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Is Tea Tree Oil Effective for Yeast Infection?

rsz_teatreeNothing is better than taking recourse to nature when healing diseases. Ancient medicine has relied solely on the power of natural substances and concoctions alongside the belief that the human body is capable of healing itself with the right support.

In fact, the use of herbal remedies such as tea tree oil when treating yeast infection has grown in popularity. Other known potent anti-fungal herbs include rosemary, goldenseal, oregano, chamomile, Echinacea, cedar, and garlic among many others.

If you have been suffering from severe (and persistent) candida infection symptoms such as intense itching on the genitalia, or in any affected area, you surely would like to have lasting relief and comfort. Nothing is more embarrassing than not being able to stay intimate with your partner. Not only will you feel down about yourself, this situation can likewise take a toll on your overall self-image as well as your personal and social relationships.

This recurrent infection may have left you wondering what other options are there to permanently rid yourself of this vexing condition. But bear in mind that there’s no one single quick permanent fix to candida overgrowth. Getting rid of the abnormal increase of these microorganisms, which resulted in your current condition, takes a ‘comprehensive and holistic approach’.

First and foremost, determine why you have developed candida yeast overgrowth in the first place. Check what causes this and how you are going to eliminate the causes in order to regain your inner equilibrium.

That’s why complete information is valuable when it comes to solving diseases like yeast or fungal diseases. You have to find out not only the immediate topical or external relief to such infection, but most importantly the effective ways to be rid of its root cause and to re-establish balance within your body… and soon achieve a permanent cure for your condition.

Can we consider tea tree oil as a sole remedy for yeast infection?

This Australian native extract has been typically applied for treating fungal and other bacterial infections. It is taken from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Although some studies have found it to be an effective remedy for athlete’s foot and fungal infections on toe nails, using it as a treatment for vaginal or penile yeast infection is not yet conclusive.

Tea tree oil has also been tested as a potential herpes treatment but it wasn’t effective. Tea tree oil may be looked as an efficient treatment for genital candida infections, but may need to be combined with other treatments to obtain more efficient and lasting results. For example, you can prepare a natural douche that is added with this ‘minty’ substance.

Natural ways to obtain fast symptom control

Genital irritations can be awfully uncomfortable; that’s why it is also important that you get immediate relief. Here’s a list of several known DIY natural remedies that can alleviate your discomfort.

Boric acid – it’s a chemical substance that has anti-fungal properties. You can easily purchase a bottle of boric acid powder and prepare your own boric acid capsule suppository, which you can insert in your vagina (mornings and before bedtime within a 3-7 day period; or 14-30 days if it’s persistent) to obtain relief from the itchiness. To prepare: Purchase size 00 gelatin capsules, which are mostly available both in your local drugstores and online shops such as Amazon. Once you have them, fill each cap with about 600 mg of boric acid.

Although its effectiveness has yet to be confirmed by further research, some studies show that 98 out of 100 yeast-infected women were cured using boric treatment. Just be cautious of your own reaction as some people experience skin irritation. In case genital irritation occurs, you may apply vitamin E oil. Boric substance is toxic so keep it out of reach of kids at home.

Retention douchedouching or washing the vagina or penis with a natural concoction of tea tree oil, Pau de arco oil, bentonite clay, sugar-free or unflavored yogurt, and goldenseal can help soothe your vaginal or penile discomfort due to yeast infection. Do this twice a day for about 7-10 days.

Garlic – Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. You can both orally take it or prepare it as a form of vaginal suppository. To prepare: Peel off one whole clove of garlic and then wrap it in gauze or cheesecloth. Tie the edge of your wrapping material with an un-waxed dental floss. Make sure to leave some string so you can easily remove the garlic at a later time. Insert this in your vagina in the morning for about 3-7 days.

Is it safe to use tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil is generally safe to use topically on the skin, but it is NEVER safe to take it orally. When ingested, it has been found to cause nervous system malfunctioning such as fatigue, lack of coordination, difficulty in thought processing, and possibly coma. It also appears to be safe for breast-feeding or pregnant women. Nonetheless it is best to ask your doctor about its possible implications on the unborn baby or the child being nursed. Skin irritations upon application may be experienced so just observe your own skin’s reaction. It is recommended that you apply it in a small area first and take note of any reaction.

In conclusion, tea tree oil as a yeast infection treatment has not been fully established. While some studies have provided a fair amount of evidence for its effectiveness as a yeast irritation remedy, it is still best to seek medical advice and and review proven candida overgrowth treatment methods. Know what options you have available to you, not just in terms of physical relief but as a complete cure from your candidiasis condition.

