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The Yogurt Wash

Part of the book
Killing Candida, Beating Environmental Illness

8.2.3.) Killing Off Skin Fungi

Having cleaned the gut, what was left? Could skin fungi be producing acetaldehyde, interfering with short term memory and causing low level brain fog? Suspecting unseen fungi in my skin ecology, probably my old nemesis candida albicans, I looked at various ways of killing the yeasts.

I was eating a lot of yogurt at the time, mostly Pavel's Original Russian Style, a bulgaricus based yogurt very similar to homemade buttermilk. Bulgaricus and acidophilus cultures seemed to be doing good things to my gut ecology, so it seemed natural try yogurt to improve skin ecology.

There are many biblical and historical references to upper classes smearing ("anointing") themselves with oils of diverse types. Why? I suspect the antibacterials and/or antifungal properties of the oils improve one's mood and energy levels. Religious experiences were even attributed to some of these oils, oiling being used as part of a religious ceremony. Some even talk of receiving the spirit after such anointments. (Religion is often used to propagate certain desirable cultural values and activities. And some rather odd ones too!). I have used olive oil in the ears, on my feet and thumbnails to help clear out fungus infections. But yogurt?

More recent writings talk of people helped by bathing or soaking in a bath with a cup of Clorox or hydrogen peroxide. (NEVER USE BOTH!) Being allergic to chlorine, I did not dare try this. These approaches have the same problem -- they kill off both good and bad organisms, leaving the skin ecology wide open to whatever survives or lands on it first. Candida Albicans is rather tough and ubiquitous! It is more likely to survive than probiotics. This is why I chose to start washing with nystatin in my liquid soap before using yogurt.

I mixed half a teaspoon of Nystatin and mixed it with several teaspoons of Amway's LOC High Suds liquid soap concentrate, though any liquid soap would do, and then mixed that again with two to four times the teaspoons of water.

I used this as a pre-wash. If anything itches, this was the time to really rub it in. Later, I used this mixture instead of my regular body soap, and continued to do so for several months.

There are, of course, other antifungals one can mix with soap or use alone. Some time back, I bathed my feet in Pau D'Arco tea daily for a week to relieved my foot itch. At the time, Dr. Cathcart commented that I should also try bathing with Pau D'Arco tea, but that sounded too strange, I was too sick for that idea to sink in. I really should have tried it. Of course, one should take care as teas and similar things just might leave embarrassing stains if applied in too strong concentrations to visible areas, but there are lots of areas no one will see, any stains will wear off rapidly, and one does not have to brew a highly concentrated tea.

After thinking about this, I suspect it may be worth while to periodically smear ("anoint") the entire body with some of the other antifungals such as olive oil, onion juice, garlic juice, or some of the cultures. There may be some disadvantages to such an approach if one should be fortunate enough to be employed while so ill... Still, (chuckle,) there is "Friday Night: The Night of The Anointed One".

My own experience with using organic olive oil on the skin is positive, except for the laundry. The first time it gave me a bit of a headache from die-off, so one might start with limited areas, working up to full coverage.

8.2.4.) Yogurt

Now since we are attempting to re-establish a healthy skin ecology, might lactobacillus help? Is there an acidophilus soap? Do we necessarily need it as a soap, or is there something cheaper, easier, and more readily available?

Do you remember the stories of decadent Hollywood starlets and their milk baths? Or the old wives tales about douching with buttermilk or yogurt? Pasteurized milk does not have much in the way of good bacterial cultures, and so would not help much. Fresh natural yogurt and fresh natural buttermilk, on the other hand, contain a lot of Lactobacillus. acidophilus, L. Bulgaricus, etc. and the strong antifungals they generate. Applying these to the skin should kill off at least some of the candida. After all, isn't that why we have been eating the stuff? Could slathering it all over our skin really help? You Bet it does! And How!!!

