Norman Allan
  home       alternative medicine        herbs       science       ask the doctor        biography      blog  



N.F. asks: "Can you tell me how you go about diagnosing candida and how you treat it? Do you use any of the recommended prescription antifungal drugs such as Lamisil or Diflucan in conjunction with dietary restrictions?"

First: the yeast candida is an "opportunistic organism" of no great virulence that we are surrounded by. It is everywhere, but being of no great virulence it cannot infect us unless our immune systems are deficient and/or our body is out of balance: so, antibiotics upset the balance of microrganisms in the body and leave us open to candida overgrowth; and one of the first signs of AIDS is oral candida or "thrush".

Diagnosis: diagnosing candida is not easy!

Because candida is so ubiquitous 80% to 85% of the population carry antibodies to candida. Serology is therefore of little use. Weíve all been exposed to candida, so most of us have antibodies. (Those who lack the antibodies are possibly those amongst us who are so superfit that they have never had a problem from the ubiquitous yeast.)

Electrodermal testing (EDT) systems, such as "Intero", are commonly used to diagnose candida. As the result to research that Professor Pomeranz (of the University of Toronto) and I conducted into EDT we believe that the technique is primarily a divining or dowsing device (rather than a detector of physiological signals). However, if you wanted to dig a well and find water the very best way (far more reliable then employing the best geologists) is to find a dowser with a good reputation. I have heard amazing stories about the effectiveness of EDT from very reliable sources - but a "pinch of salt" is necessary.

Aileen Burford-Mason, Ph.D. is a scientist who has studied candida and now works as a "Biomedical and Health Care Research Consultant - Email: 416 923 5991. Aileen says that if you are carrying candida you will be able to culture candida from a swab taken from the back of the tongue. If you canít culture it from such a sample then you are not a carrier. Unfortunately the test is not available in Canada.

The live-blood work that we do in my office is a blunt diagnostic toil - I will see some "yeast" in nearly every sample that I examine. However, if someone has a serious yeast infestation this will be apparent in the darkfield live-blood profile. (I have very little faith in most of the people out there using live-blood - I think there are a lot of scam artists about. Find someone trained by Phil Hockstra and/or find someone you trust.)

Perhaps I'm to modest here about my use of dark field. As I wrote in a patient report to the naturopath, Dr. McKenzie today: "there is no reliable way of diagnosing Candida and I think that you are right in thinking that this live-blood test is as good as any or possibly the best of a bad lot..."


Because candida is an opportunistic organism of no great virulence it is not the fundemental cause of a patientís problem. Itís a symptom of a compromised immune system.

Because it is very difficult to treat candida effectively - it takes stringent dieting over a long period and the use of herbs over several months - often it is best to work with other aspects of the patients condition first (see for instance "a treatment for most conditions").

Should you be on a candida diet while taking antifungal medication?
Probably. Itís not a bad diet. If you feel healthy on the diet, use it. Certainly after taking the antifungals you are going to need to stay on something close to the "candida diet ".

A few years back I asked my herbal teach, Michael Vertolli, to help me work out a herbal regime for candida. Hereís what we came up with.

A Herbal Treatment Regime

The remedies are to be taken as tinctures. The three tinctures prescribed should be mixed together and taken together as:-

36 drops in a small quantity of water repeated 4 times per day, half an hour before meals and half an hour before sleep.

(Because some herb may show some toxicity if used repeatedly, we will often alternate herb - so in this anti-Candida protocol we will alternate Golden Seal and Barberry (which have moderate toxicity) with eachother and with the non-toxic herb, Echinacea.)

First two weeks make and take a mixture of
   Golden Seal tincture 12 drops;
   Grapefruit Seed extract 12 drops
   Taheebo (pau d'arco) tincture 12 drops;

Second two weeks to
   Barberry tincture 12 drops;
   Grapefruit Seed extract 12 drops
   Taheebo (pau d'arco) tincture 12 drops;

Third two weeks
   Echinacea tincture 12 drops;
   Grapefruit Seed extract 12 drops
   Taheebo (pau d'arco) tincture 12 drops;

Repeat this 6 week cycle three times

This regime should be combined with a "candida diet ".

Homeopathic Candida 30C can be taken once a week (or as directed by your health care practitioner).

Goldenseal, Barberry, Taheebo (Pau d'Arco)
   use Gaia or "Herbs etc" if available
Echinacea, use Faunus if available
Grapefruit Seed extract marketed as Nutribiotic or Citricidal in recommended.
(In general, herbal tinctures by "Faunus Herbs" or "Gaia" are recommended when available, except for Echinacea. Gaia's Echinacea may include endangered Echinacea species!)

from away- if you've already got the left navigation bar this will double it!