If your having difficulty curing a recurring yeast infection that just won’t go away and you have tried a number of treatments, including the suggested tea tree oil treatments listed above, click here to read about the 5 step plan to getting rid of your yeast infection for once and for all.

How To Get Rid of Candida Fast in 3 Effective and Lasting Steps...

Treating candida overgrowth is not just about getting rid of its immediate symptoms. Often, candidiasis sufferers would seek instant over-the-counter drug treatments to eliminate the external discomfort associated with having yeast infections such as oral thrush and vaginitis. Self medication is highly discouraged. Proper diagnosis and treatment is absolutely necessary if you want to cure your fungal infection for good.

It is however essentirsz_1olive_oilal to treat this condition right from the very root of it – which is the abnormal increase of the naturally-occurring fungus called candida albicans in your system. Once this ‘overgrowth’ is restored to normal levels, eliminating the physical symptoms will soon follow.

If you want to know how to get rid of candida fast, effectively, and above all permanently, study the three main pointers below:

First thing that you need to look into is the restoration of your gut balance. Our digestive system is a complex community of co-habiting microorganisms both good and bad. Trillions of them (mostly good) exist in your intestines. While we may be able to survive without them, friendly gut bacteria are beneficial for proper digestion and a healthy immune system.

Candidiasis is a manifestation that you have a digestive system imbalance. In other words, the bad bacteria surpass the population of the good bacteria. For this reason, the foremost thing that yeast infection sufferers should take is to restore their gut balance. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  • Lessen, or if possible avoid your exposure to certain drugs that can kill or suppress beneficial microorganisms. One of the main culprits of candida overgrowth is the use of medications such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and cortisone drugs or steroids.
  • Go for organic poultry and meat whenever you can. Studies show that most supermarket meat products contain antibiotic and other chemical residues that promote a yeast-promoting system.
  • Consider taking a good probiotics supplement to help replenish the depleted friendly bacteria.

Second, don’t feed the nasty yeast overgrowth. Killing the horrible candida overpopulation may not be the right solution. Instead, assist your body regain its healthy balance, by restraining candida growth, and encouraging the increase of good bacteria by means of a gut-friendly diet.

Some call this process as “candida cleansing or detoxification”, which means incorporating yeast-suppressing foods and other natural substances in your regular diet. For example, caprylic acid (coconut oil/milk), oregano oil, tea trea oil, garlic, omega-3 food sources (e.g. nuts and seeds and oily fish), onions, ginger, olive oil, rutabaga, lemon or lime juice, and other herbs such as black walnut, thyme, Echinacea, and many others. Also you need to avoid items that promote fungal growth such as sugar and fermented foods and beverages.

And third, apply some changes in your lifestyle. Your lifestyle practices may actually predispose you to the irregular increase of candida albicans yeast, or to any other diseases. Causative factors, such as fatigue, the use of birth control pills, inadequate sleep, poor diet, smoking, and other things that can lead to an unhealthy immune system, may in fact be controlled and changed.

Having a poor immune system always results in a host of illnesses including fungal diseases. So start looking from deep within. Evaluate your diet, your regular routine, and lifestyle choices. Are you living a life that is predisposing you to otherwise preventable diseases?

Remember, creating and healing completely from candida overgrowth is usually influenced by certain lifestyle factors. Begin recognizing what causes your yeast infection in the first place based on the above tips, and then start making the necessary changes now in order for you to get the most coveted lasting results.

Safe and Natural Cures For Yeast Infections

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How to Cure a Yeast Infection Naturally

Any woman that has suffered from a yeast infection knows just how uncomfortable and unpleasant the pain and itching can be. Finding out how to cure a yeast infection naturally can save women the discomfort and the expense of visiting the doctor's office. Over-the-counter creams and prescriptions pills are not the only options for finding fast and effective relief.  

What is a Yeast Infection?

Most women will experience a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. Some are unfortunate enough to deal with recurrent yeast infections. The cause of the infection is a fungus known as Candida Albicans, a naturally occurring fungus that is present in moist and damp areas of the body and the skin, especially the female genitalia.

Many organisms are found in a healthy vagina in small amounts, but it is when Candida albicans flourishes and thrives that a yeast infection can occur. It can be spread through sexual contact to male partners, as well as females. Men can also suffer from yeast infections, so it is important to begin treatment right away. Recurrence is common when partners continue to pass the yeast infection back and forth.

