In today's podcast the boys come together to discuss candida overgrowth, its frequency within the population, the varied symptomatology associated with this common yeast-like infection and the strategies you can use to bring the body back into balance. Mason, Dan and Sage draw on their superior knowledge of this condition from personal experience, sharing their wisdom from a traditional Taoist tonic herbal perspective and a functional naturopathic approach.
The gents discuss:
Who is Dan Sipple?
Dan is a also known as The Functional Naturopath who uses cutting-edge evidence-based medicine. Experienced in modalities such as herbal nutritional medicine, with a strong focus on environmental health and longevity, Dan has a wealth of knowledge in root-dysfunction health.
Who is Sage Dammers?
Fuelled by a passionate desire to help people live the ultimate life and create a better world, Sage studied raw and superfood nutrition and traditional herbal systems, especially Taoist tonic herbalism. He has worked with and trained under the world’s leading master herbalists and nutrition and longevity experts in Costa Rica, Australia, Bali, China, and America.
Sage has developed products internationally and given lectures on peak performance nutrition in Australia, Bali, America, and France. His years of experience in this unique arena have allowed him to cultivate an unparalleled combination of cutting edge nutritional and culinary expertise. Sage has started tonic elixir bars in 5 star luxury hotels in Paris and Sydney serving longevity elixirs disguised as gourmet treats, introducing the novel concept of healthy indulgences to the market of world travelers.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Mason: Hey, everybody! Welcome to the SuperFeast podcast. It's Mason here, and I've got an epic conversation coming for you today with some of my favorite men in the health space. I've got two names and faces you're going to recognize. We've got Sage Dammers from, you're joining us from over in LA, Addictive Wellness. Incredible tonic herb-infused, sugar-free chocolates as well as smoothie elixir packs, and all infused with all these beautiful tonic herbs and mushies we're going to be going into and as well as tonic herbs on their own.
Mason: And Sage is one of my absolute favorite voices coming out of that like, gnarly melting pot of LA with this absolutely next-level in health and this integration of health systems from all around the world, and Sage has been in it for so many years and you've heard him talk on it before, and you've heard his wealth of knowledge. It's always surprising to find out what he's going to be able to come up with. And today, talking about candida, is going to be no different.
Mason: And I've also got Dan Sipple, friend, functional naturopath down the south coast of Sydney. Dan is absolutely my favorite go-to naturopath, we've been friends for a long time. He is now officially my mother's naturopath and mine and Tahnee's naturopath, and so that's a beautiful little evolution that's going about.
Mason: Boys today we're going on a deep dive, three way conversation around the yeast-like infection candida albicans. Welcome guys.
Dan: Hey, hey.
Sage: Thank you for having us, Mason. It's a pleasure to be here.
Mason: Yeah it's going to be so good, so fun. Alright, you know I don't know how many other people are going to be having the best time absolute ever having a conversation around a gnarly infection that's become ... I guess it's not as trendy, I'd say? As it used to be? But it's definitely still a hot topic, especially a hot topic in the west.
Mason: Candida albicans, yeast-like fungus within the body that, as I mentioned, now it's absolutely a normal part. These candida cells are a normal part of our body, of our flora, exists within our mucus membranes, our skin, mouths, genitalia, vagina, intestines and other organs. We're going to be talking about this phenomena today where we see some kind of environmental, or maybe lifestyle, or maybe it's been a modern medicine antibiotic that's then led to an upset within our microbiome and basically in many other areas, including immune deficiencies. That's led to this fungus, yeast within the body then overgrowing and getting what many people have experienced, which is fungal overgrowth.
Mason: First of all I just want to go to Sage. Just going to go to you and say hey and give people a bit of an insight with your history of candida.
Sage: Yeah, absolutely thank you Mason. For me personally, I dealt with candida first hand. When I was growing up I was a vegetarian but not a healthy by any means. I was just on carb overload throughout my whole Childhood of like rice and pasta and pizza and any carb I could get my hands on. Was very fortunate not to be eating fast food, but still was not the most ultimate diet ever.
Sage: So when I came into my teen years, about 15 and a half, I started developing chronic acne, probably more to do with my diet than anything else. Diet and combination of hormones and things like that. I didn't know what to do with it at the time, you know? I tried lost of topical things and things of that nature but nothing was really making an impact in helping me, and that's such a stressful thing as a kid to be going through. And I resorted to taking antibiotics, because it was the only thing that was going really do me any good at the time in terms of the superficial results that I was looking for. I didn't understand the whole repercussions and the future downsides of it, I just knew, this is going to help me in the short-term not to be so self-conscious. And I had no other solutions. I didn't know of all these other things I know about now. I wish I would've.
Sage: So I was on twice-daily antibiotics from age 16 until 19 and a half.
Sage: So these years of antibiotics, as you can imagine, wreaked havoc on my microbiome, and left me ripe for candida to come in and take over. So it was a thing where in the beginning I enjoyed fruit so much, and even as I was getting healthy and getting onto much more of a natural diet I still really enjoyed fruit. So I didn't want to give that up, and that was the one thing holding me back from really making progress against candida, where I couldn't make the jump to go fully into what was necessary to push back on the candida.
Sage: And eventually it got to the point where I got real mentally strong about it and got strict and went through the Body Ecology Diet, Stage One, where it's really strong. Cutting out carbs, cutting out sugars, bringing in probiotics and fermented foods and some of the most powerful antifungal and immune-enhancing herbs, and over the course of a couple years that really got me through it and got me to a much better stage of health. Life has been much better ever since.
Mason: Yeah, I mean to the extent that where I think that history of yours has played such a huge part in your life that it's absolutely entwined in your philosophy, the ways that you make your chocolates and your elixir blends, right?
Sage: That's why I have sugar-free chocolate, is because I [inaudible 00:05:25] but still have a sweet treat, while I was in the candida recovery stages, and it didn't really exist. It wasn't out there. All, you know there's all these chocolates made with agave and coconut palm sugar and all that, and regardless of where somebody may stand on those things, they are still gonna be feeding bacteria, fungus, yeast and molds in the body, and it's not going to be your friend most times and especially not on recovery from candida where you need to not be feeding these guys. So I made it out of necessity, and it's turned into a beautiful life of being a chocolate maker.
Mason: Yeah, I love it. The fruit of the healing journey and I still attest that it's the only sugar-free chocolate that I can really thoroughly enjoy.
Sage: Thank you.
Mason: Dan you've had quite a history with candida, now you've really had this firsthand clinical experience for a number of years now. I'm interested to hear what your path with candida has been.
Dan: Yeah sure, and not too dissimilar to Sage. IT very much came as a result of antibiotic exposure, and so I've talked a couple of times on previous podcasts. In my earlier years, 17, 18, 19 I had issues with viral load and autoimmunity, which kind of set the scene for other opportunistic organisms to take over, and it was a course of about five or six years where I was kind of floating in that space where my immune system was compromised to the point to where I would actually need antibiotics by the time these bacterial infections would take over. It was like a vicious cycle that got set up, and I see that often in clinical practice too, where once that cycle starts it's very hard to get off that train. Particularly if you are being dictated to by the western medical model, which at the time I was heavily under the influence by.
Mason: [inaudible 00:07:19].
Dan: Yeah, absolutely that's right. So lots and lots of antibiotics, I'd get better. I'd push my body a bit, the infections would return to the point where there was clear and overt infection. Not knowing anything about herbal protocols or functional medicine or naturopathy or anything of that kind of world at this stage, but it was very much a long road to try to undo that vicious cycle and get out of that loop? And incorporating things like Sage is talking about with diet and lifestyle and cutting the alcohol and the sugars out, you know. Optimizing vitamin D status and restoring the microbiome. So it was definitely one of those things that didn't go away overnight, and I think that's really important to drill into the listeners as well is that once you get traction with something like candida you really need to set up a lifestyle that facilitates long-term resistance against that so that these opportunistic organisms can't take back over.
Mason: Candida's such an interesting one. The level of symptoms that arise from a chronic infection are so vast, and it's one of those ones where if you read the list you go, my gosh; I don't know if that list is very useful because there's so many other infections or deficiencies that can give rise to it. But then there are, of course, some specifics. And so looking at the list, you've got chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues. Then when you start getting down a little bit more the reoccurring yeast infections, oral thrush. Even going into sinus infection, you can start seeing candida is being implicated when there's food allergies, when there's intolerance. Of course, dead giveaway is fungal infections on the skin, within the nails especially within the feet, and then a weak immune system. Quite often is it a chicken or an egg, you know? You can see that when there is weak immunity, especially when you see medications in particular like antibiotics and chemotherapy, and then hormone disrupters like hormone replacement therapy ... what is it? Corticosteroids, then? Am I saying that right?
Dan: That's right, yeah. Immunosuppressants, corticosteroid-based medications because they're basically squashing the immune response, which, although ameliorate symptoms, allows these guys to take an even stronger hold.
Mason: Mm. Oh and then you even see joint pain and definitely the alteration of moods coming about from candida. And so we go, okay. Unless you've got some of the telltales, like reoccurring thrush, fungal thrush in the mouth and fungal infection coming up on the skin, how do you clinically hone in on a diagnosis that in fact we do have candida cells proliferating in excess in the body?
Dan: Is that question directed at me, Mason? Just to clarify?
Mason: It is, and I will just make ... And I don't think you have clinic, Sage. I don't know maybe you didn't know that Dan.
Sage: No, no clinic for me. So if I hear the clinically word in there just [inaudible 00:10:22].
Dan: Yeah, so to answer that question. That's a really good question, Mase, to really sort of hit on the head in the forefront. I think with an issue like candida it's very, very rare that I see that alone. What I usually find is that that's there in concert with just a good old dysbiosis where you'll see bacterial pathogens that are overgrown, you may or may not see parasites as well. So I don't think I've ever seen just one clean cut, pure case of candida without all that going on with some sort of viral load or bacterial imbalance. And so what we find is, is that the best kind of treatment is not just to isolate the yeast in this case and attack the yeast. It's to nurture that whole ecosystem, to treat it like an ecosystem where you're setting up a new environment basically, to where it's not conducive for it to thrive, which as we say does incorporate diet, lifestyle, herbs and the whole concert and symphony of things.
Dan: But in terms of testing, you can do blood testing for antibodies to see if the immune system has actually seen the candida albicans and made antibodies against it from the base cells? The only downside to a test like that is that you don't whether the immune system has made those antibodies 10 years ago or if it's happening right now and that's where the symptoms really need to guide you. If there's overt signs of candida as is like on the tongue, the toenail, the respiratory issues and what not, then you've got more of a case for that so that's where usually doing the stool test and looking at candida markers in combination with that blood is a really good way to back that up. Because if you're seeing it on both, if you're seeing it in the stool, antibodies, then you've got quite a good case for it being currently present. And in that case, you know, obviously, you want to make the protocol more specific to yeast in that case.
Mason: Sage, how do you go about this? Because I completely ... I like the fact that I've got access to Dan's knowledge and can get a little bit more specific, and I know you recommend this a lot, in getting some testing, getting some panels done so you're not just, like, shooting in the dark. But how do you, dare I say kind of like, I know I can definitely say that I come from a more folky perspective when it comes to gentle diagnosis? But from your perspective how do you go about that in really identifying that candida is in fact present?
Sage: Yeah, I don't know exactly what your health care system is like in Australia, but I know here in the US it's expensive to do lots of testing. Very often things will not be covered by insurance so you'll have to pay them out of pocket, so I always find it's really nice to be able to at least somewhat get a little bit of progress in terms of a self-diagnosis before you go investing in testing so at least you know what tests to go do, so you don't have to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. Because it can get real expensive.
