Can These Essential Oils Help Lyme Disease Patients Overcome Chronic Candida Infections?

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For people diagnosed with Lyme disease that have persistent Candida infections
by Greg Lee

Have you ever been frustrated by a really slow computer? A month ago, I was making a video and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to edit the final version. The computer was being choked by a group of programs called “Bloatware.” These programs ate up huge amounts of disk space and processing which turned my computer into a slow moving tortoise.

How is Bloatware that slows down your computer similar to recurring Candida infections in people also diagnosed with Lyme disease?

Just like Bloatware, Candida can slow you down by eating up your valuable energy and increasing inflammation
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Candida lives on the skin and in the digestive tract without normally causing symptoms. Candida can cause local infections in the mouth, throat, esophagus and in the vagina. Candida can also cause systemic infections which affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body1. Symptoms found in persistent Candida infections can include leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome2, chronic fatigue3, arthritis4, clinical depression5, cerebral abscesses6, neck stiffness, seizures7, fever, chills, weakness, and death8. An immune system weakened by Lyme disease may make people more vulnerable to Candida infections.

Lyme disease patients may be more susceptible to recurring Candida infections
A Lyme disease infection may weaken the immune system and make people more susceptible to opportunistic Candida infections9. Also, many Lyme patients receive prolonged antibiotic therapy which can kill off healthy gut microbes and can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut and Candida overgrowth10. Another theory for chronic Candida in Lyme patients is an inability to produce the necessary inflammatory compounds for eliminating yeast infections.

Chronic Candida infection patients may not be able to produce important anti-fungal inflammatory compounds
In a UK study on chronic Candida infection patients, Interleukin-2 (IL-2), Interleukin-12 (IL-12) production was significantly lower and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) production was much higher11. The study indicates that Candida patients over produce IL-6 which can lead to decreased IL-12. Lower IL-12 is correlated with the inability to clear fungal infections. Patients with gastrointestinal Candida have higher levels of Interleukin-17 (IL-17) which promotes fungal colonization12. Not only Candida, but also Lyme infections can lead to excess inflammation production.

Excess inflammatory compounds may also prevent clearing of Lyme as well as Candida
Increased IL-6 leading to decreased levels of IL-12 may enable Lyme and Candida infections to persist. In neurological Lyme patients, higher levels of inflammatory compounds including IL-6, IL-2, Interleukin-5 (IL-5), Interleukin-10 (IL-10), and CXCL13 were found in spinal fluid13. In a Borrelia infected mice study, decreased IL-12 lead to decreased arthritis and increased levels of Lyme disease in tissues14. In another study, increased IL-17 led to the development of destructive arthritis in mice infected with Borrelia15. Drug resistant strains of Candida may also lead to persistent yeast infections in Lyme patients.

Candida can persist despite multiple anti-fungal medications
In the US and Canada, multi-drug resistant strains of Candida have been found in immune compromised patients16. Candida can also produce a protective slime called a “biofilm” which may make infections up to 1000x more drug resistant17. As a result of resistant and biofilm forms of Candida, Lyme patients undergoing antibiotic therapy may experience recurring Candida infections.

Are there natural remedies that can help to reduce recurring symptoms by targeting antibiotic resistant and biofilm forms of Candida?

Fortunately, there are five essential oils that have been effective against drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida
In a multiple studies, essential oils were effective at inhibiting drug resistant forms of Candida than anti-fungal medications. Other essential oils were highly effective at reducing Candida biofilms. Many of these essential oils have been used safely for years in our food supply18 and to help patients with Candida and Lyme disease to reduce relapsing symptoms. Microparticle “liposome” essential oils have greater penetration into organs and tissues in animal and lab studies19.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #1: Clove Bud
Clove bud essential oil demonstrated considerable anti-fungal properties against Fluconazole-resistant strains of Candida in one lab study20. In another study, clove bud exhibited anti-biofilm activity against Candida species biofilms21. In another lab study, clove bud inhibited IL-6, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), and IL-1022.

Clove bud essential oil eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and dissolved biofilms in a lab study23. In multiple animal and lab studies, clove bud oil has also been effective against biofilms produced by Staphylococcus aureus24, E. Coli25, and Aeromonas hydrophila26. In multiple lab studies, clove oil inhibits Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli, B. cereus, Listeria innocua, Morganella morganii, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, and Pseudomonas species27. This oil also posses potent anti-fungal properties against  Aspergillus flavus28.

