11 Natural Home Remedies for Thrush (& How to Use Them)

If you have creamy white lesions on your tongue or inner cheeks, you might be suffering from a condition called oral thrush.

Thrush is an oral infection caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans (yeast) inside the mouth or throat [1].

Apart from the lesions, there’s also bleeding and pain at the site of the bumps, or dryness and cracking in the skin on the mouth corners.

This condition can also make swallowing food difficult.

According to Medicine Net, it can be triggered by any of these factors: poor immune system, pregnancy, medications, stress and smoking.

Although thrush is usually a minor problem, you can resolve this right away with the help of these home remedies.

1. Baking Soda

An all-around house cleaner and home remedy, baking soda has been used to treat a wide array of ailments over the years.

It is highly recommended for relieving stomach pain and other digestive issues, neutralizing acids, preventing diseases, killing parasites, alleviating cough, cold, flu and sore throat, promoting kidney health, and treating urinary tract infections.

That’s not all.

This remedy, also called sodium bicarbonate, is also used as an alternative treatment for oral thrush.

In 2009, Brazilian researchers found that baking soda can effectively destroy infection-causing Candida albicans [2].

A total of 50 acrylic resin specimens were exposed to either 5 percent sodium bicarbonate, vinegar, Corega tabs or 0.12% digluconate chlorhexidine [2].

The outcome of the study showed that 5 percent sodium bicarbonate and or 0.12% digluconate chlorhexidine were both effective in preventing this fungal species from adhering to acrylic resin [2].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine baking soda and water to form a paste.
  • Apply on the tongue and inner cheeks using a cotton ball.
  • Let it sit for three minutes before rinsing your mouth with warm water.
  • Do this remedy three times a day for five days.

2. Cinnamon

Did you know that cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest spices?

Now when people talk about this highly revered spice, they only think about cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder.

However, the oil extracted from the bark and leaves of cinnamon tree is just as potent as a medicinal remedy.

In fact, even though it’s not as popular as lavender or rosemary essential oils, it also has countless applications in traditional medicine and aromatherapy.

For centuries, cinnamon oil has been relied on as a digestive aid, tonic, and many more.

Among the many volatile oils that exhibit antifungal properties, cinnamon oil is one of those that can control the growth and spread of Candida albicans [3].

The active compounds in cinnamon oil exhibited strong inhibitory effects against this fungal strain.

A 1999 study published in the Journal of Essential Oil research found that cinnamon oil was effective not only on Candida albicans but also on other types of yeast [4].

Similar findings were documented in a more recent study in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine [5].

All these findings show us that cinnamon oil is a suitable solution for oral thrush and other fungi-caused infections.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix cinnamon oil with olive oil.
  • Apply mixture inside the mouth.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing mouth with warm water.
  • Repeat once a day for five days.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Many benefits have been linked to white vinegar.

However, we have to admit that there are even more benefits that one can get from apple cider vinegar.

A popular health tonic that has been used for treating various ailments including high cholesterol, diabetes, and skin infections, apple cider vinegar is also an excellent remedy for oral thrush.

That’s because apple cider vinegar is rich in powerful enzymes that inhibit the uncontrollable growth and spread of yeast inside the mouth.

Its strong antifungal properties have been well documented in scientific literature [6].

It works against fungal strains by preventing them from adhering to the oral cavity.

Their activity and metabolism are also disrupted by this age-old remedy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add apple cider vinegar and salt to warm water.
  • Mix well.
  • Gargle solution for one to two minutes.
  • Repeat several times a day for up to one week.

4. Garlic

Best known for its pungent aroma and flavor, garlic is a popular ingredient in Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Apart from spicing up our favorite dishes, it is also widely known for its excellent medicinal value.

Folk healers around the world have used garlic to treat countless infections and ailments.

In the field of alternative medicine, it is best known for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties that make it an ideal treatment for oral thrush.

Several studies have proven that garlic’s active compounds such as allicin were successful in inhibiting the overgrowth of microorganisms [7, 8, 9].

A 1999 study shows that allicin’s antimicrobial properties work even on multidrug-resistant fungal and bacterial strains [7].

What it does is to disrupt the metabolism of the microorganisms, which it needs to survive [7].

As if these aren’t enough, allicin also stimulates the immunity of the cells in the body, an essential aspect of antifungal treatment that standard medications do not have [9].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Use a cotton ball to apply garlic oil on your tongue and inner cheeks.
  • Do this three times a week for one to two weeks.

5. Salt

Another cheap but proven alternative cure for thrush is salt.

For thousands of years, salt has been extensively used by folk healers to treat many ailments.

Even the Father of Medicine Hippocrates has used salt a number of times.

Some of the health issues that can be resolved by salt include sore throat, postnasal drip, gum inflammation, poison ivy, toothache, and bee stings.

If you’re not comfortable with oral thrush infection, and would like to get rid of it right away, try using salt.

Salt is believed to kill fungi by creating an environment where they cannot grow or thrive.

