How to Heal Your Microbiome
Looking to connect with your gut and heal your microbiome in the process? Learn about candida from April Tout, founder of Flowers and Fungi.
How did you get interested in gut health?
The gut is really fascinating (understatement!). It is connected to your brain by what is called the gut-brain axis. In other words, your gut directly communicates with your brain. In fact, there are more neurons in your gut than in your spinal cord. By the body's standards, the two are intricately connected. On an emotional level, we also can feel their interconnection. Gut feelings, butterflies, and even stress-induced IBS are just a few of the ways we can connect to our emotional center: The Gut! For me, the gut is really a benchmark and a way for me to find my center and connect with my body.
What exactly is candida? And how does candida relate to your microbiome?
Let's get started on gut health education 101. Candida is a fungus, or more specifically, a strain of yeast. Candida is one strain of fungus that lives in your microbiome – the community of microorganisms on and inside your body. The microbiome is generally thought to be the entirety of the gut, but this is not the case.
The microbiome is an all-encompassing term for the microbial community of bacteria, fungus, and pathogens of your body.
What happens when candida is imbalanced?
When imbalanced, candida poses many health problems such as bloat, fatigue, chronic infections, dandruff, and more. It commonly manifests from high sugar and cab intake, a history of antibiotic or contraceptive use, or from an autoimmune disease. An imbalance of candida is common, especially in women, and is increased by modern food and medicine. However, it is possible to find balance and harmony with candida and your microbiome as a whole. This is why gut health and microbial health is so important. Simply becoming aware that you are an ecosystem, along with properly tending to your microbial health, can largely impact your overall wellness.
Some misconceptions are that you need to eradicate all pathogens to find true health, that a one time cleanse works as a quick fix, and that all probiotics are equally beneficial.
What can someone do to start taking care of their gut health?
- Tend to your inner ecosystem by eating diverse amounts of plant-based foods - especially prebiotics like leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, and bananas.
- Use strain-specific probiotics and eat fermented foods.
- Don't fear herbal antifungals/antivirals, but be sure to consult an herbalist when embarking on protocols of any kind.
What do you thinks helps healing?
When it comes to true healing, and I can only speak for myself and my journey, I would say tha emotional numbing, which leads to a spiritual/emotional sickness, is what really stands in the way of it. As someone with chronic illness, this concept was often the hardest piece of advice for me to grasp, but it was also the one piece of medicine that got me closer to healing.
I was most connected to my body, mind, and spirit when I also felt connected to my healing journey - which always led to the best "results."
Of course, there is a flow while living with any illness - but the desire to nurture oneself comes best when we are connected with all facets of ourselves. For me, I call that mind, body, and ether. Whatever gives us this sense of purpose is a great compass, and when we find ourselves in that numbing place, we can look to our guts and find our center once again.
About April Tout
April is the digestive health educator, herbalist, and healing arts practitioner behind Flowers and Fungi. Her call to nurture through the ways of the flora is rooted in bio-individuality. She aims to support those on their chronic illness journey by means of connection to nature's realms of the unseen: microscopic and energetic.
Through April's healing arts practices, research, and personal experience, she created The Microbiome Method, a protocol that works to balance the microbiome and create everyday lifestyle changes to support long-lasting health and support those with autoimmune disease and chronic illness.
Wana does not directly support any claims made within this content. These are the views of the individual/organization represented.