Sage: So with candida, as you mentioned, you're looking at a lot of symptoms in terms of recurring infections, oral thrush, fungal issues. And then it's a combination of looking at your symptoms and then looking at your history in terms of antibiotic use. If you've had extended use of antibiotics, especially if it's for two weeks or more in the past, your odds are going to be pretty high that at some point candida has taken a good foothold in your system and started to really proliferate beyond the natural levels that you'd find. Candida at small levels is actually a good part of a healthy microbiome, good for nutrient absorption and beneficial in that way. But when things are thrown out of balance you're going to get in a lot of trouble.
Sage: So there's many really good questionnaires up there online that people can do just to get an initial idea, just to get a rough feel? Then from there you can progress to testing, which I think is incredibly important. If you can afford it, whether it's this kind of testing or whether you're looking at your thyroid or hormones, rather than just experimenting without data indefinitely and maybe five years from now you finally figure out what's really going on. Save yourself a ton of time and a lot of trouble and probably save yourself money in the long run in terms of being able to spend money on the right supplements and herbs to help you out, and foods, rather than dealing with misdiagnoses for an extended period of time.
Mason: Well let's say just getting to the food here. Often we know, that yeah we've had a look at kind of the pharmaceutical angle, the antibiotics especially. Especially going in and nailing the microbiome and causing our ability to actually create the environment where we can naturally regulate healthy levels of this, this and candida cells being within the body. Let's have a look at the food that you see as being an accumulative force or an aggravator, that leave our organ function, immune function, the microbiome function to getting to the point that candida can actually take hold. What are the, what are these nasty ones or excessive ones that get nasty when they're excessive?
Sage: Yeah I think it is many things that happen in conjunction. Probably, if you had never taken antibiotics, and you've got a really strong immune system, you could deal with having some of the wrong foods coming into the body, right? Even if you never did antibiotics, but you're having tons of sugar, but your immune system's really strong ancestrally? Maybe you're okay and maybe you can pull it off. Or if you're having lots of sugar and in combination you're having, say, ground mushrooms, like culinary mushrooms that haven't been properly cleaned and tend to be very contaminated and nasty. And these are different from tree mushrooms, I want to be real clear about the distinction-
Mason: I'm going to leave a lot of time for us to get into that distinction, thanks for bringing that up so when we-
Sage: Yeah yeah. So we'll come back to that a little bit later. Patience everybody, we'll get there.
Mason: Patience, you mushroom fiends!
Sage: Depending on the individual, right? Because everybody's got a bit of a different setup in terms of the microbiome and adjusted powers, but for a lot of people I think also: poor food combining. Especially having lots of, like, leafy greens? That take time to digest and they're very fibrous? And combining that with really sugary starchy fruit. I've found that for a lot of people the fruit wants to burn up fast and move through, and it's like rocket fuel. But then you have, you know. It's like a Ferrari on a freeway, wants to go, doesn't like being driven slowly. And then you have these green leafy vegetables that take time to digest, they're very nutritious, they're like a big rig carrying lots of, you know, nutrition on them and fiber and what not. And they slow down the traffic, and the Ferrari is getting into road rage. It's like it develops into a situation where it's a ripe breeding ground for proliferation as things start to ferment in there.
Sage: So that could also be a situation that, while it may not specifically cause, it wouldn't be a root source of candida? It would not be supportive or helpful if it was something that you were dealing with.
Mason: Mm. Love it. Hey Dan what about you, in terms of dietary lifestyle factors that are really going to come in and, you know, if ... I like what you said there, Sage. There's going to be different constitutions at work here. You're going to have an ancestral ... It might be the difference being breastfed or not being breastfed, in terms of whether your immune system is strong or just ancestrally whether you've got that strong gene expression within the immune system, and then acknowledging that. Because long-term, I think you've definitely seen it over in LA, I definitely have here in the health, same way. You almost get to a paranoia of candida becoming crippling to your lifestyle. Is that something you see happening a lot? Sage?
Sage: A little bit. It's not people, the awareness of it in the community is not as strong, I would say, as it was in like, 2011, 2012? There was-
Mason: Glory days.
Sage: ... back then? You know, these trends and focuses always kind of come and go. I don't know, it's weird because it's still as much an issue as ever, but people kind of feel the need to talk about something new, so they can sell new books and post new videos. So. As we move more further beyond some of the basics than we really need to, the solution was often right at hand.
Mason: Yeah, very funny. And I agree. I think candida is having a PR nightmare right now. I think-
Sage: [SIBO 00:18:45] has stolen all the attention from it.
Mason: Yeah. And so Dan what's your take on this? Dietarily, lifestyle-wise, what are the conditions that you see as precursor to, especially if someone has the constitution that is ripe for the picking for candida being an issue. What do you see those being?
Dan: I completely agree with Sage, and I think I'd add on to that what I find really prevalent is when people's circadian rhythms are out? When they're using, you know, dietary sources to jack up their adrenal response. So caffeine, you know, refined sugar obviously. Nailing the circadian rhythms and leaving space between meals sounds really, really simple, but it is quite pivotal when you're dealing with any sort of dysbiotic environment when it comes to the gut, or the respiratory system, or any immune suppression. Getting the circadian rhythms locked in and normalizing the nervous system, and the adrenal response is huge.
Dan: Because if you think about it, if you've got fire going on in that digestive system or anywhere in the body that's of a yeast or a general viral origin or whatever, your adrenals are seeing that and are constantly trying to put out those flames with a fire extinguisher, hence the adrenal fatigue phenomena. So normalizing those rhythms and supporting the adrenals can't be understated.
Mason: Yeah, I would definitely attest to that. I mean, we've spoken about ... I think I've spoken to both of you previously on the podcast talking about digestion in case people aren't realizing digestion has a huge part to play with candida albicans. Especially from a [Daoist 00:20:29] perspective when you start seeing weak spleen Chi.
Mason: That can really be the feeding ground from a triple burner perspective. That middle burner really emerging with whether it's just dampness or weakness within the spleen and therefore that whole spleen and digestive network through the stomach, then allowing strong digestive function, strong governance of your bacterial levels. What we see there is that can be the catalyst to then going down into the lower burner where we see damp heat emerge, and we start seeing yeast infections within, basically throughout the entire sexual organ system. And then also moving from that middle burner to the upper burner, where we see heat and fire through the lungs with all those allergies and all those respiratory issues and through the heart as well.
Mason: So basically I'm going to pause it there because I think if I open up that can of worms and make a distinct ... in these treatment protocols it's going to take us in a completely other direction.
Mason: But there's a few things then that you were touChing on that I want to leapfrog off, and that was definitely the Jing and exhaustion aspect here. You talked about the fact that, I like seeing the Jing as the pilot light for digestion. If you are exhausted, if you're adrenally exhausted, if you're leaking that essence, if you're relying on coffee, if you're mentally stressed and you're in emotional patterns that continue to make you, you know. Those things that make you emotionally excessive. You're going to see that you don't have the foundations and roots within your body, within the core energy centers of the kidneys to really stabilize you. And to that, you're going to see a thorough endocrine disruption go on at that stage, because you are overly adrenalized. And you can't produce natural cortisol, you can't get down to, like you have to rely on these cortisone creams and all that kind of stuff. But then at the same time you're not going to be able to lead to that real healthy sex organ function.
Mason: And so, basically, that core is ... You see that consistently, I do as well, Sage, where that exhaustive, gene-depleting lifestyle doesn't allow for the pilot light to go on so that the spleen can actually turn on that fire and appropriately-
Dan: It can probably become, I think it can really become a vicious cycle, because with the candida, it's creating higher levels of permeability of digestive lining. So you're getting, essentially leaky gut, and this is releasing bits of food and digestive materials into the bloodstream, which is causing inflammation and autoimmunity. But it's also releasing the toxins, which are being produced by the candida. Its own, basically the candida poo being released throughout your body.
Dan: So now you've got systemic inflammation firing away, and that is going to be a major leak of Jing. So that in itself is depleting the adrenals, and it's a vicious cycle because okay now your adrenals are depleted, now you can't fuel your immune system because you're experiencing exhaustion, and the candida can even grow further. And it's really unfortunate. But at the same time if you can get in there with a little bit of action and start making some moves on it, you can slow down that cycle and start to spin it back.
Mason: Well let's start here, in terms of looking at treatment. Once we've identified that perhaps we have an environment, and as Dan was saying: you're not going to be able to just isolate candida. There's most likely going to be a number of coinfections, and you're definitely going to see, I'm sure you're going to see a bunch of worms of various types being present at that time because we're going to see a repressed immune function. But starting off the bat, quite often we're looking at removing the excessive candida from the body, cleaning up the diet, and I guess loosely saying this is going to be a cleansing or cleaning aspect of the protocol.
Mason: Now at this point, I'd like to get both your two cents. We'll start with Sage. Do you like to bring in, of course lifestyle factors, and I think it's obvious that are going to reduce stress, but do you like to bring in herbs or other practices to, for lack of a better word, tone our ability to store and restore Jing?
Sage: Yeah, of course. So naturally, you and I and I bet Dan is into these as well, you want to look at your top Jing-building herbs. Things like He Shou Wu, Cordyceps, [inaudible 00:24:58], Rehmannia, Morinda. And so I think building that base of core vitality is an essential component of any healing program, basically. Because without that your body just does not have the energy and the safety. When you're in such a Jing-vulnerable state? And you're prepared to run out of fuel and die at just about any moment? Your body is afraid and not going to divert resources to dealing with your fungal issues because it's just concerned with not, like, crashing and burning and that being the end of the show.
Sage: So absolutely, building the Jing is essential, so you can build ... you're kind of simultaneously wanting to build the Jing, and address the candida itself to stop the Jing leak, and then you can start improving at like, twice as fast.
Mason: And Dan, what's your take on that?
Dan: Yeah. 100%. Nervous system and adrenal support is absolutely necessity initially before you, I think before you even go in thinking about using the big guns to break up the biofilms and reduce the candida load with strong antimicrobials, which are all part of the protocol. But it really depends on the person in front of you to. So for example, if I've got someone who's burning the candle at both ends, doing the 75-hour work week, and only wants to take antimicrobials it's like, ha ha. No, no, no, no, no. We have to nail the lifestyle first. That is absolutely essential. And so sleep, blue lights, EMFs, all of that stuff comes into it. Diet, you have to have the foundations ready and ripe for the body to go, aha! Now I can enter healing mode, now I can switch over to parasympathetic. Because the foundations are there.
Dan: What I often do in those cases, too, with someone who is really on this end of the spectrum and is part of that go-go-go lifestyle? Is just little simple tweaks, like green tea. So instead of coffee? It's green tea. It's anti-strep, it's anti-candida, it boosts [inaudible 00:26:58] bacteria, it's antioxidant, it's lymphatic. So little tweaks like that. You know, removing the sugars. You sort of stage it out.
Dan: Then you might bring in a probiotic, and you'll use a strain which has been shown to reduce fungal load and boost natural killer cells and various components of the immune system. And you step it up. And you step it up. And you step it up. And you carefully watch for reactions, because that's another part of it with any sort of protocol where you are reducing microbial load, because you are obviously going to run into potential detoxification issues if that person's ability to clear out these metabolites can't keep up with the front end. So that's something that you really have to be careful navigating.
Dan: And like Sage said earlier, this can take a long time, people. This can take, if it's been a long time it can be up to one or two years. And then once you're there to have to maintain where you've got to, and in my case I got there a long time and ended up, a little while later, in a moldy apartment over on the northern beaches and it all went out the window. Those things come up, so you have to be really on to the environmental side of it too.
Mason: Okay, and let's just, before we move on, I want to touch on the nervous system and supporting the nervous system to getting into that parasympathetic state so we can actually get to resting, digesting, and healing. Some of your favorite methods, distinctions whether they use technologies or whether they be something simple that we can access through nature.
Dan: Yeah, nice one. So I'm sure we've touched on it before Mason, but just barefoot earthing. Getting back into nature, a very simple thing to do. Slowing the breathing down, doing diaphragmatic breathing, not breathing shallowly from the chest. And doing that as often as possible, making that really, really priority. I often team that up with the blue light blockers, which you can get now. Get people to slap those on at like 7 PM at night every night leading up to bed. SwitChing off wifi at night, that's really good for the nervous system.