What are the Symptoms?

Itching and general discomfort in the vaginal area are the most common symptoms of a yeast infection for females, as well as burning and pain during intercourse and urination. The labia and the vulva may become red, sore, and inflamed due to the excessive itching. An unusual odor and discharge may also be present.  Overall, it causes great discomfort and can prove to be very distracting for those suffering from the symptoms.

If your having difficulty curing a yeast infection that just won't go away and you have tried a number of treatments, click here to read about the 5 step plan to getting rid of your yeast infection for once and for all.

There are several inexpensive, natural ways to prevent and treat a yeast infection. Trying out one or more of these remedies can offer fast relief and prevent an infection from getting worse or flaring up again.

  • Cut Back on Sugar

Yeast thrives on sugar, so cutting back or eliminating it from the diet altogether will definitely help. It can be tough to do because so many foods naturally contain sugar or have it added in. It is important to keep the yeast from flourishing, especially when an infection is bad or flares up time after time. Sweets, as well as foods like white rice, potatoes, fruit, and white flour all contain sugar. Avoiding sugar during and infection will essentially cut off the yeast's ability to thrive.   

  • Probiotics

One of the possible causes for a yeast infection is antibiotics. Probiotics are just the opposite. They help the body to produce the right balance of natural flora that are found in the colon and digestive system. Probiotics help to prevent excessive amounts of yeast from forming and flourishing in the gut. A simple probiotic supplement taken daily may help to treat an infection and prevent it from reoccurring. Probiotics are also found in certain foods like yogurt, tempeh, and even pickles, so sufferers may want to add these foods into their diet.  

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a remedy for many ailments. While it can be used safely both internally and externally, it can cause a burning sensation when applied directly to the skin. It is best to mix three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and drink it down quickly. A cup of it can also be added to a warm bath for soothing relief. Many brands of apple cider vinegar are processed, so an organic bottle with the Mother is the most effective option.

  • Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil and a powerful anti-fungal. While there have not been clinical studies proving that it is effective for use against yeast infections, many women have found it to be an excellent treatment. It must be diluted and then applied to the vagina topically, or diluted and then soaked in a tampon and inserted for a few hours. Never apply it without first diluting.

  • Garlic

Garlic can provide a yeast infection sufferer with quick relief from itching and burning. Garlic is proven to be beneficial to the health in many ways because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It kills yeast, making it an ideal option to combat an infection. A clove of garlic or a natural garlic tab can be placed inside of the vagina for a few hours. This can be repeated for several days. The only downside is the strong smell.

  • Plain Yogurt

Plain, unflavored, unsweetened yogurt contains live and active cultures which are essentially good bacteria that help fight off the yeast. It can be used both internally and externally. Eating yogurt is beneficial for many reasons, but can prove to be especially useful during an infection. It can also be placed inside of the vagina directly. Many women will dip a tampon into the plain yogurt and insert it for a short period of time. It can also simply be applied externally for a short time, and then wiped away.

  • Wear Loose Cotton Clothing

Since yeast thrives in damp, dark conditions, it is important to avoid tight clothing. Breathable fabrics, particularly cotton or cotton blends, are the best choices. Wearing cotton underwear, avoiding nylon tights and pantyhose whenever possible, and opting for loose pants will help. Staying in a damp bathing suit can also increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, so changing out of a wet suit right away and into something dry is helpful.

  • Avoid Douching and Harsh Feminine Products

The vagina is a sensitive, naturally balanced environment. Douching regularly can strip away the good bacteria and throw off the body's natural pH balance. Feminine hygiene products can contain fragrances and other ingredients that do more harm than good. Essentially, the vagina has the ability to keep itself clean and balanced, so douching and washing with products that contain perfumes and harsh ingredients increases the risk of a yeast infection.

  • Practice Good Hygiene

It's common sense to keep your body clean and fresh in order to stay healthy. Since yeast infections can be passed between sexual partners, it is important to wash up both before and after any encounters. Clothing should be washed in hot water when an infection is occurring in order to kill off any bacteria and yeast that are present. Towels used after bathing or swimming should always be dry and clean, and not shared with anyone else.

Yeast infections are common, but a nuisance none the less. Using safe, natural ways to treat an infection is more convenient and affordable than prescription creams and medications. These treatments can offer quick relief from symptoms and get rid of an infection fast.

Consequences of an Untreated Yeast Infection

An untreated yeast infection can lead to sickness or fatal conditions.

