For VAGINAL YEAST, an immune boosting formula including natural mixed carotenes, astragalus, myrrh, garlic, and echinacea provides a potent and unusual blend of scientifically-current nutrients along with traditional remedies for immune support to reduce frequency and susceptibility of opportunistic yeast outbreaks. This kind of rich formula works in complementary ways with immune-stimulating vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs to give faster and deeper immune support to help resolve yeast symptoms.
Carotenes are ideally in a natural mixed blend, as they occur in foods. These would include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and up to thirty others, all of which have independent antioxidant and immune supportive actions. Natural carotenes are effective immune supporters that discourage repeat yeast overgrowth. They can convert into as much vitamin A as the body needs with no risk of overdose. Natural carotenes enhance helper T white blood cell activity and increase the output of antibodies that attach to unwanted microbes. With their direct action against infection, they can boost these infection-fighting armies by up to 30% in only seven days, and provide powerful protection against candida overgrowth.
Astragalus can boost antibodies against candida: In a 2016 study astragalus polysaccharides were used to enhance the efficacy of recombinant protein vaccine against systemic candidiasis; and the astragalus showed significant promotion of specific antibody titers in mice.2, 3 In vivo and in vitro studies have shown astragalus to have “significant” and “surprisingly active” adjuvant activity (a substance that enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen) and researchers called for more studies to identify the most active adjuvant components. Astragalus stimulates the immune system activating white blood cells to engulf and kill invading microbes. Astragalus is also considered a deep immune supporter, as it can raise white blood cell counts for people with leukopenia, chronically low white blood cell levels, and seems to be especially valuable for people whose immune systems have been damaged by chemical or other exposures.
Myrrh is one of several botanicals that can encourage a healthy balance of ‘good’ bacteria in the vaginal area, to deter yeast overgrowth. Myrrh is antibacterial and antiseptic, reducing inflammation to help with vaginal yeast. A 2017 study was conducted to evaluate the effect of myrrh essential oil on the growth of three isolates of Candida albicans: myrrh showed an inhibitory effect of the growth and reproduction of yeast cells.4 The earliest antimicrobial use of myrrh dates back to 1100 BC, where Sumerians used myrrh to treat infected teeth and intestinal worms. In ancient times, myrrh was used by the Egyptians for embalming. Myrrh oil has also long been used for the treatment of skin wounds and fungal infections caused by Candida albicans and Tinea pedis. Our patients have found formulas including myrrh to be effective for preventing and treating vaginal yeast symptoms.
Garlic has an exceptionally wide range of actions against fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In studies, garlic has been shown to actually kill candida albicans, and various types of staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli, salmonella, and viruses, versus just stopping their spread. Several active constituents are responsible including allyl sulfur compounds, ajoene, and allicin. Garlic also has immune boosting effects: it enhances phagocytosis of invading microbes, encourages more lymphocyte white cells, and increases killer cell activity and cytokine production. The effects of fresh garlic extract taken orally has been demonstrated in vitro and attributed to the action of allicin, its sulfur-containing compound. Researchers in a 2005 study tested garlic treatment on a specific Candida albicans organism which creates a biofilm and demonstrates resistance to traditional antifungal agents. Their results showed very promising activity for garlic against C. albicans biofilms.5
We prefer a formula with an array of other immune-supportive nutrients. Vitamin C has direct action against many microbes, and it increases the body’s interferon levels improving white blood cell responses against microbes including viruses and bacteria. Vitamin E boosts both antibody production and white cell immune functions with T-cells increasing up to 28%. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are all required for making white blood cells and for their healthy function directly opposing microbes, and also for an effective antibody response. Selenium is necessary for the development of white cells, and it stimulates their actions, via the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Zinc promotes the destruction of invading microbes, and enhances the anti-microbial benefits of carotenes. Bioflavonoids modify our body responses to viruses, and have direct antiviral and anti-inflammatory actions.
Additional valuable botanicals for immune-boosting include echinacea, which has been the subject of hundreds of research trials. The angustifolia and purpurea species are the best documented, and here have appropriate standardized doses. Inulin and other saccharides can raise immune mediators that activate macrophage white cells, enhance the ability of macrophages to engulf bacteria, and increase natural killer cell activity and the number of active T-cells. Echinacea appears to also have direct activity against viruses. Berberine, the active constituent in Oregon grape root, can attack and cripple many kinds of fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and prevent streptococci from adhering to tissues. Berberine discourages yeast growth, and helps probiotic ‘good’ bacteria to flourish, further inhibiting yeast overgrowth. Green tea is considered a deep immune supporter as it helps trap and detoxify immune-damaging environmental toxins. Siberian ginseng, or Eleutherococcus, reduces susceptibility to infections, and enhances antibody and interferon production, and boosts natural killer cell activity and phagocytosis of unwanted invading microbes. Licorice root can impede the yeast candida, and also various staphylococci, and streptococci, as shown by in vitro testing. It also encourages interferon and is a useful anti-inflammatory.
In our clinic, we have seen very good improvement and excellent resolution of vaginal yeast symptoms using a balanced blend of these immune-boosting botanicals and nutrients.
Recommendation: A formula ideally including, per dose: Natural mixed carotenes 8,000IU, Vitamin A 1,600IU, Astragalus 30mg, Myrrh 30mg, Garlic 130mg, Vitamin C 450mg, Vitamin E 100IU, Vitamin B6 15mg, Vitamin B12 50mcg, Folate 200mcg, Zinc 15mg, Selenium 65mcg, Citrus Bioflavonoids 100mg, Echinacea angustifolia herb 70mg, Echinacea purpurea extract 50mg, Oregon Grape root 120mg, Green tea extract 50mg, Eleutherococcus root extract 100mg, Licorice root 150mg. Take one to three doses daily, or as directed by your healthcare provider. If B-vitamins and zinc are present, this formula would be best taken with food.
- Bendich, Adrianne. “Carotenoids and the immune response.” The Journal of nutrition 119.1 (1989): 112-115.
- Ragupathi, Govind, et al. “Evaluation of widely consumed botanicals as immunological adjuvants.” Vaccine 26.37 (2008): 4860-4865.
- Yang, Fan, et al. “Structural characterization of low molecular weight polysaccharide from Astragalus membranaceus and its immunologic enhancement in recombinant protein vaccine against systemic candidiasis.” Carbohydrate polymers 145 (2016): 48-55.
- Hawar, S. N. “Activity of Myrrh (Commiphora nlolmol) Essential Oil on Growth of Candida Albicans.” Ibn AL-Haitham Journal For Pure and Applied Science 21.1 (2017): 1-8.
- Shuford, Jennifer A., James M. Steckelberg, and Robin Patel. “Effects of fresh garlic extract on Candida albicans biofilms.” Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 49.1 (2005): 473-473.