Dan: So all these little tweaks to get you over from fight-or-flight over to the parasympathetic side of the nervous system. You can also pair that up with a few gentle botanicals like chamomile, passionflower, and Reishi mushroom for example. That trio works fantastic.
Mason: Yeah, like a beautiful moon milk at night, maybe with a bit of a ... well I like doing a chamomile, lavender infusion within the milk there, been doing that for retreaters recently and getting those Reishis in there. Beautiful nightcap.
Mason: Sage, I know there's like a crazy crossover of what you do and love and recommend there, with the breath and the barefoot and getting the blue light out. Sage, one thing I'm going to have to do and put in the notes here is get the instructions on how people can completely get the blue light off their phone. Everyone's like, oh night mode. It's like, no, no, no; I'm like, Sage has got this beautiful hack for getting all the blue light out.
Sage: Deep in the settings you can modify it so it glows all red at night, and you can still fully text and stuff. It gets weird if you're trying to, like, check out Chicks on Instagram? Because they don't look good.
Mason: And that's you, man. I imagine it gets weird for you all night. AnnaBlanca's like, "What you doing?"
Mason: "No I'm just doing some, looking at like, photography development, old school style, so weird."
Sage: But other than that, it's great to be able to flip on all red at night, and it's just, everything in your phone, the only colors are red and black, for everything. And there's a shortcut you can set up where all you have to do, and I'm not sure exactly how this goes on with iPhone X and past that where there's no home button anymore. But with the older ones you just tap the home button three times for the shortcut, and it'll put it right into the red. So it's easy to turn on and off, so it's great. And then even for some random reason you need to check the time in the middle of the night, it's all red, so. It's ideal not to use it at all, but if you have to look then at least you're not messing up your melatonin levels and shocking your system in the middle of the night.
Sage: And other things that I like for getting into that parasympathetic state is, Reishi mushroom has been mentioned. Ashwagandha is another one of my absolute favorites because it works on so many aspects of health that people are struggling with these days.
Mason: It goes right in that moon milk as well, the Ashwagandha and Reishi with that infusion. Oh man, it's so good.
Sage: And then also, infrared saunas are great to put you back in that parasympathetic-
Mason: Oh yeah.
Sage: ... state because you're being surrounded by the infrared, which is that heat signature that we as humans give off. That's why you look through night vision infrared goggles, and you see people. So if you think back, and this is a theory my dad first shared with me, and this is not scientifically based, really; it's just a theory, and you see if it resonates with you. But if you look back at when the last time was that you were fully surrounded with infrared heat in somewhat of a dark and fully safe place was in your mother's womb.
Mason: Oh, true.
Sage: And so it is getting you back to that place of being fully provided for, fully safe, everything take care of and everything's okay, all you need to do is Chill out.
Mason: And you know what I'd probably put there, like, putting those ocean sounds on. Like over when Tahnee was pregnant we were listening to the placenta, and it had this woosh, woosh. So getting those sounds in there at the same time, those ocean sounds while you're meditating in that infrared sauna. And we should put some links, just here on this call we've got some incredible resources for people to go and get a clear light sauna. I mean, your folks offer them over there in the States, and we're both friends with Sebastian here who owns the New Zealand, Australian, and European and UK branch, so basically no matter where you are in the world we're going to be able to basically get you hooked up in-
Sage: We've got the connections [inaudible 00:32:52].
Mason: Yeah, we've got the connections. We'll put some links in though depending on which continent you're on and give you some ... you know. Just give them the old, Sage and Mason ... and Dan. Well let's throw Dan in there as well. Sage, Mason and Dan sent me. So get you hooked up because I agree that is one of the absolute, ultimate technologies, having an infrared sauna in my house for getting the nervous system toned up. And we could just do a podcast on that, I'm sure.
Mason: Now let's start-
Sage: Real quick, if you don't mind, just to finish on the nervous system. I'm a huge fan of the Wim Hof method for this. Breathing and the super oxygenation? For strengthening the nervous system and gently building up to cold exposure. People get intimidated because they see people do it on Instagram in the beginning, but it's just like lifting weights. You train your nervous system, you don't jump in and do something super challenging, you know? Go to try to bench press 200 kilos on your first time going to the gym.
Sage: You do the 30 seconds of cold water at the end of a hot shower or after taking a sauna, when it's not going to be that crazy. And from there you gently build up. Eventually you're doing 10 minutes of a cold shower, or you're doing a five or ten minute ice bath and it's not that big of a deal anymore because you built up to it at a sustainable level. Of course if you hit it too hard in the beginning, that's why people catch a cold. Their nervous system's weak and it can't handle being out in the cold if they hit it all at once, and it overwhelms them. It's like if you try to do too much at the gym, you're going to injure yourself, it happens. So I think that is one of the most incredible tools that I've experienced, and now that I've been doing it for, almost four years. And it's been, yeah. So powerful for me.
Mason: Yeah and I think that's a good distinction there because when you look at the branding and what works is seeing Wim walk up and down in his shorts, and it's covered in snow. And basically it's very important for us to remember that these aren't systems of fanaticism. These are systems of appropriateness for you to build that core function. So I definitely throw my support behind that. Wim's a great guy and also for those of you that are maybe wanting to go even deeper through a process with your breath, if that might seem a little bit unobtainable? I'll also put a link, um, Benny Fergusson, my friend, the Movement Monk, has a really amazing, gentle breathwork practice that is very intricate and very much takes into account these, the mental and physical unification that's going to have to go throughout that process.
Mason: So you've got lots of resources there, everyone, for getting that nervous system toned. Then we start moving into how are we going to get ... We've got the baseline. We've got building back our Jing, getting our nervous system toned, and I think we've kind of talked about it's the bread and butter. And maybe bread isn't the best example here because it's got the yeast raising factors, that are actually going to be implicated when it comes to candida.
Sage: Non-starchy, gluten-free bread and butter.
Mason: Mm, mm. Grass-fed butter.
Sage: There you go.
Mason: Basically now I want to get into where we're getting into the clearing now. Getting into the clearing, starting to bring some herbals, start bringing in some compounds that are going to start building back our microbiome, start countering this intense leaky gut that we can start seeing and that permeability that we've already touched on. Sage, you're starting out. What are your pillars for starting to clear the body and get it back on track in those initial stages, which may be for three months or a year.
Sage: Yeah, yeah. It is a bit of a journey, and that was the most intimidating thing to me in the beginning that actually stopped me from starting for a couple of years, after I kind of knew I was going to have to do this. But I was super intimidated by the fact that I was really going to have to be serious about cutting down on carbs and sugar for anywhere from six months to two years, and I wanted to figure out any other way. But in the end it came back to this: you've got to deal with these basic things.
Sage: So you really want to minimize carbs, cut out all forms of sugar, because all of this is beating the candida. Eventually, one day, you will be able to bring it back in moderate amounts, as you've rebuilt your whole gut microbiome. But for now, you really want to cut it down. And you're going to see tremendous ancillary benefits from this, aside from just the candida? You're going to be able to start burning ketones as a fuel source and start burning fat, so you're probably going to experience some great weight loss, some people are probably going to enjoy that. And when you're burning these ketones for fuel and burning fat as fuel, healthy fats, you're able to produce far more ATP, which is your pure cellular energy, than when you're burning glucose as fuel. So you're going to have a lot better energy, once you transition.
Sage: It can be a little challenging as your body first is transitioning to burning fat as fuel. But once you get there it's pretty amazing. And you'll learn to get creative with stevia and things like this that can still give you the pleasure of sweetness in your life, you don't have to say goodbye to that. There's many ways, we put tons of recipes on this stuff on our YouTube channel. And so that's the first step, is cutting out all these things that are feeding the candida.
Sage: And then, what are you going to go after it with? One of the best that I found was Pau D'arco tea. It's one of the most powerful, natural, antifungal herbs coming out of the Amazon. You can make a really nice tea with that, it goes great as the base of any hot elixir, or you could just be sipping it on its own, all the time. And then two of the other very powerful herbs for me, the tonics that we all know and love are Reishi mushroom and Chaga.
Sage: Chaga for me was especially impactful. I was doing some nice tinctures and capsules but where I really started experiencing the benefits of it was when I would get the raw chunks of Chaga mushroom and cook them for three hours into a real strong water extraction, freeze it overnight so that the water gets inside the cell walls, these cell's walls that are super hard that you can't digest? Actually busts them open as it freezes, then boil it again the next day and make it super strong, and I was getting into drinking it regularly. That was a huge assist in my journey against candida.
Mason: So ... Yeah, go for it.
Sage: Oh I'm just getting on a roll.
Mason: So, well actually before. I want to keep you going, but I just want to comment on two things there and Dan, get your two cents in.
Mason: That's a really appropriate use of the ketogenic diet. I really like ketogenesis as a distinction in what's ... in a way to possibly get us losing weight that's excessive and actually shouldn't be there? And also getting our mitochondria rocking to the extent that we can, for a time, get off sugars and get into this state where our metabolism can get a bit of a reset and it's a little bit of a breath of fresh air for our immune system for a time as well. Rather than just, go after it, get shredded, nonstop, don't ever not be keto.
Mason: I don't know what your sense of that is, but we've discussed it a couple of times on the podcast and it's come up with one of Tahnee's conversations with a practitioner in terms of like, for women. An appropriate time to use ketogenesis and when it's not actually that useful? And we've spoken about it, Dan, in terms of what that excessive fat can do to go and contribute it over too much of a long period to gut permeability thanks to the off-gassing that that excessive fat gives through the bacteria.
Mason: But I just wanted to really like ... I like that distinction that you just made there, Sage, I think that's for most people as casting a wide net. That seems like a sensible time to be using ketogenesis.
Sage: Yeah. I think, you know there are anti-aging benefits of it in terms of minimizing glycation and things of that nature. And I think it's a transition diet, something you do for a time period to really change your inner terrain and external appearance and everything. And then probably long-term more of a cyclical ketogenic diet is probably the more beneficial thing, where you go in for a bit and out for a bit. And it's more of a natural flow.
Mason: And of course, Pau D'arco. I think we're three massive Pau D'arco fans, coming from the lapacho tree in the Amazon. Heavily a part of my healing protocol. I hit it for probably a couple of years I had it constant rotation in strong amounts before it was time for me to then cycle off.
Sage: You get to where you don't even want to think about it anymore. Just, you hit a point where, okay. I've had enough, I'm good.
Mason: Yeah, I've had it absolutely enough. And that is, I think that's a really appropriate way to let your body govern, you know? Because of course, with any herb, especially a herb that has strong antifungal, antimicrobial actions, you're going to want to cycle off that at some point. Because your body's going to want to have the breathing room to go and do its thing and regulate.
Mason: I just wanted to throw my support behind those. Pau D'arco had such an incredible, such an incredible impact on me moving ... I don't think I even mentioned the fact that I did, that was my catalyst, was candida, in getting into this. I was having fungal eruptions on my skin and a suppressed immune system. I've told the story I think on the podcast a couple of times, but it was definitely for me likewise, that combination of Chaga mushroom and Reishi mushroom, but then I'd use a base of Pau D'arco tea, and that's a very simple herbal approach.
Mason: Then I had He Shou Wu coming in and nourishing my kidneys in the beginning, and that was the beginnings for me. Getting off the, of course I got off gluten, I got off the grains. I got off the conventional western diet, which is very suppressive to the spleen Chi and it definitely was to mine, and it was really suppressing my digestive capacity. And I was able to bounce back pretty quick, especially with those three primary herbs, the two mushies, and the Pau D'arco bark, and then the He Shou Wu coming in and supporting.