An untreated yeast infection will most certainly make symptoms worse and will eventually penetrate one's immune system. If you ignore symptoms like burning sensation, itching, rashy red bumps and/or yellow-white discharge that has a fishy odor, the discomfort may become severe affecting your lifestyle and may also disrupt your sex life, especially if passing the infection to your partner and back again.

Yeast infections are generally caused by an overgrowth of yeast cells better known as the Candida fungus. Both women and men can get infected. There are other factors that trigger the infection such as food, hygiene and medications. It can appear in the genitals, the mouth, the skin and the intestines.

If the yeast spreads to other parts of the body through one's bloodstream, it may develop into a fatal condition called Sepsis, which is characterized by the formation of blood clots and a whole body inflamed state caused by a severe infection that could possibly lead to organ failure.

An yeast infection may cause severe health issues and also affect your mental health if left unattended as the yeast cells will significantly reproduce. One may suffer from memory problems, anxiety attacks, mood swings, depression and; you may also get allergies and suffer from digestive problems like diarrhea, bloating, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This will eventually lead to premenstrual syndrome and colitis, if not treated right away.

To treat your yeast infection, it is important to know the type of yeast infection you have for the right treatment -whether you choose to treat it medically or naturally.

Listed below are the different types of yeast infections and symptoms:

  • Thrush (oral yeast infection) – yellowish and creamy like appearance on the tongue and mouth
  • Vaginal yeast infection – yellow-white discharge with an icky fishy odor
  • Male yeast infection – jock itch, penile inflammation or athlete’s foot
  • Infant yeast infection – rashy-red little bumps around the diaper area of the bum and genitals

Treatment for each type of yeast infection varies. However; remember that prevention is always better than medication, or should that be cure?. To banish yeast infection for good, try a Candida detox diet program or better yet try the 5 step proven and tested method by Linda Allen.

Many people opt to treat their yeast infection with natural remedies that are raw or homemade while others buy over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or suppositories to cure the infection.

If you aren’t sure whether you have a yeast infection, or perhaps if you have mistaken one for an allergy and treat it with anti-fungal medication, it will make matters worse.  If you’re not certain of your condition, the best thing for you to do is to consult your doctor as they will examine the infected area, provide you with a proper medical diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment.

If you have an untreated vaginal yeast infection that just won’t go away or keeps returning regularly, we highly recommend a holistic program designed to eradicate yeast from your body as topical treatments are only a temporary remedy. Read this article to learn more about yeast infection no more.

An untreated male yeast infection can be quite embarrassing but it can also be fatal in extreme circumstances. This is why you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible to avoid other health complications.

Stop Worrying, be Yeast Infection Free! | Yeast Infection No More Review...

natural cure for yeast infection“Yeast Infection No More” Review

Are you tired of shallow promises from treatments that falsely promote to combat, kill or get rid of yeast infection forever? Read this yeast infection no more review to see what the fuss is all about…

Yeast Infection No More is a simple 5 step plan (eBook) that crushes Candida yeast effectively and almost instantly for life. You won’t have to EVER worry about yeast infections! Whether you have dealt with Candida in the past or this is the first ever infection you’re dealing with, Yeast Infection No More is the master plan and the only quick relieving, fast acting solution. This system is comprised of a 5 step process that destroys and banishes the yeast permanently. 

As a result of this carefully studied strategy, patients swear by its powerful and effective treatment against yeast through recapturing your body’s inner balance. The most powerful thing about this system is how safe and natural its method is. All you really need to learn are the SECRETS which will be revealed to you as you work through this popular and effective plan.

A brief background on how this one-of-a-kind killer method was developed and fired-off into fame

So you’re probably wondering:  how this system differs from the rest out there? Let me tell you about how this leading solution first came about …

Linda Allen, author of Yeast Infection No More is a certified health consultant, nutritionist and medical researcher.  She had also dealt with symptoms of burning sensation, itchiness, and discomfort brought upon by yeast infections. Because of this, she worked her way into finding a solution, an effective treatment and a solid plan of attack that would not only kill Candida but eradicate it permanently.

For 12 years, she carefully studied yeasts, its environment, what it feeds on and how one can get infected. She developed this holistic approach that would crush Candida. There had been a lot of time and effort devoted, immense level of clinical study, experiments and countless trial and error tests that went  throughout the development of this one-of-a-kind system, which proves how carefully developed it really is. Statistically speaking, about 35,000 hours of hard work and commitment accompanied with sound knowledge and proven and tested experience makes Yeast Infection No More the ultimate well sought-after and trusted anti-yeast method of a large number of women and men from all over the world. What people love about this system is it’s “no icing on the cake fluff” but instead, it guarantees 100% effective full-proof treatment.

