Thrush is a fungal infection that occurs due to the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. While it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it can be passed on during sex. Thrush is not a serious problem, though the symptoms can become very uncomfortable. It is called “Oral Thrush” when the condition affects the mouth, tongue, as well as lips. Symptoms include soreness and white patches on the tongue, lips, and throat. “Vaginal Thrush” affects the vagina and results in the redness, inflammation, and itchiness. Vaginal thrush can also cause swelling and lead to a white vaginal discharge. If you are wondering how to get rid of thrush, then don’t worry, help is here. Our research-based home remedies for thrush will treat both oral and vaginal thrush.
Home Remedies for Thrush
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Scientists have studied apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a thrush treatment. The ‘microdilution technique’ was used to identify the minimum fungicidal concentration of ACV.
This technique proved that apple cider vinegar possesses antifungal properties against Candida even when heavily diluted(1).
Apple cider vinegar is very much an antibiotic, anti-fungal superfood.
What’s more, its one of the best oral thrush home remedies because it can be used as a mouthwash and, for those wishing to know how to get rid of vaginal thrush, apple cider vinegar can be used as a douche as well.
As an oral thrush remedy, pour a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in half cup of water and mix it well. Now, use it as a mouthwash to get rid of thrush in your mouth. ACV, being a natural disinfectant, effectively fights off the thrush infection.
To get rid of vaginal thrush, 200ml of ACV to your bath. Soak and flush the vagina for at least thirty minutes and repeat daily.
In 1936, Schmidt and Marquardt discovered the antifungal properties of garlic. Fungi like Trichophyton, Candida, Torulopsis, and Cryptococcus are sensitive to garlic. The extracts of garlic are shown to lessen the oxygen uptake and avert the growth of the organism (1).
Also, according to the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the antifungal properties of fresh garlic extract were effective against two variants of the C. albicans fungus(7).
Eat raw garlic or take garlic pills for quick relief as a home remedy to get rid of thrush.You can take 400mg of garlic standardized extract 2 to 3 times daily for antifungal activity (2).
You can also insert a garlic clove into your vagina to get rid of a yeast infection. Peel the skin of fresh garlic clove, wrap it in a cheesecloth, tie both the ends with unwaxed dental floss to make a little temporary thing.
Leave a bit of sting hanging so that you can pull it afterward. Now insert this cheesecloth thing into your vagina. Leave it overnight (3). Remember to sterilize all apparatus first.
Onion is a strong inhibitor of yeast infection. Therefore it is used for the treatment of oral Thrush (4). Onion help cures white patches in your mouth that have occurred due to oral thrush. You just need to include onion in your daily diet.
Note: Avoid eating onion in case of vaginal infection (5).
Yogurt has a significant amount of a bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus, which averts the growth of a yeast responsible for vaginal candidiasis. It produces hydrogen peroxide which kills the yeast.
To get rid of vaginal thrush, soak a tampon in yogurt and place it in the vagina to reduce infection (6).
This is also one of the most effective remedies to get rid of thrush on the tongue and mouth. To use as an oral thrush home remedy, just eat more yogurt. Simple.
In one study it was found that bee honey and yogurt together has a high cure rate for candida infection in pregnant women (9).
5. Lemon Juice
This compound is highly effective against different types of Candida strains (10).
Swish some lemon juice in your mouth at least 4-5 times a day. Lemon juice is good for killing the fungi that cause thrush infection.
6. Coconut Oil
The antifungal properties of coconut oil were proved by using the agar-well diffusion technique (11).
Use coconut oil for cooking purposes or apply directly to the genitals (12).
7. Boric Acid
Research has found evidence that boric acid can be used to treat vaginal thrush (13).
Boric acid possesses antifungal properties against Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is also a type of organism responsible for Vaginitis (14).
Blood boron analyses proved that boric acid powder is a better option as compared to costly medication for curing the vaginal fungal infection (15).
You can use capsules filled with boric acid. and insert it into your vagina once a week for the treatment (16).
Note – Make sure not to swallow it as it may lead to upset stomach.
This remedy is not advisable for pregnant woman (17).
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
According to a study, Hydrogen peroxide has therapeutic properties which avert the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. It also restores normal vaginal bacterial flora in 100% of the case studies (18).
Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced by bacteria in the vagina to avert yeast infection but still, if an infection is caused, you can make a solution of 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water. Spray this mixture daily on your vagina to alleviate infection (19, 20).
9. Warm Salt Water
The thrush fungus does not like a saline environment. One study found that fungus species that infect humans do not survive in seawater where the salt concentration is greater than 6%.
Make a solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
Gargle with it to cure thrush infection (21).
10. Baking Soda
Vaginal infection can be cured by reducing the number of Lactobacilli. For this, the vaginal pH is to be altered. Baking soda can be used for altering pH.
Prepare a solution by adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda in four cups of warm water. Douche twice weekly for two weeks.
11. Cranberry Juice
If the fungus does not develop a biofilm (a thin fungus layer over the cells), it does not cause any inflammation. (25).
