Written By Jennifer Raskin And Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Technically known as oral candidiasis, oral thrush occurs when the type of fungus called Candida albicans builds up on the interior lining of the mouth. While Candida is normally present in your mouth, when it overgrows, it can lead to annoying symptoms.
Oral thrush can happen to anyone though babies and the elderly are more likely to get it since their immunity isn’t as strong. Those with weakened immune systems and certain health conditions could be prone too as are people on medications. However, it does happen to healthy people on occasion and is usually a minor inconvenience.
Take a Look: Do You Have Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush symptoms are usually easy to spot. If something seems off in your mouth or the mouth of your baby or a cherished elder loved one, take note of the common signs for oral thrush:
- Raised lesions that look much like cottage cheese on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, tonsils, and roof of mouth
- Soreness or mouth redness
- Loss of taste
- Mouth bleeding
- A cottony feeling in the mouth
- Trouble eating and swallowing - usually if the oral thrush has spread to the throat
Can You Catch Oral Thrush from Someone Else?
It is possible to get oral thrush from having contact with someone else. However, just because someone has oral thrush does not mean you will get it, even if you were to kiss them.
The fungus responsible for oral thrush can lead to yeast infections in other parts of the body, so it can manifest elsewhere, especially with sexual relations. Pregnant women should always make sure they attend their regularly-scheduled checkups to look out for yeast infections, which could be passed to the baby during delivery.
It’s easy enough for your doctor to prescribe a topical treatment that is safe during pregnancy to clear things up quick.
Moms should take extra care when breastfeeding too. You and your baby can pass oral thrush back and forth to one another. Practicing good hygiene will eliminate the spread and keep everyone comfortable and happy.
Natural Remedies for Fighting Off Oral Thrush
If you suspect you have oral thrush, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to help contain it. You don’t want it to spread elsewhere and make life miserable. For mild cases, it can disappear all on its own though having a few natural remedies under your sleeve can surely help with that.
Practice good oral hygiene techniques
Hopefully, you brush your teeth twice a day and floss too. But it’s not just being good to your teeth. You should brush your tongue as well to clear off germs and debris. A good rinse with an all-natural, alcohol-free mouthwash can help too. Use pure botanical ingredients – like OraMD tooth oil - to kill the bad germs that lead to oral health problems.
Anti-fungal medication and oral thrush tablets
Candidiasis in the mouth, throat, or esophagus is usually treated with antifungal medicine - the treatment for mild to moderate infections in the mouth or throat. It is usually an antifungal medicine applied to the inside of the mouth for seven to 14 days. These medications include clotrimazole, miconazole, or nystatin.
The best treatment is self-care including improved hygiene and dietary supplements. In severe situations, a prescription anti-fungal medication may need to be prescribed by your doctor or dentist.
A specially-formulated thrush tablet can help balance natural oral germs levels. For more severe or persistent infections, tablets or capsules are also available - after having consulted with your doctor - and are typically taken once daily.
To treat oral thrush, your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications: fluconazole (Diflucan), an oral antifungal medication – as mentioned above; clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), an antifungal medication that's available as a lozenge; or Daktarin Oral Gel, an oral thrush treatment available over-the-counter.
Eat a healthier diet
Since Candida is a yeast, it feeds off sugar. It is helpful to reduce the sugar you consume in your diet if you have oral thrush or if you’re nursing a baby that has it. It’s best for your health anyway to eat less sugar, but another way is to focus on good nutrients that can help your body kick oral thrush to the curb.
Some tips for healthier eating include:
- Go with organic foods because they have more nutrient density
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible
- Add yeast-fighting foods to your diet like garlic, onion, seaweed, nuts, seeds, and acidic foods like pickles
Enjoy Complex Carbs
Some people can handle having whole grains in their diet. If you find you get gas, bloating, stomach pain, blood sugar crashes or weight concerns after eating whole grains then you will need to avoid them. Otherwise, you may be able to consume grains such as oats, barley, kamut, brown or wild rice, millet, teff, buckwheat and quinoa.
But you should watch the simple carbs. Supporters of The Candida Diet believe that Candida thrives on simple sugars. They recommend removing them, along with low-fiber carbohydrates such as white bread. Avoid yeast-containing foods such as beer, wine, vinegar, baked goods, and mushrooms.
