Candidiasis, commonly known as thrush, is a type of fungal infection that occurs in the tongue and mouth. The oral sores are symptoms of overgrowth of the fungus called Candida. A small number of the fungus is present in the mouth almost all the time. However, when the immune system is weakened owing to old age, diseases and certain drugs, the fungi multiply rapidly, leading to Candidiasis or thrush.
In healthy adults, mild thrush usually heals naturally without medical intervention. Natural treatments that help to suppress abnormal Candida growth and restore the healthy microbial balance in the mouth provide fast relief from thrush.
Natural Cures for Thrush
Salt is a natural antimicrobial substance that helps to treat thrush naturally by disinfecting the mouth. Rinsing the mouth with lukewarm saltwater provides relief from thrush. Prepare the saline solution by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water.
Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene helps to treat thrush speedily. Brushing the teeth at least twice daily and regular flossing will reduce Candida build up in the mouth. If you are using an inhaled steroid, rinse the mouth after using the inhaler. Limit using antiseptic mouthwashes. These mouthwashes kill the healthy bacteria along with the disease causing microbes. By disrupting the healthy oral flora balance, they tend to increase the risk of thrush.
A diet that inhibits overgrowth of the Candida yeast helps to treat thrush naturally. Candida feeds on sugar. A sugar-restricted diet, by reducing nourishment for the fungi, can reduce fungal growth. Severely reducing carbohydrate intake for about two to three weeks is recommended for people suffering from thrush. The diet during thrush treatment should comprise of non-starchy vegetables, healthy proteins such as lean meat, poultry and fish and moderate amount of unsaturated fats. Mushrooms and foods containing yeasts should be eliminated from the diet.
Healthy bacteria present in unsweetened fermented milk products such as yogurt help to cure thrush by restoring the healthy microbial balance in the mouth that is altered by Candida overgrowth. The healthy bacteria in the mouth naturally counter growth of the Candia yeast.
Rinsing the mouth with mouthwash containing oregano oil helps to treat thrush. Oregano is a natural antimicrobial substance. It contains thymol and carvacrol, two powerful antifungal agents. Oregano supplements can also be taken to treat thrush. However, oregano may slow down iron absorption. Hence, it should not be taken with iron rich foods.
Olive Leaf Extract
Supplement containing olive leaf extract strengthens the immune system and kills the Candida yeast. Oleuropein, a potent antifungal agent, found in olive leaf rapidly reduces fungal growth. You can take 500 mg of olive leaf extract thrice a day with meals or drink tea prepared with olive leaf.
Coconut oil contains three powerful antifungal fatty acids, lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. By killing the Candida yeast, these fatty acids provide fast relief from oral thrush. You can take one to two tablespoons of coconut oil daily to treat thrush.