Are you prone to fungal infections?
Fungal infections are a common nuisance that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, nails, and internal organs. This article delves into what fungal infections are, their common types, and some natural approaches for treating and preventing them. Firstly, let’s have a look at fungi in more detail –
There are many different types of fungi and they form an integral part of any natural ecosystem, including the human body. Most of the time, they exist in harmony (symbiosis) with their host, however, certain conditions can allow fungi to grow out of control and cause problems to health.
Reasons why you might be more susceptible to fungal infections:
- If you have a weakened immune system or are taking immunosuppressants
- If you have diabetes
- History of taking antibiotics
- If you take oral corticosteroids
Fungi thrive in moist and warm environments. When they overgrow, they can cause fungal infections – here are some of the most common –
Types of fungal infections:
- Athlete’s foot: This affects the feet, especially between the toes, and can cause itching, burning, and cracked skin.
- Ringworm (not actually caused by a worm, despite the name): Ringworm appears as circular rashes on the skin, scalp, or nails.
- Candidiasis – yeast infection (yeasts are part of the fungi family): Candidiasis affects the mouth, genital areas, and skin folds, causing irritation and discomfort.
- Nail fungus – fungal nail infections cause discolouration, thickening, and crumbling of the nail.
Prevention and management of fungal infections:
- Add tea tree oil to your skincare routine: With its antifungal properties, tea tree oil is a popular natural remedy for fungal infections. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6995982/ Our Break-Out Kefir Lotion and soap contain tea tree oil and thyme, both of which are anti-fungal.
- Add garlic to your meals: Known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, garlic can be added to your diet, cooked or raw – see our recipe for The best gut-healthy salad dressing, containing garlic.
- Include coconut oil in your cleansing routine: This natural oil has potent antifungal properties and is one of the natural ingredients in our Goats Milk Soaps.
- Add probiotics to your daily diet: A balanced gut microbiome can help prevent fungal infections, especially yeast infections. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like kefir, live yoghurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. 2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27087525/
- Kefir can also be used internally to help manage thrush. 3https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219075721.htm
- Support your immune system: A strong immune system can help ward off fungal infections. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good-quality sleep.
- Take ashwagandha: For Candida overgrowth, you might consider taking ashwagandha tincture – research shows that Candida albicans is inhibited by ashwagandha. 4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374571/ We recommend taking 15-20 drops of ashwagandha, twice daily*.
- Essential oils: Besides tea tree oil, essential oils like thyme, and lavender have shown antifungal properties – check out our Calm-Down Kefir Lotion and soap which contain lavender.
- Keep your skin dry and clean: Fungi thrive in moist environments, so keeping the affected area dry and clean is essential to prevent further growth.
- Wear breathable fabrics: Choose cotton and other natural fibres, which allow air circulation and reduce moisture buildup.
*Always check with your GP for interactions with medications/health conditions before starting supplements.
You might also like to read our article on skin health – Why your skin needs probiotic lotion!
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays, to have your questions answered!