What about over the counter drugs and prescribed medications?

Sure, these may help but considering the different types of chemicals combined, side-effects are bound to happen which may put your health at risk and may even make matters worse. Over the counter drugs are a good short term fix but they don’t address the underlying root cause of a yeast infection, which is why a yeast infection will often return, and sometimes will return within a relatively short period of time.

Some ointments or lotions that may treat yeast-infections most likely contain strong chemicals which may harm your skin and if you are sensitive, you may develop allergies. However, with Yeast Infection No More – there are absolutely NO harmful side-effects because it is 100% pure and natural!

This master plan is fast acting as it is equally 100% effective!

If you have used over-the-counter medications, you’ll notice that it may actually take several days before you find relief or before the yeast disappears (and I’m not saying totally because at some point the yeast infection is likely to reappear yeast infection is likely to reappear at some point down the track. However with Yeast Infection No More, results are seen within 24 hours, you will be relieved of the itching and burning sensation. Truth be told, (proven and tested) a wide number of clients swear by this method because in as little as 12 hours, you will see and feel the difference! In as short as two months’ time, Candida yeasts will be totally eliminated in your system (externally and internally) for good. With this, you will be rewarded with peace of mind knowing that you are yeast infection-free forever and that you will never have to worry about the yeast growing back!

Aside from your Candida problem, there are a number of health issues that are completely eliminated along with Candida; these health problems include the following:

  • Say goodbye to vaginal, oral and male yeast infections for good
  • No more rashes, burning sensation, itching and bad odor
  • No more allergies and other digestive issues that cause an irritable stomach
  • No more muscle pains and continuous feeling of fatigue
  • No more wasted money and time on appointments to the doctor or prescribed drugs
  • Skin related issues caused by yeast infections can be reversed with Yeast Infection No More
  • Plus, a majority of the user’s notice an improvement in memory and a reduction in mood swings (anxiety and depression), night sweats and migraines!

How can you purchase a copy of Yeast Infection No More?

You can click this link to be taken to the Yeast Infection No More website where you can read many testimonials of people (both women and men) that have used this solution to permanently resolve their yeast infection problems. On this web page you will also have a link to buy Yeast Infection No More, and trust in that you have nothing to lose in purchasing this wonderful guide as it is backed by a 60-day money back guarantee. So what are you waiting for, click here now to check out Linda Allen’s web site and eliminate your yeast infection problems for good.

The Importance of Candida Cleanse for Yeast Infections...

Salad Under Plastic WrapIf you are someone who has been suffering from a recurring yeast infection, getting quick and lasting relief is imperative. But with a fair amount of unfavorable feedback regarding drug-related medications, more and more people have taken recourse to alternative (and deemed to be safer) therapies for healing many health conditions. “Cleansing” our body’s internal system is one way of treating illnesses the natural way. In fact, many men and women have enjoyed the amazing benefits of candida cleanse as a way of eliminating candidiasis or any other forms of yeast infection.

Healing from deep within…

Fact is the physical candida symptoms that you are experiencing are only manifestations of what’s truly going on deep inside your body – most specifically in your gut or Gastro Intestinal tract. What many of us often miss is that our body’s overall well-being largely depends on what we take or eat regularly. Diet always plays a key role in the maintenance of our bodies. Unfortunately, the “modern diet” often promotes imbalance within our system, leading to an environment that is most favorable for candida growth.

Candida is a naturally-occurring fungus in the body. But when the body’s inner equilibrium is disrupted, candida overgrowth takes place, which often results in a host of fungal infections. Maintaining the right acid-alkaline (pH) balance in our GI tract is one of the key secrets to preventing and eliminating abnormal candida growth. That’s why finding out the best candida diet that promotes a healthy and balanced digestive system is one of the most effective ways to treating and stopping candidiasis symptoms.

Other causes of yeast or candida infection include medications (i.e. antibiotics, corticosteroids, and birth control pills), stress, and other health conditions such as diabetes, AIDS/HIV infection (weakened immune system), and psoriasis.

How do you perform “candida-cleansing”?

If you want to be completely rid of candida for the rest of your life, candida cleanse may not only be an option but a necessity. Diet and lifestyle modification should also be considered. Doctor-prescribed drugs as well as complementary and alternative candida therapies are available today. So people who are battling with recurrent yeast syndrome can absolutely get relief and cure.

