Move over, paprika. Back up, thyme. You’re only good for flavor. But an extract of oregano has been found to have antifungal effects, particularly against Candida albicans, which causes thrush and vaginal yeast infections in many PWAs.

In a study at a clinic in Auburn, Washington, nine out of 10 participants (all HIV negative) had their Candida overgrowth dramatically reduced with oregano extract. One or two tablets of Biotics ADP, available at health-food stores and some buyers clubs, were taken after meals four times per day for one month. (No other antifungals were used, nor were any dietary changes made.) there were no side effects reported, while all participants reported improvement of symptoms, including more energy and appetite, and less insomnia.

PWA Sarah Mason of Chicago says: “Who knew the same herb I throw on my pizza could also zap my yeast infection? A few tablets with each meal has eliminated my need for fluconazole [Diflucan] to treat my recurrent yeast problems.” And because of the danger that resistance can develop with long-term use of antifungal drugs, substituting oregano extract might preserve the effectiveness of those drugs for more serious infections. Plus, compared to the cost of the drugs, oregano extract comes cheap at $18 for 60 tabs, less at buyers clubs.

Looks like there’s more wisdom in Italian cuisine than we knew.