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Oregano has natural antifungal properties that make it an alternative herbal treatment for candida infections. Compounds in oregano have been found to kill the fungus candida albicans. The relationship between oregano and candida has been known in the world of traditional healing for centuries and is beginning to be acknowledged in modern medical studies. To obtain the candida treatment benefits, fresh or dried oregano can be made into a tea or added to food, or one can use oregano oil. Oregano oil, however, is strong and is best used under the direction of a physician or trained herbalist.
The relationship between oregano and candida has been linked to carvacrol and thymol, two compounds that occur naturally in the herb. Individually, carvacrol and thymol both display antifungal properties, but together the relationship is magnified for greater effectiveness. As these fungi-fighting compounds enter the body, they are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they directly affect candida albicans as well as some other types of harmful bacteria.
One important element of the relationship between oregano and candida is that it only attacks the harmful fungi while leaving the beneficial intestinal flora alone. Traditional antibiotics used to fight yeast infections kill off both the harmful and the beneficial flora in the body system. This can lead to digestion problems and a weakened immune system.
Candida is commonly present in the intestinal tracts of healthy people and doesn't always create health problems. It is kept in check by other beneficial bacteria and fungi in the intestinal tract. Out of balance, however, candida can lead to health problems. When the fungus starts to proliferate unchecked, it can stress the body, causing lethargy and affecting liver function. A vaginal yeast infection in women is a commonly recognized symptom of unchecked candida albicans.
As a preventative measure, fresh or dried oregano can be added to food to take advantage of the healing relationship between oregano and candida. This helps keep this common fungi in balance in the body system. Oregano herbs can also be steeped in hot water to make a flavorful tea.
Essential oil of oregano can be used to treat candida and other bacterial or fungal infections as well. It can be diluted in water or placed directly below the tongue — one to three drops is generally considered safe, but essential oils are strong and can cause serious health problems when used incorrectly. As such, it is important to consult a trained herbalist or a physician before using the essential oil.