Oregon Grape is so called because it is actually the state flower of Oregon. It is not in fact a grape, but an evergreen shrub. For medicinal uses, herbalists use the root of the plant, which you can buy in a powder or extract form, as well as a tea. Oregon grape has been used in the past to treat afflictions from diarrhea to psoriasis. Its antifungal properties are what we care about most in relation to Candida. Oregon Grape is a fairly mild antifungal that can be used in combination other antifungals like caprylic acid, coconut oil and oregano oil.
How does Oregon Grape work?
Oregon Grape shares an active ingredient with goldenseal – named Berberine. Berberine is also found in other plants such as barberry. According to a 2011 paper (see here) “Berberine inhibited the growth of various Candida species”. Additionally, studies have shown Berberine to help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing the spikes that can feed a Candida overgrowth. Other active ingredients include Canadine and Hydrastine.
Berberine is truly a multitalented substance though. It is an immune system stimulant, and also acts as a mild sedative on your central nervous system. If your Candida is severe then this sedative property will help you feel more comfortable, all the while pushing your immune system to fight the outbreak.
How do you take Oregon Grape?
Oregon Grape is often consumed as a tea or a tincture. To make the tea, boil 2 teaspoons of Oregon Grape root in 2 cups of water for fifteen minutes. 2-3 cups per day should be enough. If you buy the tincture, be sure to follow the instruction, but a typical regime is half a teaspoon, three times a day.
In your health food store, you will probably find oregon grape as a powder or in extract form. The extract can be taken using a dropper, once or twice daily with meals.
Who should not take Oregon Grape?
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Oregon Grape. A major ingredient, Berberine, can caused uterine contractions and may cause problems with the pregnancy. Those with kidney disease, live disease, heart disease, or other serious conditions should consult with their doctor first.
Oregon Grape is thought to be fairly safe for consumption in small quantities. However usage should not exceed more than three weeks.
For lots more information on how to choose the right antifungal, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.