When I first tried washing with yogurt, I showered, washing myself as usual; then still standing in the tub, rubbed half a cup of "Pavel's Original Russian Style" yogurt, into my skin and hair. With practice, you should be able to get by with only an eight of a cup or so. It was kind of funny, smelling like yogurt, standing in the shower. After a few minutes, I washed it all off with soap. I felt a little cleaner than usual. There was no immediate effect; that came later in the day.

(Pavel's Yogurt is like home made buttermilk. It is available in many Knob Hill, some Safeway, and many health food stores in the San Francisco Bay area. Any live culture yogurt may be used. Preference may be given to those without gelatin and other stiffening agents.)

Today, with the BSE/Mad Cow scare, one might try some of the soy yogurts.

The lacto-bacteria, including acidophilus, are known to kill candida and move in to take its place IF the concentrations of lactobacteria are high enough. A good live yogurt or buttermilk should have enough live lactobacilus to do this. Once the burdens of fighting skin borne bacteria and fungi are lifted, the immune system begins to work on other things.

Several hours after my first yogurt wash, I, ah, shall we say, became quite aware that my vitamin C need had fallen 20% and was still falling. I felt very clean inside. And I felt I did not need the gas mask as much. As I continued using the yogurt, my activated charcoal filters no longer needed changing several times each week. (I use to have to change them every day!) In fact, after two weeks of washing this way every morning (in 1987), I only needed the mask to deal with the fungal spores that come out at night, and while driving longer distances. I could even walk around in Downtown San Francisco without feeling weak from the auto exhaust. (1987)


Good as this may have been, I was not doing it the "right" way. After two weeks of washing with nystatin, applying yogurt, then washing again; I dropped the nystatin wash and simply rubbed fresh (cold) yogurt into my DRY skin while standing in the tub. (Starting at the base of the skull somehow lessens the cold feeling.) Rubbing it on dry skin let the potent antifungals in the yogurt flow into the skin with the moisture the dry skin absorbs.

And one day I took a half hour job interview telephone call just after I had rubbed myself this way. By the end of the call, I felt as if I had rather overdosed myself with C! It is much more effective when left on half an hour to two hours. (I read magazines while standing or exercising in the tub. Fortunately, I do not own the tub.) After the yogurt dries, one can even brush it off and go for a good long walk or run outdoors, though after a few hours, one begins to smell of cheese, as other things begin growing in the yogurt, so that might not be as good as washing it off in an hour.

Thanks to the yogurt, I no longer needed the mask AT ALL! IT WORKS! I finally got rid of nearly all of my hypersensitivity to chemicals.

How? The general theory is that the antifungals and other chemicals released by the lactobacteria in yogurt kill off much of the candida and other fungi on the skin, while the acidity of the yogurt destroys the gram negative bacteria. Finally, some of the lactobacteria move in and begin living in the skin, further inhibiting those undesirables.

Yeast produces acetaldehyde and sometimes alcohol. Those seep into the skin, giving the body a constant loading to detoxify via the cytochrome P-450 and other detoxification systems. This leaves very little headroom for dealing with other toxins in the air.

With the burden of cleaning up toxic chemicals from the skin lifted, the liver and pancreas are once again adequate to clean up low-normal levels of typical environmental toxins. And environmental sensitivities begin to disappear.

During the day time, our normal routines generate considerable stress, stress which is handled by spurts of adrenalin. Unfortunately, this adrenalin partly suppresses the immune system. So during the day, our immune system may not be as effective as it is during the night when we are generally free of stress. So if we give the immune system even more help during th night, it has a better chance of finally overcoming the candida and other pathogens. This is probably why I find washing with yogurt MUCH more effective if done before going to be.

As I said before, this idea is not entirely new; for centuries milk maids have used yogurt or buttermilk to keep the skin from aging and to help with "female problems". It worked for me, though it takes months for the body to heal the damage many of the fungi and other things do to the skin and other organs.