Other processed carbohydrates you should avoid include chips, crackers, noodles, pasta, white flours, and white rice - they contain no fiber and turn into simple sugars in the digestive system.
Watch The Caffeine
The Candida Diet discourages the intake of high-sugar foods, additives, processed foods, certain meats, fats and oils, as well as caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands and results in increased adrenaline and cortisol, which can disrupt the feedback loop between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenals thus impairing your body's ability to regulate hormone levels, which can affect Candida overgrowth.
Stagnant waste material is a breeding ground for Candida and other gut-harmers. True teas - like white tea, green tea, black tea and oolong tea - contain tannins which are powerful anti-fungal agents. Pau d’arco is an herbal supplement – often served as a tea – that is known to be anti-Candida.
It helps the body fight Candida with antifungal compounds like lapachol. Switch from caffeine to alternatives such as decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea to tackle Candida overgrowth. Astragalus root - an Asian herb – is an adaptogen with many purported health benefits including immune-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects.
It is believed to prolong life and used to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as fatigue, allergies and the common cold, and is used against heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.
Candida overgrowth can stem from a number of factors including stress. If you're under stress for a prolonged period of time, the body may begin to produce increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that can weaken the immune system, and simultaneously cause elevated levels of blood sugar. Avoiding external stress triggers can help manage these symptoms.
Avoid Acidic Foods
When you have oral thrush you should eat non-starchy vegetables - especially dark leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage, kale and collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, and tomatoes; low sugar fruits, such as citrus fruits, olives, and berries in moderation; and lean proteins, including chicken, eggs, and fish.
Root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes can be eaten in moderation but beware as they contain carbohydrates that will turn to sugar once eaten. Frozen, canned or jarred vegetables can be eaten but should be consumed in moderation – in general fresh is always best.
One to two servings of fresh fruit per day will provide good fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, if you notice symptoms of gas, bloating and brain fog after eating fruit you may be sensitive to it and should eliminate it from your diet as well.
Foods to avoid with oral thrush include sugary drinks, candies, cookies and cakes; fruits high in sugar, such as bananas, grapes and figs; milk, cheese, and other dairy products high in lactose; white flour and bread and any other products that contain gluten, which may promote inflammation in those who are intolerant or allergic; sugar substitutes, such as honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup and aspartame; processed meats; condiments, such as barbecue sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and mayonnaise, as these often contain added sugar; and butter substitutes like margarine and soybean oil because of their high content of saturated and hydrogenated fats.
Enjoy The Good Fats – High Quality Oils such as coconut oil
All our cells have an outer layer of fat that makes up the cell membrane. When we eat high-quality oils this membrane is healthier and works optimally. Unrefined and cold-pressed oils are the best. Good fats include but are not limited to coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, and chia seeds.
Drink more water
A healthy intake of water each day allows your body to function its best. If you allow your mouth to get too dry, it wrecks the natural biome inside your mouth and can lead to Candida taking over. Keeping hydrated should keep it from gaining control.
The Antioxidant power of Olive Leaf Extract
As well as being a natural and effective antifungal, olive leaf extract is shown to have anti-parasitic properties and contains almost twice the antioxidant capacity of green tea, vitamins C and E, and grape seed extract. New evidence suggests that olive leaf extract has the power to kill Candida albicans and ward off future overgrowth.
Boost immune system with Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract has natural compounds that work to kill Candida in the body, and like coconut oil, it is natural and non-toxic, making it a more effective and safer alternative to prescription and over-the-counter medications. It is full of other vitamins and antioxidants that can boost the immune system and repair cells in the body that may be damaged during Candida die-off, and it can also help restore the natural pH of the stomach.
Remove toxins with Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay can help boost the growth of probiotics in the gut because removing toxins, heavy metal and other harmful chemicals makes it easier for the good germs to thrive. As you begin to change your diet and incorporate more supplements, the Candida in your system will begin to die off, and you'll need bentonite clay to help surround the toxins and safely remove them from the body.
Swish with a saltwater rinse
Salt is very naturally antiseptic. It’s good for cleansing, soothing, and healing. This is precisely why your dentist will usually recommend it for healing any troubles in the mouth naturally. If you have a mild case of oral thrush, you should dissolve about half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water.
Once it’s dissolved, swish the solution in your mouth, and then spit it out. Repeat until you’ve used the entire cup of saltwater. You can do this two to three times a day.
