Thrush -- Natural Remedies
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March 28, 2009, last updated July 20, 2014

By Allison Burgess, Contributing Columnist


Thrush, also called "candidiasis", is an infection of the mouth
caused by the candida fungus. Thrush is sometimes called a
yeast infection.  What many people don’t know about thrush is
that it can also lead to diaper rash for babies and vaginal yeast
infections for women.

Anyone can become infected --including men.  Those  most
vulnerable are infants and toddlers, the elderly, and those with
weak immune systems. There is some evidence that oral
candidiasis is more prevalent among diabetics, occurring in
perhaps as many as 58% of diabetics and 30% of non-
diabetics, according to a 2006 study in the Bahrain Medical
Journal led by Dr. Abu-Elteen and other colleagues.

How Do You Get Thrush?

Thrush is caused by the candida fungus. This candida fungus
occurs naturally in our bodies, and in fact, candida albicans is
the most common fungus infecting human beings, accounting
for 70% of all fungal infections, according to a 2008 University
of Toronto study.

But some factors, including stress and certain illnesses
(diabetes, HIV, cancer), occasionally offset the natural amount,
causing the body to produce more fungus than necessary.

Some medications such as steroids, antibiotics, and birth
control pills are also known to promote the growth of the
candida fungus. Other causes include smoking and ill-fitting
dentures.

Mothers can pass thrush to their newborns during childbirth.
Babies can also pass thrush to their mothers during
breastfeeding.




























Thrush can be transmitted sexually and through coming into
physical contact with infected items such as diapers or pacifiers.

What are the symptoms of thrush?

Fortunately, thrush is normally easy to spot. The common
indication of an infection is the appearance of raised white
lesions on the tongue’s surface or inner cheeks. These sores
have been described to look very similar to cottage cheese.
They are commonly painful and can cause bleeding when
touched and brushed.

Natural preventative strategies:
•        Stick to good oral hygiene. Exactly what your dentist
tells you: Brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once.
•        Speaking of dentists, see yours regularly.
•        Lay off the cigarettes. If you’re a smoker, here’s just one
more reason to kick the habit.

Foods to watch:

  •        Bread, beer, and wine. They are risky due to their     
    sugar and yeast content.
  •       Over-ripe fruit and fruit juices
  •        Mushrooms
  •        Dairy products

Natural Remedies for Thrush:

•        Live natural yogurt: Not only can you eat it, but it can be
applied to affected areas. Use plain, white, unsweetened yogurt.
•        Garlic: Be generous. Throw in whole peeled cloves when
cooking.
•        Sugar and yeast are friends of the yeast that causes
thrush, so it is always a good idea to reduce sugar intake when
symptoms exist.
•        Warm salt water rinses. ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of
water, a swish around the mouth, and spit. (Do not swallow.)
•        Tea tree essential oil: Put one or two drops in the
bathtub. Be aware that the oil is known to occasionally cause
skin irritation, so hold off using if you experience any itching or
redness.

Knowing ways to prevent thrush can help you watch out for
potential risks. Always contact your doctor if you see signs of
symptoms. Remember that there are many options to help you
beat the infection, so don’t fret. A cure is around the corner.

[Update:

A 2012 study from the Teikyo University Institute of Medical
Mycology in Japan has discovered a promising treatment for
thrush infections caused by the fungus candida albicans.  Four
fatty acids --- caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric
acid  --were foubd to be effective in inhibiting thrush growth
on the tongue. Capric acid, also known as decanoic acid, is
particularly effective as an anti-thrush treatment.

Coconut oil has one of the highest concentrations of capric
acid, containing about 10% of the acid.]



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Plain, white, unsweetened yogurt is
a natural remedy for thrush.