It’s no wonder even Mayo Clinic recommends salt water rinse as a remedy for this particular oral infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dissolve salt into the water.
  • Gargle salt water solution for one minute.
  • Do not swallow, spit out the solution.
  • Repeat twice a day for one to two weeks.

6. Tea Tree Oil

There’s no denying that tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in many parts of the world.

Traditional and natural healers prefer using this oil not only for its potency but also for its tolerability.

As long as it is not used in high amounts and in diluted form, application of tea tree oil does not cause any unpleasant side effects.

For oral thrush, this oil can also help.

For years, tea tree oil’s antifungal and anti-microbial properties have been the subject of various scientific studies.

Several research findings confirm that its potent antifungal activities can combat abnormal growth of yeast [9, 10, 11, 12].

In 2000, researchers from Australia exposed yeast species to the minimum concentration of tea tree oil [9].

The result was a marked decrease in the activities of the fungi, as tea tree oil suppressed their respiration and destroyed their plasma membranes [9].

Tea tree oil also works for oral bacteria, which makes it ideal for other types of mouth infection [11].

For quick recovery from oral thrush, try using this remedy made from tea tree oil.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine two ingredients.
  • Gargle this solution for two to three minutes.
  • Be sure to spit it out and not swallow.
  • Follow this remedy twice a day until oral thrush has improved.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt is more than just a healthy snack that boosts immune resistance and builds bones.

Thanks to its beneficial microorganisms called probiotics, yogurt is also a practical remedy for fungal infections.

Various studies report that active cultures like Lactobacillus acidophilus inhibited the spread and growth of candida species inside the mouth [13, 14, 15].

To investigate the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus on oral infections in mice, mice subjects were administered with this compound [14].

At the end of the experiment, there was a remarkable increase in the clearing of the fungal strains in the saliva of the mice [14].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups of plain yogurt

Recommended Directions:

  • Eat three cups of yogurt throughout the day.
  • Do this for one to two weeks or until symptoms disappear.

8. Coconut Oil

Extracted from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts, coconut oil has been widely recognized for its amazing benefits for the health, skin and hair.

It’s an excellent way to promote heart health, as it is high in natural saturated fats.

These fats have been confirmed to increase the levels of good cholesterol while lowering levels of bad cholesterol.

By doing so, coconut oil helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Now when it comes to minor ailments like oral thrush, coconut oil can certainly help.

In the height of antimicrobial resistance, coconut oil provides a sure way to eliminate infection-causing fungi, as revealed in a 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food [16].

Fungal strains that can no longer be controlled by antifungal medications can be neutralized by coconut oil [16].

If you want quick and lasting healing of oral thrush, make use of this oil, which is also commonly used for oil pulling.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Using a cotton swab, apply one teaspoon of coconut oil on the inner cheeks and tongue.
  • Repeat several times a day for one week.
  • Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil inside your mouth for one to two minutes.
  • Spit it out.
  • Rinse your mouth with water.
  • Do this everyday.

9. Olive Leaf

The medicinal use of olive leaf was first discovered in ancient Egypt.

At that time, it was considered by folk healers as a miracle remedy from heaven.

Over the years, more and more scientists have explored its properties as a medicinal tool.

Olive leaf extract is commonly used for its ability to lower blood pressure, but a new study reports that it is also a potent treatment for infections caused by fungi.

In this 2016 study, researchers conclude that olive leaf extract demonstrated antifungal effects on Candida albicans, making it a suitable treatment for oral thrush and other similar infections [17].

This can be attributed to the presence of an active compound called oleuropein.

This is also highly effective in boosting the body’s immune resistance, aiding it fighting off infections better.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 teaspoons of olive leaf
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil olive leaf in water for 15 minutes.
  • Drink tea once a day for one to two weeks.

10. Oregano Oil

The therapeutic powers of oregano oil can leave you astounded.

This essential oil works as an antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiparasitic, digestive and anti-allergenic, among many others.

Since many studies have also confirmed of its antifungal properties, it is also highly recommended herbal treatment for oral thrush.

In a 2001 study published in the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, it was shown that oregano oil has potent antifungal activities that work well against Candida albicans [18].

Its main active component carvacrol has been proven effective in treating oral candidiasis [19].

This compound was successful in diminishing the colony forming units of this fungal strain in the oral cavity of the mice subjects within eight days [19].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix oregano oil with olive oil.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply on affected areas of the mouth.
  • Use this remedy twice a day for one to two weeks.

11. Myrrh Oil

Highly recommended for many types of health problems, myrrh oil should definitely be added to your healing tools.

It is also a reliable treatment for oral thrush.

A study that can be found in the Mycopathologia Journal shows that myrrh oil inhibited the activities of fungi species [20].

Amazingly, it works like a charm on fungal strains that can no longer be controlled by standard antifungal medications such as ketoconazole and econazole [20].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of myrrh oil
  • 1 tablespoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils in a bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Apply a thin layer of the oil mixture inside the mouth.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
  • Follow this technique twice daily for two weeks.

Combat overgrowth of fungi that causes oral thrush with the help of these easy and simple home remedies.

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