Mason: And after I want to hear all your awesome rambling Sage, but I want to let everyone know that after this we're going to dive into the mushies.
Sage: Yeah, so those are my first two pillars really, is starve the candida and get in the beneficial herbs that are going to help clean things up in there. And then you've cleared it out, and what are you going to put in there? You're not just going to leave a blank slate and let the candida come back in all over again like you did with antibiotics. You messed up once, don't do it again. So now, we want to introduce really great bacteria into the gut. So it's good to be taking some probiotics.
Sage: I'm really a fan of taking spore based probiotics, or ones that are shown to have efficacy in actually making it through and setting up shop in the gut, rather than being killed off somewhere higher up? Maybe in the stomach by digestive acids and things like that? SO rather than just looking at the number of colony forming units, which is what's advertised, you actually have to do a little deeper digging to see if the company's actually had testing done, to show the level of survivability, which makes a huge, huge difference. You can have a trillion-strain probiotic formula that all gets killed off in the gut. You don't get anything from it, or you can have a 30 billion and all 30 billion survive and make it through and set up shop and are doing all sorts of work for you. So it really makes a big difference, whether it's surviving or not.
Sage: And then getting on fermented foods, was a big part for me. Tons of sauerkraut, fermented vegetables ... Drinking coconut water kefir was really supportive for me, and yeah. That's the fermented side of things, and those for me were the three main pillars.
Sage: You know a few other herbs that were beneficial were, like occasionally using a aged kyolic garlic extract was also supportive for me. One time early on I heard someone say, oh yeah you should juice a whole head of raw garlic. Candida will freak out about that. Holy crap, I had the worst burn, I pretty much gave myself an ulcer in the stomach from that. So don't juice a whole head of raw garlic and try drinking that. It's not a good idea. Learn from my mistake.
Mason: Yeah, you lose your friends, you lose your intestinal lining.
Sage: It was painful, man.
Mason: That's so good. But hey, I think it's awesome that everyone can learn from our fanatical mistakes. Because I've definitely gone down that road.
Mason: Yeah, I love it. I love that it's simple, I love that it's methodical, I think that it's really ... Over the years I've seen that same combination coming up again an again and again when you go through all the complexity and all the confusion in terms of what you should and shouldn't be eating and drinking, basically these are the core pillars in terms of what's going to get you from A to B in terms of healing as soon as possible. You mentioned Body Ecology, I think that's really ... I think you kind of consider that the Bible of the anti-candida diet, is that right?
Sage: Yeah. It's a great place for anyone who's thinking they might be dealing with a candida issue to start out and get a good set of basic information and approaches and what foods can be beneficial and what not. Because they'll get a taste of things, and a feel of things I think from listening to us today and get some really good ideas. But it's good to have a kind of a manual, that you can really pore through and refer to and can address it from all sides. SO I highly recommend it to anyone that things they may be dealing with candida. Read the Body Ecology Diet book.
Mason: Love it bro.
Mason: Dan, what's your take? When you're entering into this what foods are you bringing in, what foods are you eliminating, are there any distinctions in terms of any particular constitutional elements that you like to take into account?
Dan: Yeah, definitely and I'm one of those practitioners where, I probably do the least amount of dietary manipulation compared to a lot of practitioners. What I typically do is, apart from the obvious things, things such as alcohol, excessive caffeine use, refined sugars. Usually if we can take dairy and gluten-containing grains out of the diet and lower the amount of starches? I generally don't do too much above and beyond that in the initial stages. A, because of the amount that it puts onto the patient who is already compromised to some degree under this burden of stress, and so we just want to take out those really common sort of insults to allow the inflammation to kind of just settle down in the gut.
Dan: But I think probably what we perhaps should've mentioned a little bit earlier is just movement and sweating, and we talked about sauna of course. But sunlight and movement are massive for candida. When I treat people that have chronic yeast issues, they're different people when you consider how they're presentation looks in winter compared to summer. And that I attribute largely to the upgrade they get from their immune system when their vitamin D level are optimized? Because we know that with optimized vitamin D levels we're producing higher amounts of our body's own antimicrobial substances like [inaudible 00:47:54]. Which has been shown to be stronger than many, many, many botanicals when tested in terms of destructing biofilms and getting viral load and bacterial load down and so forth.
Dan: Movement's huge. You know lymphatic detoxification, that's massive as well. To ensure the person is moving and sweating and getting adequate sunlight. Dry skin brushing, that's effective as well. But at particular sort of point in treatment I like to then depending on the person's constitution introduce some gentle biofilm destructors as well. It's one thing to bring in antifungal herbs, but if the immune system can't see them, the shell of these critters isn't cracked up to allow their contents to be exposed to these botanicals or our immune system, then we're kind of not getting as much bang for our buck. So compounds like N-Acetyl Cysteine, absolutely brilliant for breaking up biofilm, really good for supporting the liver as well and glutathione production, which is our body's master antioxidant and you want prime levels of that anytime you're doing any sort of changes to the gut ecosystem or detoxification. The good old, Pau D'arco and cat's claw tea combo I found to be personally really successful and I think that's probably one of the first things you and I ever jammed about back at the markets years ago.
Mason: Yeah man. For sure, and I think I can attest to Sage's love for cat's claw, una de gato, as well. Everyone's like, oh my gosh you guys are eating cat's claws? It's just a bark, everybody. I've got to just mention that.
Sage: [inaudible 00:49:31].
Mason: I get that every now and then.
Mason: Yeah sorry Dan, I had to get that little joke in there.
Dan: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. So, yeah. In addition to that, pomegranate I have found to be just absolutely magnificent when it comes to any pathogenic overgrowth. I can't speak highly enough about that particular herb. I haven't found any other botanicals that simultaneously lower things like bacteria and candida, whilst up-regulating good bacteria at the same time. So pomegranate tincture is definitely going into the protocol for anyone who has any sot of fungal overgrowth.
Dan: Apart from that, once you're doing the biofilm work, the person's moving and sweating, the vitamin D is optimized, and the dietary foundations are on point, you do have to think about the liver and all the metabolites that you're breaking down. Because the liver ultimately has the job of buffering and keeping the oil clean. And again, that feeds back into using things like N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, good old and St. Mary's Thistle, burdock, dandelion root just as teas can be really pivotal as well.
Dan: Just, garbage in, garbage out. Just get people thinking about the more you're killing off, and the debris you're producing that has to be exiting the system because you can get that enterohepatic recirculation, and you don't want that, because the bugs will just set up shop in a different area of the body.
Mason: So can I, I'm just going to before we move on. I just really want to bring a summary to this aspect of treatment, where we've identified that perhaps we do have an overgrowth of candida. We get into the tweakings of the diet, whether we do it gently, and I would agree that it's a psychological conversation of whether someone's going to go down the hardcore, phase 2 Body Ecology when it's like no sugars whatsoever. Maybe some green apple, I think at this stage-
Sage: It's Phase One, Full Intensity. And then Phase Two is, like, gentler as you've gotten better. Yeah. Phase One is the Full Intensity.
Mason: And also just making distinct what Dan was saying there, what are the core things that I'd be introducing if they're in a state where it's just not possible for them to make those changes? And that would be, again, whether it's going to work or not, these are ... this is what everyone's going to have to have that real dance within themselves, I think that's safe to say, and what's possible for you. And then you're going to have to manage your expectations with that. And as you said, Dan, I don't know, what were you saying dietarily with your core? Refined grains, excessive sugars, definitely getting off processed sugars, I think that's ... if you're on processed sugars you're going to basically be shooting yourself in the candida foot every single time you try to jump at him.
Mason: So we've got that aspect, you know? Possibly looking at ketogenesis for a particular time, and so basically we've got that dietary component. Within talking, within a herbal sense and a treatment sense of getting our nervous system really toned and getting us in a calm place where our body can actually heal, getting our foundations of our Jing through Jing herbs. Like you mentioned, He Shou Wu, Rehmannia, Cordyceps, Eucommia Bark, and I think you mentioned Cistanche as well, Sage, and also you're going to get a good crossover there. And you don't have to have all of these, you know. You pick your herb, and Ashwagandha is also a beautiful one that's going to have those jewel effects on the nervous system and on the kidneys.
Mason: Then we've gone to talk about, right. What herbs are we starting to include and what supplements are we starting to include to actually start clearing these out. Medicinal mushrooms we're going to go into next, but that's a huge aspect of building up basically the Jing of the immune system, which is always implicated. I can definitely always ... Definitely always, that's never the case. But I can generally say that you're going to see an immune suppression when it comes to candida. I think that's a fair thing to say, would you guys agree?
Sage: Absolutely. Because you're very vulnerable to other things happening and taking place.
Mason: Absolutely. So then we see both your suggestions in terms of what we're going to be getting coming in. We're going to get the herbs like Pau D'arco, the Chagas, the Reishis, Maitakes, and turkey tails are always going to be wonderful bringing those in to fortify the immune system. And you've talked about N-Acetyl Cysteine and started talking about this other aspect of this phase, which Sage, I know you're all over. And now that we're here Dan I really appreciate you bringing up the biofilms, the ability for us to actually break down. I don't know where you're atin terms of just describing what these biofilms actually are. I know there's a bit of calcification involved in them and I know the immune system especially has a hard time identifying that there is something there behind this little encasing, or this little barnacle, in which the infection lies beneath. It's one of ... Its survival, opportunistic mechanisms to not become identified by the immune system.
Mason: And at that time so I just want to talk just a little bit more on that stage within this protocol, of actually knocking out these biofilms so our immune system can start getting this candida infection under control. So I just want to reiterate: your favorites for breaking down these biofilms, and then I just want to have another quick little conversation around opening up detox channels, supporting liver, and also my favorite, including binders, like clays within the diet to help moving these things out. And then also inclusive in this conversation is going to be, the saunas. We don't have to go too much further into it, but if you've got that going on, you're going to be definitely opening up that channel of detoxification through the skin.
Mason: So in terms of knocking out these biofilms, your faves Dan?
Dan: Pomegranate first and foremost. N-Acetyl Cysteine which we mentioned, and another one from the silkworm, Serrapeptase, I'm sure you guys are quite familiar with as well.
Sage: Yep, absolutely.
Mason: Another big favorite.
Dan: Yeah. The only caution with Serrapeptase is long-term, it can ... Let me rewind a little bit. Good bacteria as well do form biofilm, and so there's a concern that long term use of agents like Serrapeptase and N-Acetyl Cysteine can also crack up good biofilms, which you don't want.
Mason: Mm. And that's like, it's natural with anything that's a treatment protocol or enzymes therapy, with the Serrapeptase, you want to make sure that you're cycling it and respecting the treatment period, and you're not going in an “altering” the system of the body too long-term. Would you like the use of MSM in there? Have you ever found that useful?
Dan: Yeah I do, I do like MSM and that's a big one I'll use in conjunction with this protocol particularly if people have joint-related issues. Which as Sage said, we often see that with candida, these fungal metabolites get passed around and float around through the body. It can cause quite painful and swollen joints and brain fog. That's another thing, with brain fog the components that get broken up with candida compounds actually form acid aldehyde, and that's why you get people who say, I feel like I'm drunk; I'll go to work and I just feel like I'm wasted and I can't think properly; my short-term memory's gone. And that's because of this acid aldehyde that the candida produced.
Dan: SO yeah, sorry. Kind of went off on a little tangent there, but-
Mason: No it's really funny when you see those news articles of people who they found had so much fermentation going on in the gut they were tested to be drunk and they hadn't had any alcohol at all. So bizarre, but it's true life.
Dan: Next thing we know there'll be pulled over and getting breath tested and being fined as having [crosstalk 00:57:19].
Mason: Soon enough. You want to get tested for candida? Get pulled over and the cops [inaudible 00:57:23].
Dan: Yeah, imagine that. Imagine we get to the point that we're really concerned about the immunological health of our population. Random candida testing everybody. Pull over, like, parasite testing, you know? We've just got your back, everyone.