A study also proved that a compound found in cranberry juice, ‘proanthocyanidins’ has antifungal properties that can be used to treat oral thrush (26). Vaginal thrush can also be treated by drinking cranberry juice on daily basis.
The proanthocyanidins present in cranberry fruit have an antifungal property which inhibits the growth of oral thrush (27).
Effect of Cinnamon oil as an antifungal agent was tested using a proportionally-diluted test-tube medium and it was concluded that it possesses strong antifungal properties against Candida albicans (28).
To use cinnamon to get rid of thrush, boil one and half a cup of water; add 1/2 tsp of powdered cinnamon to it. Simmer the solution for a couple of minutes. Strain the decoction and sip it slowly.
Herbal Remedies for Thrush
13. Oregano Oil
The oil is rich in carvacrol and thymol. Both of these naturally occurring compounds give oregano oil it’s medicinal properties and tangy taste. These compounds are both quite adept at killing pathogens including the candida fungus.
To use oregano oil to get rid of thrush, you can apply it topically to the genitals or use it in a mouthwash.
Add it to cooking as it tastes great.
14. Clove Oil
Add a few drops of clove oil in water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth, in order to alleviate thrush. This is a good home remedy for treating thrush on lips.
One more study determined that clove essential oil obstructs the fungus’ spore germination and mycelial growth. Whats more, it can be used topically. (31).
Also, the study investigated the effect of eugenol on fungus-infected cells. It looked at how the fungus’s biofilm formed on the cell, as well as how the cell reacted (morphogenesis).
Eugenol gave very positive results and was shown to have potent antifungal activity (32).
15. Aloe Vera
The study found that varying concentrations of Aloe Vera leaf extract altered the growth rate of the thrush fungus. This herb can be counted as an effective remedy to cure thrush (35).
Aloe vera is also a natural healing agent that wards off other types of bacteria and fungi.
Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected part to get relief (36).
16. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is another proven thrush treatment for infants as it has excellent antimicrobial properties (37).
Mix about 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in 30ml of distilled water. Now, apply it with a cotton swab on the white patches inside your baby’s mouth.
You can also take grapefruit seed extract orally to cure yeast infection (38).
For vaginal thrush, use this extract as vaginal douche (39).
17. Tea Tree Oil
Research into the antifungal properties of tea tree oil showed that this herbal oil can inhibit fungal activities like that of Candida albicans. Tea tree oil is a great herbal remedy for mouth thrush as you can use it as a mouthwash (40).
Just add a few drops of tea tree oil in a glass of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth with this solution at least twice or thrice a day.
Note: This oil is toxic therefore it should not be swallowed (43).
18. Lavender Oil
Research has shown that the main components of this herbal oil, (linalool, and linalyl acetate), prevent ‘germ tube formation’ and ‘hyphal elongation’ in the fungus.
Both of these processes are essential for the fungus to grow properly. (44).
Also in the study of Zuzarte et al., 2009, antifungal properties of lavender oil were also found (45).
This is also one of the most effective home remedies for oral thrush. Simply pour 1-2 drops of lavender oil on your toothpaste while you brush your teeth in the morning.
19. Sauropus Androgynus
Also known as the star gooseberry, Sauropus Androgynus is found to inhibit various fungal activities including that of Candida albicans (46). Extract the juice from the leaves of the plant.
Wipe your tongue with this juice using a cotton ball.
20. Herbal Mouthwash
Add a teaspoon of this mixture in a glass of water. Use this solution as a mouthwash. Practice this remedy every 3-4 hours.
Goldenseal is a herbal remedy for thrush that gets its name from its bright yellow roots.
It has long since been used to treat a variety of skin disorders but is a particularly potent as an antifungal treatment.
Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine which is an alkaloid that is highly effective against bacteria and fungus. Berberine activates an enzyme (AMPK) in our cells that regulates metabolism. It stimulates the immune system to fight fungal infections more effectively. (49)
Studies have shown that berberine inhibits the growth of the candida fungus. (50)
To use goldenseal to get rid of thrush, take goldenseal root powder in capsule supplements daily.
21. Blood Root
Similar to goldenseal, it has long been used as a natural treatment for skin infections and also is very effective against all types of fungus.
Again, the active ingredient is berberine. To use bloodroot to get rid of thrush, the root in powder form can be taken as a supplement on a daily basis.
23. Thyme Oil
Carvacrol is a potent yeast-inhibiting compound and studies in the laboratory and with patients show that it is very effective in treating the candida fungus.
Thyme oil can be applied topically, used in cooking or used as in a mouthwash for oral thrush. (50).
- Decrease the intake of sweets & carbohydrates as sugar contributes to fungal infection.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Drink iced tea, cold water, and frozen juices (51).
- Keep the vagina clean if you are prone to vaginal thrush.
- Wear cotton panties (52).
- Avoid wearing tight clothing (53).
- Change sanitary napkins often during periods (54).