pix credit: Healthline

We are still in the woman’s world to which caring men are invited.  After all, women are the mothers, aunts, nieces and sisters of men. To the doctor’s clinics where “toilet infections” and vaginal questions are addressed, we are hopping on a tour to learn more about what some physicians think about these challenges and how they address them. The golden rule many orthodox doctors always refer to is that women should not douche or expose the vagina to chemical substances such as scented tissue paper or perfumed soaps. This golden rule suggests, instead, that they clean up with water. But just this act may be all the petrol that germs unfriendly to the vagina may require to balloon their population.

Every living organism requires water to grow. The cells, whether human, animal, plant or microbial, is made of about 70 per cent water. When one cell splits into two and two divide  into four, the split half parts need to urgently beef up their water stocks to become not only adult cells but to also be able to carry out their living processes which include reproduction of their kind. To do these, germs need to adhere    to tissue to suck nutrients, including amino acids (building parts of proteins) and water. If they are denied adhesion, they are starved and denatured, they are weak and unable to defend themselves adequately. Thereby, they are far more easily and readily exposed to the vagaries of war with the immune system in which they should by then become pitiable sights or gross mismatches.

In alternative medicine, many plants offer this winning support when they are used for douching. These plants, or some others destroy proteins which are not the body’s own protein. These foreign proteins, called exogenous proteins, that is proteins foreign to the body, include the germs which, basically, are forms of proteins. Beyond these two helpful activities, herbs may help to stimulate the immune function by, say, stimulating the reproduction of macrophages, those large white blood soldier cells which eat up foreign bodies. Some of these friendly herbs are….

MANGO SEED EXTRACT

We know about the good, old mango (Mangifera indica) in Nigeria. We use the flowers, leaves, and bark for medicines against all sorts of ailments. We know, too, about its cousin, the African Bush Mango which is currently making the news and the waves around the world not only as an anti-microbial but, also, as a weight loss agent. The African Bush Mango seed provides us with a kernel from which draw soup is made. An American doctor who lived for some time in the Cameroon discovered that many people who ate draw soup regularly had no weight problem. He took some seeds back home which yielded good results in an experiment. Through him, African Mango seed extract gained currency world- wide as a weight loss agent.

The Mango Seed Extract I propose here is not the extract of African Bush Mango, which the Yoruba call Oro.   (d: r). It is the extract of Mangifera Indica, the popular green or yellow mango of which there are many varieties, including cherry mango when we eat the fruit, we throw away the hard, unchewable seed. But about 15 years ago, I stopped doing that. I sun dried the seeds and broke them up. Inside every seed, there is a soft white pulp called the mango seed kernel.  I knew about it from H.K Bakhru’s HERBS THAT HEAL. He describes it as a great anti-microbial power house. In India, he says, women use it as a spermicide that is as a contraceptive. Before sex, an Indian woman would paste her vagina and cervix with Mango seed extract.  And, sure enough, it killed the sperm, helping them to avoid oestrogen-based pills, intra uterine devices (IUDs) and their many health hazards and, of course, unwanted pregnancies.  I was later to learn that as mango seed extract kills the goose, it also kills the gander, as it were. That means unfriendly germs in the vagina do not survive in its claws. Add to that its weight loss potential when it’s taken with lime and water. Mango seed extract can be peppery in the vagina when used alone as a paste. It is often suggested that it be used with a carrier such as egg white, a protein tolerated by the vagina, Bee propolis cream or coconut oil another anti-microbial.

GOLDEN SEAL ROOT

One of the constituents of this herb which gives it powers is a chemical substance named Berberine. In China, Berberine is extracted from Berberine-containing herbs-and used as medicine. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, anti-cholesterol and interacts easily with pharmaceutical medicines, for which reason it is sometimes suggested that golden seal root should not be taken with pharmaceuticals, although its Berberine content may not potentiate reactions caused by pure Berberine extract. To understand Golden Seal Root, which easily one of the most popular Berberine-containing herbs, we need to understand Berberine, if only a little.

Dr. Mercola of www.articles.mercola.com says: “it is effective against “a wide range of bacterial, protozoa and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and is perhaps most commonly used to treat gastro-intestinal issues, including Traveller’s diarrhoea and, that’s from food poisoning”

Dr. Mercola says modern research has now come to accept what Traditional Medicine has been saying about Berberine for centuries….. That its uses extend far beyond anti-microbial activities.

“As reported in the Natural Medicine Journal”, he says, “in the recent years…over a third of the approximately 2,800 studies listed on Pub Med were published in the last five years. These studies reveal that Berberine may have clinical application in a range of conditions.  In order to understand Berberine and why it is now vying for a position as one of the most important supplements in the world, it is important to understand adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinasa or AMPK.

AMPK is an enzyme inside your body cells. It is sometimes called a “metabolic master switch” because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism, according to the Natural Medicine Journal. AMPK induces a cascade of events within cells that are all involved in maintaining energy homeostasis.

“AMPK regulates an array of biological activities that normalise lipid, glucose and energy imbalances. Metabolic syndrome (METS) occurs when these AMPK regulated pathways are turned off, triggering a syndrome that includes hyperglycaemia, diabetes, lipid abnormalities and energy imbalances”

AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors shifting energy towards cellular repairs, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival. The hormones Leptin and Adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting and weight loss- the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.

“One way to appreciate Berberine’s potential is to think of it as having the same effect on a patient as increasing exercise while at the same time restricting calorie intake. Think of the effects of AMPK suppression as similar as to that of eating a high calorie diets while leading a very sedentary lifestyle. Berberine is one of the few compounds known to activate AMPK (resveratrol).”

