Candidemia, also known as Fungemia, is an infection of the blood by some type of Candida fungus. Candida glabrata can make its way to your blood and give you Candidemia. This condition is not something you want to ignore; as it can be fatal for people with compromised immune systems. Although medical doctors are who you should consult, make sure you don’t ostracize natural remedies from your arsenal of treatment options. Even if you are using prescription drugs; nature can provide some much needed help in your battle with Candidemia (Fungemia).
Natural medicine from plants (such as essential plant oils or medicinal herbs), is a safe and efficacious way to augment a treatment regimen. Feel free to explore the main topics on the homepage of this site, for an extensive delineation of various all-natural treatments. They are often cheaper, and can be even more effective, than typical prescription drugs for Candida.
If you’re looking for ways to deal with Candida glabrata, you might find this page helpful: Candida glabrata treatment guidelines.
What is Candidemia (Fungemia)?
Candida infections most typically are noticed in the mucous membranes of the mouth (oral thrush) or of the vagina. Candida also is present in the majority of human’s digestive systems; however, only rarely does it overgrow and become pathogenic. When this common, typically commensal, yeast invades the bloodstream this is called Candidemia. Candida glabrata can also make its way into the bloodstream and cause Candidemia as well. When Candida glabrata invades the blood, this can be a very serious condition; one that can potentially prove fatal for the individual.
If the yeast that is in the blood spread to other parts of the body (such as the brain, liver, etc.), the condition is then classified as invasive Candidemia. In the hospital, about 40% of bloodstream infections are a result of some form of Candida.
It is very uncommon for a healthy individual to develop Candidemia; so don’t worry too much about this if your immune system is properly functioning. But, there are things that make you more likely to develop a yeast infection in the blood. Some of the primary conditions, that can be precursors to Candidemia, include the following:
- Having a weak immune system (e.g., this can be a result of a condition like HIV, the undergoing of chemotherapy, having recently had an organ transplant, or taking drugs that suppress the immune system)
- Having a debilitating, severe illness of some kind
- Taking some type of corticosteroid
- Being diabetic
- Having a central venous catheter in your body
- Having taken frequent or high doses of any type of broad spectrum antibiotic
If any of these things apply to you, make sure you don’t underestimate a Candida infection of any kind. Use natural medicine, and also talk to a medical professional, to get a comprehensive treatment plan in place. Your life may very well depend upon it.
What are the Symptoms of Candidemia?
Knowing you have a yeast infection in the blood can be difficult to determine without a hospital laboratory testing your blood. A common symptom, that often occurs, is fever. Some individuals with Candidemia may develop symptoms similar to bacterial sepsis. Bacterial sepsis symptoms include: fever, chills, elevated pulse rate, diarrhea, and vomiting. In general, here are the Candidemia symptoms you should be on the watch for:
- General fatigue and lack of strength
- Rashes on the skin
- Abdominal pains
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle aches and pains
- Eye problems, such as eye infections or vision changes
If you have a few of these symptoms, make sure you tell your doctor and get a blood test done, to determine if you have Candida glabrata in your blood.
Natural Treatments for Candida glabrata Candidemia
Essential oils will make their way into the bloodstream when they are applied to the skin. You should get some potent essential oils that are proven Candida fighters and use them by massaging the oil into the wrists, feet, and neck (check out this page to learn about many different essential oils for yeast infection). You should, of course, add the essential oil to a carrier oil of some kind (such as olive oil) so you don’t burn your skin. Try using a concentration of about 3% to 4% essential oil; the rest will be the carrier oil. Once you have your oil prepared, massage it into your skin, and let it sit and absorb for a while.
You can also put your essential oils into a vaporizer or oil burner to get the oil into the blood via the lungs. Using essential oils as aromatherapy will not only cleanse the air, but may also help you fight your Candida glabrata blood infection.
You can also use steam inhalation to get the essential oil into your blood. This will probably work much better than using a room difuser. Just heat some water until it is steamy, and add your essential oil (about 5 or so drops). Cover your head with a towel and place your face over the steaming water—and make sure you do not burn yourself. Inhale the steam deeply. This can also be a beneficial facial as well; some oils (e.g., lemongrass and tea tree) can unclog pores and cleanse the skin.
Herbs for Candidemia
You may wish to take a few herbs as decoctions or by simply ingesting them—just make sure an herb is safe to eat before you eat it! Here are a few efficacious herbs that can help bolster conventional treatments for Candidemia.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Clinical trials have proven that garlic can be taken orally to give the blood antifungal activity. Dr. James Duke, in his book The Green Pharmacy, stated that individuals taking 25 milliliters of garlic extract each day, were able to give their blood significant antifungal activity against several types of fungi; including Candida albicans. Dr. Duke stated that he knew by research, and personal experience, that garlic will boost the performance of antifungal pharmaceuticals.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice can be used to possibly give the blood some antifungal activity; which will help allay Candidemia. Licorice contains a compound that was shown by a study published in PLoS ONE to be able to inhibit and kill Candida yeast. This compound is known as glabridin. Dr. Duke also stated, that licorice contains at least 25 antifungal compounds. Consequently, this herb is a great choice to help naturally treat Candidemia.
To get the most benefit from licorice root, you should probably use licorice root oil for your tea—instead of boiling licorice root in water. The study that suggests this to be best, was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. The study found that rats who ingested licorice root oil had higher levels of glabridin in their blood. Thus it may also be best to use the oil form of this herb in your tea. But, making licorice root tea and taking it 3 times a day, may also give you a great boost to your blood’s ability to fight of Candidemia.
To use this herb, get some dried licorice root and put about five grams in some water, and boil the mixture for a while. Take this tea about 3 times each day.
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- http://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/candidemia.pdf — pamphlet describing Candidemia — American Thoracic Society (Patient Information Series)
- Google Books — Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being. Conari Press
- http://www.researchgate.net/publication/264245112_Synergistic_Antifungal_Effect_of_Glabridin_and_Fluconazole — glabridin (chemical in licorice) can kill and inhbit Candida.
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17934243 — licorice root oil seems to deliver more glabridin to the blood.
- http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/licorice — dosage for licorice root tea
- Google Books — Duke, J. A. (1997). The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press.