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12 Natural Ways To Fight Oral Thrush (You Should Be Doing #6 Everyday)
You, or perhaps someone you care about, have more than likely had to deal with a common yeast infection called oral thrush or oropharyngeal candidiasis. This is an overgrowth of yeast inside the mouth that commonly affects the tongue.
The yeast responsible for this condition, Candida albicans, lives in our mouths normally. The problem arises when our immune system becomes weakened or the natural balance of bacteria in our body becomes unbalanced, and this yeast is allowed to grow out of control.
This overgrowth leads to some slightly raised, white lesions on the tongue and inner cheeks at first. If not controlled quickly, it can spread to the gums, tonsils, the upper part of the throat, and the roof of the mouth.
You might feel soreness in your mouth; a cottony, coated feeling on the tongue; loss of taste; and difficulty swallowing.
Since this yeast lives inside all of us, oral thrush can happen to anyone. Most times, however, oral thrush occurs in the elderly, infants, those with a weakened immune system, those who wear dentures, or those who have a vaginal yeast infection, diabetes, or cancer.
Repeated episodes of oral thrush usually indicate a damaged immune system. If you have been suffering through repeated episodes of oral thrush, you should focus on strengthening your immune system with a proper diet, exercise, sleep, and vitamin D. You can also consume immune system-repairing herbs and spices, such as garlic, turmeric, and Echinacea.
We have made a list of the best 12 natural ways to treat oral thrush at home. For infants, toddlers, and very small children, please consult your doctor before trying any home treatment program. You can damage the delicate membranes inside the mouth and on your baby’s tongue by trying to remove thrush yourself.
Find the best ways to deal with thrush naturally and at home. Keep reading!
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1. Cranberry Juice
Cranberries contain a powerful anti-fungal agent called arbutin, which can kill a Candida infection quickly and effectively. Consume an eight ounce glass of unsweetened cranberry juice three times each day. Alternatively, you can consume cranberry extract tables two or three times each day. Always look for unsweetened cranberry juice (which can be difficult to find!) as the sugar in most juices will only feed the infection.
This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to treat oral thrush. Salt makes a very uninviting environment for the fungus. You can make a salt water rinse by mixing half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Gargle thoroughly two or three times, being sure to spit out the solution. Do this three or more times each day. Another method is to rub salt inside your mouth and on your tongue with your fingertip, then rinse well with warm water. This works remarkably well — if you can stand the taste of salt.
3. Black Walnut
Black walnut is very rich in tannins, which are a powerful astringent as well as having anti-fungal compounds. Black walnut also contains juglone, which has mild antibiotic and anti-fungal effects. Black walnut is generally taken as a supplement which you can find at most health food stores. Take according to direction.
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Yogurt containing live or active cultures of lactobacilli is another good way to treat oral thrush. The probiotics in yogurt will help to rebalance your good and bad bacteria (and yeast) as well as strengthening you immune system by restoring the gut flora. Use only plain, unsweetened yogurt. Eat two to three cups of yogurt each day. You can also rub some of the yogurt on your tongue and inside of your mouth, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse with water. Do this twice each day for best results.
5. Olive Leaf
Olive leaf contains powerful anti-fungal compounds that will kill the overgrowth of yeast. This is also a great way to improve your immune system. Olive leaf extract is available in supplement form at most health food and natural food stores. Take 250 to 500 mgs three times each day. You can also drink olive leaf tea several times each day. Avoid using sugar or honey to sweeten the tea, as this feeds the yeast infection.
6. Coconut Oil
One of the best ways to fight yeast infections, continued use of coconut oil by oil pulling will help to keep your mouth clean and healthy, naturally. One study, published in the 2007 Journal of Medicinal Food, found that coconut oil was very effective against several different species of candida. Rub extra virgin coconut oil directly to the inside of the mouth and tongue. Do this two or three times each day. Also, you should practice oil pulling every morning by putting about one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it around for 10 minutes. Spit it out, then rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth. Do this each day to maintain good oral health and stop thrush from getting a foothold.
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7. Oregano Oil
Super anti-fungal, oregano oil is very effective at fighting the growth of yeast. The journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry published a study in 2001 that found oregano oil had powerful anti-fungal compounds that were very effective at killing Candida. Using oregano oil will also help to strengthen your immune system. Mix three drops of oregano oil in one tablespoon of olive oil and rub this mixture on the inside of your mouth and tongue. Allow it to work for 10 minutes, then spit it out and rinse with warm water. Repeat twice each day.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the best ways to control oral thrush naturally is with apple cider vinegar. Using this will restore your body’s natural pH, fighting the overgrowth of yeast. Apple cider vinegar will improve your immune system while its natural yeast-fighting enzymes will help control the thrush. The 2014 Journal of Prosthodontics published a study showing that apple cider vinegar had antifungal compounds that worked against Candida species. Mix two teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar with half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, and use this solution to rinse your mouth two or three times each day.
And you thought garlic was only good for your heart! This herb has anti-fungal compounds that will kill the yeast and give your immune system a kick-start toward getting back in working order. In the 2005 journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a study was published showing that fresh garlic extract was an effective way to treat Candida albicans. Chew two or three cloves of raw organic garlic each day. If that is too strong for you, you can take garlic supplements.
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10. Tea Tree Oil
Another oil with powerful antifungal compounds that will control the growth of yeast in the mouth is tea tree oil. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found in a 2004 study that tea tree oil had effective results on Candida. Add four or five drops of tea tree oil to a glass of warm water and gargle with this solution for a minute or two, then rinse your mouth with warm water. Repeat this two or three times each day. Never consume or swallow tea tree oil as it can have very negative side effects.
11. Baking Soda
This is another inexpensive remedy to kill the yeast that causes oral thrush. In the Brazilian Oral Research Journal, a study was published in 2009 showing that a five percent application of baking soda was effective against Candida. Baking soda will maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth, making it difficult for Candida to survive. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a paste. Apply this paste to the mouth and tongue area. Allow the baking soda to work for two or three minutes, and then rinse your mouth with warm water. Repeat this procedure two or three times each day. Read more about baking soda uses.
Rest assured that no one who had tried the cinnamon challenge had an oral thrush infection! Cinnamon has powerful anti-fungal and anti-parasitic compounds that will kill yeast quickly. The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine published a study in 2012 showing that the anti-fungal compounds in cinnamon oil have a very positive effect against Candida albicans. Drink two or three cups of cinnamon tea throughout the day. You can also add three drops of cinnamon oil to one tablespoon of olive oil and rub this solution on the affected areas. Allow it to work for 10 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Repeat daily.
- Always practice good oral hygiene.
- Never share or borrow a toothbrush.
- Scrape your tongue daily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months to avoid yeast buildup and infection.
- Limit sugary foods as sugar feeds yeast.
- Stop smoking as this delays healing.
- Clean your dentures at least once each day with a good quality denture cleaner.
- See your dentist regularly, especially if you have diabetes.