Fungus infection prevention and treatment, natural therapy, herbs, plants, supplements, a discussion of fungi that cause human disease, herbal remedy
August 16 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

A fungus is defined as a parasitic plant lacking chlorophyll and leaves and true stems and roots and reproducing by spores. Another definition of fungus is to denote a group of eukaryotic protists, including mushrooms, yeasts, rusts, molds, smuts, etc., which are characterised by the absence of chlorophyll and by the presence of a rigid cell wall composed of chitin, mannans and sometimes cellulose. See the bottom of the page for a definition of protists. Except for fungus that invade the skin and moist tissues such as the vagina, generally a fungus grows in the human body mostly when the host's immune system is not functioning at its best. This could be in those who have diabetes, are on medicines that damage the immune system, or those who have more serious conditions such as HIV or AIDS.

Plants that have anti- fungus activity, herbs and herbal extracts, spices, roots
There are countless plants that can ill fungi or prevent their growth. In fact, one of the reasons certain plants survived for so long is that they had the ability to create substances that could fight a fungus infections. I will add to this list of fungus fighters with time.
Clove herb
Garlic bulb and clove.
   Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014. Antifungal effect and mechanism of garlic oil on Penicillium funiculosum. The high antifungal effects of garlic oil makes it a broad application prospect in antifungal industries.
Kava root
Yellow Dock herb

Fungus on skin and nail
Fungal skin infections are among the most widespread and common infections in humans. These conditions are difficult to treat, especially infections of the nail. Dermatomycoses are caused by filamentous fungi such as Trichophyton, Microsporum or Epidermophyton species. These fungi have a high affinity for keratin, an important component of hair, skin and nails, which are the primary areas of infection by dermatophytes. The antifungal agents currently marketed for dermatomycoses are mainly inhibitors of ergosterol biosynthesis, except for griseofulvin, which interferes with the cytoplasmic and nuclear microtubular system. Three different types of inhibitors of the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway have been proven to be effective in clinic: the azoles (e.g. topical miconazole and topical/oral ketoconazole, itraconazole and fluconazole), the allylamines (e.g. terbinafine) and morpholines (amorolfine). Even today more effective antifungal azoles with less adverse effects and short-term therapy are deemed necessary to treat dermatophytosis. See also ringworm.

Nihon Rinsho. 2008. Treatment of fungus infection with diabetic foot--importance of the foot care. Fungus infection is high frequently complicated of the diabetic foot. Especially onychomycosis make a injury neighbor toe skin or paronychia. This tiny lesion make a bacterial infection, and progress to foot gangrene unfortunately if patient delayed treatment. So it is important to do daily check of the foot and regularly foot care included nail care. Toenail onychomycosis need medicational treatment just after microscopically diagnosis. It is important to check the interaction between the antifungal medicine and other medicine, and side effect after started treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning health care professionals not to prescribe oral ketoconazole for patients with fungal infections of the skin and nails, because of "the risks of serious liver damage, adrenal gland problems, and harmful interactions with other medicines that outweigh its benefit in treating these conditions." The advisory, issued on May 19, 2016 points out that oral ketoconazole (Nizoral) is no longer approved for treating nail or skin fungal infections. Topical forms of ketoconazole have not been associated with liver damage, adrenal problems, or drug interactions.

Fungus in the Scalp
Scalp skin is unique on the body due to the density of hair follicles and high rate of sebum production. These features make it susceptible to superficial fungal conditions (dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and tinea capitis), parasitic infestation (pediculosis capitis), and inflammatory conditions (psoriasis).

Aspergilius fungus
Aspergilius fungus species can cause infections in people with weak immune systems. Infections with mold pathogens have emerged as an increasing risk faced by patients under sustained immunosuppression. Species of the Aspergillus family account for most of these infections and in particular Aspergillus fumigatus can be regarded as the most important airborne-pathogenic fungus. The improvement in transplant medicine and the therapy of hematological malignancies is often complicated by the threat of invasive aspergillosis.

