By Ariana Estelle-Symons, PhD.
Extracted from the
Kombucha Konnection newsletter
Copyright 1996/98

What is Candida?

You don’t ‘catch’ Candida from your kids, or from other people in a crowded subway or a stuffy movie theater. You can’t catch it from the guy in your car-pool, or the throngs of shoppers at the Mall. You don’t ‘come-down’ with it overnight - and worse yet, you may be walking around with it for months or even years, and never even know it. It’s an insidious and debilitating condition that if not controlled can lead to more serious and harmful disease.

Candida albicans is a type of parasitic yeast like fungus that inhabits the intestines, genital tract, mouth, esophagus, and throat.


Take ‘Bob’ for instance. Married for 10 years, two great kids, super job, wonderful friendships and living the ‘good life’. Until about a year ago. Seems like this all started right after his wife had all those problems with a ‘yeast infection’, you know, one of those things that women are always getting. Earlier in the year, the whole family had suffered through a particularly bad siege of the flu, but their doctor prescribed antibiotics, and after a few weeks on those, they all felt a little drained, but they recovered.

Bob was not sleeping well and finding it really hard to get up in the morning. Once he did get to the office, he felt as though someone had come in during the night and moved everything around. He couldn’t find the files he was looking at yesterday, and if he did find them, he couldn’t concentrate enough to work on them. He yelled at his secretary and just wished he could close the door and take a nap. He’d grab a donut for breakfast, sip on soft drinks all morning, grab a Big Mac, Fries and a huge coke for lunch, and by about 3 P.M., be starving and shaky and miserable. He’d grab a bag of cookies and a candy bar out of the machine and try to make it through until quitting time. On the freeway he would feel panicky in the heavy traffic and one time even missed his own off-ramp for home.

When he got home, the kids drove him nuts, not to mention his wife reminding him that he forgot to take out the trash . . . again. He jumped down her throat, hollered at the kids and the dog, was miserable all through dinner because he felt like a jerk for behaving so badly. He would be so bushed he’d crash on the couch while trying to watch a little TV, then get up and go to bed. Twice in the last month, he was impotent. This got his attention!

He went to his family doctor and told him; ‘I just don’t feel good. I’m not sick, but I don’t feel like myself. I’m so tired all the time. Nothing I eat agrees with me and half the time I have diarrhea and the other half of the time I’m constipated. I’m only 40 years old and now… I'm impotent. I must have a fatal disease!’ His doctor looked him over and told him he was under a lot of stress, he worked too hard and was on the verge of a major depression. He prescribed anti-depressants.

They didn’t help. As the weeks and months went by, he was more fatigued and now was suffering from muscle and joint pain, coupled with headaches and some dizziness. Then he experienced an outbreak of psoriasis, sores in his mouth, and his stomach was giving him fits. He was bloated and simply miserable.

He went back to his doctor and said ‘you’ve got to do something. I can’t live like this’. Perplexed, his doctor checked him into the hospital for tests. He was there almost a week. After a multitude of tests, his doctor sat down with him and said ‘Bob, you’re not dying of a fatal disease - you’ve got Candidiasis, also known as Candida Albicans or Candida".

Bob was lucky. It could have been much worse. He could have ended up suffering from Lupus, Colitis, Adrenal or Thyroid failure, or Diabetes. If Candida is not controlled, it will weaken the immune system and the body’s defense system is drastically impaired.


What is Candida?

Candidiasis is the medical term used to describe a yeast overgrowth that is usually found in the intestinal area and other tissues of the body.

According to Gary Carlsen, R.H., Director of the National Wellness Resource Center and the Candida Wellness Center in Provo, Utah, Candida is caused by four major factors:

  1. A weakened or impaired immune system allows the Candida a superior foothold within the body.
  2. Hormonal therapy, Steroids and Glandular Dysfunction contribute significantly to a yeast overgrowth.
  3. A third and major area of contribution to Candida is improper diet.
  4. The fourth area of weakness and the major cause of Candidiasis is a lack of friendly bacteria.

Candida is a parasite, and like all parasites, feeds off its host, leaving nothing beneficial in return. In fact, the antigens, the waste product left behind by Candida, are toxic and left unchecked can invade every organ of the human body - even the heart and the brain.

When the small intestine is invaded by Candida, the foods introduced are no longer assimilated, and the production of the hormones and enzymes needed for proper digestion is halted.

Candida kills the friendly bacteria needed to maintain a healthy body. When a baby is born, there are several strains of bacteria present. By the age of about three years, there are two strains that prevail; Lacto Bacillus Acidophilus (in the small intestine) and Bifido Bacterium Bifidum (in the colon or large intestine). A slightly acid environment is produced by those friendly bacteria, which ensures their survival. Ordinarily, these friendly bacteria can fight off invading antigens that appear in the body, however when there is an overgrowth of Candida and the resulting poisonous toxins are released into the system, the battle is lost.

This type of situation is visible even in nature. If friendly bacteria are depleted from the soil, that soil becomes barren and nothing can grow.

I am not an M.D., and I don’t pretend to have a great deal of scientific knowledge, but it appears to me that if there is a sufficient amount of healthy, friendly bacteria in the body, Candida cannot survive. I also do not claim that "Kombucha will cure Candida". However, I feel that if you are suffering from this condition, that you owe it to yourself to investigate and pursue every alternative presented. Over 100 of my clients have reported that drinking Kombucha has greatly relieved their Candida symptoms. On the Kombucha Mailing List, there are hundreds of reports from other Kombucha drinkers reporting the same benefit.

There is a publication available (The Candida Yeast Answer) that you may find helpful. To obtain it, write or call:

Candida Wellness Center
4365 North Bedford Drive
Provo, Utah 84604

Kombucha Luv Letters

The following was received from Len Porzio, a fellow member of the ‘Kombucha List / Digest’ on the Internet.

From: "The Yeast Syndrome"/Drs. Trowbridge and Walker

‘Candida is a naturally occurring yeast which lives in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts as well as on the skin. By the time we are six months old, as many as 95% of us are supporting intestinal candida colonies. When an overgrowth occurs, it is the result of an imbalance in the intestinal flora. Antibiotics, birth control pills, pregnancy, diabetes and cortisone-like drug (including steroids) encourage yeast growth. Also to blame are diets high in sugar and low in fiber."

From: Len Porzio

"This happened to me about 4 years ago as a result of a life long diet, high in sugar and other refined carbs. I suspect a bee-pollen/honey mixture I was taking finally tipped the scales since the combination B vitamins and sugar is perfect breeding ground for Candida.

For three years I tried diets and various remedies to rid myself of the problem with marginal success. They all helped, but none gave permanent results.

In July last year I began brewing Kombucha Tea and by about September I discovered that a real mature KT brew which is just about like vinegar seemed to be having a real positive impact on my condition. By Christmas my symptoms were gone. And after two weeks of dining on traditional holiday goodies, I can say with confidence, this time it’s permanent!

Yes, KT contains various yeast cultures. All of them excellent for the digestive tract. Theory has it that, since these are competitors to Candida albicans they tend to starve it out. At the same time, the detoxifying nature of KT helps rid one’s system of the toxins produced by Candida, insuring these toxins don’t further depress your immune system.

Harmonic Harvest Products

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UpDt 10/25/1999