Give Up Smoking
In addition to alcohol consumption, smoking tobacco may encourage Candida growth. How cigarette smoke affects oral Candida is still controversial, but smoking is associated with a variety of changes in the oral cavity. Cigarette smoke has effects on saliva, oral commensal germs and fungi, but mainly Candida, which causes oral candidosis, the most common opportunistic fungal infection.
Candidiasis is also common among people who are taking antibiotics because the antibiotics kill germs that normally live in the body and compete with Candida, allowing Candida to grow unchecked. Some circumstances, such as taking a long course of antibiotics or having a weakened immune system can increase your risk of developing a Candida infection. The most common Candida infections, such as vaginal and skin infections, are localized and can be treated with antifungal drugs.
Give Lemongrass a try
Several essential oils are known to possess antifungal properties and are potentially used as antifungal agents. Among the tested essential oils, lemongrass oil exhibited the most effective killing activity and possessed the strongest inhibitory effect on Candida biofilm formation.
Baking soda can help too
Baking soda may be beneficial in banishing oral thrush as well. According to a study conducted in 2009, researchers found a test that was used to disinfect dentures helped remedy Candida albicans as a decent alternative. Most people have baking soda at home too, so if the salt doesn’t help you, try dissolving half a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water.
Turmeric’s antifungal benefits
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antifungal agent that appears to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans and protect against yeast infections. It has numerous health benefits including antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also an effective antifungal that inhibits growth.
Pair antifungals with N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)
NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is a supplement form of cysteine - a semi-essential amino acid - and a powerful antifungal treatment that can break down Candida biofilms. Although many herbal antifungals such as oregano oil, black walnut, garlic and berberine can be helpful in treating Candida, these alone aren’t enough to kill it completely. In order for antifungals to do their work properly, they can be paired with a biofilm disruptor – such as NAC.
Kill Candida with Myrrh Oil
Eat yogurt and other probiotic foods
Yogurt is easy to eat and enjoy for most people. Though be sure you’re buying the kind that has live germs cultures in it. In your mouth and the rest of your digestive system you have good germs and bad germs. You want that good germs to be plentiful because it helps digestion and immunity.
Eating probiotic yogurt for these live cultures doesn’t kill off the fungal growth. It stops it and then resets the balance so good germs can take over doing what it does best in your body. For those with a more severe case of oral thrush, yogurt is soft and soothing, particularly if you have trouble swallowing from those painful legions. One word to the wise though…make sure your yogurt is unsweetened since Candida lives on sugar.
Not a fan of yogurt or living dairy-free? You can choose other fermented foods that will do the trick too. Fermented foods also have natural probiotics in them. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir are all ideal to try. If you still can’t stand any of these options, you should talk to your doctor about a probiotics supplement to help get your mouth and gut in check.
Peppermint’s effective antimicrobials
Peppermint has long been known for its antifungal properties and has been used successfully in attempts to battle Candida. Peppermint oil is effective in this regard because it can either reduce or completely eliminate the nine enzymes that are essential for untreated yeast to grow.
Citronella, geranium, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint, among others, have been tested specifically against fungi and found to be effective antimicrobials for this purpose. The changes observed for Candida albicans in the presence of peppermint and clove oils - especially in yeast enzymatic activity and protein profiles - may contribute to the reduction of C them pathogenicity
Eucalyptus has been tested specifically against fungi and found to be effective antimicrobials for that purpose. A 2010 study, Effect Of Plant Oils On Candida Albicans, found that eucalyptus globulus and peppermint were the most effective out of the 30 essential oils tested.
Make time for Thyme
Multiple studies show that like clove, thyme essential oil helps prevent and destroy Candida biofilms. This potent antifungal agent contains the main ingredient thymol, which fights a wide variety of pathogens. Thyme oil has been shown to be one of the most effective Candicidal plant oils and frequently shows the greatest ability to inhibit Candida albicans more than other essential oils.
Try gentian violet
As a kid, your mom may have put gentian violet on ringworm or athlete’s foot. You can also use this synthetic dye with its telltale violet hue to handle oral thrush naturally at home. It’s available in most pharmacies without a prescription. All you need is to use a cotton swab to apply it several times a day to the affected area.
Protect skin with Lavender
Lavender essential oil is frequently used in traditional medicine, and its impact on reducing the amount of Candida albicans fungus has been shown in clinical studies. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Microbiology identified lavender oil as a powerful antifungal agent that provides protection from skin and nail infections, including Candida albicans.
