One of the things my husband really struggled with when his body was depleted and compromised from our mold exposure was Candida. If you are not familiar with the intricacies of Candida, I’ll give you a brief, not entirely medical rundown that is based upon both what the doctors told us and my experience with it:
Candida is a systemic yeast or fungal overgrowth inside the body. It starts in the gut when yeast begins to grow and overtakes the “good” gut bacteria that fights illness and disease and aids in nutrient absorption and digestion. The only way to really conquer or get rid of Candida is to starve it out of existence and to take antifungal supplements or medications. Since yeast thrives on any and all sugar, a diet that eliminates sugars, starches and many fungi-rich foods is usually prescribed. A potent probiotic is also part of the usual regimen. If all steps are followed to the letter, the Candida will eventually die off and the healthy gut bacteria will resume their role as the major players. The “die-off” effect can be quite intense and debilitating, though. Many times, people experiencing Candida “die-off” feel like they are coming down with something or have the flu. It is not pleasant, because the yeast has taken hold of your body and doesn’t want to leave.
Other indicators of Candida overgrowth occur on the outside of the body. Some people develop skin rashes, white patches on their skin, vaginal yeast infections, a white film on the back of their tongues, and even ongoing cases of athlete’s foot or fingernail and toenail fungus. In other words, it’s not a pretty thing to have happen to you. When you’ve been exposed to mold spores in a toxic environment, like we were for a prolonged amount of time, your body becomes extremely susceptible to Candida. It’s like the mold just wants to take over your body, both inside and out. It is insidious.
My poor husband had both the gut issues of Candida and the skin issues—white patches all over his chest and back. Well, we got out of the home, eradicated the mold, cleaned up his diet and got him on a circuit of rotating antifungal supplements, but he couldn’t seem to get rid of the white patches on his skin. We went to countless dermatologists, tried 100s of natural and over-the-counter antifungal creams, but nothing seemed to work long term, or irritated his skin to the point that it wasn’t worth using. That was when I decided to start doing some experiments of my own to try to invent an all-natural antifungal cream that would work for him and give him some relief.
The first thing I did to find my ingredients was to start looking at his food journal (he had to keep a journal of everything he was eating on the Anti-Candida Diet) to see which foods he responded most positively to, when trying to get rid of the yeast internally. Bells and whistles went off for me when I saw that his skin itching improved on the days he was taking 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil on an empty stomach, 1 hour prior to eating anything else. In his journal, he also cited a noticeable change in his energy, less GI symptoms and better overall food absorption. He even noted that on the days when he took more Coconut Oil, his skin seemed clearer. BAM! This was it. Coconut Oil. I needed to try to create a cream that contained coconut oil combined with other natural antifungals for his skin. Well, that is just what I did.
Now, a little bit of information about coconut oil to help you understand why it can be such an all-around powerhouse when it comes to treating fungus:
Unrefined, virgin coconut oil that has not been bleached or treated contains linoelic, caprylic and lauric acid. While lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is nutritionally superior in helping reduce cholesterol, caprylic and linoelic acid are the factors that really help with Candida issues both internally and topically. Linoelic acid reduces inflammation. Caprylic acid contains antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for centuries to treat yeast infections, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and has been proven to lower the risk of antibiotic resistance and to breakdown the membranes of Candida cells.
So, after months of experimenting with different ways and combinations of essential oils and additives to the coconut oil to make my husband a cream, I finally found the best combination. Here it is!
Homemade Coconut Oil Cream for Fungal Relief
Tools and Ingredients:
- Glass or plastic container with a screw top (You want a container that you would normally prefer for body lotion or cream. If you can’t use it easily, you won’t use it, so don’t make the mistake of choosing a container that is cumbersome to open. This recipe also doesn’t work well in a pump container. It is too thick.)
- ½ cup Virgin, Unrefined Liquid Coconut or MCT Oil (I used the one made by Whole Foods that my husband had used as part of his Anti-Candida regimen.)
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon beeswax pastilles (These are available online or through a natural food store. Beeswax helps to thicken homemade lotions because it is solid at room temperature. It also helps to seal in moisture to the skin as it creates a protective, yet breathable barrier. It also helps protect the skin form environmental pollutants and toxins.)
- 1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel (The aloe is extremely healing, cooling and soothing to the skin. It also makes the cream much fluffier and lighter in consistency, which my husband liked. In addition, aloe has antifungal properties of its own that penetrate and make this cream even more effective.)
- Blender or glass bowl with an immersion blender
- Melt the beeswax and coconut oil in a double broiler, or a glass bowl fitted over a saucepan filled with water. Stir the mixture frequently while it is melting to prevent any clumping.
- Once melted, remove from the heat and pour into a blender, or leave in the glass bowl, if using an immersion blender. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. It should just be beginning to harden around the edges. This will ensure that it will emulsify correctly.
- Add the CitriDrops and the tea tree oil, if using. You could also substitute another essential oil, if you are going for a particular fragrance.
- Start blending on low. While blending, add the aloe vera gel, a little at a time. You can scrape down the sides of the bowl or blender periodically, while blending the aloe in to make sure that it is all fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Once all of the aloe has been blended in, scoop or pour the mixture into your chosen container. Since this cream contains food-grade ingredients, it should be stored in the fridge and used within six weeks.
Warm a quarter-size amount of the cream in your hands. Apply your cream to any itchy, dry or white patches on your hands and body–or anywhere you want to use it, really. It is a great moisturizer! Avoid your face, though. You can use the cream up to 3 times a day. If any irritation occurs, you should stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.
My husband used this cream for only a week when he started noticing the white patches going away. He has not had a recurrence since, but I still make the cream periodically for other uses. I just like the cooling effect it gives my skin and it offers tired legs a nice boost as well. I also use a version of this recipe to make homemade Candida soap. I will share that recipe soon on the blog.
Take care and let me know what you think in the comments below.