Candida infections
Candida species, in particular Candida albicans, represent a major threat to immunocompromised patients. Able to exist on mucosal surfaces of healthy individuals, these opportunistic fungi frequently cause superficial infections of mucosa and skin. Furthermore, in hospital settings, Candida species may cause life-threatening invasive infections in a growing population of vulnerable patients. In fact, candida infection is associated with the highest mortality of all bloodstream infections. Candida cells may enter the bloodstream by direct penetration from epithelial tissues, due to damage of barriers in the body caused by surgery, polytrauma or drug treatment, or may spread from biofilms produced on medical devices. From the bloodstream, cells may infect almost all organs but appear to prefer certain organs depending upon the route of infection. The exact mechanisms by which Candida cells survive the challenge of the blood environment and escape from the bloodstream to cause deep-seated infections have not yet been elucidated, but various investigations are reviewed. It is clear, however, that Candida must have particular attributes which enable the organism to survive and grow within the environment of healthy individuals and to invade tissues in the immunocompromised host.

Candida auris
Thirteen individuals have become ill from a serious and sometimes fatal fungal infection previously unseen in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2016. The fungus, Candida auris, is known to occur in health care settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. Seven cases occurred between 2013 and 2016 in four states: Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.

Cryptococcus neoformans fungus
Cryptococcosis is a relatively common fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus neoformans that has high morbidity and mortality.

Fusarium Fungus
In an MMWR Dispatch dated 2006, CDC stated that it received reports of 109 cases of suspected fungal keratitis dur to the fungus Fusarium. Reports have come from 17 states including California. Although the majority of case patients have yet to be interviewed, complete data are available for 30 of them, of whom 28 wore soft contact lenses. Preliminary information obtained by CDC from patient interviews indicates that 26 of these patients remembered which products they used, and that all 26 reported using a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution in the month prior to the onset of infection. Patients reported using a variety of different ReNu types from multiple different product lots. Five reported using other solutions in addition to the ReNu product. Nine reported wearing lenses overnight, a known risk factor for microbial keratitis. Eight required corneal transplantation. Strain typing of the organism is ongoing. CDC and FDA are investigating these case reports. Also, investigations by CDC, state and local health departments, FDA, and manufacturers of contact lens solutions are underway to define specific behaviors or products that place contact lens wearers at increased risk for Fusarium keratitis.

Molds and their harm to health
Mold definition : a fungus that causes disintegration of organic matter. There are many types of fungi that are considered molds, one example is Penicillium that causes mold on bread or cheese. Other types of molds can grow on walls or ceilings in wet and warm areas. Many homes in New Orleans had toxic mold grown on their walls after the hurricane and floods.

Pneumocystis carinii fungus
This fungus attacks the human body in those who are immunocompromised, for instance, those with HIV.

Definition of Protist organisms
Protists are organisms that are classified into the kingdom Protista which forms a group of organisms that really do not fit well into any other kingdom. Although there is a lot of variety within the protists, they share the following common characteristics: All protists live in moist environments and are eukaryotic, meaning the yhave cells with nuclei. Protists can be made of one cell or multicellular. They can be tiny and microscopic or they can be as long as a football field. Many biologists group protists into three subcategories: animal-like protists, fungus-like protists, and plant-like protists.

Fungus Research studies
Herbicidal and Fungicidal Activities of Lactones in Kava (Piper methysticum).
J Agric Food Chem. 2006. Department of Bioscicence and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
This is the first report showing that kava lactones are plant and plant fungus growth inhibitors. Aqueous extract of kava roots showed high allelopathic potential and strongly suppressed germination and growth of lettuce, radish, barnyardgrass, and monochoria. Nine kava lactones were detected using GC-MS including desmethoxyyagonin, kavain, 7,8-dihydrokavain, hydroxykavain, yagonin, 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroxyyagonin, methysticin, dihydromethysticin, and 11-hydroxy-12-methoxydihydrokavain. These six major lactones in kava roots showed great herbicidal and antifungal activities. Growth of lettuce and barnyardgrass were significantly inhibited at 1-10 ppm, and four plant fungi including Colletotrichum gloeosporides, Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, and Trichoderma viride were significantly inhibited at 10-50 ppm. The findings of this study suggest that kava lactones may be useful for the development of bioactive herbicides and fungicides.

Q. Can someone have a fungal infection in the body and have normal tests results in the blood work  Will a candida albicans show anything abnormal in routine blood works? Are there tests available to see if someone has a fungal infection on the skin or genitals ? Is there a blood test available to test for various fungal infections in the blood and organs ?
   A. A blood test for fungal infections usually looks for fungi in the blood or in internal organs. A person can have candidal infection on the skin and perhaps in the genital region and this may not show on on blood tests. Often when a blood study shows a fungal infection, the person has an immune deficiency. A dermatologist can do a skin test to diagnose. A blood test can be done to test for fungal infections in the blood but a fungal infection rarely occurs in the average person but can occur in those whose immune system is severely compromised.