Will Home remedies for Thrush work? But before that let’s understand what exactly is Thrush? Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a medical condition in which a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth and throat. It may be triggered to occur by a variety of factors, including illness, pregnancy, medications, smoking, or dentures. It is common in newborns and infants but usually not harmful. If you have oral thrush, you’ll need antifungal medication to clear the yeast. However, you may be able to manage bothersome symptoms with home remedies, too.
It’s important to treat oral thrush as soon as possible to contain the infection. Doctors often prescribe antifungal medications in the form of mouthwashes, pills, or lozenges. Mild cases of oral thrush may go away on their own.
Types of yeast infections
There are different types of yeast infections, but all happen when an area of the body becomes infected with yeast-like fungi called candida. This fungus thrives in moist, warm, folded areas of the skin, such as the groin, under the breast, or the armpits. Candidiasis is the primary type of fungal infection in the body: It is caused by yeast and can occur in the mouth, gut, throat, and vagina. If it is not treated correctly with medication, it is likely it can grow out of control and infect your kidneys and heart.
There are many different types of infections caused by the candida fungus, depending on the location on the body it happens and the type of candida that is present. While they do have some overlap in symptoms, they can also have different symptoms. The most common candida infections are:
It happens when the skin on the body is infected. The most typical places the candida will grow are skin between the fingers or toes, nails, armpits, under the breasts, or around the groin. The main symptom is a red, itchy rash.
It occurs in babies by a candida overgrowth, which happens when there is a moist environment from wet diapers helping candida to thrive. A red rash appears between the creases of the skin and small red dots represent the infected area.
Happens when candidiasis affects the lining of the mouth or throat. Oral thrush presents as white lesions on the insides of the cheeks or on the tongue. Symptoms may also include bad breath, pain while swallowing, abnormalities in taste, and dryness of the mouth.
Vaginal yeast infections
Also called vulvovaginal candidiasis, happen when there is an overgrowth of the candida in the vagina. Candida albicans is a common fungal strain in yeast infections. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are irritation, itchiness, inflammation, and a thick, white vaginal discharge.
Yeast infections are common and happen in three out of four women at least once in their life. Because vaginal yeast infections happen to most women, this article will be specific to the treatment and prevention of vaginal yeast infections only.
What can a doctor prescribe for yeast infections?
Over-the-counter antifungal medications treat yeast infections and are available in creams or suppositories for internal application. Yeast infections can last three days to two weeks, so there are one-day, three-day, or week-long treatments available.
There are also anti-itch antifungal creams that come along with most treatments to help external itching. The most popular brands of antifungal creams to treat vaginal yeast infections are Monistat or Vagistat. These treatments are also available online for those who are uncomfortable buying them in the store.
A healthcare provider may prescribe Diflucan (fluconazole), a tablet that will treat fungal vaginal infections, or a prescription antifungal such as terconazole, which is inserted internally at bedtime.
There might be a lot of over the counter options available, but thrush can be treated with home remedies too.
Let’s have a look at various home remedies for thrush.
1. Apple cider vinegar- Home remedies for Thrush.
Apple cider vinegar has been found to inhibit the growth of candida albicans, the strain of fungi that typically causes yeast infections.
To use this natural remedy, run a bath, and add a half cup of apple cider vinegar and soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes.
Never use apple cider vinegar at full strength. Because of apple cider’s ability to kill bacteria and fungi, it could also kill the healthy bacteria in the body. Dilute apple cider vinegar before using it.
2. Boric acid- Home remedies for Thrush.
Boric acid vaginal suppositories remedy yeast infections because of boric acid’s antiseptic properties. While research supports the use of these suppositories, it concludes that this should only be used for recurrent and hard to treat yeast infections. Because boric acid is so potent, milder treatments should first be used. It is one of the best home remedies for Thrush.
3. Coconut oil- Home remedies for Thrush.
Coconut oil, drawn from the flesh of coconuts, has naturally occurring antifungal properties. A Scientifica study found coconut oil can help inhibit the candida bacteria that causes yeast infections. To utilize this treatment, simply apply coconut oil to the affected area. It is by far one of the best home remedies for Thrush.
4. Cranberry juice or pills- Home remedies for Thrush.
Cranberry juice has been found to help with urinary tract infections by preventing the formation of the candida albicans (the fungus that causes yeast infections). While studies have not shown its ability to help cure candida albicans in the vagina, some women claim to have results. Cranberry juice and pills are also very high in vitamin C, which can also help prevent infection.
Over-the-counter douches may combat yeast infections and relieve inflammation and irritation. However, most studies show adverse effects of douching, and few studies give positive outcomes. According to the Office of Women’s Health, doctors recommend that women do not douche because douching can lead to problems getting pregnant, vaginal infections, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
6. Garlic- Home remedies for Thrush.
Garlic and garlic oil are well-known antifungal agents. Studies have even found it to have antifungal activity against candida albicans. While more traditional approaches may recommend inserting the garlic clove directly into the vagina, a less invasive approach is to simply add more fresh garlic to food and incorporate it into more meals.
7. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong antiseptic that has been found to kill yeast. It has not been studied specifically on vaginal infection strains of yeast. Before applying to the vagina, be sure to dilute the hydrogen peroxide first. It is one of the best home remedies for Thrush.