Candida cleanse is one of those alternative approaches to treating candida. As a matter of fact, if you will only stick to a good treatment plan, candida cleansing will cure your infection.  To help you determine the most suitable treatment method for you, consider the following candida-eliminating tips below:

  • Colon detox – Restoring your “gut balance” may involve colon cleansing or flushing. But it doesn’t have to be performed in a clinic. You can actually perform safer and natural detoxification methods at home, such as drinking plenty of fresh water daily, alongside some gut-cleansing herbal drinks, and taking fiber supplements such as psyllium. A thoroughly cleansed colon will ensure proper absorption of food nutrients in your body. Otherwise, fecal remains and other toxic wastes will build up and become a breeding ground for harmful organisms such as candida. 
  • Probiotics and pH balance – Replenishing good bacteria in your gut is an essential part of a natural candida treatment. Taking probiotics everyday will help you restore the correct balance of the good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. That’s why it is advisable for you to take probiotics especially when having an antibiotic treatment. Also, do not self-medicate or take antibiotics unless it is really necessary. 
  • “Candida diet” – Candidiasis sufferers are recommended to steer clear of or limit the intake of certain food items such as sugar, dairy, and food items with high yeast content, to suppress and eliminate candida growth. Adding more dark green vegetables, foods rich in Omega3 oil, Vitamin C-rich items, whole grains, and herbs such as garlic, turmeric, herb Echinacea, tea tree oil, pomegranate, oregano, cinnamon, and sage in your diet can also help avoid and cure fungal infections. 

Treating candidiasis is not terribly difficult. But as in any other health-related treatment, getting rid of your yeast infection requires your determination, consistency, and perseverance. If you want to apply candida cleanse therapy as a foremost step for beating and flushing unwanted candida out of your system, it is best to seek expert help so you will be guided all the way through to complete healing.



Bob Boilen's Year In Concerts : All Songs Considered : NPR St. Vincent's Annie Clark, who played Bob Boilen's favorite concert of 2014, on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption toggle caption pre bonded hairBob Boilen/NPR St. Vincent's Annie Clark, who played Bob Boilen's favorite concert of 2014, on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. Bob Boilen/NPR