Mason: Concerns your driving safety. Sorry Dan.
Dan: Do not operate maChinery while candida is present.
Dan: But yeah, so to summarize. N-Acetyl Cysteine, Serrapeptase, the pomegranate. Good old green tea. Sounds very boring and we're used to hearing that but that is so, so good for candida in particular. We can talk about things like lauric acid and caprylic acid, they're often good additions to do particularly in those stubborn cases.
Dan: The other one I didn't mention is berberine. Berberine is really efficient at cracking up biofilms and getting on top of ... And this is what I love about herbal medicine. It's like we're isolating candida but we know we're going to have a good effect on viruses and bacteria at the same time. So if someone does come in and they've got known candida issues, but they also have [inaudible 00:58:32], we know that using agents like berberine and pomegranate we're hitting both on the same head, if that makes sense.
Mason: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mason: Absolutely. I mean, yeah, it gets a little bit different when you're using herbals rather than isolates. Beautiful list there, Dan. I really like the Serrapeptase- MSM combination for breaking down those biofilms and definitely going to have to get a little bit more into pomegranate, definitely through my support behind the berberine.
Mason: Sage, in terms of breaking down the biofilms, you've mentioned the immunological aspect of being able to then through the mushrooms get underneath those biofilms and clear out the fungus. What's your favorite ways of breaking down that encasing layer?
Sage: I'm very similar to Dan, here. I'm a huge fan of serrapeptase and not just for this application, but also others. Many friends I've shared it with have had tremendous results in terms of clearing up scar tissues and clearing up calcifications and clearing up, like, cysts that would not go away. Ovarian cysts and things like this. It's been so cool to see how much benefit people have gotten from it.
Sage: I think a lot of people try serrapeptase and other forms of systemic, proteolytic enzymes? And they're just not doing it right so they don't get the results? It's kind of, I think, for a short-to-medium time period, like Dan said, not long term. Short to medium term, you want to basically take as much as you can afford. If that's two capsules a day, fine. If that's five? Fine. If it's 10? Okay now we're talking. And you want to have it with a lot of water on a totally empty stomach, and just kind of lie down and be still a while and let them do their work. And that's when you can get the real magic of these systemic enzymes.
Sage: Then as you were mentioning, pomegranate's great. N-Acetyl Cysteine, berberine does not get nearly enough credit for what a powerful compound, for those who don't know it's an extract from various plants it can come from, most often the Indian barberry, and it is so great at killing off all kinds of bad bacteria and fungus and things like this in the gut as well as helping with the biofilms. I didn't personally come into my awareness until after I was already on the other side of my candida journey. But I sure wish I'd had it and had access to it at the time. And it's so good for, overall blood glucose and blood sugar balance. It's actually shown to be just as effective if not more effective than metformin, which is the most common diabetes drug. So. It's so good all around.
Mason: So good. I think everyone's got ... I think ... I like that that wasn't an excessive list? I find that would be ... I like having a supplement ceremony in the morning, that's how I can really get my head around ensuring that I don't feel like I'm feeding this sickness psychology or mentality? Because that's one of the things that's going to get your feet stuck in the mud. And when you relate to yourself as like, that's it; I've got candida and I'm sick and I have to take all these things because I'm sick. I like to have a little ceremony where I can pause, at the beginning I might have it all written down, what my intention is behind each supplement, just so I can connect to it, just for a moment. That way there's the sudden activation of the placebo where your whole body is engaged and opening up to utilize it. And you can also feel whether it's working for you or not, a little bit more in that way.
Mason: So I think a beautiful list guys in terms of Dan bringing up the supporting of the liver, and I really want to throw in what was always useful for me is a binder. I like clays, I like getting in a number of different type of dietary clays in different colors from different places, but the easiest for everyone, I think the same in the US, Sage, to access. Bentonite clay?
Sage: Yeah, bentonite clay and also activated charcoal is I think another one that we're all taking into consideration.
Mason: I think especially during periods of high die-off, if you're experiencing those high levels of detoxification, I would ... For me, I can't do charcoal more than a week. But I think you're right, there are folks who don't tend towards a dry kind of constitution whereas I can go to a little bit more of a dry constitution. I feel like I get dried out no matter how much water I have with charcoal, but I will definitely throw, I completely agree. Those periods-
Sage: They have to find the balance of how much works for them, and they can go by feel.
Mason: Well exactly but I ... Clays. I get my clay, I put it in a bit of water and I leave it overnight? And I like, this is generally part of my rotating diet, letting it soak and rehydrate. And I get up in the morning and drink roughly a liter of spring water when I first get up and then I'll throw my clay down. Just knowing that that's going to be getting in and binding to anything gnarly that's in my ... that my metabolism has created that might be a little bit of, like just assisting my body's own waste processes to get that out. I'm a big fan of it.
Sage: How thick is it when you mix it up? Are you like, eating it with a spoon or are is it drinking or how do you ... ?
Mason: It's probably on the edge of sludge, but I'm able to drink it. Yeah.
Mason: And you know, quite often what I've done. I just finished a retreat and we were making a base tea of Pau D'arco and cat's claw, and we were using that as what we were hydrating the clay in overnight? And then we'd get that out. That would be their shot in the morning and so you could have all those antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial compounds moving through the body at the same time. And we were also, because in that instance their body began to release quite a bit, I also used powdered zeolites, Australian Zeolites. I think we've all used them quite extensively.
Mason: But between those three binders, between charcoal, zeolite, and clay, you've got some good choices there. Do you use those at all clinically, Dan?
Dan: Yeah I do, and I've got a couple others to throw in as well. Slippery elm, is really, really beneficial there and you get the added bonus that not only are you soaking up those debris you're also getting fermentable substrates to [inaudible 01:04:30] bacteria in the gut, which we know, if candida is present, they're going to be quite suppressed and have taken a hit.
Dan: Soaked Chia seed is awesome too. Super simple, you can do it at home. Soak Chia seed, wait til it has forms that beautiful gelatinous substance and use that daily. And then chlorella. Good old chlorella is fantastic and really good affinity for heavy metals, too. That's another thing with heavy metals and candida, I'll find that they often go hand in hand, particularly if there is a lead or mercury or [aluminum 01:05:02] load. Knowing that that's going to suppress the immune system, you're going to have a limited response to a lot of treatment until you deal with those heavy metals and take the burden off the immune system. Bring it back online, and then try the immunomodulating compounds along with antibacterial herbs and so forth and you'd get a lot more [inaudible 01:05:22].
Mason: Mm. And Sage I'm going to hand it over to you in a second because I know your eyes lit up when you heard him mention chlorella. But I just want to reiterate to everyone that when you're getting all of this thrown at you it can seem like this one huge list of everything you need to take is just starting to dominate your world. OF course there's cross-pollination of all of these things and what they're doing in the body.
Mason: But I find it very useful to start to somewhat compartmentalize intentions in this healing process so that you can really start to wrap your head and your heart around it. So that binding and chelating category that we're talking about now, if you can have that somewhat isolated into your lifestyle flow and your daily dietary flow where you have a particular shot, you might be having your clay with your zeolites, and bang you can have your little shot of chlorella and then you can start, at the same time, layering in these little, like, right; in the beginning I'm going to be knocking out these biofilms because I think that is something you can be doing in the beginning. You can have that little, that ceremony just say, talking about when you get into taking your capsules.
Mason: You might be really focusing on that serrapeptase and go, great. I'm going to have my tin and take a little moment and let those enzymatic catalysts go in and do their thing. And then, you can bite back. What else is aChievable for you? I can take a little N-Acetyl Cysteine or a little berberine, great. I can include that and I know that's cellular rejuvenation, it's supporting the body to really get in and get these detoxification pathways rocking and identifying these biofilms so the body can really start seeing what's going on immunologically and with candida at the same time.
Mason: Just these little things. I feel like we're not just leaving you high and dry here. When it gets confusing, I'm sure we're happy to reach out to any of us because we want to make sure this is a very accessible, and doesn't get overwhelming. Just acknowledge that yes, there's a lot to learn here. There's a lot to learn about your body and the way it works. And this is, in fact, a wonderful calling for you to start digging in and understanding these various processes within the body, and how we have this plethora of compounds and technologies and this apothecary at the tips of our fingers that can really support us in this when our intention is strong, and we just do that little bit of extra research and make sure that we're really hitting in the right places at the right time.
Mason: But Sage, do you want to throw any two cents behind chlorella?
Sage: Oh yeah, I just love chlorella in so many ways. I've been having pretty much a tablespoon a day forever whether it's the tablets and just chewing on those. And those do get stuck in your teeth when you chew on them, but interestingly chocolate gets them out of your teeth so perfectly. Have one piece of chocolate and somehow it kind of lubricates them out, where they could be stuck in your teeth for hours otherwise.
Sage: I'm crazy about chlorella from it being such a great source of protein, to being 10% chlorophyll by dry weight, so it, having this property of chlorella growth factor, it causes the beneficial bacteria in your gut to multiply at faster rate and it's also the fastest growing food crop in the entire world. I believe it quadruples every 24 hours, if I'm remembering the numbers correctly.
Sage: And then also, it's incredibly high in RNA, so it's actually the highest natural food source of RNA, previously they thought that it was coming from oysters so they would always say, oh yeah, oysters, this is the highest natural source of RNA. Chlorella absolutely blows it out of the water by many times. So it's such a spectacular food and a great binder and detoxifier, as Dan was saying. For me, it's just kind of part of my program that is my long-term detoxification strategy that is ongoing because we live in a weird world with lots of toxicity. Especially being in a big city here, always being exposed to all kinds of stuff. So it's a good thing to have, just ongoing as your insurance policy.
Mason: Mm-hmm (affirmative). A lot.
Mason: Moving onto the liver, I just want to ... Generally we have to talk about, if we're talking about healing strategies, we need to talk about supporting the liver. And so everyone can start entering into this encapsulation or if you're taking notes. Okay, the liver work.
Mason: So you've already mentioned the, I think you mentioned kind of, like the dandy blend. So getting onto the dandelion, you can just be brewing that up as a tea with the Pau D'arco and add in your medicinal mushrooms and boom. You've got that burdock and you've got that dandelion, that beautiful liver nourishment going in, in a very sustainable way. Now additionally, I've always got Schizandra in on these protocols. Now I've found the easiest way to include it where it's not like bundling up? In that morning supplement and that morning tonic protocol, I rather than just, as well as having a smoothie and throwing everything in there? I don't know what your take is on it, I generally don't love people in these times when we're clearly seeing spleen Chi deficiency, I don't like throwing a lot of wet, hard to digest, often cold compounds into a smoothie and just knocking that back. I prefer the diet to be non-damp forming, and very nourishing and also I definitely want to make sure it's not getting in there and aggravating any heat.
Mason: So I don't, I think ... This is a casting a wide net, but just to backtrack and talk about that dietarily you can start to look from an Ayurvedic or a TCM perspective. What's really going to, what foods are going to be really contributing to weakening my spleen Chi and what's going to support my spleen and be able to get back on top and becoming nourished? So to an extent, easy to digest foods with that little bit of testing with the fibers, I think, is a really appropriate way to go about it. But with the Schizandra , I love having an afternoon Chi, when it comes to my Schizandra . I put, start with a quarter teaspoon, maybe it's just half for you, but I like putting a teaspoon of Schizandra extract in just hot water and that really gets me through the afternoon. It can be another great way for you to be supporting your liver.
Mason: Sage, anything else you want to throw in on that?
Sage: Yeah. Schizandra is so nice as a stage one and stage two liver detoxifier. And I think this is an area where, and many areas, but I think here is one where people could really benefit from having some genetic testing done. It's so affordable these days in terms of being able just to do like $100, 23andMe genetic test. And you get some of your genetic information regarding ...
