An extract of New Zealand’s native herbal, horopito, compares favourably with pharmaceutical antifungals in scientific studies of thrush support.
Thrush is the common term for proliferation of Candida albicans, the fungal microbe that lives in our gut and can cause digestive, genital or systemic pain and discomfort when out of control. Preventing candida overgrowth was the focus of my recent blog on Natural Antibiotics and Gut Health, but what if ill health, poor diet or medical drugs have upset your digestive tract so much that candida is already multiplying uncontrollably? Thankfully, an effective natural thrush support treatment product is available, and what’s more it’s made from one of our ancient native New Zealand shrubs.
Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata), is one of two unrelated natives commonly called the pepper tree (the other being Kawakawa). Horopito has existed largely unchanged in New Zealand’s wilderness forests for 65 million years. It has beautiful oval-shaped green leaves covered with red splotches that have a hot peppery taste, leaving a burning sensation in the mouth.
This hot taste is due to polygodial, the active anti-fungal compound in horopito. It breaks down the fungal cell walls, destroying the cells, thus supporting the body’s natural immune defences against candida’s invasion. Polygodial is also one of the keys to horopito’s long survival – fungi and insects are discouraged from attacking the leaves.
As a first step in thrush management, horopito shows rapid and effective results in clinical trials. It can be so effective in destroying candida cells that attention has to be given to keeping your eliminative channels functioning well so that the dead cells are flushed from the body and don’t build up, causing temporary unpleasant symptoms. Kolorex products from Forest Herbs Research contain concentrated extracts of horopito leaf harvested here in Golden Bay, from their forest plantations next to Kahurangi National Park.
In addition to its anti-fungal action, there are powerful antioxidant flavonoids present and horopito also has benefits that support natural management of inflammation, along with circulatory stimulating, expectorant, anti-irritant, antiseptic, astringent and insecticidal properties. Extensive scientific research in New Zealand has established horopito’s efficacy across a broad range of applications, and continuing studies into polygodial’s effect on the digestive system indicate its specific action is much more than anti-fungal.
Maori traditionally used horopito leaves for treating not only stomach ache and diarrhoea, but toothache too. It was known amongst early European settlers as the “bushman’s painkiller” and was also used both internally and topically for burns, scars, skin infections and venereal disease. Horopito, being known as a pepper tree, is a warming herb with a particular affinity for people with a cold constitution and weak digestion.
Once initial thrush/fungal overgrowth has been brought undercontrol you will need to support the restoration of healthy microflora in your digestive tract with food and nutrients outlined in my earlier blogs.
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