I missed another year of TV shows. I missed every single Netflix and HBO series. I did, however, see four times as many movies in 2014 as I did in 2013: four, instead of just one. What I did see once again was a whole lot of live music, 662 performances to be exact. (I count each band as a show or performance.) In a year packed full of concerts, I saw 555 different bands in 144 venues across 16 cities. It turns out I saw exactly the same amount of shows this year as last, which made me laugh ... guess I've hit my ceiling. Each time I go to a show I hope for a unique experience, that marriage of venue, audience and performer. I don't get that from any other medium. I madly love it. When I look back at my favorite shows of the year I find a commonality: Every one of those top bands/acts owns their sound. There's a vision pouring out of the speakers, hearts and instruments. Their lives compel them to do what they do. It's not casual — it's a pure and absolute commitment. Whether it's Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones down on his knees; Perfect Pussy's wall of noise; Dave Grohl's guitar solo on the bar of the 9:30 Club; Nick Cave literally standing in the arms of his fans; James Blake's soulful soundscapes; Moon Hooch's never-ending breath-filled squeals, squawks and drop dead starts and stops — these come off as extraordinary acts of human expression. They touch me and keep me coming back in hopes of that singular unforgettable moment. I saw so much worth sharing. Below is a list of my top 20 shows, starting with the best concert I saw all year. Following that is a chronological list of the other performances I loved (I deleted duplicates, so even though I saw Courtney Barnett play three times, I only listed my favorite one). If you'd like to see the crazy list of all 662 shows I saw, click here and prepare to feel exhausted. Tomorrow I'll post my favorite concert photos of 2014. 1. St. Vincent9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (March 2) Nothing was better than this show. It was a perfect blend of new songs, brilliant, inventive guitar sounds and engaging, sometimes funny choreography that took Annie Clark's already charismatic character, St. Vincent, to places I'd never seen her even dip her toes in. A huge growth for a young artist who is already musically mature. 2. Moon HoochHoly Mountain in Austin, Texas (March 14) I don't think anyone at SXSW had a clue what they were in for late one evening in Austin. There were looks of amazement while this trio — two saxophones and one monster drummer — made a magic mix of jazz, rock and electronica. No one makes music like this and the fusion of improvisation and turn on a dime stops and rhythmic starts seemed beyond human. This band is a must see! 3. James Blake The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. (June 12) No venue ever sounds better than during a James Blake show. He and his crew understand how to use bass in a profound, body-rattling way. Unlike other bands that use that big bottom end to bolster their sound, Blake's bass doesn't bury the subtlety that is present in his music. You can hear every click and snap of the drum, every texture of the guitar (which never sounds like a guitar) and then all the words, so soulfully sung. remy hair extensions4. Courtney Barnett The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (Oct. 18) I've seen Courtney Barnett probably six times since CMJ in 2013. She's grown immensely over the past year-and-a-half as a guitar player and as a singer of the best words in rock music today. On this night her band was on fire. Keep a close eye on her this year — there'll be new music and a show that's not to be missed. 5. alt-JLe Poison Rouge in New York City (Sept. 2) They have been my favorite rock band of the decade since I first saw them in the fall of 2012. Alt-J plays quirky art rock with funny, sometimes disturbing words that always have depth and imagination. Their songs are filled with more songs that shift abruptly but with purpose. And this year there were new tunes and a brilliant new album. They don't let me down; they thrill me. 6. ProtomartyrThe Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Oct. 23) I didn't see this coming. I was so-so on Protomartyr's album and then they rocked my world. This Detroit band reminded me of the punk futurism of Pere Ubu in the '70s. Front man Joe Casey — in suit and tie, with drink in hand — conjures images of a salesman one drink over the line, stumbling accidentally on a stage but spouting unforgettable poetry. I'm a lover of words that summon imagery and spark thought. Get someone singing about their love of their "baby" and I'm gone but sing me a line like, "And I'll try to live defeated / Come and see the good in everything / Outside, outside, animals sound / Come and see then lead us all to heaven," and I'm there. Joe Casey and Protomartyr, I'm all yours. 7. Public Service Broadcasting The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (March 4) On the opposite end of the lyrical spectrum here's a band that never utters a word of their own. The entire lyrical content of PSB's songs is appropriated from British public service films from the middle of the last century. It's hilarious (and informative) and the music that glues the films and language together is a fun mix of electronica and rock. The duo's motto is its mission: Inform - Educate - Entertain. 8. Foo Fighters9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 5) OK, so most everyone in the room was probably a bigger fan of Foo Fighters than I, but by night's end I was one of them. This band is undeniable, its attitude is winning and the playing is extraordinary. Washington has a fair claim on Dave Grohl as one of our own: He grew up in the D.C. suburbs and saw many of his early shows at the old 9:30 Club and the Black Cat. On this night, he made himself right at home with a performance that included a rock guitar solo on the bar of the club that was legendary.

9. Sylvan EssoDC9 in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 28) For every band that becomes something of a household name there's an unforgettable moment in some club on some night in which the group moves from obscurity to fame. I believe this was that night for Sylvan Esso. The duo of Amelia Meath on vocals and Nick Sanborn on electronics had just released their single, "Coffee." That song, with a bit of the classic rock tune "Hanky Panky," was an ear worm for everyone in the audience that night and when they launched into it and heard a crowd sing back the words, the look on their faces was priceless. 10. Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsConstitution Hall in Washington, D.C. (July 23) Nick Cave needs to perform as much as you and I need to breathe. I can't think of another performer more compelling than he. At age 57 he out performed every 20 and 30 year old I saw on my list. I believe that some time, perhaps in his late 70s, Nick Cave will be surfing in the crowd and will die in the arms of his fans. It would be his perfect poetic final exit. 11. St. Paul & The Broken BonesRock & Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (March 29) Terrifically fun live big band with a bank-teller-turned-soul-singer down on his knees pouring out his heart and soul. 12. The Front BottomsThe Lab in Arlington, Va. (Jan. 29) In the six or so times I've seen this band, Brian Sella has never failed to get a crowd to become a community. We all sing/scream back his words as cathartic acts of love and release. Group rock therapy. 13. Randy Newman as FaustNew York City Center in NYC (July 1) Randy Newman resurrected his cynical, modernized and truly funny musical version of the classic tale of Faust. From the moment he walked on stage wearing devil horns, I wore the biggest grin. 14. Rodrigo AmaranteSixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (June 28) This mans sings with his eyes, lures you in as a true romantic. Simply transporting. perruques cheveux naturels15. Perfect PussyRock & Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Aug. 30) I saw this band four times in three cities on two continents. Their show, a (maximum) 25 minute blast of fierce noise led by Meredith Graves' impassioned, poetic growl feels almost as good when it stops as when it starts. Hard to explain; best to experience. 16. SaintsenecaThe Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 14) A new discovery for me, this Ohio band was easy to love, with foot stomping tunes played on banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, bass and bouzouki. (Oddly, the third St./Saint band on my list ... What's up with that?) 17. DakhaBrakhaWebster Hall in New York City (January 12) Calling them a Ukrainian folk quartet makes them sound quaint. They're not. With hats that resemble a handful of Marge Simpsons in a performance art band, these folks rock. 18. Bo NingenPianos in New York City (Oct. 24) A sonic/visual shock. This Japanese psych/metal/punk/prog band of four Japanese dudes with waist-length hair, wearing long dresses, making faces like blowfish while playing pummeling tunes of wonder. Wow. 19. LulucHouse concert in Silver Spring, Md. (Aug. 8) This Australian folk duo made my number one album of the year. This intimate house concert was the perfect setting. 20. The ShackletonsMuchmores in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Oct 25)