THE VAGINA

In this vault, Golden Seal Root coast the tissue wall with Berberine. This is a slippery alkaloid which prevents germs from adhering to the tissue as state earlier. Berberine goes on to activate cellular energy cellular energy in the mitochondria, and this provides an impetus for the organs to depend itself. By stimulating immune response, the germs which are weakened because they cannot adhere to tissue wall and suck nurture are easily killed off through the help of Golden Seal Root. I have gone this far in respect of Berberine and Golden Seal Root because I often received enquires about my seeming love for this herb. I crave a little more time for a little more explanation by Dr. Mercola, as a way of ensuring some of these enquiries. He says:

“Berberine works as well as Metformin for diabetes. One of the most celebrated studies on Berberine compared taking 500mg of the compound 2-3 times daily for three months with the diabetes drug Metformin. Berberine was able to control blood sugar and lipid metabolism effectively as Metformin, with researchers describing Berberine as a “potent oral hypoglycaemic agent”. A separate meta-analysis also revealed ‘Berberine has comparable therapeutic effects on type 2 DM (Diabetes melitus), hyperlipidaemia and hypertension with no serious side effects’.

“As noted by Dr. Julian Whitaker, in people with diabetes, AMPK activation by Berberine stimulates the uptake of glucose into the cells, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces glucose production in the liver. A review published in the international Journal of Endocrinology, further explained on Berberine’s role in treating type 2 diabetes. ‘Modern pharmacological effects of BBR on glucose metabolism includes improving insulin resistance promoting insulin secretion, inhibiting gluconeogenesis in the liver’ stimulating glycolysis in peripheral tissue cells, modulating gut microbiota, reducing intestinal absorption of glucose and regulating lipid metabolism.

BBR (Berberine) is used to treat diabetic nephropathy (DPN), diabetic neuropathy (DN) and diabetic cardiomyopathy due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity”

CANDIDIASIS

While Golden Seal Root, as a Berberine-containing herb is good news for the diabetic and carbohydrate-consuming people who are near-border diabetics or who do not wish to become diabetic, it should be good news as well for people who suffer from candida, fungi or other yeast infections. In the treatment of candida in the vagina, doctors often prescribe Nystatin and advise their patients to avoid or limit carbohydrate foods or plain sugars. I do not think this will effectively address the problem. Women have a knack for sweet things and may not readily see the link between their vaginal candidiasis and the intake of carbohydrate foods or sugars. It should be better, in my view, they are helped to burn blood and tissue sugar and fats, which may also cause problems which the candida, fungi or yeast are confronted on other fronts. Golden Seal Root can be taken orally and used as a vagina paste. The duration should be for about seven days with a break of seven days. During this break or holiday, the infection may obtain a respite and wish to re-enforce. The break is necessary because, friendly as Golden Seal Root is to the mucus membrane, it may become dehydrating if it taken over a prolonged period of time. In the “holiday” period, other herbs such as Grape Seed Extract and Aloe Vera, may keep the watch. In the case of the vagina, vitamin E soft gels or Aloe Vera soft gel may be inserted overnight in this period. Both help rehydration and regeneration of tissue damage by the infection. Pure virgin coconut oil may also stand on guard before the return of Golden Seal Root therapy seven days after. Within one month, it should be possible to cear the vagina of all its unwanted guests. This is the stage or time to introduce the wanted guests, the friendly bacteria (probiotic). This can be done with the insertion of probiotic capsules for several days.

CANDIDA ALBICANS

Most women are content to know they have vagina candida and to trust their doctor’s prescription to knock out the itch, discharge and pain. Only when these drugs fail them do they begin to seek more information on this bothersome ailment. They do not seem to realize that oral thrush or greying of their tongues is a sign that candida may be overgrowing its population in the intestine and need an immediate check. Candida albicans is a single cell organism present in the eye, nose, throat, genitals and the intestine where it causes no problem if it does not overgrown its allotted population. Many factors cause it to breach this population control. Many factors may be responsible either singly or in combination with others. Basically, candida albicans should not exceed its population ratio vis-a-vis the population ratios of other organisms. Depletion of the immune system can knock out this arrangement. So can stress. So can diseases such as cancer and HIV. So can antibiotic and steroid use. So can the use of birth control pills which dismantle hormone system balance. So can emotional disturbances, environmental factors and being overweight.

Not much may be thought of candida overgrowth expressed as through on the tongues or in the vagina until probably becomes invasive or systemic candida in the mouth looks like a mushroom, when viewed under the microscope. It has a big head, a stem and a root system buried in the tongue. We can imagine what candida in the eye may cause to vision. The dangers of invasive candidiasis are many and include death. Physicians believe candida is relatively easy to treat when it has not overgrown its normal yeast form by which time it may have graduated to what we may call the Big Boy. The Big Boy is the Hyphal form when it begins to produce filaments and biofilms and, with this capacity invades the blood stream, tissues and organs. This condition is rarely seen in people whose immune systems are not compromised. Other herbs are showing promise against candida albicans. A 2013 study showed that the plant gynema sylvetre revered the dangerous hyphal form to simple yeast cells. This is an interesting study. In the 1980s, I sold Gymnester alone or combined with other supplements of diabetes or elevated blood sugar. If it is knocking a dangerous candida albicans from back into a less dangerous state, if it is anti-sugar, if candida albicans thrives on a sugar fuel, it means anything which can help normalize blood sugar that is also anti-microbial should be able to perform this feat.

Gynema Sylvester was reported in that study to overwhelm another terrible fungus named aspergillus. The list of herbs that can be deployed against candida and bacteria and viruses which overgrow in the vagina and disturb it is endless. Some of them are Olive Leaf Extract, Black Walnut hull, Garlic, Tea tree oil, Pau d’ Arco. I have seen great wonders wrought by proprietary blends such as Amazon AF and Amazon CF, oregano oil Olive oil and feminine wash.

Photo Credit: Healthline.com