8. Oregano oil- Home remedies for Thrush.
Oregano oil, or origanum oil, has been shown to inhibit the growth of candida albicans. To use oregano oil, use a couple of drops in a carrier agent, like coconut oil or olive oil, and apply to the affected area.
9. Probiotics- Home remedies for Thrush.
Probiotics contain live bacteria, such as the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps foster a healthy balance of bacterias in the vagina. They may treat or prevent bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections in addition to yeast infections.It is one of the best home remedies for Thrush.
Buy probiotic supplements online or in stores. These oral supplements may take up to 10 days to show results. To decrease the length of time for results, some women have used probiotics as vaginal suppositories. Eating yogurt (with live and active cultures) is another good way to increase probiotic intake.
10. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with antifungal properties, that some people claim to cure yeast infections. It works by killing the cell walls and membranes of the yeast. While more studies are currently needed, a 2015 study found that vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil were able to work as a fungicidal agent thereby killing the candida albicans.
As with all essential oils, use a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil when using it on the body. Women can purchase vaginal suppositories with tea tree oil online.
11. Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts the body’s immunity and, with a strengthened immune system, the body is able to fight off a yeast infection better. Add more vitamin C by taking a supplement or eating vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like oranges and broccoli. It is one of the best home remedies for Thrush.
Yogurt (with live and active cultures) is a good way to treat yeast infections because of its high probiotic concentrate. As mentioned above, probiotics can help fight off candida albicans. A recent study found that the ingestion of yogurt containing probiotics with Lactobacillus acidophilus helps suppress the growth of yeast. While eating yogurt with probiotics can improve yeast infections, some women even find relief in soaking a tampon in yogurt and inserting it vaginally, remembering to change it frequently. With this technique only use plain, unsweetened yogurt or unsweetened Greek yogurt. Yogurt containing sugar would help the candida grow and flourish.
Salt has antiseptic, cleansing, and soothing properties. This makes it a common home remedy for many oral problems.
Rinsing your mouth with saltwater could help relieve symptoms of oral thrush.
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
- Swish the solution throughout your mouth.
- Spit out the salt solution.
14. Baking soda
Rinsing your mouth with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) may help treat oral thrush.
In a 2009 study, researchers looked at the effectiveness of sodium bicarbonate as a disinfectant of Candida albicans adhered to acrylic resin. The test was meant to simulate the daily disinfecting of dentures.
Researchers concluded that, although not the most effective form of disinfectant, baking soda was a “viable alternative.”
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water.
- Swish the rinse throughout your mouth.
- Spit out the rinse.
Turmeric gets its vibrant yellow color from curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful compound with anti-inflammatory abilities.
According to a 2010 study on mice, curcumin may treat oral thrush. The study states that curcumin is an antifungal that acts against both albicans and non-albicans species of Candida, especially when combined with piperine.
Piperine is a compound found in black pepper that helps the body absorb turmeric. Further research is needed in humans.
- Make “golden milk” by combining 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric paste (store-bought or homemade) with a dash of black pepper and 1 cup of filtered water or milk of your choice.
- Heat in a saucepan until warm.
- Swish the mixture throughout your mouth as you drink it.
How to prevent yeast infections
There are a number of ways to prevent a yeast infection.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use. Antibiotics can kill off the healthy bacteria in the vagina, causing an overgrowth of yeast, thus leading to a yeast infection.
- Wear cotton underwear. Loose-fitting, cotton underwear is most conducive to a healthy microbiome. Avoid garments that are tight and aren’t as breathable, such as leggings. These clothes can create a humid, damp area, which is the ideal environment for candida overgrowth. Because of this, it is also important to change out of damp or sweaty clothes, like workout clothes or swimwear, quickly.
- Avoid hot tubs and scalding hot baths, which foster candida growth, due to the warm, moist environments.
- Take probiotics or eat yogurt with probiotics since they help balance the vaginal microflora. As well as treatment for yeast infections, probiotics are helpful in the prevention of yeast infections. The best probiotic to take will be with those containing the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 bacteria.
- Avoid behaviors that may lead to yeast infections, such as poor hygiene. When performing personal hygiene practices, avoid douching, scented vaginal washes, or scented lotions, as well as perfumed sanitary products near the genitals, which can throw off the balance of the vagina’s microflora.
- Avoid sugary and processed foods. Yeast grows from sugar, so this can cause a surplus of yeast growth.
Causes of recurring yeast infections
Some women are more susceptible to yeast infections than others and will have recurring yeast infections or chronic yeast infections. There are a few possible reasons someone may deal with recurrent yeast infections:
- Sexual activity. While yeast infections are not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is possible for partners to pass the candida to each other. To prevent this, use condoms or dental dams and practice good hygiene after sexual intercourse, such as showering. Avoid having intercourse when one partner has a yeast infection.
- The original yeast infection was not completely treated or the yeast infection happens due to a drug-resistant strain. Symptoms may disappear before the infection is fully treated. When this happens, the yeast infection will come back. There are also strains of yeast that are more drug-resistant, which makes it harder to get rid of than others.
- It is not a yeast infection. There are other infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, or STIs, that may have similar symptoms. This is one of the most important reasons for visiting a doctor, such as a gynecologist or primary care physician, when a yeast infection does not clear up.
- The ones with certain conditions, such as impaired immune systems, pregnancy, or uncontrolled diabetes, are more susceptible to yeast infections.