Cinnamon for Candida
Cinnamon has a high antifungal and antibacterial content which works great against Candida yeast. It is antibiotic resistant and very effective when used against Candida fungus.
Give Geranium a try
Geranium has been tested specifically against fungi and found to be an effective antimicrobials for that purpose – and it's thought to have antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Geranium essential oil has been used to treat health conditions for centuries and there is scientific data indicating that it may be beneficial for a number of conditions such as anxiety, depression, infection, and pain management.
Caprylic Acid – a fatty acid in coconut oil
As we’ve already mentioned, coconut oil is known for being a wonderful source of healthy nutrients and healing powers in a natural way. For oral thrush, a 2007 study found that it can help kill off some bad strains of germs. While more research is needed, it seems that applying coconut oil to the affected area could be beneficial for oral thrush too.
Caprylic acid is one of the three fatty acids found in coconut oil. It’s a medium-chain fatty acid with potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make caprylic acid a helpful treatment for many conditions. It’s used to treat yeast infections, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and high cholesterol. It’s also used to lower the risk of antibiotic resistance. You can take caprylic acid orally or apply it to your skin.
Studies have shown caprylic acid’s potency to be similar to prescription antifungals. Caprylic acid is renowned for its ability to kill Candida cells, and also for restoring normal acidity levels in the gut. Taking caprylic acid during your treatment can get your intestinal tract back in shape and help to prevent Candida colonies from growing again. It works by interfering with the cell walls of the Candida yeast. Its short chain length means it can penetrate the cell wall of the yeast relatively easily. It then inhibits the growth of the yeast by incorporating itself into the cell membrane and causing it to rupture. This effectively destroys the yeast cell and can even prevent it from returning.
And while we are on the topic of acids, undecylenic acid is a less well-known treatment for topical Candida-related infections, but it’s becoming more popular. It’s an unsaturated fatty acid derived from castor oil which was discovered in 1877 when scientists distilled the by-products of castor oil.
Undecylenic acid has become recognized as a powerful antifungal agent that can help with stubborn Candida-related infections such as athletes’ foot and intestinal Candida overgrowth. Some studies have even shown that undecylenic acid is around six times more effective than caprylic acid,
Orange Essential Oil for an effective antimicrobial agent
A recent article claims that 10 essential oils - including lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and orange - are effective against 22 germ strains in laboratory studies. Lemongrass and orange oils completely inhibited 12 fungi, while peppermint oil eliminated 11 out of 12. The inhibitory effect of essential oils of orange and lemon oil and the antibiotics tylosin and nisin were tested on germs and fungi in nutrient media. Though the degree of inhibition varied with the culture, orange oil was a more effective antimicrobial agent than lemon oil.
Reduce Candida with Ylang-Ylang
Ylang-ylang contains linalool, a compound with antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to be effective at reducing Candida albicans. Ylang-ylang oil is applied to the skin to promote relaxation, kill germs, and lower high blood pressure. It is also part of a combination spray used to kill head lice.
Inhibit Candida growth with Winter Savory
Winter Savory is a therapeutic-grade oil that has been determined to inhibit growth of Candida albicans. It is an antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal and is useful in cases of Candida as well as acne, blackheads, canker sores,
Use tea tree oil
Eat Chia seeds - and flaxseeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds
Chia seeds serve as an important supplement for the cure of Candidiasis - especially for women - and have high fiber content to help maintain a healthy balance in the digestive tract, which in turn inhibits Candida infection. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and so are flax seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Whole almonds and walnuts are also fine to eat on a Candida diet.
Repair, replenish and regenerate with Bone Broth
Bone broth from high quality animal bones provides an immense amount of nourishment for those dealing with Candida overgrowth. It helps replenish lost fluids and can help initiate regeneration and repair.
Look into nutrient-dense Seaweed and kelp extract
Candida is often linked to hypothyroidism and can be lessened by iodine-rich foods like seaweed and kelp extract. This nutrient-dense food helps flush toxic pollutants and heavy metals from the body and keeps the intestinal tract clean from fungus including Candida.
Use oregano oil
If you like the taste of oregano, you may find oregano oil to be a great natural remedy for oral thrush. It is antifungal and antimicrobial, and while you should never use the oil orally or topically without first diluting it, once added to water, this solution can really help give you the relief you need. Don’t swallow the mixture and make sure to spit it all out.
