Thrush is the common name for a fungal infection of the mucous membranes by the yeast Candida albicans. It can affect the mouth and this is sometimes seen in tiny babies or around the anus or on the penis, but most commonly it is a vaginal infection. A number of things can trigger an attack of thrush. One of the major causes id often a course of antibiotics, which seriously destroy our helpful, defensive bacteria.
Home remedies for Thrush
Aromatherapy - One of the most significant natural anti-fungal agents is essential oil of Tea Tree. This is available in pessary form in some countries, but the oil can be used in the bath or in more concentrated form in a hand- basin of water; use 6 drops in warm water and bathe the vaginal area with it. Although Tea Tree oil is much more soothing than most anti-fungal drugs, do use it well diluted at first in case of any irritation. Other useful oils to use in this way are Lavender and Myrrh, and they could be blended with Tea Tree to help speed up healing.
Herbalism - Herbalists will probably give much of the advice discussed under Naturopathy below, and are equally likely to recommend the above oils for local use; other herbs that have healing, soothing and anti- fungal effects include Marigold (Calendula officinalis) and Cone Flower (Echinacea angustifolia or E. purpurea). These are best used in tincture form; dilute at the rate of 5 ml (1 tsp) to 600 ml of warm water, and use as a local wash. For oral thrush in babies apply a little with a cotton bud and in adults use 5 ml (1 tsp) of the tincture little water as a mouthwash. A powerful anti-fungal remedy for thrush is garlic, and if thrush recurs frequently, taking fresh garlic or garlic capsules daily can help to combat general yeast infection. It can also be used locally, although may irritate the vaginal membranes.
OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES OF THRUSH
Quite often a vicious circle can be set up by an infection: cystitis - treated by antibiotics - leading to thrush. Other factors can be the contraceptive pill, frequent digestive infections, a diet high in sugars, or generally being over- stressed and run-down. Conventional treatment involves the use of anti- fungal creams, or peccaries; both of these treatments may be irritating to the membranes, and self- help measures can often be the best route to avoid repetition of the infection.
Homeopathy - Treatment will focus on internal remedies, backed up by local self- help measures. Practitioners may even prescribe homeopathic doses of Candida itself, but some other possible remedies are:
MERC SOL: for reddish patches, especially if oral thrush when there may be blisters on the mucous membranes, with thick, slimy discharge and some mould-like odor.
NAT MUR : for white spots, less of a discharge but more painful irritation; in oral thrush there may be painful blisters on the lips or tongue. Drier and more inflamed symptoms make this more suitable as a remedy than Mere sol.
SULPHUR : for an itching and burning sensation, and a thick, white discharge in some odor. In oral thrush, Sulphur may be indicated when there is a foul taste.
Naturopathy - A diet in fresh vegetables and low in refiners sugars, helps to prevent recurrent thrush.