There are a few "side effects" to watch out for. The first is a drop in the body's requirements for C -- I and several others have suffered diarrhea after starting this regimen, diarrhea easily controlled by reducing vitamin C consumption. (And besides, (chuckle,) if you are already standing in the tub, it's not that big of a problem!) How much? Depends upon how much of your problem organisms are on the skin. One might start this on a Friday evening to minimize one's distance from the toilet. Remember that the drop may be a gradual, taking a few days or even weeks. The effects are usually subtle, taking a while to notice. Still, there may come a point when you reach some threshold level, and the effects may be more dramatic when the immune system suddenly gets the upper hand. The body does not heal overnight, it took my body several weeks of gradual improvement before it reached that dramatic threshold. If you are not so bad off that you need a gas mask, you probably haven't sunk below that threshold yet.

Another side effect, I noticed that my Staphage Lystate shots tend to become red when exposed to some of the other cultures. This may be a mild form of allergy-like reaction, quite consistent with Dr. Cathcart's theories that antibodies should only become primed in areas where antioxidant levels are low, such as where other immunological battles are taking place.

The third side effect, one that came about two months after starting this regimen, was a kind of warm inner glow, an inner awakening. I felt more relaxed and comfortable with life, more able to laugh at myself, etc. One might say that it had religious connotations reminiscent of the saying "My body is a temple of the Lord". (Or whatever other name of the Creatorial Agency you wish to use.) This would seem to be a sign that the body is working very well and gaining strength. That's the way we should always feel.

[I have to laugh at myself for saying this back in 1987. It may have been a tremendous improvement then; but I was still rather sick compared to where I was in 1989! I kept this up till 1991.]

And of course, everybody comments that my skin is soft and supple, almost like a baby's. (I don't care how I look, it's that good feeling inside that I care about.) Others report similar changes, dry flaky skin becoming soft and supple, etc.

One other odd thing, there was no herxheimer reaction when I started. Every other treatment that had any good effect in the long run, also produced a strong herxheimer reaction the first few times I tried it. Why not yogurt? Because the outer skin is not that strong an organ of absorption, and the shower washes most of the toxins away fairly quickly.


I were starting this treatment for the first time, the first few days I would first wash with a nystatin/soap mixture, applying the yogurt after the first wash, and washing it off five or ten minutes later. After a few days, less than a week, I would drop the nystatin wash, applying the yogurt first and leaving it on for half an hour, working up to an hour. If I felt bad, I simply turn on the water and wash everything off. But I would try to increase the times to an hour each day. And if I did not have a prescription for nystatin, I would probably try using Pau D'Arco tea, or some other antifungal instead. Maybe even hydrogen peroxide. (Do be careful about staining when using teas.)

Lately, I have taken to dusting myself with one capsule of Jarro-Dophilus before going to bed, and sometimes in the morning. It helps me feel cleaner a lot longer. (1987-1990)

Since applying yogurt to the skin provided me with one of the two most dramatic improvement in my condition, and since it is something widely established in folk lore, it should be worth while trying every day for a few weeks. Yogurt is cheap, health is very dear.

It might even do your complexion some good.

I stopped doing this every night in 1991. I still do it occasionally, but between the time and the close effects of good Aloe Vera soap... (Naturade AloeVera 80 Shampoo. The non-shampoo has more chemicals in it.) (They changed the formula of this soap in 2001, making it worthless.)

In 1997, after reading a bit on BSE, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy / Mad Cow Disease, I find myself reluctant to use any animal products. (including pigs, goats, commercial catfish, etc., for all may have been fed animal byproducts.) So I have taken to using Aloe Vera shampoo, rubbing it in while dry, waiting five or ten minutes, then washing in the normal fashion. It produces somewhat similar effects, though it does not have the beneficial bacteria to seed the skin with. To make up for that, I dust on some acidophilus powder after the shower.

(C) 1987-2006 mcs@mall-net.com. All rights reserved. This document is not to be construed as medical advice.

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See also Dr. Cathcart's statement on CFIDS Chronic Fatigue Immunodifficiency Syndrome

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