Sage: Well here's how you do it. The ancestry test with them, don't do the health test with them. The health information they give you is not very insightful. And then you take the information from them and there's various sites like Promethease or FoundMyFitness also has some good analyses, and you upload your raw data to those sites and they provide you, for like 10 bucks, a really in-depth analysis that you can actually get some real wisdom and personal insight from.
Sage: Why it specifically applies here is you want to know, hey how your genetics are around liver detoxification. Some people will have better stage one and worse stage two, or vice versa, and you need to know ... that would kind of guide you in terms of what you need to be taking to support a certain component in your liver detoxification rather than another.
Mason: So good. Dan I know you're into it as well. What's your two cents on that?
Dan: Yeah, Sage, I'm one of those, exactly one of those people. Really awesome at phase one, terrible at phase two. Yeah, I couldn't recommend that any more. Getting those little snips is really pivotal I find, because a lot of people can be working for a long time at these issues and getting a little bit but not really getting optimum? I find the genetic testing for those types of folks can often be just the cream on the cake, and it can often provide what they're looking for to go, hey I'm not producing, like hardly any glutathione; I really need to target that, that needs to be forefront before I do any of this I need to up-regulate glutathione and phase two.
Dan: So, yeah. Onto phase one and phase two, that's a really important thing to bring up I think because a lot of folks don't know that you need nutrition to perform adequate liver detox. So often we get in this sort of mindset that, hey I'm going to use this plant or this compound or this binder and that's going to detox me. And it's like, yeah that's cool. But that kind of comes later. Your liver has to package up and break down these metabolites in order for those binders to grab onto and to bring out of the system. And so, for phase one for example, you need your B vitamins and different sorts of minerals in order to do that. So if you've got malabsorption or if you're deficient, a lot of your metabolites aren't even getting broken down adequately and you're creating lots of oxidated stress.
Dan: And then other folks, like myself, you can do that job really well but you can't transform them very well over to phase two, which is kind of where the liver packages them up and sits them there waiting for the bus to come through and pick it up, which is like the binder. And that's where compounds like Schizandra as Sage mentioned, turmeric, broccoli sprout extracts and other agents are really good at up-regulating phase two enzymes? And then phase three, which we coined now, and that's kind of really coming to the forefront. For a long time it was just phase one and phase two. Phase three is like that bus that comes along and picks up the garbage and takes it out of the system. And that's where the binders and the charcoals and the clays are really valid.
Dan: But yeah, nailing those first two sort of upstream phases is very critical and gets overlooked quite a bit I find.
Mason: Okay. That's awesome. We love going upstream, and I think that's like, I'm loving this. We're creating this whole huge world, and we'll just throw it behind everyone again. I remember being in that place when I was hearing this all for the first time? And going, shiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttt.
Dan: What it was, what the hell?
Mason: So you know. I just want to remind everyone there's lots of show notes, and we're accessible. I'd really recommend to listen back to this podcast again. If you're implicated, if you're not just curious about this but you've got some work, if you're realizing you've got some work to be done? At the same time this isn't just a protocol for candida. As you can see we're working on the entire environment through this. You're going to see a lot of crossover, with generally upgrading and cleansing the body. And I think it's a really sensible way to do it.
Mason: Before we move on to mushrooms, I know I've said that a lot. If you swing that Traditional Chinese Medicine route, if you're working with a TCM practitioner, again I come at it from more of a [Daoist 01:16:30] perspective, I'm kind of like a hobbyist when it comes to TCM? So this isn't expert recommendations. But if you're working with someone and you want to get some, or you've got access to herbal formulas, basically in this cleansing period when you're removing waste from the body? In terms of what you want to be doing in supporting the triple burner get itself back on track, because it's often a triple burner factor when it comes to candida from what I can tell, you're going to see an immediate implication in the lower burner.
Mason: These are the symptoms like vaginal excretions and just basically along that line. You're going to see dampness and you also want to see that you are expelling phlegm and heat from the body. So that's what you're going to be leaning towards. Especially if it's that you're getting those lower symptoms, damp heat clearing formula is one that I know is used quite successfully. It's got gentian and skullcap, and gardenia, [inaudible 01:17:36], Rehmannia. So that's very useful, especially if it's in that lower burner? And then a little bit higher, if you're trying to really work that upper burner and the middle burner symptoms. So that's coming up to the spleen, dampness in the spleen or definitely low Chi function with the spleen, and then implication in the lungs, coptis formula is also used. So coptis and gardenia again, angelica and chrysanthemum and a bunch of other wonderful herbs going on there. Just in case you swing in that direction and you wanted to get some pointers.
Mason: Now. Can you take medicinal mushrooms if you have candida, Sage?
Sage: You better take them. You'd better, if you want to see some real improvement, you'd better.
Sage: So I know this is a question you guys get all the time, I get all the time. Absolutely. It's such a silly concept that's been spread around that because you have a form of bad fungus run amok in your body that you should not introduce any other higher forms of fungi into your body. Now while you may want to avoid ground mushrooms like portobello mushrooms, button mushrooms and things like this that are often contaminated with mold and therefore would be really problematic, these are mushrooms that grow on trees. These are medicinal mushrooms that ideally are growing in a very clean format and they are going to give your immune system the power and the education and the weaponry and the potential to go in and bring things back into balance in your body. They're enhancing your immune system's own natural intelligence.
Sage: It's like, if your phone doesn't have the tools that it needs, then maybe you need an operating system upgrade. This is the operating system upgrade for your immune system, to give it the new tools to work with.
Mason: So good. What are your faves? You've mentioned Chaga and Reishi that were pivotal in your healing journey.
Sage: Yeah, Reishi and Chaga, Cordyceps which I love as well for many things although I don't find it to be as powerful particularly in the candida realm. Reishi and Chaga, specifically. Very strong Chaga tea, making it on my own, it was super helpful for me.
Sage: And then of course you have things like turkey tail and Maitake, especially if you can get Maitake defraction as a supplement. It's very potent. But for me, the biggest game changer in my experience was Chaga, but of course everybody's body is a little bit different, though it may be different for others.
Mason: What about you, Dan?
Dan: In terms of mushrooms, yeah. Coriolus, turkey tail, Maitake, and I think using a good compound of all those things. Something like Mason's Mushrooms, for example. There's some other practitioner brands with some really good combinations of four or five different types of fungus which I'd recommend.
Dan: But yeah, going back to that original question of can you use them, an analogy I like to use when I get asked that question is: if we have a bacterial overgrowth we're going in there with bacteria, aren't we? You know. Probiotics, you know? Because you conquer with the higher classes, like Sage said. It's the same principle with fungus really. We're using superior fungus to combat lower grade fungus. And we know medicinal mushrooms in the wild do this. So that is a really useful kind of note to pass on to people who are a little bit confused about that.
Mason: Yeah and I think it comes up heavily because the culinary mushrooms is what everyone talks about. Somebody mentions a mushroom they think they're talking about buttons and brown buttons and portobellos and those ones that you're going to buy in the store. Fair enough, we haven't really been exposed to buying Reishi mushroom and lion's mane at the grocery and there's no distinction that there are, in fact, just like the plant kingdom. And I think I heard you mention this recently, Sage, it's a nice distinction. There's not just one type of plant. There is an incredible, almost infinite amount of expressions in that plant kingdom. And likewise in the fungal kingdom we see the same thing. And so we're talking about a particular-
Sage: Even in the animal kingdom. Like, if there's a human who is misbehaving, you're not going to say, oh don't send a human to go set them straight because they're just a human; they're going to make the problem worse. No you send them in to kind of compassionately interact with them and see what the deal is and get them into some neurofeedback or something.
Mason: Very good Sage. Oh I get it.
Mason: And so naturally, I think I'm ... I don't know where you're at in terms of agreement that you do leave out sort of those soil-born mushrooms From a candida diet? I definitely think it's something that I would be doing, is leaving out those button mushrooms and those soil-born mushrooms and I can let everyone know that they are nodding, so we have nods.
Sage: Full support.
Mason: And a number of, I've seen a couple of theories on this. I see that you get a little bit ... We've talked about this previously, Dan, in the gut podcast, it can become molecular mimicry? And so there's such a similarity between that kind of yeast expression within those yeast cells within the soil-born mushrooms and the culinary mushies that it's so similar to the candida and the yeast infection that the immune system can get a little bit more confused in that light.
Mason: But I've also seen people talking about the fact that these culinary mushrooms fight for the food sources with the candida and can be beneficial. I haven't really seen anything backing that up, or showing that that's true in any way. I don't know if either of you has seen anything like that? Attesting to that?
Dan: That's a ... I can't say that I have, so not fully confident to go into that. I don't know about you, Sage.
Sage: No, me neither, me neither.
Mason: No, and I kind of ... I rustled around a little bit and couldn't find anything, it was all anecdotal. And so that was something I would leave out. But when it comes to the medicinal mushrooms, we definitely seeing a different kettle of fish in the mushroom kingdom. We're definitely seeing an incredible increase in one directly implicated aspects of the immune system is the macrophage activity activation that is straightaway, is going to assist your body on an immunological level. Kind of start you ... Kind of like an internal binding or an internal detoxification protocol for your, the macrofied activity to get in there to this candida albicans and moving it out.
Mason: But at the same time we see such a flurry of activation, but not purely as stimulation when it comes to using Chagas, Reishis, Maitakes, lion's manes and turkey tails. We don't just see this stimulated immune system, as we know, but generally we're going to see the immune system seemingly go towards that stimulated direction when candida is the infection because naturally we're going to have a deficiency of the immune system. So I agree, you'd better be taking them. Sage, when you came out like that firing. It's something that I don't think it makes sense not to include it in the diet when you're going down the road of this protocol.
Mason: And then of course we see such a flurry of other activity. We've already talked about Reishi mushroom and helping to tone the nervous system, tone the mind in terms of it in a [inaudible 01:24:48] tonic in the way the Daoist approach it. You see lots of physiological function and destressing the body so that the mind-body connection can then emerge and we can get a calmer state of mind, and we can get into a calmer state of being throughout the day which ties straight back in with our original intention, is remaining in that place where we can breathe deeply and we can ensure that we're staying in a healing space.
Mason: Then you go, we can go, even further with the medicinal mushrooms. The science is coming out more and more how we are hardwired for a lot of these compounds, with particular these fungal polysaccharides within the mushrooms and so as an inherent part of the way our immune system is involved. Again, you've got to throw your support behind using them.
Mason: Anyone want to throw in any other two cents about the usefulness of medicinal mushrooms, their immune modulating aspects? Because we've got in this intelligence. I remember relating to Chaga and Reishi in particular being ... and lion's mane, and turkey tail being these noble thought forms within the fungal system and somewhat understanding the psychology of these lower forms of fungus, just to put a hierarchy on it. Just take that with a grain of salt. Being able to somewhat enable the immune system just the way the mushrooms had had to adapt and evolve to not become infected by yeast themselves as they're growing through the environment, pass on that information to our bodies so we can, in fact, also not be broken down by these environmental yeasts. Any other little things either of you would like to throw in? Just interesting distinctions about why mushies might be useful?
Dan: I would probably just highlight the fact that I think medicinal mushrooms still get thought about as immune specific compounds. We have dandelion and burdock root, everyone thinks liver. And we have these different affiliations and associations with herbs. But I think it's important to-
Sage: [crosstalk 01:26:54].
Dan: Yeah, exactly. I think it's important to relate to them not only in an immunological kind of way, and think of them as endocrine modulators. And that's what you need, and that's going back to what we said earlier about resetting the nervous system so the healing can take place. Not only are you upgrading your immune system, it's really acting on that endocrine system to get you into a really fortified and pivotal kind of state where the candida can start coming down. You're acting on it immunologically but you got endocrine balance happening at the same time. So just get your mind in your herbs too and think about that in terms of the stages that you roll these things out, so it's like okay for the next week or two we're going really hard on the medicinal mushrooms for these reasons. Following that we're going to really go into the liver. I really like that with herbal medicine, particularly for folks who haven't used them before. To really get people's minds in their herbs. As trippy and spiritual as that sounds.