Stimulate your immune system with Wormwood Black Walnut
Black walnut has been used for centuries as medicine and may be useful in dealing with Candida overgrowth, supporting overall wellness and stimulating the immune system. It is confirmed to have potent antifungal activity against all forms of Candida.
Fight infection with Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera helps prevent and fight yeast infections in several ways. It has the ability to increase white blood cells to fight infection as well as natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Relieve inflammation with Cumin (Black Seed Oil)
Black seed oil has been shown to have antioxidant properties that help relieve inflammation inside the body and on the skin. It has shown promise in treating some of the most common health conditions, including high blood pressure and asthma. It also shows strong antifungal activity against Candida albicans.
When life gives you oral thrush, use lemons
Lemons have long been loved for their antifungal and antiseptic properties. In a 2009 study, lemon juice took the lead for treating oral thrush for those infected with HIV. While the study was small, it provided promising results, and since lemons are natural, it can’t hurt to give them a try.
It’s suggested that you juice half of a lemon. You can then add a cup of water with it, warm or cool, depending on your preference. There’s no harm in swallowing it since lemons are a great source of nutrients including vitamin C, though you can rinse and spit it out if you prefer. Others just go for broke and apply the lemon juice onto the lesions themselves, however the acidity of the lemons may cause some initial burning and discomfort.
Reishi Mushrooms – as well as Shiitake, Enoki and Maitake
Reishi mushroom has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also take Reishi mushroom for health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They can also help your immune system to regain balance over the invasive form of Candida. The only mushrooms allowed on the Candida Diet are shitake, enoki, and maitake.
Anise Seed for after dinner
Anise send is an all-natural remedy for Candida and fungus. Anise seeds have a subtle licorice flavor and people have used them as an after-dinner digestif for centuries. Anethole, an aromatic compound that is the active ingredient in anise seed - also called aniseed - promotes normal blood sugar. By helping to balance blood sugar levels, it also deters harmful organisms in your body, particularly the yeast Candida albicans, which feed on sugar.
Prevent the spread of yeast with Berberine
Berberine is a chemical found in several plants including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. It is most commonly taken by mouth for diabetes, high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high blood pressure.
One of its important actions is its ability to prevent the spread of yeast and fungal organisms that are resistant to drugs. It has demonstrated to have a host of powerful therapeutic actions as an antimicrobial agent. Berberine has also shown antifungal action against yeast and fungal infections such as Candida overgrowth.
Consider clove oil
For centuries, clove oil has been a remedy that is still used even in modern dentistry today. It has antiseptic and pain-relieving properties. If you don’t have clove oil though, you can simply poke around in your spice cabinet until you find whole cloves or ground cloves and make a tea of it.
While it’s more convenient as an oil, steeping a teaspoon of the cloves in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes creates a tea. Strain it first and use only the liquid. Wait until it cools enough, then swish it around before spitting it out. A word of caution though, cloves are known to cause allergic reactions for some people so do not use it if you have an allergy. For others, you may experience a numb sensation in your mouth.
Go for Goji Berries and Schizandra Berries
Goji berries contain healthy antioxidants known for their immune-boosting qualities and their ability to fight harmful free radicals and inflammation. They contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, similarly to other berries, including blueberries and raspberries. Researchers have found that there are multiple phenolic amides contained in the root bark of goji berry plants. When isolated, they were found to have antifungal effects and also obstructed the dimorphic transition of Candida.
The Schizandra berry is a wholesome and exotic berry categorized as an adaptogen, meaning it helps prevent physical and chemical stress on the body. When consumed, it accumulates in the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, and liver tissues. It has also been shown to be beneficial in providing the body with protection from specific stressors including aspectic inflammation, cooling, frostbite, heat shock, heavy metal toxicity, irradiation and skin burn. As with other adaptogens it appears to increase oxygen levels allowing better breathing control and function under emotional and physical stressors. It also improves metabolic functioning in healthy individuals.
Learn to love Licorice Root
Licorice root may help you prevent gut issues, oral conditions, and yeast infections by helping to eliminate harmful Candida germs. One study showed that the three main chemical compounds in licorice - glycyrrhizic acid, glabridin, and lichochalcone-A - had strong antifungal activity on Candida albicans fungus. The researchers determined that these compounds should be considered for treatment of oral Candida infections.
