Natural Health Remedies for You

Thrush Natural Remedies

This page looks at thrush natural remedies - using herbs and nutritional supplements to cure yeast infections. Thrush symptoms and causes will also be covered.

There are many different types of fungi living and growing inside our bodies. One such fungus is called Candida albicans. They exist in the mouth, stomach, and vagina. In normal amount, they do not cause infections. The number of Candida is controlled by "friendly" beneficial bacteria in our bodies and our immune systems.

Thrush (yeast infection), medically known as Candidiasis, is the overgrowth of Candida albicans in our bodies. It can infect the mouth, vagina, skin, stomach, and urinary tract. About 75% of women will get a vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime, while oral infections (oral thrush) are most common in babies, the elderly, and those with a compromised immune system (such as those undergoing chemotherapy or those who have AIDS). Oral thrush is a minor problem for healthy children and adults, but for those with weakened immune systems, symptoms of oral thrush may be more severe, widespread and difficult to control.

Sometimes, for people with compromised immune systems, the fungus Candida may spread throughout the body causing a condition called systemic candidiasis, which can produce a wide range of symptoms and cause widespread infection.

Thrush Symptoms

Thrush symptoms vary depending on the location of the infection. Usually, if the skin is infected, there will be skin rashes, patches, and blisters found most commonly in the groin, between fingers and toes, and under the breasts.

For oral thrush, vaginal yeast infection and systemic candidiasis, the symptoms are as follows:

Oral Thrush Symptoms

  • Creamy white patches on the inside of the mouth or on the throat
  • Painful cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • Heavily coated tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth

Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

  • Vaginal itching and irritation
  • Thick white to yellowish discharge
  • Burning during urination

Systemic Candidiasis Symptoms

There are a lot of symptoms that can be caused by systemic candidiasis. The more common ones are:


Yeast Infection Causes

Thrush (yeast infection) can be caused by:
  • Prolonged or frequent use of certain medications (e.g. antibiotics, corticosteroids, some birth control pills) which kill off the friendly bacteria that keep Candida in check
  • A high-sugar diet
  • Certain health problems (e.g. a weakened immune system, diabetes)


Thrush Natural Remedies

To treat yeast infections, the underlying cause has to be identified and addressed. Then use a combination of diet and thrush natural remedies to:
  • Bring down the Candida levels by destroying them; and
  • Strengthen the body systems, such as the digestive tract, immune system, and the organs of detoxification and elimination.

When treating thrush, supplements and other remedies should be introduced gradually to avoid a temporary worsening of symptoms called a "Candida die-off" or Herxheimer reaction. When Candida are killed too quickly, they release a large amount of toxins that can trigger an antibody response from the immune system. This causes the body to actually feel worse. However, the die-off symptoms should be short-lived (may last from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment used). Therefore, if your symptoms get worse after taking supplements or herbs for the thrush, don't give up - things will get better in time.


Thrush Natural Remedies - Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements that can be used as thrush natural remedies include:
  • Probiotics: Probiotics provide the friendly bacteria that can help to restore normal balance of bacteria in the bowel and mucous membranes. Taking probiotics at the same time that you take antibiotics may help to prevent a buildup of Candida. Take a product that contains 4 billion active organisms (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium) two times a day, about 30 minutes after a meal.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs can help to reduce inflammation. A mix of omega-6 (e.g. evening primrose) and omega-3 (e.g. fish oil) is best. You can take 1 tablespoon or 1000 - 1500 mg twice a day.
  • Caprylic Acid: Caprylic acid is another type of fatty acid that has been found to have antifungal properties. Recommended dosage is 1000 mg three times a day with meals.
  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant vitamin can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Take 500 to 1000 mg per day.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E reduces inflammation and keeps the immune system strong. Recommended dosage is 200 to 400 IU a day.
  • Selenium: Selenium is also important to maintain a strong immune system. It can also reduce inflammation. Recommended dosage is 200 mcg a day.
  • Calcium: It has been found that many people who have recurrent yeast infections do not have enough calcium in their diet. If you have thrush, ask your doctor if you need a calcium supplement.


Thrush Natural Remedies - Herbs

Herbs that make effective thrush natural remedies include:
  • Oregano Oil: Oregano oil can prevent Candida overgrowth. Get the enteric-coated capsules of the oil and take two capsules two times a day with meals with plenty of water to prevent digestive upset.
  • Garlic: Garlic helps to fight fungal infections and can also boost the immune system. You may consider taking the enteric-coated capsules of garlic together with Oregano oil for added strength. Recommended dosage is one capsule twice a day (or the equivalent of 4000 to 5000 mcg of allicin).
  • Echinacea: Echinacea strengthens the immune system and has antifungal properties. It works by stimulating the white blood cells to destroy the yeast organisms, a process known as phagocytosis. Recommended dosage is about 400 mg two to three times daily.
  • Pau d'arco: The bark of this herb has strong antifungal properties. It is best used as a tea. Drink up to 3 to 6 cups per day.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has been shown to have antifungal properties and is mainly used topically for skin-related yeast infections. Be sure to dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying it topically to your skin. You can also add 5 drops of the oil to a glass of water and swish it in your mouth to treat oral thrush. DO NOT swallow.


Thrush Natural Remedies - Diet

The "Candida diet" forms an important component of the thrush natural remedies. Base your diet on fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, such as organic poultry, fish, lentils, and beans.

To replenish the friendly bacteria in your system, eat unsweetened yogurt that has live yogurt cultures daily.

Flaxseeds are antifungal so eat one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds a day.

Eat lots of garlic, onion, and super green foods (e.g. spirulina, chlorella) for the immune system as well as to support detoxification.

Food to avoid:

  • Sugar: The fungus Candida thrives on sugar, so avoid all foods that contain sugar, especially alcohol.
  • Refined Foods: Most refined foods are loaded with lots of sugar.
  • Yeast: Candida also feeds on yeast, so eliminate foods with high concentrations of yeast (e.g. breads, rolls, crackers, bagels, pastries, muffins).
  • Foods with mold: Foods with mold include aged cheese, nuts, and nut butters.
  • Fruits and fruit juices: During the first month of thrush treatment, avoid or reduce the intake of fruits (fresh and dried) and juices, especially between meals.
  • Dairy Products: Candida is believed to impair the body's ability to digest fat, so dairy products, such as milk and cheeses, should be restricted.

Related Topic

Vaginal Yeast Infections


Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002). (
University of Maryland Medical Center (

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