Mason: Not at all.
Dan: Yeah. Just, we grow up with pharmaceutical medicine, with western medicine, and it's sort of like you're sick, you go and visit the doctor, you take something. Your mind is out of that equation. You don't know how it's acting, all you're waiting for is to see if the result is there, and you get, "better." But with herbal medicines, I think it's really important to know what the herbs are doing, and to educate folks on that and roll that out in different stages so they know at what time they can expect symptoms to be felt and know when to proceed into other areas as well.
Dan: So, I mean, I don't know if I answered the question-
Mason: There was no question, just any additional thoughts. And I agree, I haven't gone so far into the pharmaceutical application. I mean I know practitioners have a hard time with fungus because they have such a wide array of antibacterials that they can be using, antibiotics that they can be using. Basically they just jump around and try and find the one that's right for a particular affliction. But they don't have many antifungals, and in fact candida albicans is becoming more and more resistant to the pharmaceutical antifungals that are recurring. And I think one of the areas the current research is going over the isolated pharmaceutical is inhibiting the tour? Of the tour pathways of the candida albicans which inhibits its ability to then proliferate. Again, it seems like it's going to be useful in a clinical setting and it's nice to hone in, but how much do you hone in before that treatment isn't going to be then unified with the rest of the treatment setting that's going to lead you down a path where you've created an environment where your body can do the regulation itself, without too much of an isolated drug-based effect.
Mason: So yeah I completely agree with everything you said. Sage?
Sage: Yeah one other thing there on the pharmaceutical side of things. Because life circumstances will happen where you just can't get around taking antibiotics. Things happen, this is our world we live in. Something to keep in mind and talk with your doctor about if that does come up is there's a supplement, not a supplement. A pharmaceutical, called nystatin, which is a statin drug but it also has very powerful antifungal properties. So many people see a lot of benefit from taking liquid nystatin at the same time as the antibiotics to keep the candida at bay, keep the fungal problems from [inaudible 01:30:21].
Mason: Yeah. That's common practice, right? Very interesting.
Sage: Nobody does it.
Mason: I've had a bunch of people who, or maybe it's because we're in Byron. I've had a bunch of people put in that, or I guess here we have an emergency-
Sage: Are people more aware of it there in Byron? About the nystatin?
Mason: I think so. I mean I've definitely heard-
Sage: [inaudible 01:30:40] nobody knows.
Mason: Yeah we've definitely had a lot of people here who have been put on it. I didn't realize it was a statin but an antifungal at the same time, along with the antibiotic. But yeah, at the same time we've got an emergency room here that actually acknowledges that Lyme disease exists. So. Very noble-
Sage: [inaudible 01:30:56] a bit moral.
Mason: Yeah, we're in a different world. When I went with my [inaudible 01:30:59], you know. My rash around my tick bite, it was like, oh yeah, that's Lyme. I was like, oh my god. I didn't even have to fight with you around that?
Mason: But so, anything else Sage you wanted to add around medicinal mushrooms or are you feeling sweet on that topic?
Sage: They're fabulous, they're magical even though they're not psychedelic, and I love them very much.
Mason: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mason: They're psychedelic for the immune system, and the immune system starts singing when all of a sudden you get some. Again, it's the unification of the immune system. And what I like about medicinal mushrooms is where we've really been talking about this treatment-setting and this treatment protocol where we're healing ourselves through dietary changes. Maybe a time on ketogenesis. Maybe a time on the substances that remove the biofilm, the Serrapeptase, the MSM, we're taking binders in a treatment setting to ensure that we're taking out that metabolic waste and that, ensuring that we don't have a herbs reaction. Too much of a die-off detox vacation reaction which can definitely happen, and if that's happening to you? Back off. Go a little bit slower, right?
Mason: That's like, everyone goes, oh my gosh do I always have to Winston Churchill it? Where it's like if you're going through hell keep going? That's probably not the most sustainable way to do it, unless you maybe ... You're single. Your full-time job is your health. You don't have kids. Something like. Then absolutely go through it, you've got time to go and do your water fasting and tune into it and all that kind of stuff. But otherwise? Give yourself permission to back off and really think, what are the pillars?
Mason: Especially dietarily, especially some of that eliminating of those food groups and those grains and those sugars that are ... And possibly the glutenous grains, I think we're all in agreeance that in that healing period that that's not going to be useful. And at the same time you start bringing in the Pau D'arcos, the mushies, some of these supplements, liver supporting with the Schizandra. Just make sure if you're really dying off hard, maybe back off a little bit from those mushrooms. Just lower the dose, just a little bit, but especially those like the Serrapeptase and those substances that are going to be breaking down your biofilm. But at the same time, with a nice balanced approach, your body should have what it takes to remove that as you go along.
Mason: So what I was saying there is what I like about the medicinal mushrooms and many of the things we're talking about especially distinction around diet, is it gets to a point where you get your symptoms under control, and you're no longer feeling drunk from the candida off-gassing, you're not feeling those mood swings, you're not as immunologically susceptible to little, like, the smallest little cold and so on and so forth. And you go, wow I'm actually getting some traction here, and you start to then move in towards embodying a lot of these principles that you've learned through your healing journey, but then go to more of a maintenance. You know, how do I design my lifestyle and my personal culture so that this isn't going to come up again once you've identified that there's a possible susceptibility there.
Mason: So in this phase, Sage, what do you feel are the pillars? What would you be particularly tonifying to ensure that that doesn't happen again?
Sage: Yeah, I think once you've had a history of real strong candida situation, you probably will not be able to have a future of having the same levels of carbohydrate consumption and sugar consumption and a fruit consumption as somebody who hadn't. It does seem to be, you're kind of at-risk of this forever. Maybe Dan can provide some more insights into why and how you can maybe get around that. But you're always going to be a little bit more vulnerable to it than the average person.
Sage: And so, I think you always want to keep these mushrooms as a part of your life, for their adaptogenic properties, for their immune enhancing properties, for their antiinflammatory properties, you know. So many benefits. And they're going to be keeping the candida at bay, so you want to keep your carbohydrate consumption within a reasonable range. Stay away from really starchy things. If you're going to be having a gluten-free bread, don't be having one that's made of corn flour and oat flour and potato flour that you're just going to be skyrocketing your blood sugar.
Mason: Thanks for bringing that up. We have rice, potato, tapioca, [inaudible 01:35:18], I think they're the big ones. We don't get much corn but yeah, I really appreciate you bringing that up because I still think we're getting a new wave of people entering into the health scene and going gluten free, and not realizing the extent of what these gluten-free grains and these flours, just the impact they're having on your glycemic load and feeding these things like bacterial overgrowth and fungal overgrowth.
Sage: Yeah, even William Davis, who is a medical doctor, he wrote one of the first big books back in the 2000s that really blew up on bringing awareness that needs to be for people to be gluten free. And that's the time that it really took off.
Mason: Wheat Belly?
Sage: Wheat Belly, that's it, right, I was misplacing the name. Wheat Belly, yes. He even says most gluten-free products are worse for you than the gluten products because of these high glycemic, starchy compounds in them. So beware of that, because those can be really sneaky. You might think oh, this is great, it's gluten free; how wonderful and magical, I can eat toast again. Be careful. Be careful. There's one gluten-free bread made here in California that doesn't have any of those, it's primarily just quinoa and millet and that in moderation I do really well with.
Mason: Ours here is, I think widely Spring Wellness, I think is the brand.
Sage: A-ha. Here, for those people in the US, it's Grindstone Bakery, they make a really nice one.
Sage: And so, kind of the long term that I found myself in dietary wise is cyclical ketosis combined with some intermittent fasting to stimulate the autophagy and the anti-aging benefits and the hormonal benefits that that brings along. And then you just want to keep, as I said, these mushrooms in your life and have some Pau D'arco every now and then when you feel called towards it, and make sure you're food combining in a way that doesn't cause digestive disturbance, and gas and bloating because if you do that's probably setting up a breeding ground for some of these bad bacteria and fungi to try to take over again; you don't want to give them that entry.
Sage: And you've got to figure out for you personally, what is the level of fruit and carbohydrate consumption that you can handle. And as you progressively heal over the years that may grow a little bit, as your metabolism kind of comes back to where it originally might've been. Be mindful of that, because a lot of people say okay I dealt with the candida, now I can have as many dates and berries and pineapple and papaya and whatever and just go wild. But you can't. You can't do that, you're going to end up back in a bad situation.
Mason: Yeah, 40 bananas a day, eh?
Sage: Oh my gosh.
Sage: I remember right when I was in like, early stage candida recovery, I met a guy and he was trying to tell me, yeah yeah. Fruitarianism. You just have to eat more fruits, your body adapts to knowing what to do with it.
Sage: You've got to be kidding me. Come on.
Mason: Dude, I think you definitely see the [inaudible 01:38:24] and we get into the dietary conversation. Maybe we'll have another podcast around dietary fads and appropriateness. Because you're going to find with all of these diets, there's going to be a particular constitution or a particular energetic of an illness or an overgrowth that's going, maybe that person ... it's hard to believe in terms of a candida infection. But maybe one person might get a little bit of benefit just through the stripping that they're going to get through all that fruit.
Mason: And we're talking about a phenomena, the fruitarian, 80/10/10, 40 bananas a day that was like, probably really hot 10 years ago? I think we've all-
Sage: Thank goodness that kind of moved away.
Mason: Yeah. I think that kind of the current rendition in terms of maybe not in terms of the fanaticism at the top of the dietary hierarchy but definitely in terms of a lot of follows. We see the medical medium probably being the closest with that these days, in terms of just like, “Well I don't know much about herbalism; I don't know really anything about candida other than what the leader of this diet that I follow has said about it, but what I know is if you follow this diet, you'll heal it. Oh, no, no, no what is it? Candida? No problem,” is what you're going to find.
Mason: In the kind of diet like that, yeah. It's got great things and great distinctions of course, not pooh-poohing it. But if you, with any of these treatments, if you just get a really wide blanket over anything you're going to find, especially in this instance where there's women with extreme deficiencies and extreme dampness, and then immune deficiency. IF you start putting on a lot of cold, wet foods that ... and a lot, even like ... foods like when people go to TCM. I'm a big fan of celery but it's actually quite heating in terms of its energetics? You're actually going to start getting in there and aggravating the damp heat of candida when it's done in excess.
Mason: So everyone needs to just kind of like take everything with a grain of salt, find your own path and yeah. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Dan, at that stage when you're transitioning. What are some of your key factors in what you like looking at, and getting ... What did you get onto? What did you get other people onto?
Dan: I think once people have gotten over the initial hurdle, and they're back online, getting them to form a new relationship with their body is super, super key. And to identify where they're vulnerable and where the threats are coming in. I always say to folks, stress paralyzes the immune response. Period. It's that simple, stress paralyzes your immune response. Getting people to really identify where the stresses of their lives are coming in, whether it's people, whether it's the job, whether it's environmental, whether it's financial. You have to take appropriate lifestyle measures. You can throw antifungal herbs at yourself until the cows come home, but if you don't nail those things and those foundations, and the dietary stuff like you guys were saying, you're limiting the amount of benefits you're going to get long term. You can get immediate benefits, you can feel better for about a week, but you really want to fortify a new lifestyle where, as I say, you know immediately when you can recognize where you're leaking Jing and where the stress is starting to impact your immune system and you go, aha; I can feel that white blood cell drop.
Dan: Getting folks to recognize that, whereas maybe in times gone by they might just sort of mull over that with caffeine or sugar, you know? And they might've felt it but not known what to do with it. Now when you feel that again that means you need to pull back on this, and you probably need to hit this, this, this, and this to bring yourself back into balance.