Singer Mark Redding has something to get off his chest. The show is a raucous therapeutic ride of frustration, happiness and tears that goes beyond the self, turning strangers into friends. The Rest of the Best: 63 More Shows I Loved Priests at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (January 8) Mother Falcon at Littlefield in Brooklyn, N.Y. (January 10) Fanfare Ciocarlia at Webster Hall in New York City (January 12) Yasimine Hamdan at Webster Hall in New York City (January 12) The Gene Clark - No Other Tour at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (January 24) Black Clouds at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (February 2) Luray at Iota in Arlington, Va. (February 7) Asaf Avidan at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (February 19) Deafheaven at Empire in Springfield, Va. (February 20) Pile at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (March 6) Landlady at Trinity Hall in Austin, Texas (March 11) perruques cheveuxDiane Coffee at Victorian Room at The Driskill in Austin, Texas (March 13) San Fermin at Metro Gallery Baltimore, Md. (March 22) Colin Stetson at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C. (March 24) Nils Frahm at The Mansion at Strathmore Bethesda, Md. (March 28) Kraftwerk at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (April 4) Juana Molina at Jammin' Java Vienna, Va. (April 16) Downtown Boys at Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (April 24) Alabama Shakes at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (April 25) Strand of Oaks at World Cafe/WXPN Philadelphia, Pa. (May 16) HighAsAKite at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (May 18) Lucius at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 21) Conor Oberst at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 23)

The Orwells at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn, N.Y. (June 9) Tweedy at The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. (June 10) The Family Crest at Artisphere in Arlington, Va. (June 20) Randy Newman at New York City Center in New York City (July 1) Pokey LaFarge at The Birchmere Alexandria, Va. (July 10) Phox at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. (July 19) Beck at Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, Md. (July 24) Hozier at Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. (July 26) The Oh Hellos at Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. (July 26) Nellie McKay as Billie Tipton at Jammin' Java Vienna, Va. (July 31) Agnes Obel at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (August 13) Arcade Fire at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (August 17) Dan Deacon at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (August 17) lace front wigsBellows at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (August 31) New Pornographers at Brill Building in New York City (September 4) Jack White at Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, Md. (September 14) Ty Segall at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (September 15) Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at Third Man Records Nashville, Tenn. (September 18) Sturgill Simpson at City Winery Nashville, Tenn. (September 18) Anthony D'Amato at The Basement Nashville, Tenn. (September 20) Valerie June at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (October 2)

Helado Negro at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (October 8) Perfume Genius at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. (October 9) Sunflower Bean at Pianos in New York City (October 21) Immigrant Union at Santos Party House in New York City (October 22) Gem Club at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 23) Adult Jazz at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 25) Happyness at Cake Shop in New York City (October 25) Ásgeir at Harpa Reykjavik, Iceland (November 5) Samaris at Kaffibarinn Reykjavik, Iceland (November 6) Moses Sumney at Frikirkjan Reykjavik, Iceland (November 7) Son Lux at Gamla Bio Reykjavik, Iceland (November 8)cosplay wigs The Flaming Lips at Vodaphone Center Reykjavik, Iceland (November 9) Absolutely Free at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (November 11) Alvvays at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (November 11) TV On the Radio at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (November 16) The New Pornographers at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (November 21) Cymbals Eat Guitars at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (December 10) Gogol Bordello at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (December 27) Creepoid at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (December 30)

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