taken internally, these oils can be blended together and rotated, taking once or twice a day by adding 2-3 drops each of  any two oils from this list to a clear vegetable capsule and topping off with olive oil, and then switching to a couple different oils the next time.

There are different theories on Anti-Candida diets, but most are so strict and difficult to follow that people tend to struggle with them.  It’s important to remember that you can’t and don’t want to kill all the Candida in your system, you are just trying to get things back in balance.  Trying the 5 day plan should help and after the first couple days, cravings should decrease a lot.  Its a good idea to keep some kind of journal and take notes through this process and this will be extremely useful later on to see what foods may trigger symptoms and what things help.  After the first five days you can try adding things back to your diet while trying to maintain a reasonable healthy balance.  While a high protein diet is not really necessary, many people don’t get adequate amounts of protein , which is one of the reasons they fall into the trap of eating too many carbohydrates and processed foods in the first place.  Making sure you have enough fiber in your diet is also important, as well as adequate amounts of healthy fats. Try to maintain 50 – 60g of protein per day and 35-40g of fiber.  Healthy dietary guidelines suggest 20 -35% of dietary calories should be from healthy fats, which would be 44-78g on a 2000 calorie per day diet. Regular use of critical supplements magnesium, Vitamin K2, and pure therapeutic grade essential oils will also help. While certainly not a license to eat sugar, if you do occasionally overindulge or have an especially rich dessert or sweet treat, make sure your fiber intake for the day is adequate and using Redmond Clay will help carry toxins out of your system. It makes sense that there will be some variation in what works best for different individuals, but it also makes sense that excess sugar, foods that are processed, genetically modified, and/or have chemical additives, are bound to have negative impacts, especially consumed on a regular and frequent basis.  If these general principles are followed, it will be easier to maintain balance, restore insulin and leptin sensitivity, and keep Candida under control.   

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and how they may help support a healthy lifestyle, please visit The Oil Well

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.