Another plant product which is gaining in popularity is goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Its principal active ingredients are berberine, canadine and hydrastine. An Indian journal confirmed that berberine is a powerful anti fungal (Sabouradia, 1982; 20: 79-81).
It is also claimed to kill many kinds of harmful bacteria, viruses and other parasitic organisms.
Goldenseal appears to have two other properties that make it particularly useful against candida: it inhibits the destructive polyamines that go along with candida and eliminates the "die off" toxins produced when it is killed. Goldenseal can be taken internally as a capsule or used as a vaginal douche or mouthwash.
Dr Gaier favours a radically new technique, which has transformed his treatment programme. One of the concomitants of yeast overgrowth is an infestation of anaerobic gut bacteria which take the place of the lactobacilli, but do not consume the yeasts, he says. Although it is a fairly easy matter to clear out the yeasts by drugs, the anaerobic bacteria often hinder the repopulation of the gut by lactobacilli, thus running the risk of the yeast infection recurring.
Dr Gaier recently came across a French product called Gastropax, which is usually prescribed as an antacid. One of its modes of action is to release oxygen in the gut. Anaerobic (which means "without oxygen") bacteria are killed by oxygen, so Dr Gaier now prescribes Gastropax for five days and then starts them on a three week course of treatment with special diet and tincture of Berberis vulgaris, another candida terminator with remarkable results, he says. Patients are completely better in six weeks to several months.