Drink golden milk
In India, a traditional drink people enjoy for better overall health is golden milk. They make it by adding turmeric with non-dairy milk. As we’ve already discussed, turmeric contains a wonderfully potent compound known as curcumin which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Studies have found that curcumin specifically may be ideal for fighting fungal infection, especially Candida. It worked even better when united with the compound found in black pepper, known as piperine, which helps your body soak up the benefits of turmeric.
Golden milk has a unique but pleasant taste. You can make it by using a half teaspoon of turmeric paste with a cup of filtered water or non-dairy milk. Combine these things and a dash of black pepper into a saucepan and heat it until it’s warm. Drink it, swishing it around in your mouth as you do. As a side bonus, it’s good for the rest of your body too and has many comforting properties.
Provide an optimal environment with Betaine HCL
Betaine hydrochloride is also used to treat abnormally low levels of potassium (hypokalemia), hay fever, “tired blood” (anemia), asthma, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), yeast infections, diarrhea, food allergies, gallstones, inner ear infections, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and thyroid disorders. It acts as a protective barrier in your stomach and a crucial part of your immune system, killing off any potentially harmful micro-organisms that may be present in the food you eat.
When the body isn’t producing enough hydrochloric acid, Candida has a better chance of growing and spreading throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Other antifungals like undecylenic acid require an acidic environment - naturally found in a healthy gut - to maximize their antifungal activity. Pairing your undecylenic acid with Betaine HCl provide it with an optimal environment to fight yeasts and fungi like Candida.
Garlic to halt growth of Candida
Some research suggests that garlic may prevent the growth of yeast and germs as well as support for its use as an antifungal, particularly against Candida albicans. One of its most important antifungal agents is Ajoene, an organosulfur compound that has been shown to kill off a variety of fungal infections. One study showed garlic markedly inhibited the growth of Candida when the samples of the disease were treated with aqueous garlic extract, which was later supported by further research showing that garlic has the power to halt the growth and spread of Candida albicans.
Apple cider vinegar works well for dentures
Studies conducted as recently as 2015 found that apple cider vinegar’s antifungal properties are a winner against Candida. If you have dentures, you have a greater risk of getting oral thrush as you age. This is even more common when your dentures either don’t fit as well as they should or you’re not cleaning them well enough - or often enough. In these conditions, Candida can really get out of control.
Even if you have your natural teeth though, it can help to use apple cider vinegar. You’ll want the raw, unfiltered stuff. Add a teaspoon of it to a cup of water, then rinse your mouth thoroughly for a minimum of 15 seconds before spitting it out. While some suggest rinsing with pure, undiluted apple cider vinegar, it’s not a good idea since it’s so acidic that it can cause damage to enamel and may leave your mouth with a stinging burning sensation.
Ginger’s antifungal benefits
Ginger contains gingerols and shaogaols. These inflammation-fighting, antifungal components of the ginger root support a healthy balance of germs to help eliminate an overgrowth. Several research studies have looked specifically at ginger’s effect on Candida albicans.
A study published in the Journal of Dental Sciences and Research attests to the potential benefits of ginger as an antifungal. The study was performed in vitro and used colonies of Candida albicans cultured in a laboratory.
Handle Candida Die-Off with Silymarin – Milk Thistle
Milk thistle – or Silymarin - is a plant with impressive medicinal properties. It repairs your liver and protects it from future damage. It is often used to treat liver conditions, and has been used as a detox remedy for centuries, but also has many other health benefits.
One of the most often asked questions is “How do I cope with Candida Die-Off?” according to The Candida Diet. Die-Off can be a combination of headaches, nausea, breakouts and many other symptoms, and it’s the number one reason why people give up their Candida treatment. Milk Thistle can help with this all the way through the treatment.
Take more vitamin C
Remember those lemons we talked about? Whether you want to drink fresh-squeezed lemon juice or not, taking vtamini C as an added supplement to your nutritious diet can also help your body fight off Candida. Vitamin C is important to keep your immune system strong since it helps your body produce white blood cells to fight infections.
When your immune system is healthy, your body rebalances. This is especially important if your immune system has been compromised or you’re getting older. With each passing year, it loses strength which can be countered with plenty of vitamin C.
