James Duke served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture for some three decades and has lived with numerous primitive peoples and worked on assignments that related to crop diversification, medicinal plants, and energy plant studies in many developing countries. His online botanical database is one of the most widely consulted databases in the world. He believes that one of the keys is to combine herbs. Instead of using just one, even if it is as good as garlic, research has been quite clear in proving that mixtures of antifungal herbs almost always work better than just one single herb alone. The synergy created when antifungal herbs work together has been demonstrated in numerous studies. In a test of ten plant species whose oils were antifungal, researchers observed that combinations of antifungal essential oils increased their activity a great deal. A similar study showed that all the oil combinations had an increased antifungal potency over individual oils.
In a world where fungal strains can morph into so many pleomorphic forms and life stages, the use of a variety of herbs is especially important. However, a powerful role for doctor’s medications is also acknowledged by Duke. He shows how to use herbs and mediation together if necessary. Many pharmaceutical “magic bullet” antifungals are currently more potent than herbal approaches. When people have bad fungal infections, these “magic bullet” antifungals are used. However, even then these pharmaceutical antifungals are often combined with herbs to give oneself an additional antifungal boost. If your doctor agrees, be sure to try this next time you have a fungal infection to see just how well synergy can work for you.
One of the main herbs James Duke recommends is garlic. He believes that ajoene, a chemical constituent of garlic, is almost as effective against mildew fungus as many other pharmaceutical antifungals. Many studies have shown results that support this belief. At a time when more and more Americans are discovering that fungal conditions are linked with a wide range of maladies such as cholesterol problems, diabetes, and cancer, Duke has a variety of recommendations for herbal remedies to use.
The main reason fungi and the illnesses they produce are becoming well known is due to the pervasive flooding that has recently occurred throughout many regions of this country. Black mold growth in water-logged homes quickly leads to the production of mycotoxins. The inhalation and skin of these fungal toxins can cause serious emotional and physical symptoms. On a more mundane level, athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, candida, and fungal toenail infections are also fungal problems that occur very frequently. These common fungal problems may be well cared for through an herbal approach. Even the most urbane shopper can have a tough time gathering these same herbs on their own, testing their patience, endurance, and budget. Some stores may have one and not the other herb or nutrient and when they are purchases separately, the cost can be excessive. However, with this in mind, Duke’s book is still a wonderful educational tool that should be found in every home. His book can be found at your local book store or vitamin store.