Clove bud oil use is cautioned in pregnancy. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It may interact with pethidine, MAOIs or SSRIs. It is also cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin, and with children under 2 years old This oil has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status29. Similar to clove bud oil, tea tree has excellent anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #2: Tea Tree
In lab studies, tea tree oil inhibited drug resistant Candida strains30 and was effective at inhibiting biofilm growth31. Tea tree oil was also effective against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae32, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its biofilm,33 Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus34, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum35, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma fermentans36, group A streptococcus37, Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Pyrenophora graminea38, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum39 in lab and animal studies.

In an endotoxin lab study, tea tree essential oil was effective at lowering inflammatory compounds IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-1040. In another lab study, tea tree oil decreased IL-2 and increased anti-inflammatory compound IL-441. Caution: some cases have  been reported where tea tree oil caused allergic dermatitis when placed on the skin42. In five cases, high doses of this oil internally, 0.5-1.0 ml/kg, have produced central nervous system symptoms of loss of coordination, drowsiness, unconsciousness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain43. Just like tea tree, geranium essential oil has multiple anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #3: Geranium
In multiple lab studies, geranium oil inhibited Fluconazole resistant Candida strains44 and inhibited multiple Candida species biofilms45. Geranium oil was also effective at significantly decreasing inflammatory compounds IL-6, IL-10, IL-2 and COX-2 levels when exposed to Candida proteins in another lab study46. In a mouse study, this oil inhibited the degranulation of mast cells47.

The use of geranium oil is cautioned with diabetes medications, drugs metabolized by CYP2B6, and has a low risk of skin sensitization48. Just like geranium, savory reduced resistant forms of Candida.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #4: Savory
Due to their compositional similarity, winter and summer savory essential oils are grouped together here. In one lab study, winter savory essential oil was highly effective at inhibiting drug resistant strains of Candida glabrata49. In another lab study, summer savory essential oil demonstrated substantial anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans and it’s biofilms50.

Since these oils may inhibit blood clotting; use is cautioned with anticoagulant medications, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders. Use is also cautioned with diabetic medications, use on mucous membranes due to a moderate risk of irritation and use on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin due to a low risk of skin irritation. Use is also cautioned in children under 2 years of age51. Similar to savory, lemon has demonstrated anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #5: Lemon
In lab studies, lemon essential oil was effective at inhibiting drug-resistant Candida species52. This oil was also 100% effective at reducing a mixed species Candida albicans and E. Coli biofilm53. If applied to the skin, skin must not be exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours54. These essential oils in combination may help to reduce relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida in patients with Lyme disease.

Essential oils may help to reduce recurring symptoms caused by antifungal resistant and biofilm forms of Candida
Similar to deleting the Bloatware off your computer to speed it up, a powerful combination of essential oils may help you to overcome energy draining and relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida. Formulating these remedies into microparticle liposomes may enhance the stability and extend the anti-fungal activity of these essential oils. Since these essential oils have cautions and contraindications on their use, work with a Lyme literate essential oil practitioner to develop a proper, safe, and effective strategy for your condition.

– Greg

>> Next step: Click here to take our stealthy co-infection quiz to see which tick infections may be causing your symptoms.

P.S. Do you have experiences where treatment or remedies helped you reduce recurring symptoms from recurring Candida infections? Tell us about it.

1 “Invasive Candidiasis | Candidiasis | Types of Fungal Diseases | Fungal Diseases | CDC,” April 25, 2018.

2 Kogan, Mikhail, Carlos Cuellar Castillo, and Melissa S. Barber. “Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Report.” Integrative Medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) 15, no. 3 (June 2016): 44–54.

3 Evengård, Birgitta, Hanna Gräns, Elisabeth Wahlund, and Carl Erik Nord. “Increased Number of Candida Albicans in the Faecal Microflora of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients during the Acute Phase of Illness.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 42, no. 12 (December 2007): 1514–15.

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48 Tisserand, R. and Young. R. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. Second Ed. London, Churchill Livingstone, p. 1032.

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51 Tisserand, R. and Young. R. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. Second Ed. London, Churchill Livingstone, pp 1444 – 1445.

52 Szweda, Piotr, Katarzyna Gucwa, Ewelina Kurzyk, Ewa Romanowska, Katarzyna Dzierżanowska-Fangrat, Anna Zielińska Jurek, Piotr Marek Kuś, and Sławomir Milewski. “Essential Oils, Silver Nanoparticles and Propolis as Alternative Agents Against Fluconazole Resistant Candida Albicans, Candida Glabrata and Candida Krusei Clinical Isolates.” Indian Journal of Microbiology 55, no. 2 (June 2015): 175–83.

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