Practice better cleaning methods
If you have a baby with oral thrush, it’s important to be vigilant about what they put in their mouths. As babies get bigger, they become even more curious and try to put everything in their mouths. All it takes is a dirty pacifier or spoon to lead to infections. For breastfeeding moms, it’s also imperative to keep nipples dry and clean. Bottles also lead to yeast buildup and should be cleaned with boiling water.
Start using nursing pads
Another tip for fighting oral thrush naturally for breastfeeding moms is to use nursing pads, preferably those without a plastic barrier which can lead to thriving Candida. You don’t want this yeast spreading to your clothes. Your nursing bra should be kept clean as should your breasts. The same care should be taken if you are pumping your milk too since your breast pump parts can become contaminated and keep you and your baby stuck with oral thrush.
Correct all nutritional deficiencies
Even with a healthy diet, there are some nutrients people tend to be deficient in. Nutrients that have been shown to help Candida sufferers include vitamins A, C and E; Selenium, Zinc, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Vitamin D deficiency is common. It’s not easy to get enough of it in many foods. Whether you’re a breastfeeding mom or you spend too much time indoors, it’s time to get more vitamin D. Get outside and enjoy the sun, wearing proper SPF protection as you do. Additionally, taking a good multivitamin is a good idea to balance out all the vitamins, minerals, and other essential elements your body needs. Ask your doctor for a recommendation based on your health situation.
Make sure you keep toddlers from sugar too
Babies have a diet of strictly breast milk or formula until they are six months old. From there, they are introduced to solid foods as more teeth come in. By the age of 12 months, most babies and toddlers are eating other foods. As their appetite for these things grows, it can be tempting to hand them sippy cups filled with juice.
Juice is full of sugar and some brands even use corn syrup. These things give yeast nourishment which can worsen the infection. While an occasional treat is no worry, if your child eats a lot of sweet treats or refined and processed food, that needs to stop while oral thrush is present. Even once it clears up, it’s worth considering healthier options for their better overall health down the road.
Boric Acid’s antiviral properties
Boric Acid is a weak acidic hydrate of boric oxide with mild antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It works by preventing Candida fungi from growing. It has been used to treat Candida albicans and the more resistant Candida glabrata yeast strains. Boric acid is an effective treatment for yeast infections. Doctors recommend using it as a second-line treatment when other antifungal medications are not working.
Consider Chinese Skullcap
Chinese skullcap has been incorporated in herbal formulas designed to treat such widely varying conditions as cancer, liver disease, allergies, skin conditions, and epilepsy. The root is used medicinally, and in one cell study of 56 widely-used Chinese medicinal plants, skullcap was the most effective in reducing the growth of Candida albicans. Its effectiveness was comparable to the antifungal drug nystatin (Mycostatin).
Try herbal oral care products
There are plenty of herbal oral care products that can make a difference too. Often, they have tea tree oil which is further up on the list. Products with charcoal or clay may also bring balance by getting the pH levels balanced in your mouth. Use pure botanical ingredients – like OraMD tooth oil - to kill the bad germs that lead to oral health problems.
What to Do About Oral Thrush Next
In general, oral thrush is easy to get rid of for most people. Those with compromised immunity though will find it more of a challenge. If you have any health issues that would leave your immunity vulnerable, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to get treatment. It should also be noted that other conditions have similar symptoms so you’ll want to make sure you have oral thrush and not something else that would require different treatment.
Most home remedies have been founded on research that was conducted on animals. You should ask your doctor if he or she recommends any of them or advises against them before giving them a try. Most of the home remedies aren’t suitable for babies and children so be sure to ask your pediatrician. Limiting sugar is a surely effective way as is keeping things clean.
You may get lucky and find your oral thrush goes away with these natural treatments. But if it isn’t getting better, see your doctor to get an antifungal medication prescribed. In particular, nystatin, a popular anti-fungal medication, is used if you have large white patches. Home remedies can add support to this cycle of medication from your doctor.
After getting rid of oral thrush, make sure to be vigilant about your oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice per day and change your toothbrush every three months. You shouldn’t use a contaminated toothbrush when actively trying to get rid of oral thrush either. For denture wearers, make sure you keep your dentures and gums clean.
One last thing about oral thrush…keep consistent with your treatments as it could take a week or longer to clear up this stubborn yeast. After symptoms vanish, keep up your treatments to get rid of any last trace of it in your body and hopefully it will be the last time you see oral thrush again!
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.