Dan: So it sounds super simple, but just identifying where those stressors are coming in and knowing that it's going to have a very immunological weakening.
Mason: Yeah and I definitely think it's worth acknowledging lifestyle wise that you're undergoing a transition. I know it can be quite isolating if you do have a very gnarly candida infection and it's like, depending on where you came from it might be all of a sudden you're taken out from being able to go eat out, from the usage of alcohol with the grains that are in alcohol very much feeding candida, so on and so forth.
Mason: And so, really ensuring that you're psychologically set up and that you're finding ways to go out and celebrate life and be with your friends that aren't revolving around aggravators? And then once you've ... But you know, really ensuring that you don't isolate yourself, and ensuring that you don't get judgy about what other people are doing. My god, just do not by any means. Let it happen by osmosis, if you care about someone let the results speak for themselves, but I definitely wouldn't preach any of this to anyone once you've suddenly become enlightened to how sugar feeds candida.
Mason: And at the same time when you're transitioning back into your life and you're starting possibly really going, right. Socializing a little bit more. As Sage was saying, over a few years you might feel you've become a little more robust at a metabolic level when it comes to fruit and you can take as much as you would've normally been able to pre-candida. You're going to be able to do that to an extent with other areas of life that we associate with going out, and like really celebrating and enjoying ourselves and eating out. But just keep a check on yourself. You know? I would make sure you don't lose yourself in that energy so you to and undo all your good work? But at the same time really acknowledge, finding ways that you can keep that up and keep on doing that in a way that isn't lame. I know it can be lame for someone saying oh, just take kombucha to a party. It's like, oh shut up. Just ... I think that's a huge part of it.
Mason: Ongoingly, as well, I'll definitely just throw my support behind, for lack of another word, healed, ensuring that you don't slip into excessive tendencies when it comes to the consumption of grain, gluten. You might feel that it's better to leave these out of your diet. If you're like, no I kind of like ... I'm going to include them, really look at appropriate usage, with alcohol as well. Bring a lot of intention to the way you do it and just keep on reading the way your body relates and reacts to these substances so that you can create a very beautiful integrated culture for you and your lifestyle that is allowing you to, in a way, have your cake and eat it to. But be slow and methodical in that process, and don't ignore the fact just because it's inconvenient, that you have a tendency towards candida infection, because that will bite your 80-year-old, 90-year-old self on the ass.
Mason: But at the same time, don't throw out this celebratory party animal at the same time. Because then you'll be absolutely taking the drive out of your 80-, 90-year-old self.
Mason: I definitely like the inclusion, as Sage said, like appropriately bringing Pau D'arco here, there, when you feel like it. I like including medicinal mushrooms on rotation in the diet. When I get to that point, if you've had a tendency towards, especially if you have a tendency towards phlegmy-ness and dampness within the body? I like Chi tonics and spleen tonics to keep up that digestive potency from a tonic herb perspective. So herbs like astragalus, or is it as-TRAG-alus, Sage?
Sage: It's as-TRAG-alus here, but I don't know how you guys do it there, I'm still learning-
Dan: We switch, we go back and forth.
Mason: We switch. [crosstalk 01:45:57].
Mason: Yeah. So the identity crisis when it comes to pronouncing astragalus, as-TRAG-alus. But beautiful herb for continuing to tone the spleen Chi, to just ensure that we are maintaining proper digestive health and governing of digestive health, along with white atractylodes, [inaudible 01:46:16], even a little bit of licorice is going to be doing some good stuff in there, ginseng. These are all wonderful Chi herbs that I see as wonderful components in upkeeping our general health. Schizandra to an extent falls in that category, but I'd still be looking at astragalus, [inaudible 01:46:36], white atractylodes just here and there. Keep it up, make sure it's-
Sage: And did you incorporate Poria in there as well Mason?
Mason: Oh man, yeah. Poria I can't believe we didn't bring up and I can't believe I haven't got it as a herb on its own. Talk about a mushroom that's got a branding problem. Somehow, in Daoist and even through TCM theory and herbalism, every single longevity formula has Poria in it. Not Reishi, like nearly every longevity formula has got this incredible immunological mushroom, Poria? Have you seen the pictures of me harvesting that thing? It was 20 kilos.
Sage: I did see it. Incredible.
Mason: Dude. We'll get a picture down in the notes everyone but this mushroom, growing on wild pine is this huge mound that grows under the soil. Yeah it's 20 kilos and then when you dry it, it becomes kind of like a gyprock? You know ... What is it you pick up the white gyprock-y kind of thing at the beach, and you give it to the birds to nibble on and-
Mason: Cuttlefish, yeah. It's kind of like that kind of texture as well. But as a herb, it's probably the primary Chi/spleen-toning medicinal mushroom that's ... When you're dealing with candida of course a wet, damp hot environment is where a yeast infection is going to grow, so you have a high amount of inflammation. That's why all the while we're talking about things like Serrapeptase, medicinal mushrooms, that are taking down these chronic levels of inflammation right?
Mason: Then at the same time, Poria is going in and moving Chi. Like in instances of edema you see it being very effective. You see it being very effective at moving the puddle of water Chi sitting beneath the heart and dampening the fire of the heart, and moving that on. And then helping to tone the kidney's abilities to transform water Chi, and remember how to move that through the body.
Mason: I'm so glad you brought that up. I slipped it into the Mason's Mushrooms because I just wanted everyone to be on it.
Sage: You didn't have that as an individual herb as well?
Mason: No. I can't believe I don't, but that's what I mean. It's got a branding problem. So I will, I'm working on that. You know what it's like, you think it's just a matter of like, adding a product to the range and it's just like this huge process, and this huge educating process. And there also needs to be a subtle activation of something when I know it's time? And it's definitely getting there, to be time. It's definitely a huge push I feel in terms of educating around Chi tonics that's coming from our perspective within SuperFeast? And definitely with Poria.
Mason: But I'm always just stoked when people are having Mason's Mushrooms and they've got Poria in there, doing that thing. I actually think it's one of the more wonderful mushrooms for treating and helping with candida and basically supporting that spleen function. So thank you very much for bringing that up, I'm really, really glad-
Dan: If I could just add in there guys, as well as for the listeners. What Mason was talking about with spleen Chi, a lot of people obviously will already know. But I think what a good way to explain spleen Chi, I find, is that when you feel like that has really been augmented it's like your body almost fights gravity better. Your stature, your muscles, everything sits up so much stronger and so much better. And if you have a pathogenic load, everything wants to droop and go with gravity and fall. But when your spleen Chi is really rocking, it's like the opposite happens. Your muscles sit up better. Your posture's better. Your outlook is better. You feel like you're fighting gravity better. That's a really important distinction I think to ...
Dan: I remember feeling that for the first time years ago, with high amounts of astragalus when it was appropriate. And reigniting that and going, oh wow. That's what that feels like again.
Mason: Feeling upright Chi again. I mean Chi's definitely governing that up/down, in/out controlling the heat, controlling the movements of liquid within the body. It's a wonderful thing, and a definite one in terms of maintenance, I'm definitely leaning more and more towards Chi tonics myself with [inaudible 01:50:37], and it's also nice to see that the Chi does, you see a crossover a lot of the time with Chi tonics being medicinal mushrooms and doing their own thing from an immunological level to upkeep that vitality.
Mason: And at the same time, all these things you were talking about, like ensuring that we're not becoming sodden and weighed down by all this infection and all this calcification, absolutely integral. Great to have the Jing there, so we don't have to get to the exhausted state where we can't actually have, we are not actually able to use the Chi from our breath and our food, the Gu Chi, and as well from our water. And then, you know. We can't help but then actually rock it with our lifestyle.
Mason: The other thing I just make sure I want to tell everyone is watch your poo. Look at your poo, because it can be quite easy to get into a justification and not acknowledge the fact that you might be constipated, and we're definitely going to have to look at that. And this is going back to the beginning of the treatment, but especially the aftermath when you're really ensuring that you're staying in a nice healthy place. You want nice healthy solid, nice coloration, maybe a brownish hue in the poo. And as well, just because when you get into that, "all right I'm in a nourishing, spleen diet. Warming foods, no soupy kind of foods." You want to find that balance between that and your veggies, the appropriate amount of easily digestible raw greens or a small amount of raw foods are going to pack, if it's appropriate for you. Because sometimes people can lean too much on that TCM/spleen/cook everything into oblivion, which I like for certain meats, stews, and that kind of thing. I like slow-cooking meats, I think the spleen absolutely drinks it up, and it's really easy to make blood from it.
Mason: But you can watch your poo and if it begins to go sloppy, it's time to bring a little bit more roughages and rethink the way you're approaChing it.
Mason: And also, the reason I'm liking these binders and cleaning up the diet, because often people are going, you know, I poo. I poo regularly. But what we don't realize that there are these stuck pockets up through the colon. Just being able to, I don't know how you guys go about identifying. Colonoscopy is kind of like one of these things that just identifies it like that. But I don't love shoving things in the body if we don't have to. So I definitely like just bringing in the distinction of not bringing processed foods into the diet that are going to accumulate in these little pockets within the body. I like binders for this reason, I love clays going in and doing this. What Dan was talking about in the morning, if you're going in with your clay maybe add that little bit of Chia in there.
Mason: Other fire, what was the other fire you were talking about? You didn't say [crosstalk 01:53:19].
Dan: Slippery elm.
Mason: Oh you did slippery elm as well. These basic beautiful soothers. It's going to be a great long term aid to you in ensuring. And then keep on watChing your poo. Is it going sloppy? Is it going hard? Are you constipated? All right let's look at our diet and our lifestyle and make some tweaks. So stay slippery and adaptable with that as well, and then just continue to embody these principles of your culture, and your lifestyle that you're going to be really proud to pass on to your community, to your Children. Because that's ultimately where it's at.
Mason: Sage, do you have any last thoughts on anything?
Dan: No, that was really wonderful. It was a pleasure speaking with both you guys, thank you for having me on with you.
Mason: Yeah thanks so much, bro. Dan, have you got any wrap-up thoughts?
Dan: One, just one quick thing I failed to mention at the start when we were talking about testing. One that I do run and I'm quite a big fan of is the Organic Acids Test, which is relatively new. Or the OAT test, O-A-T. That actually has a section where you can test fungal metabolites in the urine, so it's a urine sample that you send to a lab, and you get a wealth of information about all different types of areas of the body. Neurotransmitters, B-vitamin absorption, and what not. But one specific area is fungal metabolites, and sometimes the gut test can miss them, or sometimes the candida just isn't in the gut, it's in the respiratory system or it's topical. Jock itch or cradle cap. It's on the skin. So that test is really, really good.
Dan: Sometimes if you've got the opportunity to do that at the start of seeing someone and to get a baseline of those metabolites, and then follow that up a month on or whatever to check if that's now in check. Because I've seen what happens in the past is that candida gets blamed for something and there is candida there, but it is actually more of a bacterial issue, more of a dysbiosis condition. So you can knock the candida back but the person is still symptomatic. The candida might have been playing a bit of the role there, but it's more likely bacterial overgrowth in the small or large intestine or something else.
Dan: So Organic Acids Test, huge fan of it. And that's one I often run in the clinic here.
Mason: Wonderful. So it's like the tagline is now, "Check your wee; we'll see if we can heal you functionally. Dan Sipple, Functional Naturopath."
Mason: And you can use that, that's free.
Dan: Thank you, right?
Mason: And thank you so much, boys, for coming on and sharing your knowledge, giving your time. I know everyone listening to this is really appreciating such a comprehensive and multidimensional look at candida and how to go about really getting their body into a state where it's no longer prevalent. So have a beautiful, beautiful day guys, and I can't wait to jump back on with you next time.
Sage: Thank you, brother.
The reason that Qi herbs are such a staple; I think it has a lot to do with this idea that's been entrenched in Chinese philosophy, in Taoist philosophy: humans being this bridge between Heaven, Sky, and Earth.